Happy New Year from all of us here at Designing Sound!
This month is going to be devoted to a lighter, slightly braoder topic of discussion…Plug-ins. This won’t be an open-ended, catch-all, “any and every” discussion, though. We’ll be focusing on the novel, weird and wacky side of these tools we all use in sound design. Plug-ins that create strange, esoteric and exotic sounds; unsung features that tend to be overlooked, creative methods of abuse that yield beautiful and unexpected results; genius implementations that afterwards seem so obvious, you wonder why you never thought of it yourself…
That’s what we’re going for this month! To whet your whistle, here’s a little creative abuse from Youtube user BjerkeRobin.
As always, we encourage contributions from the community. This month, in particular, really lends itself to all kinds of ideas…from the big to the small. If you have something you’d like to share, contact shaun.at.designingsound.org for more information. Next month, we’ll be looking at the concept of “loudness metering.” If there’s something about that subject that puzzles you, let us know so we can try to incorporate it into our coverage…or, if it’s a subject you’re very comfortable with, why contribute yourself? ;)
Guest contribution by Cormac Donnelly
I am, at heart, a techno-nostalgiast and I’ve worked with tape machines of one kind or other for most of my career. When I sold my 2” multi-track, in 2010, I resolved almost immediately to get myself another tape machine (albeit something a little smaller than the 250kg Otari I had just parted with). A few weeks later, I found myself owning two portable Nagras. I have since realised that the only reason any one person should own two Nagras is so they can indulge in a spot of worldizing.
Guest contribution by Michael Theiler (Kpow Audio)
Situating an Ambience
When creating ambiences for games (this applies equally to film), I am striving to make them blend into the background and not mask any important in game sounds. For most ambiences, these are the most important qualities that I am attempting to resolve.
In order to achieve this, I need to firstly focus on the repetition and timing between audio occurrences in the sounds. This means spacing sounds, and adding and removing sound occurrences in my audio sequence. I then work on the frequencies in the sounds, using equalization to mold them into the right sound. Finally, I work on their sound propagation and the sound of the space in which they are to inhabit. These are the steps necessary to mould sound into something suitable for the space. Just adding reverb is not enough – the sound needs to be purpose built for the space’s reverberation and delay treatment.
It is my distinct honor to introduce this month’s featured guest at Designing Sound. Ann Kroeber has graciously agreed to share her experiences and thoughts on our profession and industry. Her career has spanned some of the most significant changes in our profession, and her background provides us a wonderful opportunity this month. Please join me in welcoming her.
July’s issue of AudioMedia features several articles on game audio, including:
- Martin Stig Andersen on the sound of “Limbo”
- Richard Wentk talks with Valve’s audio team about the sound of “Portal 2”
- Phil Kovats – Sound Matters
- Niklas Hed on the sound and music of “Angry Birds”
- Level Up – Loudness Standards for Games (feat Garry Taylor, Scott Selfon and Rob Bridgett)
- Taking The Middle Ground – Brett Paterson of Firelight Technologies talks about the new look of FMOD
AudioMedia – July 2011