In Part 1 of this blog series, EA DICE invites you to hear from the sound designers of Star Wars: Battlefront as they break down the anatomy of their favorite sounds. Does the inhaling blast of a thermal imploder give you a Pringles complex, prompting you to lob them one after another until your lack of strategy causes others to wonder if Jar Jar Binks is on the battlefield? Sound Designer David Jegutidse breaks down the audio magic behind the creation of this weapon, sharing design techniques, influences and Soundcloud examples. Also, for those attending GDC next month with an Audio Track, Main Conference or All Access pass, don’t miss David Jegutidse and Composer Gordy Haab’s session on the music and sound design for Battlefront.Read More
Recently, MMO news site Ten Ton Hammer caught up with the audio team at ArenaNet, developers of the Guild Wars franchise. In an in-depth overview of their recent work, sound designers Jerry Schroeder and Drew Cady shared some of their approaches, techniques, and experiences in creating the highly detailed sounds that fill the worlds of Guild Wars 2 and its expansion pack Heart of Thorns. Head here to check out this fantastic article, which also features a video interview with Schroeder and Cady (and quite a bit of Foley work!).
via Ten Ton HammerRead More
If you are releasing a new SFX library and you would like it to be included in our recap, please send us the details through our SFX Independence Submission Form.
As we move onto February, let’s take a walk through the days of internet yore and listen to the libraries released last month. We have a range of sound effects to include unique impulse responses, crunchy, grainy synths layers, candid urban and rural life, elements traveling through pipes, and plenty of precipitation to drench your watery scenes.
Fringe Elements by The Coil
This is crunchiness at its finest. Fringe Elements by The Coil has distorted, pulsating textures that make you feel as if your old IBM PC evolved in its landfill and is now stalking you. This library contains 225 heavily processed sounds such as noise, FX, distortions, rhythmic textures, and ghostly atmospheres that when layered on a mix will surely transform it. This library is also hearty enough to create the foundation for you to express that granulated punch you feel in your stomach.
(225 WAV files, 800 MB, 24bit/48kHz)
Storm Lake HD Pro by The Recordist
Have you ever had a day on the beach where the waves were perfect but your wind muff just wasn’t having it? Lament no longer, because ‘The Recordist‘ Frank Bry has your back. During a northerly storm last October, winds wooshed across the lake at 25 to 45 mph and Frank captured the clear waves that ensued. With his Schoeps MK4 and MK8, he caught them crashing against the docks, beaches and rocky shorelines. What better way to spend a day at the beach? Also, to celebrate the winter’s halfway point in Idaho, The Recordist is having a sale with a 25% storewide discount.
(16 WAV files, 1.42 GB, 24bit/96kHz)
In another unique take on found sounds and field recording, Cities and Memory has put together a new project titled Dada Sounds to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Dada avant-garde art music. Tomorrow marks a century after the 1916 founding of Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland, which was commonly held as the birthplace of Dada, an abstract art movement inspired by and protesting some of the causes of World War I. The Dada Sounds project takes field recordings from around the world and applies techniques and practices of Dadaism to generate new sonic creations. To hear the playlist and learn more about the project, take a look at the Dada Sounds project page.Read More
In a recent entry in their interview series, SoundWorks Collection speaks to Mark Ulano, production sound mixer for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film, The Hateful Eight. Take a listen and hear stories that could only originate from a Tarantino shoot, told by one of the best productiou sound mixers in the business.Read More
This month at Designing Sound, we are focusing our lens on the concept of Audio Programming.
The above image is from David Padilla’s (AKA dabit) Banjo (here is the github link), which is a MIDI looper for live performance. He is a professional programmer (and an audio hobbyist) who’s work producing music within a programming language is quite impressive and academically intriguing. Though we do not all need to be professional programmers in order to be interested and involved in the process of audio programming. We, as sound designers, definitely have some additional tools and techniques to produce incredible and unique sound design through other (more user friendly) methods of programming as well.
