jkuehlin

Hey audio guys...how are your coding/programming chops?

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jkuehlin    243

Open ended question to anyone who would care to discuss.

I know there are a lot of career musicians who are also highly competent in writing code. The same way that there are great music attorneys who had a successful career in performance, then went to law school. And the same way there are career musicians that transitioned into ministry, or finance, or business, and have become church music directors, or CFO's of music companies.

A lot of musicians seem to want to avoid the coding, scripting, and programming end. Does anyone else here find the design or logic end of the game world just as much fun and intriguing as playing your instrument? Just curious! :D

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jbadams    25712

I'm a programmer that's highly competent in music if that counts?

I find an analytical thought process quite well suited to reading music and even improvisation.

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jkuehlin    243

@jbadams, certainly does count! :D What I'm wondering is how many game audio guys struggle with the programming vs excel at it. I think I've sensed a mentality that middleware removes the necessity of the coding from the audio implementation process, but I don't have enough experience in game audio yet to know how valid or invalid that is. I also am just now taking my first steps into this field, so I haven't had enough experience with Wwise or Fmod to know. I'm training pretty intensively with C#, Blender, and Unity right now. I hope to start drilling with Wwise and Soundminer within the next few months. 

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Kylotan    10007

I'm not an audio professional in games, but my understanding is that there's almost no need for any programming competence for musicians or audio people these days. The various middleware tools and engine facilities make integration a code-free experience.

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ptietz    1

That's gonna be me :D
Professionally, I'm a dev but skill-wise, I'm both, dev and "audio guy", as I started both even before elementary school. I think, those are the greatest passions in my life. Well, that's a lie. There are just too many things for a top list... There is gaming, writing, game design, etc. Too much to do, too little time, you know the drill :D

Anyway, to get to your question:
Personally I do use fmod. Not for the sake of not having to program but rather because the tool itself is so very powerful. I use it for adaptive music and for dynamic sound effects controlled by the game (like engine sounds, weather transitions and so forth). It does have some flaws, though. For example, you can't spawn oneshots at random locations in 3d space. Still, very powerful.

You got a point there, however, regarding the avoidance. It is true that you don't want to get ripped out of the process when doing your audio stuff every time, having to switch back and forth between tools and even mental states. I like testing out my stuff in fmod first, tweaking all the nobs until I'm happy before I start implementing. You can then simply send parameters from Unity (in my case) to manipulate what you've already tested in fmod. That's very smooth work flow in my opinion.

I do, however, love to program. So that's nothing to do with it, no struggle whatsoever. I just prefer to concentrate on one thing at a time.

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jkuehlin    243
4 hours ago, ptietz said:

It does have some flaws, though. For example, you can't spawn oneshots at random locations in 3d space. Still, very powerful.

 

Hey @ptietz! Thanks for the thoughts. So in your example, would you perhaps let Fmod do a lot of the heavy lifting on workflow and processing, then code sounds to spawn in random spots? So In other words, does having the knowledge to code help you if you run into a limitation within the middleware?

I'm far from proficient with anything outside of the audio world at the moment. But THOROUGHLY enjoying the classes I'm taking on C# code, even if its total noob stuff like making guess a number games on Visual Studio. And honestly, I've sat in on a few game design teams and tried to contribute to audio. I got sick of feeling like the idiot in the group and apologizing for never knowing what anyone was talking about when the rest of the guys were sharing ideas. They were cool, never made me feel stupid about it, and were well aware of my lack of Unity and C# knowledge. But I also had started studying code just to be able to communicate and understand ideas. Even a few months of basic C# and Unity bootcamp helped me tremendously so far.

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ptietz    1

@jkuehlin exactly. For instance, you could spawn an fmod "3D event" on a Unity GameObject and position that randomly.

And besides that: Keep your head held high. Programmers do have their own vocabulary as do musicians. For beginners, it's hard to get into it. But start talking about wave forms, pre-amps, ring modulation, arrangements and phase interpolation and I'm sure they'll quickly start speaking more understandably to you :)

To answer your question, though: Coding always helps. Even in real life as you begin to see behind the things and how everything comes together to make something work :)

Best Regards

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jkuehlin    243
3 minutes ago, the incredible smoker said:

You should make your own gear, its even more fun, and way more achievable then games.

@the incredible smoker, I can see what you're saying about being more achievable. But I'd think the downside is that your buyer base is also incredibly small, and the lack of new/current gear that addresses real workflow issues or does anything better than something else already out there would be a problem.

Here's the way I look at this. As an audio guy, if you help an indie musician or film maker, you're really in the service of helping them express themselves and fulfill a dream, with the possibility of bringing it to market, even if the market realization is purely a pipe dream. In other words, some people make records and films for the sheer enjoyment of it. I don't know anyone who builds an audio plugin with no intention of bringing it to market. But I'm so new to the programing field I can't say authoritatively that people DON'T code plugins for fun.

If you were talking about DIY hardware processors or amps, well then yes, but I don't see how that would have much to do with coding :D

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5 minutes ago, jkuehlin said:

I don't know anyone who builds an audio plugin with no intention of bringing it to market.

Now you know me.

 

DIY hardware is controlled by a microcontroller, or might be microcontroller only for virtual analog / digital synthesis..

Compared to games its very small and simple.

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