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Member Since 25 Jul 2002
Offline Last Active Jul 29 2015 08:23 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: So what do you guys think is holding me back?

14 July 2015 - 09:00 AM

Whilst good libraries can help your overall quality I feel the target for your efforts lies in the orchestration and song production.

The first song on soundcloud feels very loose in the timing between individual parts.


There are held chords which drown out the other parts in both the 1st and 2nd songs and cause clashes with the other parts.

Depth of dynamics in the individual parts or as a whole create that flat sound which takes away from emotional impact.


Your 3rd piece is stronger but still clashes sonically and had no movement in the dynamics but has more cohesiveness than the two earlier tracks


You don't need super high quality samples to get work but it can help with presentation.


Don't worry, I started out with similar issues but one of the things I learned was how to polish the hell out of whatever I wrote with whatever samples and libraries I had at my disposal. I think that is where you need to concentrate your efforts.

Concentrate on how to use frequencies of various instruments together and how to compliment the different parts together.

Learn to analyze your own music and other people's. You can learn a lot by analyzing their techniques to improve your mixing both in terms of instrument frequency, mix frequencies, support instruments, and over all production will help improve you to a point where you can listen to your music and say to yourself that it has a quality high enough for someone to pay for it.

Example https://m.soundcloud.com/groovyone/gba-orchestral

Those are not realistic samples at all and while specifically targeted at game boy and ds market listen to how the instruments either work together or compliment or offset one another.


This is an example of the same type of low quality not realistic samples working together and produced differently (eq, reverb, compression) but together everything feels cohesive. If you can produce good tracks with the tools you have then it makes it easier to produce good tracks with more advanced tools.

In Topic: Mastering Seperate 'Adaptive Audio' Tracks

17 March 2015 - 10:15 PM

Also have a look at Fabric for Unity 5. It comes with a lot of good features to help implement your audio well, and is native to unity.


You have access to mix states, mix bus and also DSP as well as any other DSP that Unity provides.


Unity native audio showcases some of the DSP functions with unity 5 - the side chain compression is something you may need to use (also a feature in wwise).



Fabric Unity Audio Engine provides a lot more than the basic unity audio - tempo based music switching..etc though I don't know just yet how complex a music system it has.



Both Fabric and WWise can be obtained free to experiment with before choosing one to license. 


Dynamic mixing for games is definitely an art in itself and a lot of fun to make it work smile.png


It really depends on how technically your music is adaptive. Does the mix just change because of one stem gets added - ie there's a basic mix and then another stem is layered in, or does the music need to get to a transition point and change. That will drive what middleware or solution you choose as well. I have not explored Fabric's dynamic music system at all, but have used WWises and FMOD desgner's a lot. Basic knowledge of FMOD from talks and demos I've had with the guys and the previous designer system both FMOD / WWISE have outstanding dynamic music systems and authoring tools where you can prototype the behaviors. 

Both also work with unity, with an external plugin. It's so great to have so many choices these days!



As far as standards, a lot of developers for console / tv are adapting the ITU 1770 standard of loudness. WWise actually supports metering with this to help achieve the right mix. For handheld / tablet.. etc - there is no real standard yet since we're dealing with different speaker types sizes. 

In Topic: Mastering Seperate 'Adaptive Audio' Tracks

16 March 2015 - 10:43 PM

Hey Matt, 


This sounds fascinating, you can certainly try to prototype this in wwise. 


Experiment with 3D atttenuation graphs.


Try using a music bus and running some DSP (wwise supports things like compressors and side chain compressors / ducking, eq... etc) over it. There's some 3rd party vendors of some fairly good DSP out there as well.


It really depends what you're trying to do with the objects, how many other tracks play, do they fade out to silence, or just duck a bit to focus on the other object. Can you within a certain radius fade over to the produced track mixed fully. Lots of different things to try. Some you'll need engineering support and a way for you to tune the results, most you can try to protoype in the audio authoring middleware.

In Topic: Good articles or tutorials on mixing?

12 March 2015 - 09:12 PM

Mixing isn't about setting all the dials and leaving them where they are for that perfect mix, things move, you need to control things a little and move them around so they get focus or defocused in the mix. The final mix may sound more static than that, but that is the art - to produce something that is glued together well.


The excercises we were given in audio engineering were how to not only disect pieces of music but also training our ears to identify frequencies. You can think of these excercises as practicing your scales and techniques so when you play your instrument, your fingers go to the right places at the right pressures to create the piece of music. So to must you train your ears and mind to understand and hear things - once you really start analyzing things you will not only learn from other people's mixes, but also identify areas in your own mixes where you can improve.



A good way to learn how to mix is to study a similar track to one you are trying to create - break it down into a square as a cross section of a cube from the top down. Closest face to you is front of the mix, left, right. 


From this, analyze your reference track and figure out 

1. Positioning of instrument in stereo field. (L/R)

2. Tone of the individual instrument (color) - bright, dull, thin, thick.

3. Loudness of each instrument.

4. Depth of the instrument (wet/dry reverb)

5. Draw directional arrows when things move around in the mix.


You can then take this visual diagram and start to apply it to the similar piece of music you are trying to mix. 


Practice using a 24band EQ on your favorite piece of music. Listen to those - boost them by 3 or 6db - Have someone else do this or automate in your DAW and see if you can hear those frequencies correctly. Training your ears to hear frequencies really helps with mixing and pinpointing issues and analyzing other pieces of music.


There's a great book out there called Mixing With Your Mind which has some fantastic easy to understand analogies and techniques for mixing.


Most of the tools - compression, eq, reverb to shape your instruments into the mix will just be a lot of practice. Took me many many years to fully understand how various compressors worked and how to use those to shape things like snares, kicks, hats..etc. I'm still learning, and you always keep learning - mixing is definitely one of those life long things and as you practice you will learn how to mix better over time. I have been mixing now for over 10 years and still learning, practicing!

In Topic: 15 Good DAWs

27 February 2015 - 09:32 PM

I've avoided the ProTools hype and disappointment myself, and have been a happy Nuendo user. We've either had Nuendo or Reaper in-house. 


Quite a versatile tool I use it for post, sound design and composition.


I didn't even know you could compose in ProTools - last time I used it - the midi support was horrible :)