The guys at Raven Software published another great post on the Dev Diary of Singularity. This time the turn is for audio lead Mark Kilborn, who talks about the mix approach and the dynamic range on the game. Check:
When you play Singularity for the first time, you may notice that parts of the game are much quieter than others. You’re hearing this because we’re working with what audio engineers call Dynamic Range, which is the difference between the loudest and quietest sound in an audio recording. We believe it is the key to delivering a powerful and memorable mix, especially for a game that depends so heavily on sound to deliver its atmosphere and mood.
Volume is not an endless thing. With color, the brightest you can get is pure white. With volume there is a limit as well, and when you hit that limit you hear what is called distortion. This isn’t the cool distortion you hear from a guitar pedal, it’s a really nasty sound that can potentially damage your speakers. Some consumer audio receivers (like the one you may have in your living room) are designed to shut down if the DVD or game being played generates too much distortion. This is a safety precaution to prevent damage to your sound system.
Also, we’re working on a exclusive article/interview with Singularity’s sound team. Expect it around here very soon!
I don’t like overlimited or clipped sound, but on the other hand I like when the dynamic range isn’t so extreme, that I have to use volume all the time to get comfortable level.
It should be just right ;)