There’s a common joke among game audio artists and designers: if you ask any number of sound designers what genre they’d most like to work on, the odds are good they’ll all say “horror”, twice. It’s no surprise it’s such a common answer, either; horror games offer designers some of the most interesting and diverse sound design opportunities one can come across. There’s no doubt that Frictional Games’s upcoming title SOMA fits this mold as well, evidenced by a fantastic blog post on Frictional’s website by the game’s audio director, Samuel Justice.
In the post, Sam discusses the approach he and the rest of the team took towards defining the distinct above- and underwater worlds of this eagerly-anticipated horror title. Sam goes into extensive detail on the techniques they used, both in the game’s engine and in content creation, to achieve a unique sonic identity for the game. Check out the post here, and also take a look at Sam’s other online home over at Sweet Justice, which features another great blog chock full of good info.
In a recent blog post, A Sound Effect spoke to sound designers Ruslan Nesteruk and Glen Bondarenko on the techniques and tools they utilize in creating sci-fi weaponry SFX. The post delves into layering, synthesis techniques, breaking down each weapon into its constituent components, and a great deal more. If you want some insights on creating better sci-go weaponry, you owe it to yourself to head over to the post now.
This is a guest article written by Justin Spasevski, a freelance sound designer and mixer based in Sydney, who is currently editing and mixing “The Celebrity Apprentice Australia”. You can view his credits and portfolio on his website Braided Audio.
When looking into the creative aspects of sound design, I’ve always found it interesting how certain workflows can influence the end result. Sure, most of us have developed methods that work well, but sometimes we need to approach things differently in order to achieve something unique. So in light of this, I’ve decided to focus on an area that is of particular interest to me - the use of touch and motion controls for sound design.
Given recent technological advancements in capacitive touchscreens and consumer-level motion sensors, I have found the tech to be increasingly useful for sound design applications. What makes them so interesting is their unique approach to user input, often adding extra dimensions to the standard ‘click’ and ‘type’ interactions we’re all accustomed to.
In this article, I will demonstrate sound design techniques that utilise touch and motion controls and discuss why they can be a valuable asset to any sound designers’ toolkit. Let’s start with the most popular piece of hardware - the iPad.
There’s a lot of things to like about Frozen. The animation is beautiful, the script is tight, the performances are great, and it even features a catchy tune or two. It’s also got some great sound. Check out the opening ice cutting sequence. It probably had whole cinemas ducking for cover in 3D but even in plain old 2D it works. The effects are great and when you get out from under the ice into the open air there’s that indefinable ‘softness’ to the soundstage that only happens in a snowy environment. And the film has a lot of it; ice, snow, crunchy, soft, cracking, and exploding and it all sounds just right. But my favourite thing about Frozen are some door knocks from right at the start.
We as a community are lucky to have a number of amazingly informative resources available to us, and podcasts count among the most popular. Well, add a new one to your listening list: the Dolby Institute, in conjunction with SoundWorks Collection, is presenting a limited number of podcasts in a series entitled “Conversations with Sound Artists”. For the first episode, released a few days ago, they speak to Randy Thom of Skywalker Sound. Read more info on the podcast on SoundWorks Collection’s page.