Guest Contribution by Frank Bry
Check out part 1 of The Making of Thunderstorm 3 SFX here.
In this second and final article I will discuss microphone patterns, recording device pre amp settings, editing and the final mastering phase of this collection. Before I dive into all the technical mumbo jumbo I want to express that when I’m setting up and actually recording thunder and lightning I get quite excited. There must be something in the air, alien mind control beams or just the anticipation of getting the “ultimate” thunder clap or lightning strike. It’s very hard work and involves exercise, listening, tracking the storms and watching the skies. I feel like a kid in a candy shop and I feel the recording is the easy part. So, now we begin. Part 2: The Real Work Begins.
Guest Contribution by Alex May
If you were born in the 70’s or 80’s and played video games, you’ll no doubt have fond memories of the early days of game audio when consoles were incapable of playing back more than basic pulse waves or noise. All sounds had to be forged from these primitives, and game SFX were rarely even slightly reminiscent of anything actually real. Now, however, realistic sound is only as far away as your portable recorder or favourite sound library. Realism in sound has become accessible to the point of it being often considered a given; a basic assumption of the art.
Enter the idea of “100% synthesized SFX”. This is a self-imposed workflow limitation that declares that all sounds for a project will be synthesized, and not recorded. Foley, vehicles, weapons, combat, ambience, UI, and in certain cases even voices; all produced with synthesizers.
Wait, all synthesized? What could we possibly gain from doing things in such an inefficient and impractical manner? Surely it makes better sense to use tools and methods that are appropriate for the results we’re after, right?
Well, yes, that is true. However, being that ultimately we’re aiming to produce sound that complements the visual style of the game, it may not always be the case that recorded real-world sources are the best fit. If the visual style has a strong character about it, then so should the sound. One method for achieving this character is to place limitations on the production process, and that is what this article discusses: limiting sound production to synthesis. By doing this we can achieve an overarching “stylized realism” that, when paired with equally stylized visuals, can contribute to a sense of immersion in the game world.
Let’s now take a look at some work practices for a 100% Synthesis approach.
Guest Contribution by Frank Bry
In this article I will reveal my secrets and techniques to recording decent thunder and lightning. Many, many years and sleepless nights have gone into perfecting the art of recording the thunderstorm and I will finally share. But first, I want to share a little history and tell you how I developed these secrets and techniques. It was not so easy at first and here’s the story I’m still alive to tell. Part 1: Live and Learn.
Blastwave FX are at it again with another contest which they announced last week. This one is about making a zombie soundscape:
- Create a sound design clip of a soundscape or scene of something you think you would hear during the zombie apocalypse.
- The sound design clip must be no longer than 60 seconds. No exceptions.
- Upload the sound design clip to the Blastwave FX Facebook page. Be sure to tag yourself and Blastwave FX in the post. The clip must be posted on the Blastwave FX Facebook page. Emailed or messaged submissions will be disqualified.
- The sound design clip may contain original sound effects, but must include at least one sound effect from the Zombie Apocalypse Sound Effects Library from Blastwave FX. Free samples from this library are available at the bottom of this page. If you own the Zombie Apocalypse Sound Effects Library, you may use any sound effect from the collection that you wish. Note, the Zombie Apocalypse Sound Effects Library is on sale throughout the contest for only $66.
- The contest submissions will be judged by Matt Busch, Celldweller, Blue Stahli and Ric Viers.
Check out the contest page for the full rules and description here. Hurry though, the deadline is October 24!
There is a cool crowdsource library getting organized over at Audible Worlds. Site runner Mike Niederquell’s explanation says it best:
The goal of this library is to capture 3-5 minutes of crowds or walla from your local region. It’s best if the conversations in the recordings are unintelligible, which is why we are using the term “walla” to describe this project. We realize it’s probably unrealistic for most people to have access to a group of performers to capture proper walla, so recording large groups of people in a public area is also being accepted.
Everyone is allowed to contribute and your contribution awards you everyone else’s submitted recordings which from the looks of it will be a *lot* of people! The Submission window is Oct 1, 2014 to Oct 20th, 2014 so there isn’t much time left! Go check it out along with the rest of Audible Worlds. Its a great resource.