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The Nature of Sound Effects (or "How to make great sound effects for an indie game.")

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This has been a particular source of annoyance and frustration for me since I first decided I wanted to make a game myself. While I more or less have all the tools needed to make every other instance of the game (Paint.net for sprites and animations, Gamemaker Studio for the coding, FL Studio 12 for the music, so on so forth,) I'm utterly clueless as to how I'm supposed to get the sound effects I need for the game.

 

Now, quick research I've done in my spare time have potentially revealed a total of two options, though I'm clueless as to which one is better.

 

1. Go Foley.

 

Basically, buy an actual mic set that can do this, download some audio editing programs, and go smash some vegetables outside. While it sounds fun and all, there's a huge potential for it to be far more costly then I want it too. The mics required probably cost a few hundred just on their own, and I'm reluctant to do that.

 

2. Sift around for sound effects.

 

This one is probably a bit easier. Just look around the internet and download sound effects, splice them together, edit them, etc.

 

3. Take a third option!

 

Maybe I'm completely wrong and ALL of those two options suck!

 

That's, ultimately, where everyone else comes in. I need assistance.

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1. Go Foley.   
 

 

Only if you have to.  I had to make a primitive bow and arrows to record the sound of it firing for Caveman v1.0 back in 2000.

 

A basic condensor mic will work ok.   Here's one on Amazon for $13:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Tonor-Professional-Condenser-Microphone-Computer/dp/B00PZMP3Z0/ref=zg_bs_3015406011_8

 

 


 

  2. Sift around for sound effects.  

 

 

 

 

Easier said than done. Limited selection. Low quality.  Hard to find what you need.  but can be done.   SFX for the company logo animation for Rockland Software Productions were done that way back in 1988.   jet.wav and zoom.wav. 8Khz and 16Khz mono respectively, as i recall.  And yes, here is its 32 yeas later, and i'm about to remix them yet again for caveman 3.0 and speakers with subwoofers.

 


 

3. Take a third option!

 

 

 
 
 
Third party sound libraries.
 
I finally broke down and bought The General 6000 series from Sound Ideas in 1996, for $1000.  (But still had to make the primitive bow! All they had were modern bowfire SFX)
 
Sound Ideas is one of the biggest SFX companies in the world.  Libraries start at about $100.
 
 
There are many other SFX libraries out there too. Even some here on gamedev marketplace, I think.
 
Note that current day SFX are easiest to find, as are common SFXs used in movies (smashing veggies, sci-fi bleeps, etc). Other stuff is harder, you often have to record your own.   Historical or non-modern/non-current-day sounds are harder to find.
 
 
back in the day, the OPL3 chip on a sound card could be programmed to create scifi type SFX. Odds are there's some freeware out there that does something like that. Of course then you need a second PC, one to play it live, and second one to record the playback. IE plug the speakers jack of the first one into the mic jack of the second one.

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Odds are there's some freeware out there that does something like that. Of course then you need a second PC, one to play it live, and second one to record the playback. IE plug the speakers jack of the first one into the mic jack of the second one.


That's actually not necessary. Modern software synthesizers, even free ones like BXFR, can save their output to disk. And even if they couldn't, almost all computer audio subsystems are capable of sampling their own output, either at the hardware or software level.

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That's actually not necessary. Modern software synthesizers, even free ones like BXFR, can save their output to disk. And even if they couldn't, almost all computer audio subsystems are capable of sampling their own output, either at the hardware or software level.

 

yes, i was going to mention that possibility, but was feeling lazy.   <g>.

 

I figured they'd discover it once they started checking into it.

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