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knerd

Sound Design Question

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Hi all. All forum! I was hoping you could provide some details for me. a quick history of myself, I have my own Pro Tools HD rooms that I record music in. I have credits on some Grammy award winning songs, some DVDs, audio books etc... ANYWAYS, I was wondering what tools Game Sound Designers used for cataloging your sounds/fx, and delivering the files to the game developers. I guess my question is, is after tracking happens and a sound is bounced, what happens next and what tools do you use? (side question) When you deliver music, do you deliver stems so certain parts of the music can be muted etc? Thanks guys. love the site!

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You might try asking this on an audio forum. Don't know if there's one here at GameDev (guess not, since you asked it here) but there's one at http://www.igda.org/forums/
IGDA Forums > SIGs and Game Dev Topics > Audio

Hmm. I just looked, and there IS an appropriate forum here. It's called "Music and Sound" - how come you asked this in Game Design and not Music and Sound?

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Mostly I get a list of what is needed. I create excel sheets to organise stuff and use a simple mapping method as you can do in windows.

After that I send them back as I have categorised them with the names provided by the dev (most technames like bot_arm1left, bot_arm2left etc). Up from there it mostly goes to the programmer who connects them an object or area using tools like FMOD, Wwise, the audio engine from the Unreal3 engine etc.

With the music I somethimes get the request to deliver separate waves from within a song indeed, so it can be muted, separated or whatever they want to do with it.

Though I am professional composer I work only since 6 months in the game industry (have my background as classical composer) so I am not the most experienced person in this field.

Maybe other soundengineers can shine there opinion on what they do and how it is done in their cases. As far as my experience goes with the projects it differs from job to job, but as I described above is what is the general setup I have worked with.

You might want to drop your question maybe also here: http://www.gameaudioforum.com/phpBB2/

On this forum there is a section for sound design and there are some pro's from Bioware etc hanging out there as well.

I hope it helped a bit :)

Regards,

Jaap Visser

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Thanks for the reply guys.

I originally chose the game design forum over music & sound because I wanted the game designer's perspective. Like, how do YOU like it delivered. as well as how an engineer likes it delivered.

What tools do big game companies like to use for a sound library server?

The question can be looked at from another perspective also. For example: when i am interviewing people to work at my studio, I don't only ask them if they know Pro Tools. I make sure they know how to properly use Toast to make back ups. I make sure they know basic Mac and Digidesign trouble shooting. I make sure they know how to keep hard drives clean and why not to back something up to a hard drive formatted in FAT....

What would those questions be like for a sound design interview?

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As far as I know, there are no standard tools used in this process. PC developers probably use in-house software, while console developers may use manufacturer-mandated tools that come as part of the console development kit. I guess that if a company was hiring someone to work on sound and audio, you'd expect them to spend some time getting used to the tool that company uses, rather than expecting them to have any prior experience with it.

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Quote:
Original post by knerd
I originally chose the game design forum over music & sound because I wanted the game designer's perspective. Like, how do YOU like it delivered.

No, no, no. Game designers don't care about that - learn what game designers do by reading http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson14.htm

Quote:
as well as how an engineer likes it delivered.

You'll be working with the producer or the creative director, not the designer and not the engineers. The file formats required will be specified in the TDD (it varies per project), and the delivery is usually via ftp.

Quote:
What tools do big game companies like to use for a sound library server?

Umm... ftp?

Quote:
when i am interviewing people to work at my studio, I don't only ask them if they know Pro Tools. I make sure they know how to properly use Toast to make back ups. I make sure they know basic Mac and Digidesign trouble shooting. I make sure they know how to keep hard drives clean and why not to back something up to a hard drive formatted in FAT....
What would those questions be like for a sound design interview?

Producers and creative directors mainly care that you have experience working in games so you know what they need, and that you deliver them the files in the desired format, on time, and with high quality. You might want to read http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson53.htm

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I'd like to add that although some audio work does indeed just consist of creating the wave files and uploading them, similar positions in other companies will involve grouping them into logical sounds, assigning sounds to game areas or events, etc. But as I said before, in the latter case the tools you use would be in-house ones anyway. As an external contractor you'd probably just be going down the first route.

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Kylotan is right on the mark here. As a contractor I basically just had to create the needed assets in the requested format. However, in my new position (as an audio lead for a major developer) I also have to use version control and some proprietary tools. I now have the task of not only creating the assets but actually placing them in the level and deciding the cone parameters for each sound.

In addition, the version control software we use automatically logs and categorizes each asset we place in-game.

About stems: I only do this if the music needs to be multi-layered and having tracks mute/un-mute. If that isn't needed, then I just bounce out a master track of the music for the game.

Side question: From your original post, it sounds like you have a wide variety of experience. Care to mention who you are or what you've worked on? Just curious.

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