Again slowly but surely i'l be blogging about some of the more interesting sound design elements being created for the Game Audio Tutorial. These posts are being added to the blog as I get to it rather than in any particular order.
These bullet-bys were created by putting several different vehicles recordings through Waves Doppler and then pitched up between 20 and 40 semi-tones.
The original vehicle recordings were of cars, planes trains and a motorboat.
There's a new Primal Carnage video Up announcing the game's move to the UDK
Sound Design By Andrew Quinn & David Yingling
Music By Gareth Coker
Found a little video on video game music over at the escapist
Extra Credits is a series of videos by James Portnow, Daniel Floyd and Allison Theus. Each week as they take a deeper look at games; how they are made, what they mean and how we can make them better. I suggest you check them all out they're all pretty interesting.
EDIT 24/01/12 Extra Credits has now moved over to The Penny Arcade
Whilst you're there also check out Zero Punctuation by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw possibly the funniest series of game critiques ever created.
Recently Voted Fan Favourite;
Currently I'm working on a book which will be available next year called The Game Audio Tutorial. The book is going to be a guide to all things game audio and features some examples of car audio. For this I needed to create a selection of short loops to be played when the vehicle travels over different surface types.
Setup was pretty simple, I took the boom arm off a mic stand and mounted it between the wingmirror and window with an old towel zip-ties and duct tape.
Here's a couple of examples of what I recorded;
Recorded at 192k 24bit with a Rode NTG-3 and a Fostex FR-2
Couple of safety tips;
- Switching off the engine in most cars disables power steering and makes the brakes really heavy so make sure the area you are in has plenty of run off and is fairly straight.
- I imagine the police would take a dim view of you doing this if they caught you so either find a private road or a really really quiet one.
- Make sure the mic is strapped on properly I wouldn't fancy running it over or leaving it in the middle of the road for someone else to run over.
Quick Editing Tip;
The recording setup above and other D.I.Y. stuff I have done can produce results that won't loop properly as there can be slight modulations in the pitch or speed of the car.
To make them loop I have been using a quick little trick.
- Edit a section as normal trying to keep the loop as regular as possible and make it a little bit longer than necessary.
- Export selection to new file.
- Split the new file in to two separate waves around the midway point at a zero crossing.
- Take the second half and move it to the beginning of the loop then move the first half to the end of the loop.
- Now cross fade the two files.
- You now have a file which may modulate but will perfectly loop.
Couldn't really talk about this without mentioning one of the great uses of this; (3:50)
The giant boulder that chases after Indiana Jones at the start of the film was made of fiberglass. On the Bonus Features DVD, sound designer Ben Burtt said that in order to get the proper sound effects for the giant boulder, he and the sound crew tried pushing boulders down a hill, but the sounds they were getting weren't up to par with what they were looking for, and later that day, as they were leaving in a Honda Civic that they coasted down a gravel embankment, Burtt noticed that the sound was just what they were looking for, so he grabbed a microphone and held it near one of the Civic's rear tires to record the effect.
I was looking for a video example of this and came across a two part sound design feature on the Indiana Jones films so here they are in their entirety;
Pigs are awesome. Not only do they provide three of the best foods (bacon, sausages and chops. Sorry veggies) and fit neatly into teacups they are also the basis for some of the best sound effects and creature sounds.
Pigs have been used in tons of films and games for creatures and sweeteners to other sound effects. There have been hundreds of uses of squeals, grunts and roars but in this post I'm only going to example two, Aliens and Backdraft. In Aliens (1986) pig squeals are used as a large component of the Aliens vocals.
Check out their use in Aliens;
In Backdraft Gary Rydstrom used pigs and other animal vocals including snakes and lions to give the fire a character and to make it sound more aggressive. This wasn't the first (or the last) use of animals in effects like this but the film is a pretty good showcase of the technique.
Use In Backdraft
4:12 (I know its not a pig but Its the only decent example I could find on YouTube)
With this sort of use in mind and a spot on my Game Audio Tutorial To-Do List with "Creature Effects" listed I organized to go and record some pigs. After talking with the owner I found out that they are most vocal just before they are fed and hate being picked up. So we left them un fed for an hour later than usual and waded in with the recorder. I quickly found out that to get a decent recording of the piglets squealing I needed to get away from the sows when picking the piglets up, as they objected to this quite loudly, as any good mother would. This wasn't quite as easy as you'd think as the sows weigh about 600 pounds and will only move where they want to and the piglets (more small pig than piglet at this stage) weren't exactly light. Overall I managed to get some good recordings out of the trip some examples are bellow;
Recorded at 192k with a Rode NTG-3 and a Fostex FR-2
Thanks to Sheilah and Ruben Lord for helping out and letting me come record .