Here’s part of a retro-inspired tune I’ve been working on, possibly for NMRIH.
Even though I had tried for some classic FM and modular synth tones, ThoughT had commented that the production sounded too clean and modern-sounding. Enter the tape recorder.
I had this bad boy back in 2000 when I started college at UM. I had replaced it with a Minidisc player shortly after the semester started and the recorder ended up in storage for almost fifteen years. Discussing ways to give my song an older grunge reminded me of its existence.
This first attempt was done by re-recording the output of the cassette player into my Zoom. The higher synth notes would vibrate the sides of the speaker and distort, not to mention the added noise from the tape player mechanism. Not ideal, but worth trying.
I tracked down the right cable to go out from the headphone jack and into the line-in on the H2 for this next version. I recorded the parts to tape separately, did a touch of noise reduction to keep the hiss from getting out of control, and mixed them down into this.
I started to notice a bit of a timing drift on the percussion tracks by the end of the track, which means I may need to treat smaller portions and edit them back into the grid. I doubt I’d use this technique on everything, but it can help add a lot of sonic character, especially when you’re going for an older feel.
I’ve been working on some new bow sounds for Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II out of household items. A creaky dresser in a bedroom turned out to be a good sounding-board for stretched cords. This video shows parts of my process and the finished results.
For the zombie survival shooter No More Room In Hell, I’ve been working on creating new sound assets for the doors, hoping to match the game’s creepy atmosphere. To begin, I went through and screen-recorded footage of the various types of doors, gates, and barricades that needed sprucing up, so I had a better idea of what to record, and the approximate timing.
I brought my field recording kit out on a door safari, starting with some of the more interesting doorknobs and hinges in and around my home. While scouting around the neighborhood, I found an abandoned newspaper vending machine that looked promising. It wasn’t as squeaky as I had hoped, but I was able to get some good thumps and rattles, which proved useful for roll-up metal door sounds. Continue reading →
Here is another work in progress video of my sound design and implementation of the open-source FPS Cube, using the Wwise sound engine.
Thanks to a code fix by Simon, I was able to get the projectile sound events working. I added the rocket explosions, fire, ice, and slimeball hits, and beefed up the monster voices. I have tweaked the voice limits and priorities, though I might need to play with attenuation distances and cones a bit more. I’m not quite happy with the quad damage effect. I thought I’d put some low and high pass filters to give the sense of focus, but I think it ended up taking away most of the oomph instead. It also makes it harder to notice the synth loop and stingers that happen when you attack during quad mode.
As I learn more about using the Wwise sound engine, I have been working on creating new sounds for the open-source FPS Cube.
Here is an early video from when I had just finished adding the basic sound elements for the enemies and weapons*.
The monsters and player voices were are all taken from vocal sounds that I recorded myself. Some were pitched and layers, others vocoded, flanged or otherwise modulated to get the right character. I’m quite proud of the performance I did for the hell pigs.
The Flame Atronach, the main enemy in this clip, is a fiery creature from another plane of existence. I wanted to give it an evil, demonic quality. Here are some of the unedited vocals I recorded of myself:
After cleaning up some of the background noise, I applied pitch effects and a little bit of vibrato to get the following:
I thought it was getting close to the right sound, but I also wanted to impart some more menace by modulating the voice clips with elements of rock and fire. I fired up FL Studio and set up a channel with a vocoder so that I could mess around with different carrier waves (roaring fires, road construction, avalanches, etc.)
I’m proud as hell to say that Gamefront.com has included No More Room In Hell among the games with the best soundtracks of 2014. Check it out. We’re in the same company as Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition!