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Questions about sound effects

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I've recently got into sound effects, but so far I don't really know anything. I never really done anything like this before and was wondering if you guys could help out with a few questions I have. Should I be saving sound effects in mono or stereo? What are Doppler effect encoded waves? What are Distance variant encoded waves? I assume these should be easy to answer as it's probably really basic stuff, I'm just new to this. Any help is appreciated

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Hey,

Mono/Stereo - I don't think that this is a trivial issue...

* Source material should be kept in the format it was recorded in, totally unprocessed.

* Cutscenes/linear sequences should be stereo unless you're dealing with a streaming source and have limited bandwidth.

* The implementation of an in-game sound will determine its format:

* An ambience might be a looping stereo file. It might be mixed in real time from numerous mono samples to create a stereo or 3D image. It might be a looping stereo file with spot mono sounds thrown in to make it less repetitive.

* A gun shot will tend to be mono and the sound engine will place the sound somewhere depending on the source of the sound relative to the player; I'm thinking of a 1st person shooter here.

* Interactive sound design tools let you do cool stuff which complicates matters! For example, I create a bush full of sparrows from 1 sparrow chirp - this is done by playing back that one mono sample at random intervals, at a random pitch, at random volume and at a random pan (all parameters within certain limits to retain control over the finished ambience). This creates a stereo ambience. I can then tell the sound engine to pay less attention to the pan data the further away from the bush the player gets - so, the further away the player is the more directional the sparrows become, but the closer the player gets the more stereophonic the sparrows become. Suit you, Sir.


Doppler effect encoded waves

Not sure what you mean, but sounds like it might be a sound which was recorded while it was moving so that the Doppler effect has been captured in the recording. This has obvious applications in linear media (a car drive by). In-game the sound engine might handle this phenomenon.


Distance variant encoded waves

Again, not altogether sure what you mean. It could be a sound which was recorded from numerous perspectives so that you can choose whether you want to use a close perspective or a distant perspective. In-game a gun shot might be 100% dry gun-blast if you are right next to the source, 50% dry gun-blast and 50% gun-tail if you are a little away from the source, and 100% gun-tail if you are far away from the source. It's all about creating a sense of the sound changing over distance.

I hope this is good brain food - feel free to ask any more questions :)

K

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Hey,
Thanks for answering my questions, I got a couple more.
I was wondering how car engine sounds would work, would it be made to play a different part of the audio file depending on the speed or would there be separate files.
Also, I was playing GTA San Andreas and was wondering about the radio EQ, which EQ's the radio satations differently depending on the vehicle you're in. Would this be an easy thing to put in a game without making about 10 different versions of each file, I assume it's probably more of a programming question, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
Also, what software do the pro's use for sound effect design?

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Quote:
Original post by Big Smoke
Also, what software do the pro's use for sound effect design?


For software, check out this thread, which contains links to a LOT of software packages. Generally, "the pro's" will be using one of the more expensive, fully featured packages, but the cheaper (or free) packages can often be just as good, as long as they have the features you require. Basically, it comes down largely to personal preference.

The GTA EQs would simply apply different settings to the music as it's played, rather than using different versions of the file. While using different versions of the file would be a valid method, it would be quite waistful of space, and isn't neccesary.

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Engines

Separate files; short loops of constant pitch which pitch-bend and cross-fade to cover the range of the engine from idle to high RPM. You can make it more interesting by doing stuff like distorting when the engine is initially pulling away, or having an exhaust sample which only plays when the accelerator is being applied.

Some games use a granular synthesis technique for engines, which I know nothing about :)

I use Sound Forge for basic editing and Vegas for multi-track sound effect editing. I've been using Wavelab for its batch converter, which is better than the Sonic Foundry one and has native VST support, though I've not used it as an editor simply because I'm faster in Sound Forge. I have a G4 Pro Tools setup that I mainly use for dialogue editing.

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Hi,
Don't get me wrong... I've never done anything complex. The best "game", if you could call it that, was a scrolling space shooter. It was Delphi and Delphix, using either BASS or some other library I forgot the name of.
However, though others might find it lame, I found Fruityloops had all the capabilities I needed to create all the sounds/music and the library used was great for panning the channels/looping when necessary.
Everything was Stereo and in wav format.
I used Cool Edit Pro for any editing I found necessary.
- JS

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