Software for making arcade game noises

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Post: #1
I've just started putting some preliminary sounds into my uDevGame entry, and I'm currently borrowing some samples from the iDevGames resources library (thanks to Carlos and others!). However, I'd really like to be able to make my own material for the finished product.

I know nothing much about computer audio, nothing about which programs are good or bad or even where to start with the terminology, so I'm finding it a bit difficult to find what I want. I'm just looking for a synthesiser of some description which I can use to make silly arcade game noises, but not one which only works as a plugin for something really expensive or which requires MIDI hardware.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I don't mind spending a bit of money, but I'd like to avoid buying masses of stuff that I'll never understand just so that I can use a plugin!

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Post: #2
Search for KINKY BEEP. The dev stopped working on it but it is EXACTLY what you want.

Carlos A. Camacho,
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iDevGames
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eekaydee
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Post: #3
Wow, that's cool!
I was wondering if there was something like this on macintosh.
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Post: #4
Quote:Originally posted by Camacho
Search for KINKY BEEP. The dev stopped working on it but it is EXACTLY what you want.

Ah, that's what I used to make some of the sound effects for Super Phoenix! It's not bad, but I found it difficult to make it do certain things. I suppose I need to use more custom envelopes and so on. Did you use Kinky Beep to make the 'iDG Sound Effects Series 1' collection? If so, would you consider releasing the original data files (if you still have them)?

I've also just remembered the other program I used, CellSynth. It's very clever but its wacky user interface makes it quite impenetrable, and it doesn't make the task of creating simple sounds very easy.

Both of those programs are also Classic only, which makes it difficult to make short sounds (they get cut off before they play). Are there any OSX native alternatives?

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Post: #5
I went a little hardcore and got me a copy of Native Instrument's Absynth, which is a great but very complex virtual synthsizer. Anyway, NI has got some other virtual synths and samplers that go for about $200, some updated to run on OS X.

For sample sounds, there is a number of royalty-free online collections, but almost no free stuff when it comes to genres as sci-fi, space, explosions, etc.
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Post: #6
There is another possibility. Native Instruments has a demo, via KeyBoard Magazine's site used for a tutorial series (ie how to use a soft synth) You can save sounds, but you may be able to "catch those sounds with Ambrosia's utility -- though that borders on ripping I suppose....

Cheers,

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Gonou
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Post: #7
Another idea could be to buy a copy of the magazine Computer Music. http://www.computermusic.co.uk/

they have a suit of programs on the CD for free. Including a simple "analog" synth that I think will be perfect for making these kind of noices.
I have not used it myself but from the info and screenshots it looks to be what is needed. I used a similar program to make all the sounds for pac the man 2 with no extra work after and pretty good result to get that retro feel.

direct link to info about the apps http://www.computermusic.co.uk/about/aboutvst.asp
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melvinator
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Post: #8
There is also SparkME (http://www.tcelectronic.com/SparkME) which also hosts AU and VST. I haven't used it much so I can't comment on how easily you can make noises or use synths, but as an waveform editor I'm impressed (especially because its free).
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Post: #9
Quote:Originally posted by melvinator
There is also SparkME (http://www.tcelectronic.com/SparkME) which also hosts AU and VST. I haven't used it much so I can't comment on how easily you can make noises or use synths, but as an waveform editor I'm impressed (especially because its free).


I had a chance to mess with SparkME for a little while. It does work as a nice sound editor, but you need to work with sounds you can record (from what I've seen/done so far).

I messed with the first several seconds of Linkin Park's "Somewhere I Belong." I chopped out the part with the sweeping noises from my MP3 rip. I used the tools to make it play reverse and you can hear that the sweeping is really a guitar recording played reverse (you'd know that if you watched their interview). Finding that it worked perfectly I tested a few other sound effects and songs that had "secret messages" when played backwards. Definitely worth checking out because of how you can manipulate music and sound with SparkME.
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melvinator
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Post: #10
Oh I almost forgot about Audacity (free) (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/), looks like a really promising waveform editor, though 1-1.1.3 VST sound generation support is lacking and in 1.2-pre VST is totally disabled. They say it will be back in 1.2 though. Might be something to keep your eye on.

A current list of free/shareware/commercial app + plugins + loads of other stuff for OSX can be found at http://www.audio-units.com/
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Post: #11
Thanks for all of those suggestions....

Quote:Originally posted by FCCovett
For sample sounds, there is a number of royalty-free online collections, but almost no free stuff when it comes to genres as sci-fi, space, explosions, etc.

Most free samples available on the Internet are really bad... lots of background noise and general poor quality. I suppose you get what you pay for....

Quote:Originally posted by Camacho
You can save sounds, but you may be able to "catch those sounds with Ambrosia's utility -- though that borders on ripping I suppose....

Yeah, I'd rather buy the software than rip off other developers, for all the usual reasons. Thanks for the thought, anyway.

Quote:Originally posted by Gonou
Another idea could be to buy a copy of the magazine Computer Music. http://www.computermusic.co.uk/

Good point. I've occasionally bought that in the past, but it always seemed to only have ancient stuff I already knew about. I ought to have another look to see if they've changed.

Quote:Originally posted by melvinator
There is also SparkME (http://www.tcelectronic.com/SparkME) which also hosts AU and VST. I haven't used it much so I can't comment on how easily you can make noises or use synths, but as an waveform editor I'm impressed (especially because its free).

Now this is interesting.... As well as being OSX native, I see it can take audio unit plugins. Maybe I can use it to build a system out of free bits!

Quote:Originally posted by melvinator
A current list of free/shareware/commercial app + plugins + loads of other stuff for OSX can be found at http://www.audio-units.com/

...and there's the other part of the equation. OK, I'll take a look at all that stuff, and if I figure out a sensible solution I'll post again with my results. Thanks, everyone!

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Greg Gant
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Post: #12
I actually got some pretty successful results outta Reason using the Subtractor synth. Any software synth is a good place to start and apps that can do FM synth work too like Sound Edit 16/Sound Studio/Peak (if I recall right) etc but lack the control of a synth, but they can generate a basic waveform to manipulate.

Actually, e-mail if you'd like me to do soundeffects for your game. I wouldn't mind having an excuse to make sounds fx again.
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Post: #13
Quote:Originally posted by Greg Gant
Actually, e-mail if you'd like me to do soundeffects for your game. I wouldn't mind having an excuse to make sounds fx again.

Wow, thanks! I'll email you shortly to discuss things!

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Sage
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Joined: 2002.10
Post: #14
I don't know about Kinky Beep, but the other packages all output samples.

If you're generating sounds programatically (e.g. a bunch of sine waves and filters) why don't you just generate them at run time (possibly caching) instead of stuffing dozens of megs of samples inside your app and wasting everyone's bandwidth.

So, can anyone suggest a _developer_ sound package for making simple arcade game noises? e.g. something that can be embedded into code? I also am interested in this.
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Himiona
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Post: #15
I used Absynth to make several of the arcade noises for a shareware game called Blastorama - I can highly recommend it for arcade sound creation.

There are heaps of great freeware synths out there as well which can make a good free arsenal for the budding audio creator.

As for sound engines, anything similar to the GBA (Game Boy Advance) audio engine will do. You could just use a MOD editor/player, load the simple waveforms as Sine, SAW, Square instruments and then create your sound effects as a MOD-style composition.

H.
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