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Sergio Ronchetti

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  1. Sergio Ronchetti

    Sound Design with an iPhone SE

    Last month I gave another public talk at the Unreal London Meetup (link here if you're curious) which gave me the chance to show off how I’ve been using a very simple set up to achieve high-quality results. By regressing to a simpler workflow as shown to the right, I can focus on my new ethos of “Resourceful vs. Resources”. An idea that suggests less is more when it comes to buying and using too much equipment. Instead of having 100 different types of expensive tools and being mediocre at all of them, I’d rather have just a handful but be super skilled at using them. Using an iPhone means I can whip it out and record on the fly rather than needing to plan ahead because I just HAVE to use my new shotgun microphone. Just a thought! Anyway, below are a couple of examples of this workflow in action and their results (I’m particularly happy with the monster sound in the first video!) Below is an example to prove how I practice what I preach. I found a particularly creaky door and had nothing but my iPhone to record with (there are fantastic handheld/portable recording devices but unless you reeeeally need to spend money then you shouldn't!). I did what any self-respecting sound designer should start with and pulled up the lovely AUpitch plugin in Logic Pro X. I've started to realise that 50% of my work has involved pitching normal sounds up or down to create the basis of fantastic new creations. In this case, I pitched the original squeaky door down by about 2 or 3 octaves. I layered the sounds in various ways, reversed some of them, lengthened others and then added a tone of reverb (by bussing out to 3 different reverb sends you can again layer various reverb time lengths to deepen your audio field). Below is the result... Would you have known that was an iPhone if I hadn't mentioned it? The answer is no (unless you're some sort of audio wizard/witch). I guess the point I'm trying to make is that even cheaper alternatives to expensive microphones and handheld recorders can still yield high-quality results, and worthy of industry standards. Following on from that, I recorded a wine glass with my iPhone and created a voice for one of the monsters in Eldest Souls. I can't reveal any animations just yet, but I can say that this guy is particularly *frosty* and I think the resonance of the glass worked wonders with the icy context. Thanks for reading! More videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYdqizROsbW1VB502p-k7_g website: https://www.sergioronchetti.com/ Eldest Souls: https://www.unitedlabelgames.com/ Fallen Flag Studio: https://fallenflagstudio.com/
  2. Sergio Ronchetti

