Adding Music to Black Mesa Maps

A frequently asked question on the Steam Community forums for Black Mesa is how to add music to custom Black Mesa maps.  It works a bit differently from Half-Life 2.  Black Mesa relies on OGGs, not MP3s, and these don’t show up in the sound list.  The rest, however, is mostly the same.

  1. Place an ambient_generic and give it a name.  Make sure, under Flags, that Play Everywhere, Start Silent and Is NOT Looped are all checked.
  2. For the Sound Name, use: #*music/filename.ogg where filename.ogg is from the list below.  Pay special attention to spaces, dashes and parentheses!!  The names roughly correlate to the chapter names (i.e. OC for Office Complex, QE for Questionable Ethics), while mscl_ambience tracks are quick flourishes of music to set the scene.  To some extent, you can cross-reference these names with those on the composer’s web site.
    A list of music files in Black Mesa Source, taken from GCFScape.

    A list of music files in Black Mesa Source, taken from GCFScape.

    Note that there are two other songs which don’t appear in this list, the ones that play on the main menu.  They aren’t in the /music folder, but in the /ui folder instead.  For these, use ui/gamestartup_1.ogg or ui/gamestartup_2.ogg.

  3. Have a trigger or other entity send PlaySound to this ambient_generic to play music.
  4. To make the music fade out, send the FadeOut input to this ambient_generic with a parameter of how long the fade out should take (i.e. 5 for 5 seconds).
  5. You may want to change the Volume setting on the ambient_generic as some of these tracks are very loud and will drown out other audio, which may be undesirable.