Music To Test By: Portal 2′s Free Soundtrack

By Alec Meer on May 25th, 2011 at 8:46 pm.

I guess we still can't show the image of the [censored] on the [censored], can we?

Attention, test subjects. There is a soundtrack to Portal 2, and it is now available for you to download. It is free (FREE!), and comprises 22 MP3s with a bitrate of 320kbps – which is a number than means it doesn’t sound like a man yodelling into a fish tank. Appears to be purely the instrumental soundtrack, not the Coulton or The National songs, but that means it’s full of bleepy, technoid wonder. You can get it from here.

This is but Volume 1, which suggests a further volume to come (edit – two more, in fact). If you’re the sort of person who likes annoying people on the bus, you can also download snippets of some of the tracks as ringtones for your personal communication device.

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74 Comments »

  1. Felixader says:

    Thank you very much.

    • FLBR says:

      Robbing Walker: No problem. Now go and buy some hats, items or animations. It’s up to you. Just trying to find a way that you can pay us back.

      Doug Lombullshit: Releasing the Portal 2 soundtrack for free is something that….beep…….zzzzzbing………CLACK… We’re super excited about that fact.

      Cave Johnson: Android! Have you seen the figures that these guys are making month to month!? If they’d have been around when Aperture…! Well that’s a pipe dream! But if they had! I’d have asked them for a loan! On a serious note. Don’t go thanking some corporation for giving you free stuff when you’ve already bought something off them! Trust me. Chances are it was always going to be free! And if you thank them for the free stuff when you’ve already bought the item that contained the free stuff, you’ll feel obliged to buy other crap that they cook up. Just take a look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldPSITyKlaw These crooks could sell shit to a toilet!

    • Flobulon says:

      WHAT GROUNDBREAKING SATIRE!!

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      Durkonkell says:

      I’d be sarcastic to you FLBR, but really Flobulon has done that rather well for me. Also his name is excellent.

      Good show, Sir.

    • FLBR says:

      @Flobulon; That’s not satire. It’s paradoxical comedy.

    • Thants says:

      I thought this guy got banned.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      By now, I’m certain that Valve stole FLBR’s baby.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      FLBR I suspect you are singlehandedly behind a vast majority of youtube’s comments, the entirety of the comments on The Sun’s website, and you are probably also the person who calls me a ‘FUCIN NOOB’ in Starcraft 2 after I beat your cannon rush.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Hexa, FLBR is not responsible for any of the accusations you hurl against it.

      Because none of them are related to bitching about Valve.

    • Bret says:

      Maybe it’s one of those personality spheres. One built to hate Valve for some reason.

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      Daiv says:

      The Valve Hate Sphere was a late cut from the game.

      I seem to recall hearing reports that playtesters found this sphere irritating, annoying, repetitive, and it undermined Wheatley’s claim to being a world-class idiot designed by the finest minds of a generation to be the perfect moron.

      That, and the strange bug meant that even when you dropped it, it still hung around spouting vitriol under a different name meant that it was never going to remain in the final product for long.

      It should have gone to Redemption long ago.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      There’s a guy over at PC Gamer who is like this about the Witcher 2 and one of the journalists there. We believe he may have a hate-shrine set up to them at home which he daubs in his own … ejecta.

  2. skinlo says:

    There are two other volumes to come.

    http://theportalwiki.com/w/images/1/1a/Portal_2_-_Future_soundtrack_volumes_confirmation.png
    http://theportalwiki.com/wiki/Portal_2_soundtrack

    I love Valve for this , I really enjoyed the music when I played the game, and now I can listen to it whenever I want :D

    • Groove says:

      Does anyone know where I could find an instrumental version of Still Alive?

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Who’s betting on Valve releasing Volume 3?

      Anyone?

  3. Protagoras says:

    Huh, I just finished a co-op session with a “friend” (playing from a ps3, so I’m using that term lightly), and here’s a post about portal 2.

    It stalking me. And I think I like it…

  4. Bobsy says:

    I was super-impressed by the music in Portal 2. I wish it had been given more exposure prior to launch, because I’m just the sort of nerd who gets extra excited by game music that directly reacts to what you’re doing in-game.

    I really, really wish that SOCOM 2 was out on PC because the music for that, by composer super-whizz Bear McCreary is similarly interactive, and great. Don’t really care if the game’s any good or not. The music is worth the price of entry alone.

  5. Sky says:

    Turret wife serenade!

    • Protagoras says:

      it just became my ringtone. Now I can both annoy people on the bus and be hip whilst doing it – oh technology, how you improve and enrich our lives!

