Last year (2010) at the AES convention in San Francisco, I took a few moments to visit and chat with the wonderful ladies of the Women’s Audio Mission. Women’s Audio Mission is a non-profit organization, “dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts.” This visit to their booth was the first time I had heard of the organization, but their passion was (and is) both admirable and infectious.
At that show in San Francisco, they were excited about a new training tool they had just introduced, Sound Channel. One year later, Sound Channel has continued to grow in both content and reach. The time was well overdue that our community be introduced to theirs…WAM is doing some amazing things. I got in touch with the founder of WAM, Terri Winston, and scheduled some time to sit down and talk with her at their booth at this year’s AES convention in New York.
Designing Sound: Women’s Audio Mission is focused on getting more women into the audio industry, making it easier for them…
Terri Winston: We’re exposing them to the opportunity.
I know you’ve got the studio…you run educational programs there?
We have educational programs on site in our studio, that’s run entirely by women, and then we also have a collection of e-textbooks online. That reaches men and women, and it reached about 6,000 students in 105 countries last year. (more…)
SoundCloud and Vancouver Film School announced a new sound design challenge. The prize is a full scholarship to the Sound Design for Visual Media program at VFS.
- Pushing your creativity and imagination to the limits while using any sounds or techniques you like, create an original audio track that communicates your interpretation of the following:
- The colour red
- The birth of an idea
- An imaginary animal being born
- Falling in love
- A post-apocalyptic landscape
- You can submit a maximum of three entries, but only one entry per category. Entries should be a maximum of 90 seconds in length.
- For each entry that you submit you’ll need to include in the text field a description of who you are, what you’ve created, how you created it, why you’re passionate about sound, and why you’re sure Sound Design for Visual media is the career for you.
The winning entry will be chosen by the SoundCloud community from a shortlist of finalists.
Deadline is Nov 13. Details at VFS
Audiokinetik has announced a new partnership with Audio Ease. Altiverb IR packages on Wwise.
Audiokinetic Inc. and Audio Ease B.V. announce a partnership where Audiokinetic will distribute award winning Altiverb Impulse Response packages for the Wwise convolution reverb plug-in. The first package will be available before the end of this year and will contain 49 impulse responses mostly oriented for the reproduction of outdoor environments. Reproducing outdoor environments is probably one of the most difficult tasks for sound designers today and this package arrives at the right moment for professionals seeking quality and realism in their games.
“At the design phase of our convolution reverb, we set a very challenging goal that we could have the best technology from the post-production world running in games, said Simon Ashby, VP Products at Audiokinetic. Given that our convolution reverb operates with high performance and that we proudly partner with Audio Ease, which is certainly the most respected player in this field, I think we can say that we have achieved our goal”.
“Convolution reverb approaches the real world so much better than synthetic reverb that it had no trouble taking over Hollywood film sound. I hope this set of movie post-pro Altiverb IR’s will help convolution reverb do the same in game sound, added Arjen van der Schoot, Co-owner of Audio Ease. We had been waiting for the right opportunity to start applying our IR’s in real time in games. When Audiokinetic came along, we did not hesitate. I believe we have chosen to partner with a company as devoted to impressive sounding audio as we are.”
Audiokinetik | Audio Ease
The team at ArenaNet has posted up a document chronicling their latest field (recording) trip to an inactive nuclear power plant.
The five members of our team met at 5 a.m. to make the 2+ hour drive down to Satsop, Washington, an area about 30 miles west of the state capital Olympia. We arranged to spend the entire day recording sounds at the Satsop Business Park, the site of a nuclear power plant that was never completed.
ArenaNet – Audio Team Field Recording Trip
They’ve also added a video for the visually-oriented:
Coming soon to a GuildWars 2 near you!
Game Informer has published several videos about the sound of “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron”.
When we decided upon Transformers as a cover story, I started asking around the office looking for ideas for our video coverage. Without a second of hesitation, Game Informer’s own Jeff Cork demanded to learn how the team at High Moon Studios recreates the iconic sounds of the transformations. We are happy to say that we captured the process on video along with many other glimpses inside the creation of audio for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. Three separate videos each capture an element of the audio work being done for the game, from the fun of foley sound capturing, to working with the inimitable voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen.
