Categories Menu

Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 | 0 comments

Rewind…Audio Implementation Greats #3: Crackdown – Realtime Worlds

In the run-up to this month’s reverb theme, former contributor Damian Kastbauer suggested we re-run this article he put together discussing the game Crackdown for XBOX. The article may be two years old, but the content remains undeniably relevant. Never one to ignore good suggestions, here we are…

Crackdown

One area that has been gaining ground since the early days of EAX on the PC platform, and more recently it’s omnipresence in audio middleware toolsets, is Reverb. With the ability to enhance the sounds playing back in the game with reverberant information from the surrounding space, you can effectively communicate to the player a truer approximation of “being there” and help to further immerse them in the game world. While we often take Reverb for granted in our everyday life as something that helps us position ourselves in a space (the cavernous echo of an airport, the openness of a forest), it is something that is continually giving us feedback on our surroundings, and thus a critical part of the way we experience the world.

Continue Reading >>

Read More

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 | 0 comments

SFX News 03.02.12

The Recordist has released Ultimate Ice 2 HD Pro, 315 sounds at 24-Bit/96kHz, recorded with Sennheiser MKH-8040ST into SD702.

All kinds and thicknesses of ice was recorded and at many different temperatures. It was kicked, cracked, hit with a sledgehammer, crushed into itself and smacked with heavy chunks of ice. Ice debris was dropped and tossed around at many locations for a unbeatable, multiple take set of crash effects. When all these styles of frozen water and air vapor are pitched around with your favorite audio mangling tool, you will be amazed at the broad spectrum of sounds that can be created with the ultra high frequency response of the microphones.

Sound designer John Leonard has started an independent sfx library called ImmersiveFX. There are two releases available at the moment and for being reader of Designing Sound, you can get a special discount price. Use the code DFSX50 and you’ll get 50% off on both libraries:

  • Sounds of Flight - An eclectic collection from my extensive archive Jumbo Jets, Military Fighters, War-birds, Helicopters and Bi-Planes From an F-16 to a Tiger Moth – it’s all here. 48/16 WAV files with embedded Soundminer Metadata – $25
  • The Voice of Poseidon - 101 effects of seascapes and some river and waterfall sounds. From the gentle waves on a sandy beach to the crash of breakers on the Pacific shore. 48/24 WAV files with embedded Soundminer Metadata – $80

Sound recordist Mikkel Nielsen runs a library called Sonic Salute, where he has released four sound collections so far:

  • Metal Scrap – 97 stereo/MS recordings of metals. Clink/clank/crash/boom
  • The Shipyard – 16 stereo/MS recordings captured in the summer of 2011, at the commercial port of Copenhagen. The area is filled with giant cranes, trucks, and containers, and is closed to the public.
  • Pigs FX – 246 recordings of all kinds of pigs, recorded at Pigfarm Esrumgaard, which has close to 1000 pigs of all ages and sizes.
  • Footsteps Snow - 25 minutes of long walks in cold and snowy conditions. Recorded during tree winters from 2009 to 2011 in a remote deserted Swedish forest, miles away from the nearest road.

EFX has new changes on the site and also a new library: Colombian Countryside, including 35 nature atmospheres recorded and remasterized at 48 kHz 24-bit.

YouTube Preview Image

Affordable Audio 4 Everyone has released The Hud Menu Interface Toolbox, a library of 700 interface sounds. All proceeds above $5 will go to The National Federation of the Blind.

The Hud Menu Interface Toolbox features various sounds that can be used for various menus, Game HUD’s, and also small object interface interactions. It is a great tool for building, and creating response sounds to player interations, or for any type setting that may need some additional sounds for a character or actor to make when interacting with something.

BOOM Library has released free Flamethrower SFX pack.

Remember the video from Chad Thunberg, who really knows how to do some little DIY-Engineering? He’s the guy that built an epic FLAMETHROWER out of plastic pipes and a garden hose. Luckily for us, Axel was around to point the microphone towards this “eternal flame”. Guess what: It sounded just awesome. We gave these SFX away for free during our advent calendar weeks. This awesome SFX pack is now available for EVERYBODY.

Read More

Posted by on May 4, 2011 | 2 comments

IGDATC Presentation: Footstep and Movement Sound

YouTube Preview Image

Since embarking on my informal game sound study of footsteps and movement sound, things have continued to develop in a remarkable way. What started casually, quickly spiraled into a lengthy debate involving many people and uncovering  some interesting patterns.

I recently reprised a presentation I gave at GDC this year at my local IGDA chapter in an attempt to share the findings of the initial study and continue the discussion with some of the new information gleaned in the meantime. If you missed it at GDC or are interested in some of the additional insights that came out, this presentation breaks down the fundamentals and unique considerations that emerge across a diverse cross section of game genre’s and uncovers some curiosities and aesthetic choices .

It may be not so surprising to have found people who feel passionate about the role footsteps play, but it’s no less fascinating to hear how deep people’s experiences go, and how willing they are to share their perspectives. What once seemed like a small part of game audio, has taken on a whole new light after being placed under the microscope. I’m thankful to everyone who has contributed to the conversation during the last year, and hope that by sharing these insights we can all move forward and give appropriate attention to movement sound in games.

Hit the IGDATC link for some additional related articles: IGDATC Video – Footstep and Movement Presentation

Read More

Posted by on Mar 17, 2010 | 1 comment

Game Sound Study – Footsteps

Damian Kastbauer (author of the “Audio Implementation Greats”) has published a really interesting post on his blog with a deep analysis of footsteps in different video games such as Prince of Persia, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Fallout3, Borderlands, Brutal Legent and more. He also gives global concepts about the recording and implementation of footsteps sounds in video games, share links, tips and lots of great info.

Lately, I’ve been taking stock. Not the usual “What have I done with my life?” or “Where is everything headed?” (although those questions perpetually tumble around my brain stem on a regular basis); I somehow found myself obsessed with the minute details of movement sound and system design. If you’re working in games today, chances are good that you’ve recorded, implemented, or designed systems for the playback of character footsteps and Foley at some point during the course of your career. It’s even more likely that you’ve played a game where, at some point during your experience, footstep sound wrestled your focus away from the task at hand and demanded your listening attention.

Yet, let it be said, all footsteps are not created equal – which seems obvious given that no two games are exactly the same, neither should their footsteps or the way in which they are implemented be (necessarily) the same. At the end of the day, as content creators, we should be slaves to the games we are helping to make and not showboating unnecessarily in our own art by accentuating or spending time of things that have little consequence outside of our own satisfaction; however, for a sound type that may be heard for countless hours across every level in a game, surely they deserve more than a passing thought. (or maybe I’m trying to justify my current obsession!)

Continue reading…

Read More