A Word From Audio_Guy

The following is a chat log that rolled across the darklord’s chat system earlier today. I felt it was poignant.

audio_guy: dear level designers and producer type people – a few words about audio…
darklord: 🙂
audio_guy: audio is not like color, if everything on the screen is green, then the screen looks green, however, if everything in audio is turned up as loud as possible, it will sound like crap…
darklord: 🙂 this is true. 🙂
audio_guy: the phrase “Everything Louder than Everything Else” works well for the heavy metal band Motorhead, but for videogames it is perhaps the wrong mantra
audio_guy: I’d like to introduce a friend of mine: Dynamics
darklord: hello, Dynamics!
audio_guy: Dynamics is the process by which some things are quiet while others are loud, allow him to demonstrate…
audio_guy: take our main critter for example: he has an attack scream, and he has footsteps, the attack scream is big and loud, it is SCARY! the footsteps are quieter they are just there to pierce the silence when he walks
darklord: hmm. yes, this makes sense.
audio_guy: I am sorry that you cannot hear the footsteps when he is doing his attack scream
audio_guy: some things however are necessary
audio_guy: the options are as follows: I leave things the way they are.
audio_guy: or
audio_guy: I take out/turn down the scream
darklord: sounds reasonable.
audio_guy: you’ll notice that there is NO option called “turn the footsteps up as loud as the friggin’ go”!!!
audio_guy: care to take a guess as to why?
darklord: …dynamics?
audio_guy: very good

darklord: I have an idea
darklord: take them to the zoo
audio_guy: zoo?
darklord: wait until the elephant trumpets, and ask them if they could hear the elephant’s footsteps when it was trumpeting.
darklord: or, maybe a lion + roar.
audio_guy: you can’t hear elephants footsteps when they’re not trumpeting
audio_guy: they are silent
audio_guy: or nearly so
darklord: hmmm.
darklord: good point.

darklord: billygoats then.

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2 thoughts on “A Word From Audio_Guy”

  1. I can’t believe I typo’ed vinyl. That totally ruins the post. I frickin’ suck.

    So.. what game you talking about? When you gonna spill the beans?

  2. Perhaps the problem is fidelity — you have fallen into the standard trap of ‘digital audio’ which, any audiophile will tell you, is crap.

    Press the sound track on good old vinal, get a nice diamond needle, a tube ampliphier so the signal stays analog through-and throgh and a 10k turn-table to play the record with while you watch the video game.

    At the right moment, play the critter-attack track.

    With a good analog system you’ll be able to clearly hear both the blood curtling scream, the foot steps, and if you’ve made sure you’ve wired with crystal-free copper wires and gold high-pressure connectors sealed with silicon to prevent oxidation, along with a balanced layout with proper buffers in the room, you’ll also hear a high-hat playing off on the left side, just behind the guitar. That’s what a good analog system can do for you. It’s like it puts you there, man.

    Alternatively, if you coat the outside of the game CD with a green pen, it will prevent laser scatter and increase the high-end response of your digital audio to the point where the footsteps might be discernable. But definitely use one of the high-end green pens, not just some marker lying around. They’re totally, totally different.

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