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Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 | 5 comments

Happy Accidents: Embracing the Unexpected

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Allow me to share a story with you:

It was the weekend before the holiday break. Our horror film shoot had been going on for a few days, and as was typical of December at the base of Cape Cod, the weather was frigid and rapidly getting worse. With reports of an approaching winter storm, we frantically worked in the freezing cold to finish our exterior shots as quickly as possible. After moving inside the little house and getting the final shots of the day, my boom operator and I quieted everyone to perform the always-exciting task of collecting room tone.

Typically, room tone recordings are unremarkable things, but on this cold December night, hidden behind the whine of the set lighting, the creaks of an old settling house, the distant buzz of the electrical system, was a soft and rhythmic ringing. The two of us glanced around the room, making sure someone on the crew wasn’t fiddling with their keys, but even they had puzzled looks on their faces: They heard it, too. After a minute or so, we cut the recording and everyone started running around trying to find the source of the sound. It wasn’t until someone opened the front door that we realized what it was.

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Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 | 1 comment

Can’t We All Just Get Along? Arguments about acoustics and design

Guest Contribution by Steven Klein

1-Sea-Vista-Control-Room-design-fabric-wall-treatment-acoustic-consoleThere are many reasons for conflicting viewpoints and misinformation on studio design / acoustics. This article will examine components contributing to the confusion along with some advice on how to avoid common pitfalls.

Chaos

(Merriam-Webster Dictionary: the inherent unpredictability in the behavior of a complex natural system.)

We must first realize that science is challenged by chaos. I present the thesis that talent supersedes everything. Since this is immensely abstract and unknowable where it fits in the analysis, chaos is exposed. Talented people will work in the worst conditions and have great results. The untalented can work in the greatest environments and never produce. There is an ambivalent conclusion for what works.

The reality that great music/production can come from adverse conditions leads one away from the true objective science of acoustics and physics.

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Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 | 8 comments

Ariel Gross Guest Post: ‘I Feel Like a Fraud and So Can You!’

This is a guest article written by Ariel Gross, Audio Director of game development studio Volition Inc, which produces such PC and console  titles as the Saint’s Row and Red Faction series. You can view Ariel’s introduction post here.

I Feel Like a Fraud and So Can You!

Every now and then I feel like a fraud. Every now and then I feel like I’m merely masquerading as a professional. Every now then I feel a little bit terrified, and then I see the look in your eyes. Wait, wait. Sorry. That last one was from a Bonnie Tyler song. But here’s the thing. The more I open up about this feeling to others, the more I realize that lots of other people feel this way, and it can be really comforting to know that we’re not alone. And actually, it might just be okay that we feel like frauds. Good, even!

How is it “okay” to be a fraud?

Well, hold your horses there, header. I never said that I am a fraud. I said that I feel like a fraud, and there’s a big difference. I’ve never claimed credit for something that I didn’t actually do. That would make me an actual fraud. If I have done that, it would have been unintentionally, and I would be mortified to find out. I would shout from the tallest mountain that there was an error.

It’s more like a sense of disbelief that I occasionally accomplish things that are actual things. To be clear, actual things are what I’ve always endeavored to do, and I believe that anyone that sets out to do actual things will likely become more capable of doing an actual thing. And that is just fine… for other people.

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Posted by on Mar 22, 2012 | 1 comment

Top 11 Video Game Mixing Tips

Game Audio Mix has posted a list of tips for optimal mixing for video games. The full list can be viewed on the Gameaudiomix website

 

Here are a few things that I lay awake thinking about last night, and in the hope that I may get a good night’s sleep tonight, unbothered by such thoughts, I wrote them down.

In no particular order…

1)      PLAN TO MIX

Planning is good, it is healthy, it let’s other people on the team know what you are about to do  AND it means you aren’t scrambling to get something unscheduled crammed into the dying light of a project. This is the most simple element, yet the easiest to forget and to get caught out by. Having some dedicated time built into the overall project schedule to sit down as close to the end of the project as possible, is the best chance you have of getting a final mix pass done on your game. Scheduling this time is simple, but requires some deft political manoeuvring, particularly if your team is not used to running things past a Beta date. Being open and up front with PM and Producer resources from as soon as you get involved on the project is the only way to get anything like this scheduled. If you are doing the mix out of house, or using contractors, this becomes more evident to the PM world, however, if you plan on doing it in-house, it can quickly become overlooked, so constant reminders to everyone on the team about the upcoming mix is usually required. We usually try to schedule a 3 week period after production Beta, called ‘Sound Beta’ in which we do nothing but a mix pass on the entire game. This isn’t plausible, or even necessary, for every game, but the amount of time you need is scalable, usually dependent on hours of game play, and complexity of game mechanics – even if you have a couple of days to set overall levels, this is more than you’d get through not planning.

 

Game Audio Mix

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Posted by on Aug 17, 2011 | 4 comments

Interview with Diego Stocco

FIDM Digital Arts has published a video interview of sound designer/composer Diego Stocco.

“Do you have an idea in the first place? You’re imagination is the most important plugin you have, ’cause without that you can’t do anything. You can have the most expensive gear in the world…but if you don’t know what you want to do, it’s worthless.”

Watch, listen and be inspired!

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Also, Diego has released a new album, ‘The Broken Suite’. Listen/download here.

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