About Me

A sound dude from the Game Audio industry that just wants to share his sounds and ideas about sound design and SFX recording.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Trailer Sound

It's been a long time since I wanted to challenge myself audiowise on some combat/action scene but when working full time on a project it's not always easy to find the time and motivation for it.. Don't get me wrong I love creating sounds but sometimes you just want to chill out with your friends and see something different than your beloved DAW eh eh!

Anyway, I managed to find some time recently to rework a scene from the latest Mortal Kombat game. For the E3 in 2011, Warner Bros Interactive released a nice CG trailer where you can see Scorpion and Subzero fighting for victory.. And what was interesting for me is that I just spent 8 months creating magic sounds for a AAA game project so having the combination of action and magic was a perfect little challenge.

The way I started on this one was to create a general ambience first and place some markers on important moments like when the action is forward (giant kick, power throw, etc..). Then I did a list of all the powers used and I built a "sound palette" to create the magic sounds for my 2 buddies (Scorpion and Subzero) that was the longest part : finding the right sounds to process, build layers, etc.. And finally, I cleaned up all my layers in my session and added sweeteners where it was needed like for example on the chain at the end where I added a special stereo delay when the blade is thrown.

Regarding the mix, it's wiser to start mixing low and bring the volume up slowly so that you have more space in the dynamic for the big moments.. But for my case, I also compared my mixing with other game trailers, it helped!

For the final step when I was satisfied with my work.. I passed my mix through a Tornade MS Bus compressor that one of my friend makes and it sounds pretty cool, it added a bit of punchyness to my mix even if this type of compressor is mainly used in music : it's basically made of the same components that you can find on the master bus center compressor of the SSL 4000 G console, exiting!

Here is a link where you can buy this awesome machine for anyone interested : http://www.audioaddict.fr/?page_id=1927

My Tornade MS Compressor

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Make it Thunder!

I bought a spring/thunder drum a year ago to use it on the game project I was working on lately and I found it really useful to create some dreamy/eerie ambiences. What is interesting with that instrument is that you just basically shake it with one hand and it will produce a nice beefy drone, the more you shake it, the more intensity you get on the drone's sound, pretty easy eh!

Spring Drum in the studio

So first weekend of June, we decided with a friend to experiment a bit with it and of course record it! We tried differents things with the spring drum : shaking it as we should to get the drone, using scissors to hit the string during the shake so that we could have these metallic small impacts on top of the drones, then we did a few vocalizations in the tube while the drone was playing, we had some pretty interesting results.. I just processed a bit my friend's voice who was definitely inspired that day to do some kind of dinosaur/reptile monster voice and that was it.. We recorded the sounds using a Fostex FR-2 recorder and an XY stereo mic : the Rode NT4. Here's a comp of my best takes, enjoy!

Ambience SpringDrum Compilation 01 by gugasprod