Stephen Rippy

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Stephen Rippy
Stephen Rippy.jpg
Born September 1975
Birth Place Harris County, Texas
Nationality American   USA.svg
Aliases Big Al, Steve-G

Stephen Rippy was born in September 1975 in Harris County, Texas. He was not initially set out to start composing music, instead he actually started studying visual art at the University of Texas in 1994. On the side he took a few music courses, but these were very rudimentary.

He was still in college when his brother, David Rippy, made him interested in what was going on at Ensemble Studios at the time. To start off, he was mainly helping his brother in composing songs for a tank shoot-em-up game that was being produced. Since Ensemble Studios was a consulting company at that time, David Rippy didn't have enough time to do all the songs by himself.

As time went by, the same setup pretty much carried over to the development of Age of Empires (W32) and he was soon on a part-time contract for the company. Because he was still in college, full time employment wasn't really an option at that point. It wasn't until May 1998 when he finally became a full time employee of the company after having graduated. Starting with Age of Mythology (W32), he also became responsible for the sound design. He would stay with Ensemble Studios and be the person primarily responsible for the music until the studio was eventually closed down in 2009.

After this he went to work for Bonfire Studios, which was eventually absorbed into Zynga.

Currently he resides in Plano, Texas. He also produces CDs on the side that he sells commercially.

Music Composition

Starting out, the most important pieces of equipment he used during his composition work was a Boss DSS-330 synthesizer and an E-mu ESI-32 sampler. Initially he also did the editing and mixing using SoundForge. For MIDI work, Cakewalk was his tool of choice.

As time went on and budgets got bigger, the equipment saw considerable improvement and starting with Age of Mythology (W32), some of the tracks were performed by an orchestra.


Released Title Sample
1997-10-15 Age of Empires (W32)
1998-10-31 Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome (W32)
1999-09-30 Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (W32)
2000-08-24 Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (W32)
2002-10-30 Age of Mythology (W32)
2003-09-30 Age of Mythology: The Titans (W32)
2005-10-18 Age of Empires III (W32)
2006-10-17 Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs (W32)
2007-10-23 Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties (W32)
2009-02-26 Halo Wars (X360)

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