    Making sound effects for video games: Using Fmod with Unity

    thanks for reading! if you're interested, check out my latest video on creating creepy ambiences from creaky doors!
  3. I haven’t been classically trained when it comes to composing music, but thankfully you don’t have to be nowadays, if you want to throw in some violins or brass sections into your scores… This music was for the 2nd stage of a boss fight in the video game I’m currently working on (see here for a trailer) and I wanted some heavy music to pick up the pace and intensity of the battle sequence. The boss is a massive, ancient armoured knight in comparison to our much smaller warrior, so the mood of the track had to be intimidating and looming. Picking the right instruments and sound for a scene is half the battle in my opinion. Being a “souls-like” game, orchestral music is a go-to, but I’ve had no experience in doing so beforehand, so I started with something that’s familiar to me: a guitar. I slapped on some distortion and wrote a couple of ideas that I personally would want to hear when fighting this boss. I then layered it with some percussive mutes where I felt a beat, and a “lead” melody that could work over the top as a progression idea. I then opened my Native Instrument sample packs and started orchestrating (choosing the combination of instruments to play the notes of the riff) by writing my notes into Logic Pro X’s midi editor. A great place to start is with the low strings, ie the cellos and double basses, to build up from the lower frequency instruments. Then I added some trumpets and brass for accents and colour and finally shoved some nice heavy percussion loops to bring out the drive and power behind the musical idea. Some extra parts here and there, some reverb, compression and some mixing lead me to what you hear in the video above. Of course, i'm not trying to say that mixing experience isn't important in getting the overall sound right, as well as proficiency in your DAW (digital audio workstation) and knowing which instruments work best for certain passages. However this method (for me anyway) is a great way to build up confidence when utilising instruments and styles that are otherwise totally alien. Having a clear vision of what you want to create and a simple guitar riff can take you a long way. Thanks for reading. www.sergioronchetti.com
  4. Continuing to work on “Eldest Souls” (first article here!), I’ve begun familiarising myself with the workflow between Fmod and Unity, and the integration system. I know much of this will be pretty obvious to most, but I thought I’d share my thoughts as a complete beginner learning the ropes of sound designing. The library of sounds that Fmod provides has been very useful, at least as reference points. I’ve still kept to my ethos of producing the sounds myself as much as possible. Having said that, Fmod gives you 50 free sounds with your download, and I’ve used a wooden crate smash, a drawbridge and electricity sound you can hear in the foley video below. The thing i found most useful was witnessing changes i made in Fmod being realised instantly in Unity. If a volume needed changing, or the timing of one of my effects was off, i can literally switch to Fmod and then back to Unity and immediately see the result of my alterations. It also seems apparent that using middleware such as this (or i've heard Wwise is also equally intuitive) grants the developer, and myself included, a great deal more flexibility and opportunity to edit sounds without going all the way back to a DAW, and bouncing down again. Needless to say, my workflow is so much faster because of it. I've also loved the randomised feature of Fmod, whereby any sound can be made to sound slightly different each time it is heard. Taking a footstep recording i made for example, I was able to add further authenticity of uneven footsteps by randomising the pitch and volume of each playback. I used this technique when creating footsteps for the first major boss in the game called "The Guardian". A big, over-encumbered husk of a monster. I also had fun rummaging through the garage for old tools and metal components for the “Guardian” (the first boss) footsteps. See below! I also created a sword attack for our player, trying to sound different from the generic “woosh” I see in so many video games. I used a very “sharp” and abrasive sound to differentiate him from any enemies. On another note, I recently upgraded my microphone to a Rode NTG2 shotgun, which has been phenomenal. I haven’t had to worry about noise interfering with the clarity of my objects, whereas before with the sm58 I had to be clever with my EQ and noise reduction plugins. Important to note again that this still a “cheap” mic in comparison to most other products on the market, and all in all my entire setup is still very simple and affordable which I’m quite proud of. I’ve seen many musicians spend heaps of money on gear they don’t necessarily need. I much prefer being resourceful with less equipment, than to have more than I can understand or remember how to use. It’s forced me to understand every aspect and capability of my tools, which I believe is a principal that can be applied to any discipline. I have more fun little sound effect videos on my Instagram for those interested, where I post regular updates. Thanks for reading! (if you’ve made it this far) www.sergioronchetti.com INSTAGRAM fallenflagstudio.com
  5. Sergio Ronchetti

    managing player feedback on test builds - most efficient way??

    Probably should have been more specific, but you have answered my question. What I meant was how to handle a lot of different points about gameplay and the fiction behind a game you’re creating, but for a small independent project which doesn’t have all these departments as you’ve mentioned. Just discovered it can be quite daunting to have a huge list of things to get through after testing the game with a couple of people outside of your dev team.
  6. Just wondering what people do to manage large amounts of feedback from players testing your game, during the development stage. Thinking about using websites like Trello or Monday to list all the improvement ideas, but curious to see how other people organise themselves. thanks!
  7. BASICS IN SOUND DESIGNING FOR VIDEO GAMES Recently I joined the talented team at Fallen Flag Studio as the composer for their latest release "Eldest Souls" which consequently lead me into a field I have always dreamt of trying - sound design! Having no prior experience, I began watching a few online tutorials (if you want to learn from anyone make it Akash Thakkar from "Hyper Light Drifter"... what a guy!) and basically just testing stuff out i found around the house. Luckily my dad has a garage FULL of random crap to use. Before i continue, it's important to note that i DO NOT have fancy equipment, meaning anyone can try this. (my equipment is an sm58, focusrite scarlett interface and Logic Pro X plugins... that's it!) I started basic with some footsteps, which weren't all too difficult. Then I moved on to projectiles and a spear attack one of the bosses has. Below are a couple super short videos on my resulting attempts. Amazing how great a banjo sounds for that typical "woosh" sound! And if you're wondering, the paper was added to give some texture to the jab. I could be finding a lot of these sounds in libraries online (like the built-in ones that come with Fmod and Unity) but I've chosen not to, in order to produce authenticity and hopefully a more unique gameplay experience for players when the final product is put together. P.S. if you'd like to try the game and hear my hard work we'll be at EGX and several other conventions later this year, soon to be announced! Thanks for reading! www.sergioronchetti.com fallenflagstudio.com To those interested, there's an Alpha trailer of the game in question below.
  8. Sergio Ronchetti

    Eldest Souls

    Album for Eldest Souls
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