In the past, EA have struggled to really capture that feeling of being at a match. I’ve always felt that the atmosphere in game has felt quite flat. Even with a decent set up there was still something missing, the sounds were there, they just didn’t jump out at you and immerse you like they should. The WC game was a good improvement on this front, but it still wasn’t enough.
EA’s answer to this is to hand us audio customisation. This year they are going to let us upload and assign our own chants and music into the game, swearing and all…
First, you are going to need to get your hands on some chants. I can’t recommend a better place to start than this thread on the official EA boards. The work that Paul Smeltzer (Smeltzerinho) has put into this is frankly staggering. Everything you need to know to get your hands on the audio is in the first post, but you can also access it directly here. All files are correctly formatted and ready to be downloaded (Note: Some of the chants do contain swearing). They are sorted by Chants, Entrance Music, Half/Full time music and Goal Music, Drilling down into any of those options will present you with folders for Leagues and Countries. The selection is wide and varied with most leagues and countries catered for.
I have personally raided most of my chants and songs from here so i’d like to say a big big thank you to Paul and everyone that helped him put it together. It really is an excellent effort and it should be the first place you look on your hunt for custom audio.
Once you have your files, you need to get them onto your console.
Xbox360: First, burn your files onto CD. I found that a data CD wouldn’t work. So it had to be done as an audio cd that would play in any cd player. Pop the cd into the disk tray, go to the “my xbox” channel and keep going right until you are at the music library. Go to “Current Disk” and wait for it to load up. Select “rip CD” then press A twice and navigate down to “save changes”. Once this has finished your chants/music will be ripped onto your hard drive. From here you can create playlists to apply to teams in game.
PS3: First copy the files on to CD or USB Key. Once connected to the PS3 navigate to the device and copy the music files to your hard drive by selecting a track then hitting “Triangle” and choosing “Copy” from the side menu that appears. Once everything you need is on your PS3 hard drive you’ll need to create a new playlist. To do this navigate to the “Music” section of the top menu structure and then choose the “New Playlist” option. Name it accordingly and then you can begin to add tracks to it by selecting them, hitting “Triangle” and choosing this time the “Add to Playlist” option.
Once you have your files loaded up onto your console and all of your playlists built, you need to assign them to teams.
From the arena, press start, go to “My Fifa 11″ and then to “My Music and Chants” and finally “Custom Music and Chants”.
From here you have three options:
My Fifa 11: This allows you to edit the music you hear whilst in the menus/arena as well as changing the music/chants for your favourite team.
Virtual Pro: Allows you to edit the music heard when your VP scores and also the music/chants heard in club matches.
Leagues and Teams: Here you can change the entrance music, goal music, crowd chants and team victory/defeat music for any team across all leagues.
So as an example i’m setting mine up for my beloved Gunners, I go to Leagues and teams, select the EPL and Arsenal. Whenever you make a change to a setting, you get the option to apply the selected playlist to the selected event (Stadium entrance, Team Goal, Team Victory, Team Defeat, Crowd Chant), apply to all events for that team or apply to selected event for all teams in this league. The last option is pretty useful. I have set up custom chants for the bigger teams in the EPL, but also made a large playlist of generic chants. So I select to apply my generic chants to all teams in the league (which you want to do first, otherwise it wipes any you have previously assigned) and then go back and edit the chants for teams i have made playlists for on a team by team basis.
The first time you hear one of your custom chants fade in, you will beam. They blend perfectly in with the crowd and never sound jagged or out of place (unless the files you use are awful). The transition from generic crowd noise to custom chant is seamless and slight. Sadly entrance music doesn’t hold up quite as well. For me, it’s too quiet. I can see what EA have tried to do, they have tried to mix it in with the crowd noise, which is great, but it’s just too quiet. It’s drowned out by the cheering, to the point where it might as well not be there at all. I found myself straining to hear it. Maybe next year we will be given the tools to adjust volume too.
Overall, custom audio is a brilliant addition, and it’s well worth putting some time in to get the best of it, but plough your time into chants, not entrance music…