Audio programming has always been a part of sound design in some form, though with the development of the more popular programs/languages such as Kyma, Max/MSP, and Pure Data (Pd), the world of audio programming continues to take an increasingly integral role in many of our workflows.
Whether you are a user of one or more of the above mentioned programming languages, a Csound expert, or are into another form of audio programming that is potentially less widely known or used. We would love to hear from you about your thoughts (and potentially tutorials) on how you use your favorite programming languages to produce your work.
Please email doron [at] this site to contribute an article for this month’s topic. And as always, please feel free to go “off-topic” as well.Read More
Earlier this month, the game audio community lost Brad Fuller, a man who was both a pioneer and an inspiration. We reached out to some who knew him to share their thoughts and memories of Brad, and to celebrate his life and contributions to our community.
From Don Diekneite:
“Brad Fuller, 62, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He passed away after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer on January 2nd. His early love for music became a calling and he enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, followed by the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. In 1982 Brad joined Atari as Director of Audio where he built and managed Atari’s audio team which was responsible for the sound of all of Atari’s coin-operated games. During this time, he pioneered technologies and creative audio practices whose impact is still being felt today. Among the many titles he personally created sound for are Donkey Kong, Marble Madness, Klax, Paper Boy, Toobin and many, many more.
Though he was particularly passionate about jazz, Brad loved just about every kind of music from blues and country to rock, classical, electronic, and experimental. Combined with an equal regard for the magic in code and technology, he made 1s and 0s come to life in sound.
Brad was one of those rare individuals who excelled in several areas. His exceptional technical competence in both software and hardware is hard to find in someone who is also so expert in the creative realm. As a sound designer and composer, he not only created great material but also leveraged technical knowledge to find creative solutions others often missed. His experience combined with a genuine care for people made him an extraordinary manager with a unique ability to balance the business, the technical, and the creative.
Working for Brad at Atari Games was a daily lesson in learning by doing. He did not manage by insisting on a specific way to solve a problem or accomplish a task. Instead, he taught you the tools, explained the goal, said, “go,” and then gave you his unconditional support – the operative word here being, “unconditional.” He worked for those on his teams as much as they worked for him.
If one measure of a man is his ability to impact, influence, and even change the lives of others, then Brad measures up big time. Because of Brad’s influence, those whose lives he touched often found their lives taking a new direction, with new choices being made. Some seemingly small, some huge, but all having unquestionable impact. Many of those who worked with Brad credit him with the acquisition of greater knowledge and understanding of the technical (how things work) and the creative (how things are made). All leading to nothing less than truly artful results. To this day, sound designers and composers of interactive media owe him for pioneering efforts in adaptive audio for games, toys, and other interactive products.
Not to mention the millions of people all over the world who felt such delight in the countless games they played that were strengthened by the sounds, voices and music Brad created.
But most of all, so many of us owe the simple but heartfelt sharing of warmth and friendship from a guy who did not draw a line between co-worker, colleague and friend.
Thank you Brad, your spirit lives on in all of us.“
From Leonard Paul:
“I first met Brad during the IA-SIG party in San Jose in 2006. We chatted for a while before I found out that he had worked on the music for Marble Madness, which was a favourite game of mine on the Amiga. He always had a warm personality and I had fun corresponding with him by email and catching up with him over the years at the Game Developers Conference. The Level 2 music from Marble Madness will always be a classic for me.” – Leonard Paul
In addition, Dren McDonald has spearheaded an effort to record one final piece that Brad was working on prior to his death. We will share any further information on this as it develops.
All of us at Designing Sound send out our hearts and sympathy to Brad’s friends, families, and coworkers who were deeply affected by his loss. He was a valued and caring part of the game audio community, and he will be sorely missed.Read More
If you are releasing a new SFX library and you would like it to be included in our recap, please send us the details through our SFX Independence Submission Form. Now excuse me as I mourn Alan Rickman.
