Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Game Audio Relevance 006

This series of game audio relevant links may serve as sort of an origin story for me, as I am floored on a monthly basis by the amount of related output that goes by on a monthly basis. What makes this the genesis of the 'lab you might ask? Well as few as 5 short years ago, you'd be remiss to find much out there regarding game audio on the net, at least information about the technical side was significantly lacking. I often found myself buried in SDK docs for HL2 or reading through OpenAL programmer API's in order to understand some of the fundamentals of how audio get's integrated into games. To say that we are in an information age is understating the obvious, but there really is a ton of stuff out there flowing down the stream of interactive audio if you've got your ears on.

Hopefully there's something of interest in this latest batch of madness, keep em' peeled!

Game Audio Rewind: 2010
Audio Implementation Greats #10: Mushroom Men -Made for the Metronome
Game Audio Podcast Ep 7:  Mushroom Men -Made for the Metronome
Frank Bry Special: Sound Design for Supreme Commander: This Is Just Way Too BIG!
Frank Bry Special: Methods of a Metadata Madman [Part 2]
Frank Bry Special: Methods of a Metadata Madman [Part 1]
“Fallout: New Vegas” – Exclusive Interview with Audio Director Scott Lawlor
New audio middleware company on the scene:
Mix Magazine: Naughty Dog Puts a Byte into Game Audio
GameAudio101: Brian Schmidt on the past, present and future of Game Audio
Gamasutra: The Sound Beneath Our Feet
Gamasutra: Resetting Accessibility in Games
Chuck Russom and Watson Wu featured in Game Sauce Magazine
How Players Listen - Simon N. Goodwin
Irrational Games - From the Vault: The Audio Incident

UDK weapon sounds triggering external synths like SuperCollider through OSC
More UDK madness from Sound Designer Graham Gatheral

Epic Games Announces Unreal Dev Kit For iOS Arrives
iOS Audio Design: What Everyone Needs To Know
What mobile means for Game Audio, from an insider.
Game Audio 101: Lode Runner Goes Mobile
Binaural audio game for iOS: Papa Sangre

Audio Jobs Blog: Lectures, and paid/ unpaid opportunities
"Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath" – Dev Diary 3: Audio
Video Interview with Watson Wu
Civilisation V soundtrack was scored in Sibelius
The Music of LittleBigPlanet 2
LittleBigPlanet 2 video interview with Baiyon on in-game synthesizers
The Music of Splatterhouse
Flashback Interview 2009: Interview with deadly creatures composer Dave Lowmiller
CAS Quartely: Game Sound from the Ears of a Linear Mixer
Gunpei Yokoi exhibit and unreleased SNES mouse game called Sound Fantasy
Game Audio Podcast Ep 6: Independent Sound Libraries
The Force Unleashed II (Music Review)
Engine Audio 2010 Year In Review. A spotlight our year gone by.
Q&A: Kenley Kristofferson on Interactivity in Manitoba Music
The Troublesome Truth about Voice-Overs
In The Future, Will All Cars Have Built-in Synthesizers?

Third-Order Ambisonic Extensions for MaxMSP With Musical Applications
Next-gen Cross-platform Audio Technology w/ OpenAL - Creative Labs GDC 2007
Dirt Interview - Simon N Goodwin
Blue Ripple Sound - Rapture3D
Ambisonics: 3D7.1
3D Sound for 3D Games - Beyond 5.1 - Simon N. Goodwin
Interview: Simon N Goodwin, Codemasters: Dirt2
Interview with Simon Goodwin of Codemasters on the PS3 game DiRT and Ambisonics

Got more?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Sound Quote: No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage's 4'33"

