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Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 | 4 comments

Review: Sonarworks Reference 3 & Measurement Microphone

Oh The Variables

When you consider the variables in play when dealing with audio, it amazes me that we’re able to create anything that sounds even half-decent to someone else.

Author-End Variables

  • How the authorship software processes audio
  • Digital-to-analog conversion quality
  • Unbalanced monitors / headphones
  • The acoustic space
  • Monitor placement
  • Mix position
  • Your ears
  • Your brain
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Posted by on May 12, 2015 | 0 comments

Review : Generative 2 & Feedback 2


Siren Audio recently released version 2 of their critically acclaimed audio software tools, Feedback and Generative. Originally a part of the Lorelei Suite which they released back in 2011, these stand-alone applications are developed using Max/MSP and give the user a chance to create drones and evolving audio textures very easily.

In this review, I will be using audio and video demonstrations to show how you can use these applications to create various soundscapes, drones etc. musical and otherwise. For more information about the full capabilities of these tools please make sure to check Siren Audio’s official website and YouTube channel in which you can find quick-start videos as well as in-depth ones that walk you through all aspects of the applications so you can be on your way to using them extensively in no time.

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Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 | 3 comments

Women In Game Audio Panel: A Review

Guest contribution by Natalia Perez

Let me begin with a brief preface about myself.  I am a woman studying film music and game audio at Berklee College of Music. I came to GDC for the first time this year wide-eyed and eager to learn.  Coming from an institution that is 70% male, I know all too well the gender disparity that exists in everything I love and do.  Though I have been fortunate enough to not let this affect me in a negative way, it is still a problem I am very passionate about addressing, hence why I decided to review this particular panel.  I will be going over the topics that were presented, the answers the panel provided, and what I learned myself. Please note that any answer not directly quoted is to be taken as a mutual consensus by the panel. 

The goal of the Women In Game Audio panel was to address the difficulties women face as they try to cultivate their careers, the pros and cons of versatility versus finding your own distinct voice, and how both men and women can help support more diversity in the industry.  

Speakers included Laura Karpman (Lead Composer, Laura Karpman Music), Penka Kouneva (Lead Composer, Kouneva Studios), Paul Lipson (Senior Audio Director, Microsoft Studios), Corina Bello (Sound Designer, High Moon Studios), Benedicte Ouimet (Music Supervisor, Ubisoft Montreal), and Belinda van Sickle (President, Women in Games International).   As you can see, we have quite the line up here. So what did our speakers have to say?

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Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 | 3 comments

Review: Dehumaniser


While it has been out for a while now, I finally got my hands on a review copy of Dehumaniser from Krotos LTD. Dehumaniser has gotten a good bit of buzz in the professional sound design community and rightly so. It is a rock-solid solution for quick and easy monster voices. Dehumaniser is “a software standalone vocal processor that allows the production of creature / monster sounds, efficiently in real time. It is designed to produce studio–quality sounds by using multiple layers of sound manipulation techniques simultaneously. Connect a microphone to your sound interface or even use your computer’s built-in microphone and create astonishing creature sounds in seconds, using your voice.”

The TL;DR version of this review is: Dehumaniser its pretty fantastic and you should probably get it. The speed and quality you get is definitely worth £199. What you make with Dehumaniser you might not use alone, but as a layer in an overall creature/monster vocalization. That said; it is certainly possible to only work in Dehumaniser and get exactly what you want for a vocalization. To do so you will have to dig a bit into the Advanced Mode and take advantage of the Animal Convolution, Pitch Shifting, Dual Plug-ins and many of the other 8 processing channels.

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Posted by on Jun 15, 2014 | 0 comments

Review: Glitchmachines – Quadrant


A few months ago Glitchmachines released Quadrant a “modular sound generator and effects processing plugin geared toward experimental sound design and electronic music production.” Quadrant also ” includes a Eurorack modular synthesizer sample library comprised of over 1500 samples.”. For $49 this sfx processor + library gives you a lot of content to learn and play with.

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Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 | 8 comments

Whoosh Review

GUI3D_02In the last year, we’ve all been happy to see the slow emergence of software tools designed explicitly for sound design. The fine folks over at Tonsturm are the latest to release one such tool under the moniker Melted Sounds. Whoosh is a Reaktor based plug-in for designing, as implied by its name, complex and varied motion elements and pass-bys. The basic idea behind the tool is similar to a post here on Designing Sound by Charles Deenen, which was later built into a Kyma patch by Jean-Edouard Miclot. Whoosh simplifies the process of setting up this kind of processing chain yourself. If you’ve got Reaktor, you simply load the ensemble. The source material included with tool comes from some of the best independent sound effects libraries out there. Seriously, the list is hard to ignore. Sounds have been licensed from: Chuck Russom, Colin Hart, Tim Prebble, Jean-Edouard Miclot, Michael Raphael, Mikkel Nielsen, and Frank Bry…not to mention sounds from Tonsturm itself. It’s safe to assume that it sounds good…even if I weren’t about to tell you exactly that. Ultimately, deciding if it is a worthy addition to your toolbox is something we each have to decide individually. There are a lot of tools out there, and we all have our priorities. So, a review should be about its potential impact on workflow. Does it allow you a depth of control similar to Charles’ process at a comparable (or improved) speed?

