Monthly Archives: February 2015

FPS Sound Design Work In Progress (Cube)

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.

For my previous post, check here.

Cinematic Sound Design Demo Clip: Dark City

In this clip from the 1998 Alex Proyes film Dark City, I have completely replaced the soundtrack with original sound designs. I wanted to avoid using library sources so I started by recording as much as I could myself.

For the footsteps and foley, I built a small platform using wooden pallets and scrap lumber. The rope strain sounds came from a number of different types of ropes, combined with a wicker basket that I twisted and pulled apart. All of the vocal sounds started from my voice and I used the FL Studio vocoder to impart some different texture layers to the Strangers. Although I was able to record some actual sparks with the help of my father, most of the electrical elements at the end came from an experiment with a contact mic taped to a wooden dresser with a thin chain dragged over it. The brain creature was a combination of a squeaky keychain, synthesized elements, mouth noises, and a layer of cooked pasta for the extra squishiness.

The Ides of February!

I have been juggling quite a few projects lately, several of which are almost polished enough to release. I am most of the way finished with a cinematic sound design reel from the film Dark City and my Cube Wwise just needs a few tweaks to the balance. I am going through another set of edits to the manuscript for my first novel, Further Complications, with the help of some of my beta readers. I have not sat down to work on Caustic Reverie or TheForgotton tunes in a while, aside from a number of short works for the NMRIH soundtrack, but I am hoping to change that once my employment status changes for the better.

Demo reel breakdown: weapons and armor

In this continuing series, I take a look at the sound designs from my Oblivion demo reel clip.

I wanted to create the bow and arrow sounds myself for this clip, but I wasn’t able to coordinate with my archer friend to record. I was going to have to create the sounds from scratch, as components.

The main bow-draw sounds came from some experiments with a slingshot and a thin wooden dowel. The friction of the arrow against the frame, combined with the stretch of the elastic bands got me in the right neighborhood for the draw sound. Unfortunately, disaster struck as I was experimenting with ways to record the arrow loosing part of the sound, and one of the bands snapped. Although I was able to get a few recordings of bow releases, they needed a serious amount of oomph.

I decided to record various types of strings and cords under tension to mix in on both the low and high ends of the sound spectrum. It was quite the arm and pec workout just stretching a cord in both hands, not to mention that I practically needed to pluck it with my teeth. Instead, I tied one end to my pullup bar and torqued the other with a gloved hand.

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Cube Implementation Work in Progress


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.

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