Audio Blog

Posted by: Ghostflex

What up, nerds. Y’all’ve been bugging me for an audio blog, so I guess I’m writing one now. Happy?

SFX

I guess I’ll start with my sound effects creation process. It’s pretty simple, really. Just record some random sounds, run it through a couple programs worth about a grand USD overall, and out pops some crispy new sounds!

Okay but seriously. The process starts with foley recording (foley: reproduction of everyday sound effects that are added to films, videos, and other media in post-production to enhance audio quality. These reproduced sounds, named after sound-effects artist Jack Foley, can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass - thanks Wikipedia). For the more tech savvy, I use a Tascam DR-07X with contact and coil mics ordered from JrF. Nothing too fancy, just enough to get the job done. I spend time recording sounds I need - and many I don’t - and upload them to my PC.

There, I sort through what I have and save the usable recordings. The next step is running them through iZotope RX8 for some cleanup. I love the program’s spectral de-noise. It’s the most amazing salvage tool for noisy recordings.This step tends to be relatively simple, unless I REALLY want a certain sound ruined by unwanted noise. In that case, it takes a lot more time, manually editing the spectrum and trying to balance the cleanup.

After this is the fun part. I use FL Studio by Image-Line as my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) of choice, but it’s honestly not the best choice. I simply use it because I’m used to it. I try to use Pro Tools whenever I can, but if I get away with FL then I use it. At this point it’s a process of importing the recorded foley and arranging it into the result I want, occasionally combining it with third party recordings. Sometimes it’s simple, such a recorded footstep requiring nothing but some EQ adjustments. Most of the time, however, it’s an annoying process of slicing all but a fraction of a second out of a 3 second foley clip to use it for flavor in a larger sound, adding effects, trying to work around it for an hour, then finally outright deleting it. The end result is rewarding, though. Sound effects are majorly responsible for how a game FEELS, influencing everything from atmosphere to a player’s impression of power to providing feedback on actions so everything feels rewarding.

Music

THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART. I LOVE MUSIC SO FREAKING MUCH, DUDES. ORCHESTRAL, DUBSTEP, ANIME PIANO, I LOVE IT ALL. DRUGS? WHO NEEDS DRUGS WHEN YOU HAVE MUSIC!!!

Whew.

Music is by far my favorite part of this game. As much as I’d like to give a process, I don’t really have one set in stone. My actual music making process is disjointed and confusing. I don’t have formal training in audio, so I work off of pure instinct and experience. As a result, I probably give trained producers a massive headache.

To dumb it down, I try to use my MIDI controller (a piano keyboard, more or less) to find a good melody then work around that. It’s hit or miss, however, cause I’m dumb and my brain doesn’t work. Seriously though, I don’t have much of a process.

For music savvy people: my bread and butter is mixing and mastering. After refusing to learn it for 6 years, I went on a learning rampage and made it my best trait when producing. It’s nothing too special. Mostly it requires a good ear and some clever EQing, but throwing in the occasional compressor is helpful as well. It’s much easier for me to show people my process, but since that’s not too feasible, here’s a link to the end result.

That’s...pretty much all I got. My process is nothing special, honestly. What makes me unique is my experience and ability to adapt (and my dashing good looks). I may not be professionally trained, but I love audio all the same and will go to my grave while listening to music.

Peace out, nerds. Rock on.
Vern.