Gaming Audio.

May 11, 2022
689
1,388
2,770
I've had a long term fascination with audio production and sound effects going back to foley artists. I was wondering if people listen to the audio in games or is it mostly background?

I think it's the audio that really creates the immersion(especially 5.1 surround headphones or better), it gives you the atmosphere and size of a room, or the weather and distance out in the open.

The sound of an Audi custom in GTAV, the train in RD2, the sound of a grenade, everything the characters do. Even sounds as cues to action or when recieving payment.

Game audio seems to be made now in the same way as film audio. Although of course now they have sample libraries and pro software. Here's a sample library anyone can listen to clips on> soundsnap.com

It was set up by Tasos Frantzolas who in his YT 'The beautiful lies of sound design', shows how even the modern samples can be made in a foley way; frying bacon for rain sounds, etc.
 
I remember back when I bought the first generation Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum, and it pioneered what they called EAX audio effects. It was so awesome to have 3D spatial audio effects that made the sound effects in gaming sound so much more realistic than they did before that.

Yeah, the sound effects are pretty important to me. I remember playing Myst when it first came out and thinking it was awesome that there was a whole level based on paying close attention to the sound effects.
 
Jul 18, 2022
135
328
970
I can't remember the game, I think it was Hellfire Insua or something, where you play as a Viking lady that had a mental condition and you could faintly hear the voices whispering as you played along the game.

I feel like generally sounds make games more immersive and life-like but this game really made me feel that immersed in was quite uncomfortable with the constant voices and made me question how difficult it must be for people with those conditions.
 
May 11, 2022
689
1,388
2,770
So, you're talking about the incidental effects? The wind blowing through the trees, the odd cuckoos bird in the last Witcher 3 DLC, running water... that sort of stuff?
Really I'm talking about all the audio(excl: music), which sets the game up, from all the sounds around the character that could be called ambience, to all the sounds made by machines, weapons, enemies, NPC's, etc.

But also cues, for example the horse in RD2 makes a noise and warns you of an animal attack.

The sound world in games is very complex and richly layered, but most peole don't notice it because humans focus on the visual.

Here's a sound designer working on small aspects of a game. It's long but if you just choose one section he shows how he collects the sounds from the sound library, and the manipulates them to make sounds on the game.

John Pata sound design tutorial>

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsuLEM0I7x0&ab_channel=ProSoundEffects
 
May 11, 2022
689
1,388
2,770
I can't remember the game, I think it was Hellfire Insua or something, where you play as a Viking lady that had a mental condition and you could faintly hear the voices whispering as you played along the game.

I feel like generally sounds make games more immersive and life-like but this game really made me feel that immersed in was quite uncomfortable with the constant voices and made me question how difficult it must be for people with those conditions.
Yes I've got that game and that's a whole other layer, the psycholgical level, what's happening in her head.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kovanen
All the audio elements of a game are as important to me as the story, characters, and exploration is to enhance my sense of immersion. Yeah, I love good, sharp graphic detail and a well-developed combat system, but I'd still put audio above those. But a lot depends upon how well it's been implemented by the developer within the game.

When I say "audio elements" that includes all forms of audio: ambient sounds, environmental audio, sound/music tracks (and how smoothly they change depending upon location or event), sound effects (such as weapons), as well as the quality of any voice acting in a game. All of that adds to my immersion within a game world.

There was a post awhile ago (can't remember who posted it) that asked if we ever turned the audio off in a game and listened to music (that's the gist of it anyway), and that's something I never do.
 
May 22, 2022
222
332
670
For me, audio is important too, although I can't say I'd spend money on audio focused hardware for gaming. 😅

Also, gaming is an experience, so all in all, the parts make together a whole experience. I'm also biased towards narrative driven plots, although simple FPS also rocks my boat. 😎
 
Any kind of sound in a game can be either very immersive, or very lackluster. It's hard to be an audiophile where games are concerned because all game audio is compressed, and often taken from known audio libraries. Meaning there are TONS of effects, from creaking doors to footsteps, to punches that devs go the cheap way on and just select from an available library of sounds. It's not that all such sounds are poorly done, it's just that if you play enough games, you start to recognize the similarities, which can lessen the immersion.