I know I’ve let half the month go by again without the recap, but – what can I say? – buying a new house means a lot of moving and planning and building and raking and adopting a dog – you know, living the American Dream or something. However, February is not yet upon us, and 2015 still needs a proper wrap-up! So I present to you the libraries which became available to our ears last month. There is an assortment of big vehicles, massive drones, fat 8-bit SFX, giant monsters and.. was that a monk?
Motorsports 1 by Airborne Sound
Many car sound libraries exist – they are fun to record, after all – but Paul Virostek and his Airborne Sound studio have offered us something slightly different. Motorsports 1 contains 241 recordings of high-performance cars during nine races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montréal and the Exhibition Place in Toronto. These aren’t the jerks who speed down your street at 3am. These pros fly around the track like giant android hornets, growling and sputtering with explosive backfires as they accelerate. This library features the Formula One, Ferrari Challenge, IndyCar and Pro Mazda – with single performances from each car – as well as yellow flags and formation laps from various recording positions. The tracks have also been mastered to remove distracting noises such as crowd reactions and helicopters, and naturally the library includes Soundminer data. With a “1” in the title, we know we can look forward to hearing more from this series.
(241 WAV files, 4.87 GB, 24bit/96kHz)
Ultra Drones by 3maze
Going the extra mile in a project can often go unnoticed by others and feel like a waste of time. However, with a solid plan and interesting data to support it, this effort can result in charm and distinction. Peter Smith and his 3Maze studio produced this magic in their new library, Ultra Drones. Containing 27 ambient drones, this library blends synthetic and acoustic personalities through a mixture of atypical techniques. The tracks were first designed with FM and analogue synthesizers, then re-recorded at freezing temperatures in a 300 foot-long concrete tunnel. The resulting tracks emote other-worldly dissonances, ones that might creep through the windows of an isolated cabin or represent the unease of being inside a living cybernetic Cylon Raider. These drones will make your stomach drop and likely add the right amount of anxiety to your project.
(27 WAV files, 2.32 GB, 24bit/96kHz)
In keeping with the festive spirit of the holidays, Asbjoern Andersen of A Sound Effect has compiled a collection of brief guides on how to create some iconic Christmas sound effects. Head over to the blog to find some quick and useful tips on recreating some very familiar SFX– but don’t be fooled, these tips will help you long after the new year rolls round!Read More
If you are releasing a new SFX library and you would like it to be included in our recap, send us the details through our SFX Independence Submission Form (and yes, I know there are less than two weeks left in December, but don’t let that stop you).
“I can’t believe this year’s almost over!”
…you know they can believe it though. Unless the Gregorian calendar recently became their planner of choice, they knew 2016 was coming, regardless of their hyperbole. Yet even if they’ve invaded your ears a million times with this remark, they bring up a good point. We are on the final sprint to the new year, one that with a single, confusing day will assure our celebrations are properly aligned with the locations of our celestial counterparts. But let’s slow down for a moment and take a look back at November and the flock of useful SFX libraries our community produced.
Rooms by 3maze
Every so often, you enter a room with a stillness that seems to amplify each disturbance around you. It could be a buzzing fan slowly modulating as if the room might take off any second, or the flow of fluids and energized air within the bellies of the walls. Even the hum of a fluorescent light can feel like a pinpoint through the rush of hot air through the heating vents. As a collection of hypersensitive recordings, Rooms captures characteristics of the indoors that make you feel as if the building is breathing your air and digesting your livelihood.
(30 WAV files, 4.8 GB, 24bit/96kHz or 16bit/44.1kHz)
Electronic Drain for Kontakt 5 by SampleTraxx
Electronic Drain is a sound collection that explores the magnetic field. Its hisses and crinkles are lovely and pop out easily in a mix to subtlety hint the environment without dominating the context. Am I lurking through an abandoned spacecraft? Was I abducted and my brain violated with an implanted radio? Who is this Serbian man noting all the flickering bolts of lightening around my head? This library contains eleven Kontakt 5 instruments with processed and looped tracks for quick implementation into your electromagnetic world.
(11 Kontakt instruments with 1.1 GB of samples, 300 WAV files, 24bit/96kHz, requires paid version of Kontakt 5)