2/15/2016

Making Sound effects

There are so many methods of creating your own sound effects for games, Sometimes a mix works well but make sure you are matching them up, a misplaced sound effect can completely effect the atmosphere, story, and just ruin the experience. Sound is one of the most important thing in a game.

Pre-made sounds sometimes are the way to go. Purchasing sound packs such as one I made here: Bo's 200 Misc Sound Effects Pack are a good example of a mix of compatible sound effects. All of them were made in the same bit-range, in the same frequency range, and are compressed the same with the same hz range, with a consistency in volume.

You see sound needs to match in so much of a range on frequency, bitrate, volume, and compression because inconsistency can throw off the player, if the goal is to throw off a player than its fine to not follow that but if it isn't you need to think how you want the sound effect to play for that event and how often.


Example of how you might want to make sounds,

For something positive you want a positive sound, for something bad you want  a bad sound.
A locked door attempt to open should sound bad and discouraging to force the player to look for the key, or play a locked door sound when attempting to open in other words. When the player gets hit it shouldn't play a sound for a power up it should play something negative so the player avoids getting hit.

When you have a mismatch sound in frequency, volume, bitrate, or compression:

Frequency is easy enough to adjust in some tools like goldenwave where there is basically a batch process to solve the frequency, bitrate, and compression limitations of a directory of sounds.

Volume how ever is something that can be difficult to actually keep in the same DB range. It is something that has to be assigned basically on creation so be careful and mindful of that. Some engines like construct2 can have you modify the DB range appon playing which can be nice but keep in mind it is not accurately measuring DB, it is just allowing a modifiable scale. 1.0 for a sound in construct 2 is the same as if you were to play the default sound so you might want to test your sounds pre-exporting into your game and make sure they are all the same volume range, and modify them with sound editing programs. Goldenwave allows for this but goldenwave is a free-ware trail software basically.


The Reason why Pre-made sounds are the easy way to go:

Often they are created all in the same program for sound packs, often they avoid these issues, often they do work for somethings, often they do work with game engines. Keep in mind not all sound makers keep consistencies and they do not test their sounds always. It is just common practice to keep quality the same in each sound. Keep in mind sounds can mismatch and be fine but it is just something that has to be done right.

Making your own sounds is difficult but can also be worth it:

Making your own sounds places you in full control, and there are many methods to do it. From recording real life sound effects you made to making sound effects with a program.

Just keep in mind to compress your sounds, keep a consistent frequency range, bitrate, volume, compression, and format.

For example of a real life sound effect:
Reloading FPS Pistol sound: Take a Wii Mote, A perfectshot, quickly pop the wiimote out of the perfectshot; wait a quater second; pop it back in the perfectshot. Record that; edit it in sound editing software to match the already existing sounds ranges, done.

Many game engines, and gaming platforms  have these limitations pre-made for you, you will have to read up on documentation for them to make your sounds, and it may take a bit of work.

You can also make sounds for existing games like this, modify them, and replace sounds in games this way. I've done this with games deemed unmodible by many modding communities with the help of hexeditors aswell to trick games into playing sounds it shouldn't it is fun but very very very difficult. Some games use their own modified versions of already existing formats and just need frequency modifications and bitrate modifications. It depends on the game.

I use to make mods to the source engine & gold source games as well. HLDJ was fun while it lasted too. I used my sounds in my custom maps for hl1&hl2 mods & maps mostly.

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