Days Gone is a game that has excellent audio, from character voicing to wind, to creature screams, to thunder storms. The remake of original Dead Space EA's Motive Studio is working on is being totally reengineered for more precise audio, in everything from Isaac's heart rate and breathing, to his voice when wounded, to how walls affect and muffle sounds.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brian Boru
May 11, 2022
121
278
470
Audio covers many different aspects. The ones I like are the sound effects even in old games like Daggerfall where you are waiting, hidden, for the vampire to walk past or a growl in DA:O prior to wolfs attacking. In TV the background noise at a restaurant while you listen to the main characters talking add to the experience. Not keen on background music since that is usually a distraction and adversely impacts my gameplay. Good voice acting is a plus but I usually can survive without it.

On hardware - for the last ten years (or maybe more) I have used the motherboard sound chip which has just got better and better. Prefer headphones (HyperX) but the Panasonic sound bar is good.
 
May 11, 2022
689
1,388
2,770
Any kind of sound in a game can be either very immersive, or very lackluster. It's hard to be an audiophile where games are concerned because all game audio is compressed, and often taken from known audio libraries. Meaning there are TONS of effects, from creaking doors to footsteps, to punches that devs go the cheap way on and just select from an available library of sounds. It's not that all such sounds are poorly done, it's just that if you play enough games, you start to recognize the similarities, which can lessen the immersion.

Days Gone is a game that has excellent audio, from character voicing to wind, to creature screams, to thunder storms. The remake of original Dead Space EA's Motive Studio is working on is being totally reengineered for more precise audio, in everything from Isaac's heart rate and breathing, to his voice when wounded, to how walls affect and muffle sounds.
I'll have to re-listen to Days Gone. Sometimes you have to turn off visuals just to hear a soundtrack properly, or just stop in game and listen. I used to do that with a few films just to see how it held everything in place.

I've only just been looking into audio in games. But was inspired by films like The Conversation(I do my own recording) and the Berbarian Sound Studio.

I find it interesting that many of the sounds aren't what we think they are.

But also watching that tutorial, he's making the sound of a grapple hook being fired. So he finds a whip rotating sound and then makes it sound mechanical to give what he imagines. Then he has to make able to loop, graple hooks go different distances.
Then he said, we know gamers will get bored if it always sounds the same so he tweaked it for different uses.

I just use Soundblaster card and Audiotechnica headphones.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
I'm plugged into a stereo receiver with 5.1 sound. Heck, one big reason I moved to a house was so I could use my subwoofer without worrying about neighbors!

Yeah, sounds are huge in games. So huge, I'm not even sure what to talk about.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ZedClampet
FPS also rocks my boat
Sorry to hear that—it floats mine ;)

a post awhile ago … asked if we ever turned the audio off in a game and listened to music
It might be this one:

I'm talking about all the audio(excl: music), which sets the game up, from all the sounds around the character that could be called ambience, to all the sounds made by machines, weapons, enemies, NPC's, etc
Okay, that's a lot broader than ambience. Gameplay-relevant audio is definitely important, and often vital re impending danger.

sounds are huge in games. So huge, I'm not even sure what to talk about
Boom?
Boom boom??
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: mainer and Kovanen
May 11, 2022
689
1,388
2,770
I'm plugged into a stereo receiver with 5.1 sound. Heck, one big reason I moved to a house was so I could use my subwoofer without worrying about neighbors!

Yeah, sounds are huge in games. So huge, I'm not even sure what to talk about.
That's a hell of a reason to move house! Yes I've got my 5.1 software connected to amp and speakers, but generally I prefer the headphones and think I hear more. But also different set ups might suit different games.

Aren't gaming headphones more bassy.

@Frag Maniac I don't really think we listen to music in the same way as games. So it's different audiophile priorities. But the sound libraries offer wav files and my system is set to play them so it sounds high enough quality.

Here's an example of a foley artist working on God of War. It then just shows the scene. I think knowing how the sound is made changes the way we see it(for a while).

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vi8L_eAVUM&ab_channel=Foleytricks
 
That's a hell of a reason to move house! Yes I've got my 5.1 software connected to amp and speakers, but generally I prefer the headphones and think I hear more. But also different set ups might suit different games.