Inspiration is everywhere, if you're listening for it. The 4'33" phenomenon effectively blew the doors off the established perception of modern composition. The roots and methods are discussed at length in No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage's 4'33" by Kyle Gann, but I was sturck by several passages that seemed to ring for me...with a bit of a nod towards the current practice of game audio.
Printed as the opening of his 1961 book Silence, it would become on of the most famous manifestos. The text, in typically innovative fashion, intertwines two parallel arguments. One in Capitol letters read:
I believe the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard...whereas, in the past, the point of disagreement has been between dissonance and consonance. It will be in the immediate future between noise and so-called musical sounds.
The other text opens:
Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating. The sound of a truck at 50 miles per hour. Static between the stations. Rain. We want to capture and control these sounds, every film studio has a "library of sounds" recorded on film. With a film phonograph it is now possible to control the amplitude and frequency of any one of these sounds and to give to it rhythms within or beyond the reach of imagination. Given four film phonographs, we can compose and perform a quartet for explosive mortor, wind, heartbeat, and landslide.
-Cage, "The Future of Music: Credo," in Silence pp. 3-4 
This last text sounds a lot like what we do in interactive audio. The dynamic arrangement of controlled  sounds based on a set of rules that govern their playback. In fact, I think I heard the quartet he mentions in the latest installment of Battlefield Bad Company.

Additionally, this oft qouted passage nailed it on the head when it comes to short loops of musical repition:
"In Zen the say: If something is boring after 2 minutes, try it for four. If still boring, try it for eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and so on. Eventually one discovers that it's not boring at all but very interesting." - Cage Silence pp.93
In an 1982 Interview, Cage sums up the the legacy of 4'33":
Well, I use it (4'33") constantly in my life experience. No day goes by without my making use of that piece in my life and in my work. I listen to is everyday...I don't sit down to do it; I turn my attention tward it. I realize that it's going on continuously. So, more and more, my attention, as now, is on it. More than anything else, it's the source of my enjoyment of life."
My interest was recently peeked by the Cage Against the Machine project. After willingly subjecting myself to the best of holiday music at the end of the year, what I wouldn't give for a bit of about you?

Great book, inspirational, and well paced.


Game Audio Rewind: 2010

Now that 2010 is closed out, I just wanted to take a second and round up a batch of links to various projects that I was involved with and get them all lumped into a 'splosion of game audio. Every single one of them was made better by the involvement of others, and for that I am thankful.

It is truly a beautiful thing to work along side such creative individuals and to be able to share the common goal of engaging people in the art of sound. I hope that the new year comes with new prospect, and that you will all continue to shape and inform the future of interactive sound to the fullest.

Best to all in 2011!

Audio Implementation Greats
Audio Implementation Greats #10: Made for the Metronome
Audio Implementation Greats #9: GRAW 2 MP: Dynamic Wind System
Audio Implementation Greats #8: Procedural Audio Now
Audio Implementation Greats #7: Physics Audio [Part 2]
Audio Implementation Greats #6: Physics Audio [Part 1]
Audio Implementation Greats #5: Ambient – The Hills are Alive
Audio Implementation Greats #4: De’ Bug and the DSP Sound-Bomb
Audio Implementation Greats #3: Crackdown – Realtime Worlds
Audio Implementation Greats #2: Audio Toolsets [Part 2]
Audio Implementation Greats #1: Audio Toolsets [Part 1]

Game Audio Podcast
Game Audio Podcast #7: Mushroom Men - Made for the Metronome
Game Audio Podcast #6: Independent Sound Libraries
Game Audio Podcast #5: Mini-Episode
Game Audio Podcast #4: Procedural Game Audio
Game Audio Podcast #3: Interactive & Dynamic Music
Game Audio Podcast #2: Footsteps & Foley, Design & Integration
Game Audio Podcast #1: Ready, Set, GO!

Lost Chocolate Blog
AES 2010: game Audio Track Wrap
Procedural Sound Now [LINKS]
Content is King - Rise of the Independent Sound Library
“Game Audio Basics” March Issue of Mix Magazine
Footsteps – Informal Game Sound Study
The Next Big Steps In Game Sound Design - Gamasutra
Conan - Melee System Overview

Game Audio Relevance
Game Audio Relevance 005
Game Audio Relevance 004
Game Audio Relevance 003
Game Audio Relevance 002
Game Audio Relevance 001

(I kindof felt like I was busy this year, but the above only represents my un-billable hours)

Games Shipped
Back to the Future: Episode 1
Poker Night at the Inventory
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
Sam & Max: Devil's Playhouse
Puzzle Agent
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Deadly Intent

Wow, just wow.

GDC 2011 Speaker: Footsteps - Informal Sound Study

Hope to see you soon!