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Sunday Sound Thought 8 – Solipsism

Posted by on Feb 21, 2016 | 1 comment

As the year continues, many of these posts will be philosophical in nature. Some will be in contradiction to previous postings. These are not intended as truths or assertions, they’re merely thoughts…ideas. Think of this as stream of consciousness over a wide span…

Solipsism is the idea that the only thing that can be confirmed in life is the existence of one’s self. Whether or not we want to accept the possibility that this idea is true, an extrapolation can be made from the idea…one that is a little easier to accept. The only perspective that can be confirmed to exist is one’s own.

It’s impossible for us to see through another’s eyes, hear through their ears, or fully understand the complex impressions of the mind behind the words that people use to express themselves. Without a direct link between minds (something which we’re not currently capable of), it is impossible to truly share the sensory experience of another person. That’s something we can take advantage of in sound design.

Sound is solipsistic. Not every character needs to hear something the same way. The audience certainly won’t. Leaving room for them to interpret what those differences in character perspective (and maybe the realization that they have a different perspective as well), allows for a more complex story that feeds each individual’s experience and reaffirms their unique perspective. If you don’t believe me, go watch The Conversation (Coppola, 1974).

Dive Into Code – Part 2 of 3

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 | 0 comments

A heart-shaped cookie cutter sits on a wooden table.

Photo: Leonard Paul

This article is a guest contribution by Leonard Paul, president of the School of Video Game Audio. He has worked on over twenty AAA and indie games such as ‘Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2,’ ‘NHL11,’ ‘Vessel’ and ‘Retro City Rampage’ as a technical sound designer and composer, and he has also composed for documentaries like ‘The Corporation’ and the upcoming ‘Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound.’ You can visit his School of Video Game Audio website or can follow him at @SchoolGameAudio.

 

In this second part of our three-part series “Diving Into Code” with game audio, we’ll go through the details of the code itself, as well as see how the code works in the Xcode debugger. This tutorial uses the project and C++ files from Part 1 of this series, so if you are just now joining us, please see that article first.

Experiment with Effects
Before we look at how the code works, let’s have a bit of fun by adding a delay DSP effect to our sound. The FMOD Studio Tool allows game audio artists the ability to implement common audio behaviours and change the way the SFX, music and dialogue play in a game without having to change the code at all. However, we need to create a bank and replace the existing bank referenced by the code.

First, let’s open the FMOD Studio project:

/Applications/FMOD Studio/examples/Examples.fspro

I won’t go into much detail about the FMOD Studio Tool, since there is plenty of great information available online and in the manual.

To add an effect to the “UI/Okay” event, make sure the Events tab is selected, then open the “UI” folder and select the “Okay” event. Click on the “Okay” timeline track (not just the UI1okay blue trigger region) to put a yellow highlight around the entire track, including the track name and blue trigger region.

The FMOD Studio track is highlighted with a yellow line when it is selected.

Select the “Okay” tab in the dock at the bottom right next to the “Events Macro” tab to see the fader widget on the bottom left. Click the “+” to the right of the fader to Add Effect→FMOD Delay with default parameters. Now when you play the event, you should hear an echoing delay effect. Save the project so you don’t lose your work. (more…)

The Programmed Music of “Mini Metro” – Interview with Rich Vreeland (Disasterpeace)

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 | 2 comments

As art of the Audio Programming theme this month, I thought it would be interesting to learn about the interactive/reactive score to Mini Metro, a game which was released late last year by developer Dinosaur Polo Club to broad critical acclaim.

YouTube Preview Image

I sat down recently with Rich Vreeland (aka ‘Disasterpeace’) to discuss the project. Rich was the composer and designed the music system in Mini Metro. Pretty much everything you hear in the game consists of samples that are trigged in real-time as a result of player actions.

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Sunday Sound Thought 7 – Time Travel

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 | 1 comment

As the year continues, many of these posts will be philosophical in nature. Some will be in contradiction to previous postings. These are not intended as truths or assertions, they’re merely thoughts…ideas. Think of this as stream of consciousness over a wide span…

No sound is perceived at its moment of inception. Sound takes time to reach our ears. By the time we perceive it, the physical event that spawned it may already be over. Even with those sounds that happen right in front of us, we’re still perceiving a previous event. The brain has latency…neural signals travel at 1 meter per second according to this article. So no matter what we do, we’re never hearing anything other than echoes of the past.

Dive Into Code! – Part 1 of 3

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 | 0 comments

A vacant dock relaxes in the grand view of the Rainbow Park mountain range as a peaceful Alta Lake flickers below.

Photo: Leonard Paul

This article is a guest contribution by Leonard Paul, president of the School of Video Game Audio. He has worked on over twenty AAA and indie games such as ‘Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2,’ ‘NHL11,’ ‘Vessel’ and ‘Retro City Rampage’ as a technical sound designer and composer, and he has also composed for documentaries like ‘The Corporation’ and the upcoming ‘Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound.’ You can visit his School of Video Game Audio website or can follow him at @SchoolGameAudio.

 

Ready for the plunge? Or maybe just a toe first? There has never been a better time to “dive” into audio coding, but instead of jumping in and hoping to swim right away, we’re just going to get our feet wet with this first article in the series.

This article is a gentle introduction to the fun world of game audio programming using C++ with FMOD Studio under OS X. You might be familiar with audio middleware implementation, or even complex effects chains and intricate modular synthesizer patches, but the thought of C++ code can still seem a bit daunting. It can be hard to figure out where to start with game audio coding, especially since the software and technology changes every few years. But just like learning a new language, even a few phrases can have amazing outcomes. C++ is currently the language used in many games, and the tools to learn how to code have never been more accessible. Each tool used in this article is entirely free to download and use, and with FMOD Studio being free for commercial indie releases, the skills you learn here can be used directly when working on games. It definitely isn’t necessary to know how to code when working in game audio, but it’s a lot more fun when you understand how a game plays back your sounds, and it can help you learn how to have more creative control. Now let’s get to it! (more…)

News: Sounds of Star Wars Battlefront Part 1

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 | 0 comments

Stormtrooper is thrown by the blast of a massively destructive grenade called the Thermal Imploder

Photo: Star Wars™ Battlefront™ by EA DICE. Article by Adriane Kuzminski.

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.

News – Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns – Into the Sound

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 | 0 comments

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 Hammer

Sunday Sound Thought 6 – Feeling Sound

Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 | 1 comment

As the year continues, many of these posts will be philosophical in nature. Some will be in contradiction to previous postings. These are not intended as truths or assertions, they’re merely thoughts…ideas. Think of this as stream of consciousness over a wide span…

Picking up an element from last week’s thought… “sound is the result of a physical event.”

It’s the vibration of physical objects in response to a state change in other physical objects. It can’t move through the environment without those carrier objects…such as air (yes, I’m considering gas a physical object here). It exerts force on those objects, which can then exert force on other objects. It’s how we hear. Pressure waves in the air around us exert force on and displace our ear drums. Our brain converts the resulting signals to sound.

Maybe hearing is not it’s own separate and distinct sense, but instead a kind of specialized function of the sense of touch.  The sound in our environment “touches” us, our brain just interprets it differently than a hand on your arm.

New SFX Libraries: January Recap

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 | 0 comments

Dusk sets over rolling hills populated by log cabins and pines freshly burdened with snow. Article by Adriane Kuzminski.

Photo retrieved from Pixabay. www.pixabay.com/en/winter-trees-forest-woods-valley-93000/

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)
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News – Cities and Memories: Dada Sounds

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 | 0 comments

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.