Audio Design Tutorials

Himiona
Unregistered
 
Post: #1
Hi there,

I'm thinking of developing some audio design articles/tutorials to help you fine people here at iDevGames.

I'd be interested to know if you have anything in particular you'd like to hear about in the fields of my expertise including music production, sound effect creation and voice over recording.

I'll try to address all the requests in my article, and if there are a lot of points to cover, maybe I'll do a series.

My goal is to make the article(s) as informative as possible so that you get great ideas for creating your own 'audio atmospheres.'

Take care

Himiona
Quote this message in a reply
⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,265
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #2
I think I have a grasp on music creation, I've just never actually gone out and used the programs to try it, but sound effects and voice overs, I'd love to read some articles on those. I've always wondered how good beeps, blips, lasers, sirens, etc, and good quality voice recordings were made.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 204
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #3
Quote:Originally posted by Himiona
My goal is to make the article(s) as informative as possible so that you get great ideas for creating your own 'audio atmospheres.'


I would love a short section which details how to create a low, low cost sound studio for beginners. For instance, the internal microphone on my computer is bad, bringing along lots of static with my recorded voice. What is a good, cheap alternative sound input system which gives the best bang for the buck? Or, later on in the tutorial detail the procedures needed to clean up recording from low cost equipment? What software/hardware is required for the base needs, and what software/hardware is required for the more complicated, fancy stuff? Remember the target audience here are mostly people who make games as a hobby (not full-time), and have not the budgets for a full-blown studio, but still want full-blown studion quality Wink What would you suggest to these people?

I would also like a short tutorial which details how to make some simple music for the tone-deaf, can't keep a beat impared? For instance, what are the fundamentals to make a simple, happy, "Yea, you passed the level" twiddle, such as is used on old arcade games?

Cheers,
Rocco
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 522
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #4
I'd personally appreciate help in making good explosion sounds for when big things blow up. I'm also having trouble making sounds loop well.

I'm curious to how a good way to go about designing a sound effect. Do you start with some kind of base recording that you sampled and just play around with it? Or do you start from a tone generated by the computer? Or do you start with preexisting sound effects? All of the above?

I'm also having trouble making all my of my sound effects sound like they belong together. I think my game has a good overall tone for graphics and gameplay, but the sound doesn't seem to match. I'd be curious if there were any tricks to help accomplish this.

But it's hard to say what would be good because I don't know what kind of techniques or things there are to know. It'd be cool if at the beginning there was a introduction for complete newbies and it'd branch off from there. Thanks for pursuing this type of tutorial, I'm really looking forward to it.

-Jon
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 156
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #5
Good idea - go for it!

One thing I would like to see, is similarly to above, a good method of setting up a sound 'atmosphere' that is appropriate to your game. Are there particular kinds of music that create a particular effect? How do soundtracks complement visual elements?

I wish you every success with this idea, it will be very useful to many people I think.

- Iain
Quote this message in a reply
Founder
Posts: 1,139
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #6
>I'm also having trouble making sounds loop well.
You need software that lets you set the loop points and quickly have the sound play in a loop mode. Sometimes I made a sound and later on found that it didn't loop well. One thing that often happens is at the END of the sample, there might be too much silience, an abrupt cut-off or the end portion will NOT match the starting portion of a sound. On that last part. You have to pick your sounds carefully. Not all sounds will loop well. Drum beats of course work will and some other sounds (like drones). I often find that it helps if I select just a tad of the end part of the sample fade that out and fade-in a tad of the start of the sample.

>Do you start with some kind of base recording that you sampled and just play around with
>it?
Here is a great way. Sample a portion of some song. Chop it up until you get down to something small. Time Stretch it. Then look for interesting sounds. Cut out what you don't need. Then apply various filters like flange, echo, and so on.

The majority of sounds I have started off as something else and I "morph"ed them to something completely different. You can use a soft synth like ABSynth or MetaSynth to make some original sounds and go from there too.

>Or do you start from a tone generated by the computer?
Once in a great while I will start with a simple sawtooth or sin wave and go from there. But it takes more work.

I often will get two sounds and pull different portions of the sounds into a new sound. There is a shareware/freeware app called SoundHack which is great for this.

>All of the above?
yes

>I'm also having trouble making all my of my sound effects sound like they belong together.
One of the biggest trouble is the volume of the sound. Make sure their levels are all about the same. Or NORMALIZE them. You can always lower the sound level via programming. (Also make the sure the sample and bit rate are the same!) Next think about the range of sounds you want to use. Think of this as selecting your colors. If most of your sounds are using lower frequencies and then you have some high pitch sound, it may be out of place. (Then again, you may want that.)

>I'd be curious if there were any tricks to help accomplish this.
Can't really be describe. I think it just takes practice. But here is one way. Look at my recent spacecraft sounds. A set of loops has the same underlining feeling/qualities. I then add some little differences. Things that you notice like the vocoder and things that you may not on first listen. Listen carefully and you will hear little squeals and other things going on from loop to loop. To make this library I made a good loop. Then I kept on doing vaious things and saving them. To extend this further, I might have some loops with only highs and some with only lows. Or I might take small samples of parts of the loops. In the end, I will have a sound library of sounds that all "match."

Somedays I can sit at my computer and before I know I just created 100 sounds. I have loads and loads of sounds that I created that at some point will be placed here and our CD-ROM.

Cheers,

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
Quote this message in a reply
Himiona
Unregistered
 
Post: #7
Hi everyone, thanks for getting the ideas together. And thanks to Camacho for posting some quick replies.

I think I will focus on Sound Effect creation but keep the suggestions coming, I'm making a list.

As for music studios on the cheap, there is no such thing as good audio costs money. [But threre are ways to get good sounds without spending lots and lots of money.] I'll make a note to cover that in an article.

Voice recording is a particularly interesting one and I'll cover that probably later on.

BTW, One of the example sounds I'm working on is an explosion effect and I'll explain how to get a big sound using basic audio tools.
In fact I've already started the tutorial and worked on some examples this morning. I'll try to keep it all short and sweet so that it can be easily digested.

Cheers

Himiona
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  New Tutorials Site With All New Up To Date Techiques For Game Design Modern Day Game irjason 0 2,592 Sep 15, 2012 03:37 AM
Last Post: irjason
  Audio Tutorials - really almost there! Himiona 14 6,308 Nov 30, 2003 12:48 PM
Last Post: Najdorf
  Audio Tutorials - Almost there Himiona 1 3,271 Oct 17, 2002 04:33 PM
Last Post: Carlos Camacho