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      Fatbubba says:

      Heh, that’s the one I’m going for as well. Nothing beats a bunch of turrets singing and everyone wondering what the heck that is. :)

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Its pretty cute. Only one I really would actually sit and listen to, the other stuff is good as a game background but a little … slow for general listening.

      So if its “Turret Wife Serenade”, does that mean the big fat turret they are singing to is wifey? Do do doop do doo doo dooby doo ….

  6. Buttless Boy says:

    Am I the only one who just turns off the music in Valve games? It just totally ruins the immersive effect for me.

    • skinlo says:

      I think you might be one of the few.

      Most Valve games don’t have that much music in them (Portal 2 has quite a lot ), but for me at least it really adds to the atmosphere.

    • Kaira- says:

      Well, I don’t turn it off, but it’s most of the time just meaningless sound in the background that doesn’t spark my interest in the slightest.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      I just get frustrated when I’m playing a game like Half-Life or Portal, where I get totally entrenched in the world, and then all of a sudden big dramatic music swells because there’s a boss fight. It reminds me that what I’m doing is fighting a video game boss and not actually living in a world where I have physics-breaking weapons and hang out with talking potatoes.

      It’s funny that I can suspend disbelief for just about any plot element, but as soon as there’s a soundtrack I remember that it’s fiction.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I used to switch it off. Never liked the Half Life soundtrack the first time round. But I’ve since come around to it and love it.

      You really should play Portal 2 with the music on, it really does add a lot more to the game imo.

    • Berzee says:

      DR GONZO SPEAKING OF MUSIC
      i like your new song
      it’s nifty

    • whydidyoumakemeregister says:

      YES, very much agreed. Valve hasn’t progressed much in the audio aspect of their games other than Left 4 Dead’s clever little musical cues (inspired by horror movies). They need to hire a great composer to keep up with their advances in gameplay. Right now I would describe their audio aesthetic as anemic and lackluster.

    • Serenegoose says:

      Valve soundtracks have been game highlights for me for a while now.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    The Turret Serenade makes GREAT ringtone…

    • Decimae says:

      I prefer Science Is Fun, sounds more ringtone-ish, though Turret Wife Serenade sounds awesome as well.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Both are great, i my opinion, for ringtone, though I would rather go for Serenade, I prefer my phone to be more discrete when it rings, I think.

      The other songs are a bit too violent for ringtones, in my opinion. (I might put “the courtesy call” for my mom, though…)

  8. Premium User Badge

    tikey says:

    Please don’t show the image of the censored on the censored as I haven’t played portal 2 yet.
    I know. But I’m poor, I’ll have to wait until it’s on sale. :(

  9. tyrsius says:

    The audio player on that page is actually pretty cool. Its play buttons operate like radio buttons, only letting one be active, and remember your spot. The whole thing is compact and slick too.

  10. Tegl says:

    I was listening to “Ghost of Rattman” and there was a lot of gibberish and talking. I don’t remember hearing it in the game, so was it there in the game or is this part of the ARG?

    • skinlo says:

      It is there in the game, although not in the sound track. You have to stand near the things to activate it (don’t want to tell you incase of spoilers)

  11. airtekh says:

    Yay, now I can update my Portal 1 ringtone to a Portal 2 one.

  12. SilverSilence says:

    Ew compressed MP3 :/

    • skinlo says:

      lol

    • Calneon says:

      Because I know I’d much rather download an extra GB of music for an inaudible improvement in quality.

    • patricij says:

      The horrors, the horrors!

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      Aninhumer says:

      It would only be about 200MB more, but yes largely unnecessary and they’re giving it away free anyway.

      EDIT: Oh wait, I suppose FLAC is still compressed so not good enough. :P

    • SilverSilence says:

      @Aninhumer

      FLAC is lossless so I don’t know what your point is.

      Yes i do notice a difference between MP3 and lossless, so for me it’s a problem.

    • sebmojo says:

      I grew up with whispery, staticy over-recorded cheap C90 mixtapes recorded on a ten year old dual tape boombox and played on a red AIWA walkman with earphones you had to tie down with sellotape to get stereo. And I liked it.

      Kids these days.

    • arghstupid says:

      @Calneon – It depends, if you have damaged hearing and don’t fit the psychoacoustic model particulalry well I’m told the difference can be quite dramatic. I can spot the difference on some material but it’s usually pretty subtle. The most obvious signs for me at least (at decent bit rates) are *slightly* softened transients and a less distinct stereo image. Very subtle however, and I doubt I would notice without the original to compare to. Usually I can’t tell which is ‘better’ but can pick out that they’re different in A/B/X testing. I don’t have the best ears in the world however, and have learnt not to underestimate how good some people are at listening.
      The other benifit of lossless coding is that there is no generation loss so when MP3 is replaced by some future format you don’t have to buy your record collection for the 4th time, transcoded stuff can sound really nasty.
      Having said all that, given this is free, I think there are no grounds for whinging.

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      SpakAttack says:

      I’d say it’s good enough quality given it’s free…

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      Fatbubba says:

      Can you imagine knowing someone who swears by WAV? I sadly do. Nothing I say convinces him.

    • sexyresults says:

      ew free stuff in a format I don’t prefer!

    • Zelnick says:

      It is quite silly that a lossless version of audio is not offered by some artists and vendors in 2011.

      If you have the game you already have the soundtrack in lossless waveform. All you need to do is unpack the audio with GCFscape and then compress it with glorious FLAC and you’ll have yourself the complete soundtrack.

    • Outright Villainy says:

      @Zelnick: Nope, it’s dynamic music, so all the files are really frickin’ short. You have to do all the arrangement yourself.

      Honestly, for me 320kb/s is fine, I never rip over 192 anyway.

  13. Premium User Badge

    SpakAttack says:

    Yay for valve awesomeness!

  14. Git says:

    Thankyou, RPS, for bringing this to my attention.

  15. thegooseking says:

    The National song is available (though not for free) for download from Amazon in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exile-Vilify-Game-Portal-2/dp/B004WXQX2K/

    It’s available on iTunes if you live in America, but I don’t. Plus I hate iTunes. It’s probably available on Amazon there, too, I’d guess.

    • arghstupid says:

      Also on spotify for cheap-os

    • Tegl says:

      They recently made it much worse for us cheapos, now you can only listen to a song five times before it will become unavailable to you permanently, unless you buy a subscription or the song. Also only 10 hours of listening time each month, and all this applies to invite accounts too.

      It used to be pretty awesome before, if you had an invite account – no listening time restrictions, no ads (with the help of a specific program) and no need for downloading, just streaming.

      I guess Spotify isn’t too good for the artists though, unless you’re using an indie label or the situation has changed since this article: http://torrentfreak.com/spotify-isnt-ripping-off-artists-the-labels-are-091123/

  16. DevilSShadoW says:

    Here’s hoping one of the volumes will include the Turret Opera
    RPS please keep track of the other volumes as they launch!

    • FKD says:

      Agreed! I watched the ending on Youtube countless times for the song (and it just being plain awesome..)

  17. vader says:

    Yay! Free stuff for my ear-holes! Bummer “Robots FTW” wasn’t on this volume. Maybe next time.

    Robots FTW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJghR7CuxG0

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      Man Raised by Puffins says:

      If you’re feeling particularly impatient you could always pull the wav directly from the vpk files and encode your own mp3 (this also works for the singleplayer end song).

    • nemryn says:

      Aw yeah. Now where’s the non-instrumental version?

  18. Shadrach says:

    Valve wins at the Internets. Again. Yay Valve.

  19. Novotny says:

    Ah! I needed a soundtrack for losing my mind to. I’m coming for you all

  20. Lazaruso says:

    Once again RPS is shamelessly advertising Valve’s products, eh? Am I the only one who remembers the days when developers paid you to download their game’s soundtrack?!

    • Bodminzer says:

      Same here! I fondly remember receiving an envelope full of crisp tenners for downloading the Homeworld soundtrack. Wait, no I don’t, because you are a mental and that never happened to anyone.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Bodminzer

      I believe your sarcasm detector may need retuning.

    • Bodminzer says:

      @Vinraith Ah you’re probably right. I was just so prepared for “Heh, shameless whores, I am above you sheeple, and I sneer on your fun freebies from a throne of contempt and misplaced nostalgia”. Maybe the internet is better than I give it credit for… Maybe. *stares into middle distance*

    • Vinraith says:

      @Bodminzer

      I assure you it’s not, it’s just that in this case you’re unaware of the full context. We’ve had a recurrent troll prancing about making inane statements about Valve of the type Laz made, so I’m fairly sure he’s mocking by imitation.

  21. Sassenach says:

    Was I not allowed to rip the Coulton songs from the Portal 2 files?

  22. bluebogle says:

    Very nice! Thanks for sharing guys!

  23. Basilicus says:

    Listening to it right now, and I’m deeply impressed that, for the most part, the music holds up this well on its own. A couple of places, the synth nature really comes through, but in others it’s nicely layered and very moody.

    I also hadn’t realized there was this much music in the game. Bravo, Valve.

  24. Iokanaan says:

    I heart valve.

  25. Sinnorfin says:

    Awesome music, stands its ground perfectly without the game… a bit depressing..but maybe its just because i want to play it some more instead of just listening..:D

  26. Sinnorfin says:

    nice, just noticed what really plays in ‘ Love as a construct’