Let’s take a look at what Whoosh can do.

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Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 | 1 comment

Review: Twisted Tools METAMORPH

Metamorph Logo

METAMORPH is the latest sample library from Twisted Tools, makers of the designed sample libraries as well as some fun and unique Reaktor ensembles. With sounds designed by BJM Mario Bajardi and Komplex (Iter-Research), METAMORPH “takes heavily processed violins, pianos and acoustic instruments and morphs them into impacts, sci-fi atmospheres, user interface elements and beyond.”

METAMORPH comes as stereo 24-bit, 96kHz BWAV files with full SoundMiner metadata for easy searching. It includes sampler kits for Ableton Live 9’s Sampler and Simpler, Logic 9’s EXS24, and Native Instruments’ Kontakt, Battery, and Maschine; Also induced is the MP16d, Twisted Tools’ sample player. METAMORPH contains just over 2 GB of samples broken down into 10 categories: Drums, Imaging Elements, Micro, Noises, Pass By, Sci-Fi Atmos, SFX, Textures, Tonal, and Composite. The “Micro” category includes User Interface and “Microbot” elements. There’s a good selection of sounds to be had, and the added metadata makes finding things fairly easy.

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Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 | 3 comments

A Second Look at the Hybrid Library

Hybrid_and_Expansion_1Earlier this year, I reviewed the Hybrid Library from Pro Sound Effects. Overall, it was a fairly positive review. While I was impressed with the library, I also pointed out some of its rough edges. The primary focus of the review was on the library’s metadata and how it would affect work-flow. I won’t go into heavy detail on the process here, as you can simply lick on the link above if you haven’t already read the review. Pro Sound Effects took notice of the few complaints I had with the library, solicited feedback from existing owners, and has taken steps to address the library’s weaknesses. Now that the library is available again, it’s worth seeing if the improvements have made the library any more enticing.

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Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 | 6 comments

Review: Game Audio Culture by Rob Bridgett


Review by Karen Collins

Game Audio Culture” isn’t a book, so much as a manifesto. Dragging sound design (perhaps somewhat reluctantly) from out of the darkened underground studios and out into the open, Bridgett proposes that it’s time that sound designers started to be more collaborative with the rest of the game team. Bridgett boldly states that we’re in a “post-sound design era… no longer obsessed with the ‘neglected’ art” of the soundtrack. Sound designers can’t play the victim anymore: sound is getting the respect it deserves, and the next stage is to become a key collaborator on projects. Suggesting that fully one third of the sound designer’s skill set should be social skills, Bridgett sees the audio director as playing a much more important role in the future than in the past. Bridgett dubs this new art “social sound design”.

With that premise in mind, “Game Audio Culture” maps out just how Bridgett envisages the future role of the sound designer to play out. How does game audio influence collaborative practice? Where does design come into the mix, and how does that change under the idea of social sonic practice? How should scheduling change to accommodate a more social, collaborative space? How do you plan your budgets? What role does audio play in QA, and how does audio bring in feedback from its team and its players? These are just some of the questions Bridgett seeks to answer.

For the game sound designer, this book offers practical tips on how to turn your workplace into a more collaborative, holistic world, in which sound plays an important part. It best serves as a how-to guide on being an audio director, in a world where many of the triple-A titles have teams of people working on audio that need to be coordinated and managed. Most game audio directors find themselves in that role through promotion and experience, but without any formal training available. Bridgett fills the gap in knowledge by providing useful tips and tricks that will benefit even the most experienced designers and audio directors. For the rest of us, he gives us much to think about in terms of our practice.

For the academic or scholar studying game audio, the book is particularly useful in its description of process, and will help anyone to understand the many different skills required to undertake sound design for games today. Especially interesting are the more meandering thought pieces that round out the book: self-described “utopian” considerations of where game audio is heading, what the future holds for sound design, and two interviews that read like thoughtful, in-depth discussion between two sound designers, kicking back over a beer and reflecting on their jobs.

Finally, I would suggest that game designers themselves pick up this book, to understand what the sound team is doing and to incorporate some of these tips in bringing the sound team on board early. In short, there’s something in “Game Audio Culture” for everyone: it’s one of those books that is worth reading multiple times, as a reminder of how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go.

Special thanks to Karen Collins for contributing this review. You can find Karen on

You can purchase Game Audio Culture online here.

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