11th April 2020
In this episode of Sound Design Experiments I did a breakdown of my Embers of Mirrim sound redesign. The game is an adventure-platformer where you play a mystical creature with the ability to split into light and dark embers. In the video I break down the different sections of the video and my sound design to explain my process of manipulating assets using a variety of plugins.
In episode 2 I mainly focused on the use of side chaining so in this episode I wanted to focus on capturing the detail of the video in sound. For example, I added a specific sound for the small explosion that happens after the creature turns into the ember and I also added static sounds for when the bouncing pads spark.
I really enjoyed this redesign and it gave me great experience in layering sounds, reviewing my work and eliminating sounds that weren’t necessary which, in the end, didn’t add anything to the overall sound effect. After posting the clip on twitter before recording the episode, I received some feedback to experiment with varying the pitch of the bouncing pad sounds to reduce obvious repetition. After trying this I loved the outcome and it made the clip a lot more sonically interesting.
27th March 2020
For the second episode of Sound Design Experiments, I wanted to design sounds to a video so I chose to redesign the sound for a gameplay clip of Mages of Mystralia. Mages of Mystralia is an action-adventure game where you play as a mage and craft custom spells. The main part of the clip was the spell sound where I used many layers to ensure I covered the whole frequency spectrum to gain a rich sound and texture.
In this episode I made a lot of use out of side chaining using the Snap Heap plugin by KiloHearts. This plugin allows you to connect a bus and have the amplitude of the audio being sent through that bus affect the sound on the track. I use this feature a lot to affect the gain of sounds for example using a whoosh sound effect to shape the sound of a door creak. The whoosh sound has the exact shape I was looking for to capture the movement of the spell. I also used this side chain to affect the delay time of a delay plugin and a frequency shifter to vary the sound further.
One main aim of this redesign was to use organic and natural assets and manipulate them to sound different and magical. For example, I used a recording of a goose hiss and my sliding shower door to create layers for the fire aspect of the spell. By adding effects like chorus, saturation and distortion I was able to make these sounds fit well together and match the action on screen.
27th January 2020
As I am beginning to learn my way around Wwise and Unity I wanted to practice the skills and knowledge I have learnt so decided to implement footstep and character sounds into the demo level of Viking Village.
I made a walkthrough video where I talk through how I integrated the Wwise project with Unity to make the character object reference the audio kinetic sound engine. I also explain how, in Wwise, I used switches to register different surfaces in game, switch containers to separate the different sounds I layered and events to reference the footstep sounds within the sound bank. I talk through how I mixed and varied the assets using pitch and volume randomisation while also making use of the initial delay function in Wwise varying the offset of the bag and key triggers to make them sound less repetitive.
This was a great project to add simple sounds to and to practice the basics of Wwise while also learning my way around using Unity.
25th January 2020
I wanted to experiment with vehicle sound design so chose a clip from No Man’s Sky of a ship taking off and going into space. For this sound redesign I used a wide range of sounds to build the layers of the ship engine and sound effects. The main engine sound was created using a fidget spinner on a piece of plastic. This created a phasing effect that sounded like the whirring of an engine. Effects like pitch shifting and distortion were added to create a thicker sound to match the weight of the ship. The engine sounds were modulated and this was automated depending on the speed of the ship. For example, the vibrato rate was decreased as the ship slowed down to enhance the sense of speed. Metal handling/clicking sounds were also manipulated to create to sounds of the planet labels near the end of the clip.
This was a good clip to start experimenting with vehicle sound design and next I really want to experiment with implementing dynamic vehicle sounds into a game using Wwise.
23rd December 2019
In this episode I experiment with some sound effects of water that I recorded using a Rode NT1A. This goal of this experiment was to create creature sound effects using an organic sound like water. Creature sounds can be challenging to create as many variations are needed when making use of them in game audio. So, through the plugins I used in this episode, I was aiming to create sounds that didn’t sound like a constant loop.
In the first experiment I did, I used 4 different plugins from the Soundtoys bundle to manipulate the asset. By adding saturation and a limiter I was able to add more crunch and aggression into the sound while also adding granular delay to experiment with the sound further. I lastly added the MicroShift plugin which is a stereo width-enhancing plugin however when the wet signal is being outputted and the delay dial is set to ‘loose’, a really interesting phasing effect occurs.
In the second experiment I made use of the Glitchmachines plugin Cataract. When using this you can load samples and manipulate the sounds using filters and delays. The reverb that was captured in the recording process ended up adding to the thickness of the sound and the result that I gained from this sounded less like the original asset and more creature-like.
I liked the outcomes of this episode however if I were to manipulate them further I would experiment with using automation to make the the sound change over time to create more variations.