Did you miss the live chat with Ann Kroeber today?
Rejoice! There is a recording available.
A huge round of thanks goes out to Ann for taking the time to chat with us, and thanks to everyone who participated in the chat. Note: If the webinar does not seem to be playing back correctly when you click on the link, try refreshing the page.
Update: Ann also sent along a few comments, post webinar, that she’d like me to share with you. (more…)
This is just a reminder that we have a live chat/webinar coming up on Saturday with this month’s featured sound designer, Ann Kroeber.
The chat will take place at 11AM (U.S. Pacific Time) and is, like everything we organize on this site, completely free. It will be a moderated discussion that will give you the opportunity to interact directly with Ann. If you have a webcam and microphone, have them ready. If you have a particularly interesting question, we’ll give you the opportunity to come on cam for the rest of the group so you and Ann can discuss in real time (have your headphones ready to prevent feedback loops though). [note: Skype will not be required for this, AnyMeeting has updated their client, allowing us to have multiple video/audio streams simultaneously.]
You can register for the live chat here…so sign up now! ;)
The webinar will also be recorded and available for viewing afterwards if you are unable to attend.
The time is slipping, the clock is ticking, got crust in my ears cuz’ the wax is dripping….wait, what?
Meant as a witty sound-related rhyme, with the most crucial aspect being the passage of time, the previous sentence has everything to do with the latest Game Audio Podcast. It’s often said that one can “make time” for anything of importance, but I still haven’t found the secret recipe to create something that at times seems non-existent. As it is, all the more relevant that you’re stuck reading these ramblings in expectation of the delivery of some actual information.
Two podcasts have dropped recently which represent very different circles of game audio.
Game Audio Podcast #11 – Sound Design Challenge Review bw/ Graham Gatheral Interview
We look back at Dynamic Interfernce Game Audio Challenge. Damian & Shaun compare notes on the various entries and Anton tries to keep them on point. We segway into some game & book reviews. Also the audio version of Damian’s interview with Graham Gatheral. Which was previously published in transcribed form on designingsound.org
Game Audio Podcast #12 – Bastonion Times bw/ Darren Korb Interview
Anton seeks out Darren Korb to talk about his work on the awesome Bastion, book-ended by Damian zooming in super crunch…
Which brings us right back around to the unending flexibility of the concept of time. So, if you are one of those people who can “make time” or “find time” or “set aside time” for a good ol’ fashioned round up of game audio conversation, your ears will be met with fascinating insight into the use of procedural and synthesis techniques for game audio and how they contribute to a more dynamic audio experience in addition to a deep-dive on aesthetics, composition, and the unique role of dialog in Bastion. If you listen closely, you might even find the secret to this whole time dilemma.
Until next time!
“The emotional, physical and aesthetic value of a sound is linked not only to the causal explanation we attribute to it but also to its own qualities of timbre and texture, to its own personal vibration. So just as directors and cinematographers (even those who will never make abstract films) have everything to gain by refining their knowledge of visual materials and textures, we can similarly benefit from disciplined attention to the inherent qualities of sounds.”
The following is a transcription of an interview Ann participated in for the BBC. It is transcribed here for your convenience. However, if you would like to listen to the interview, then I encourage you to visit Ann’s site. The interview can be found on her “Credits + Talks” page under the “Radio Interviews” heading. Don’t forget to sign up for the live chat with Ann, taking place this Saturday.
BBC: “Eraserhead” may have quickly become a cult movie, but the cult was awfully small. That would change when the faithful were joined by an unlikely convert. It was as if Cecil B. Demille had taken holy orders, when the comedian Mel Brooks hired David Lynch to direct “Elephant Man.”
[soundclip from “The Elephant Man”]: Life…is full of surprises.
BBC: Once again, Alan Splet and Ann Kroeber created the sound.