Recently, game audio industry vet Jeremy Rogers launched a new SFX library store & blog at www.thesoundkeeper.com. While the blog is still new, he’s already putting out some interesting articles, including his most recent “The Top 5 Must-Have Plugins for Sound Designers“. Check it out for Jeremy’s plugin recommendations, as well as some brief descriptions on how he uses them in his own work!
In a recent video, some members of the Killer Instinct sound team, including Zachary Quarles, Adam Isgreen, Mick Gordon, Chase Ashbaker, and Jeff Dombkowski, discuss some of the unique approaches and techniques they used in creating the sounds for some of the new characters featured in the second season of the game, including how they created fire effects, scarab attacks, and raptor vocals.
And if that’s not enough enticement, you also get to hear Mick Gordon throat-sing!
In a recent, abbreviated episode of the Tonebenders Podcast, Rene Coronado had the opportunity to capture some celebratory crowd sounds following the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. In the episode, he discusses his recording approach, along with some unexpected inclement weather. Check it out here. Also, Rene generously made the raw recordings available for use, but they won’t be up for long, so grab them while you can!
Asbjoern of A Sound Effect and Christian of Hzandbits return this month with the second episode of their podcast. This time around, they’re speaking to the people behind the BOOM Sound Effects libraries, which have exploded in popularity recently. You can find the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and a number of other places and formats. Head over to the A Sound Effect page for the episode to find the links.
Ethan (L) and Erik (R) on the mix stage. Photo by Greg P Russell.
On the most recent episode of the Tonebenders Podcast, the guys talk to experienced sound designers Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl about their long and varied careers, working philosophies, and recent films. Some of the recent films Van der Ryn and Aadahl have worked on are Transformers: Age of Extinction, Godzilla (2014), World War Z, and Argo, among others. Head over to the Tonebenders site to check it out, or listen on the go on iTunes or Stitcher.
In the most recent blog post over at Sweet Justice, sound designer Chris Sweetman shares some of his decades of experience, and discusses the importance of experimentation and the use of organic sounds in modern sound design. He also discusses some of his experiences on major films, as well as his approach to tools like Izotope Iris. Head over to their blog to check it out now!
Sony for a very long time has spearheaded the effort to standardise loudness in games. The recent PS4 SDK update (2.500) includes a mastering suite — Sulpha analysis tools — to help developers master their titles for a variety of playback systems, from full range surround sound systems to TVs, to mobile devices.
It features a 4-band equaliser, a 3-band dynamics processor, gain and limiter controls and loudness management and analysis tools. The interesting thing about the toolset is that it utilises resources from the operating system and is therefore compatible with game audio middleware, third party engines and all PS4 titles.
I briefly interviewed Garry Taylor, Audio Director at Creative Services Group, Sony Worldwide Studios and Marina Villanueva-Barreiro who is a senior engineer at SCEE Research and Development. I found it interesting that about 50% of users listen to PlayStation titles through their TV speakers. I was expecting the percentage to be much higher.
DS: Sony in many ways has been spearheading the loudness standard for games. Did the development of these tools seem like a natural progression from the development of the standard?
Garry: Very much so. Having a loudness standard is all well and good, but we needed to make it as easy as possible for developers to hit the PS4 loudness target without having to spend big money on new equipment. Loudness metering has been part of the PS4 operating system for a couple of revisions now, and this is the next logical step, allowing developers to manipulate overall EQ , dynamic range and loudness easily and quickly. Smaller teams working on PlayStation titles may not have the resources or technical knowledge required to conform to a standard, so having one easy-to-use audio mastering tool that works on every single title made a lot of sense.
Photo by Gustavo Veríssimo, used under a Creative Commons license. Click to view source.
…and the fear of it. Some worry about it more than others, but we all face it sooner or later. There are varying degrees of failure, and then there’s the old line that helps to put things in a relevant light:
“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” [Stephen McCranie…according to Google]
Failure is a part of development and growth. It’s unavoidable, and not necessarily something to fear. So this month, we’re going to try to bring a little perspective to this idea of failure.
For instance, it’s also not necessarily career related. After all, the sound Ben Burtt used to bring a little character to the Millenium Falcon failing to to go into light speed was an inertia starter failing to turn over. Failing devices can sound amazing! So we’re not necessarily going to be all philosophical this month.
It should be an interesting exploration…or maybe we’ll screw it all up. As Adam Savage always says on Mythbusters, “Failure is always an option.” ;)
We here at Designing Sound ALWAYS encourage contributions from the community. If you have a story, thought or technique you’d like to share, let us know. Contribute to this month’s theme if suits you, maybe next month’s topic (when we’re going to focus on the business side of sound design), or go completely off-topic. Anything is fair game! Contact shaun [@] this website to get the ball rolling!
Once again our friends at the Tonebenders podcast have delivered a great episode! This month, they spoke to Mad Mad Fury Road vehicle recordist Oliver Machin about his work on the movie. Head to their site to take a listen, or catch them on iTunes and Stitcher.
As many of our readers know, sound design is frequently overlooked when people start talking in-depth about media production. It’s no surprise, then, that we here at Designing Sound get pretty excited when we find out someone is taking a closer look at an element of the craft. In that spirit, we wanted to bring your attention to a Kickstarter for Actors of Sound: A Foley Art Documentary. This film by director Lalo Molina and his team (listed on the KS page) seeks to bring attention to the human and performance elements of foley, as well as the fantastic artists who do it, but they need your help to produce the movie. Head over to the KS page and check it out, but do it soon; at the time of posting, there’s only 16 days left!