Aren't gaming headphones more bassy.

@Frag Maniac I don't really think we listen to music in the same way as games. So it's different audiophile priorities. But the sound libraries offer wav files and my system is set to play them so it sounds high enough quality.

Here's an example of a foley artist working on God of War. It then just shows the scene. I think knowing how the sound is made changes the way we see it(for a while).

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vi8L_eAVUM&ab_channel=Foleytricks
Well, in reality there is no blanket statement that can describe the quality of compressed game audio. Sometimes it's so bad you can actually hear crackling with voice audio, other times it's very immersive.
 

ZedClampet

Community Contributor
One genre where sound could be much better overall is the horror genre. It is a huge mistake when horror developers take sound lightly, yet I play horror games all the time where the sounds were obviously an afterthought or just thrown together in an amateurish fashion.

Anyway, I always find the foley work interesting. Watched an hour interview with a foley artist one day, and she was in her storage room where she kept all the tools of her trade, and she would just pick up items and make sounds with them that were perfect for what she was going for. Was a lot of fun to watch/listen to.
 
May 11, 2022
689
1,388
2,770
One genre where sound could be much better overall is the horror genre. It is a huge mistake when horror developers take sound lightly, yet I play horror games all the time where the sounds were obviously an afterthought or just thrown together in an amateurish fashion.

Anyway, I always find the foley work interesting. Watched an hour interview with a foley artist one day, and she was in her storage room where she kept all the tools of her trade, and she would just pick up items and make sounds with them that were perfect for what she was going for. Was a lot of fun to watch/listen to.
It seems that much of the sound effects created using foley in films has carried over to games.

But yes the horror genre has a different level that builds suspense, creates atmosphere and a sense of threat that play on the emotions. Just remebering the shower scene in Psycho with it's screeching wind section 'stabbing' away. It replaces the visuals where nothing really happens.

I think my dream job would have been foley work. I just mess around in software for fun.
 
May 22, 2022
222
332
670
Sorry to hear that—it floats mine ;)
wait, I might have used the wrong idiom in my earlier post. 🤣 I probably meant to say "floats my boat"🛶


It seems that much of the sound effects created using foley in films has carried over to games.

But yes the horror genre has a different level that builds suspense, creates atmosphere and a sense of threat that play on the emotions. Just remebering the shower scene in Psycho with it's screeching wind section 'stabbing' away. It replaces the visuals where nothing really happens.

I think my dream job would have been foley work. I just mess around in software for fun.
wow that's cool just reading that dude, reminds me of that sound oriented game I think? "ori and the blind forest" was it?

now I want to research a bit more about sound engineering lol. I'm a borderline audiophile I think. 🎧
 
May 11, 2022
689
1,388
2,770
wow that's cool just reading that dude, reminds me of that sound oriented game I think? "ori and the blind forest" was it?

now I want to research a bit more about sound engineering lol. I'm a borderline audiophile I think. 🎧
It is a bit like a disorder. Good for obsessive perfectionists. Sometimes I listen to a piece over and over, editing down and processing it, until I get that few seconds of sound just right.

But the sounds are free(recordable), and the software costs minimal amount. So you just need good hearing and imagination.

One time I walked around for a few days listening to the world through micophone /equipment/headphones. I realised that normally our minds just don't register all the noises and sounds, it just damps them. But after I took the headphones off, I could still hear everything.

It's weird because the actors and possiby the dialogue are the only thing that's real in modern films. All the visuals and sound are added afterwards.
 
its almost 20 years since I had a sound card.
Yeah, it seems like the add-in sound card market is dead, or dying; at least for PC gamers. With the advancement in audio capabilities on motherboards, and headphones having their own amps, sound cards fell a bit (to me) to be irrelevant. Since I got my Cloud Revolver headphones a couple years ago, I don't even use my Logitech 5.1 speakers anymore.
 
You can buy cards , but they aren't really essential. It depends how seriously you take it.
It seems the main 2 card makers are Asus & Creative. Choices is very small now. Most of Creatives competition went elsewhere.
Most medium range motherboards have reasonable enough sound on them that you don't need them anymore. Some boards come with Creative chips on board. Most use realtek though.
Guess I am used to speakers.
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts