Sound design within interactive media: A research study exploring sound design techniques that can be utilised to create sound for a video game.
Brief Description of Study
The aim of this study is to analyse sound design techniques within video games and to implement this knowledge by comparing the various methods with another. This investigation will be achieved utilising both recording studios and location recording equipment to create original sound for a variety of experiments.
The outcome of the experiments for this study will form a type of sound design reel, which will cover all the techniques learnt. This sound design reel can also be used within the future to show potential employers for this chosen industry a range of skills and knowledge acquired during this investigation study.
The main resources for this study include material and techniques from Sonnenschein (2001), Viers (2008) and Marks (2008) of which experimentations will be based upon. The investigation will be conducted using equipment such as the Zoom H4n portable sound recorder, computers mainly running Avid ProTools and a range of microphones.
The sound design techniques that will be utilised for this investigative study will include a truthful recreation of sound, a surrealism creation and a hyper-realism creation. Throughout this investigation the techniques will be created by location recording and/or studio based recording. The experimentations will be recorded with the use of an online wordpress blog and the sounds will be submitted to peers and experts to gain feedback, of which will then be applied to the sounds.
A Study Report will offer a commentary upon the analysis stage, the resultant experiments – which will be included in full in an Appendix – and upon the creations of the designed sounds. The report will conclude with an analyses of what was learned, what worked (and what did not) and what could be done more effectively in any future study.
This study is motivated by a desire to work within the video game industry as a sound designer.
Study Learning Outcomes
- Create and regularly update an online blog using wordpress.com.
- Create a literature survey summarising the literature relating to the techniques used within sound design.
- Prioritise techniques identified from the literature survey and devise experiments to implement the techniques.
- Identify and analyse the main topics of sound design within a video game.
- Prioritise the techniques identified from the analysis of sound design.
- Devise a range of experiments to implement the techniques identified from the analysis of video game sound design and create at least one experiment where two techniques are used to produce the same outcome.
- Write brief Task Reports (as word documents or posted to the blog) for each exercise/experiment – using the headings Aims, Method, Results, Conclusions – and include edited screen shpts, photos and other media.
- Create a soundcloud.com account an upload audio from all experiments.
- Create a vimeo.com account an upload video from all experiments.
- Select the techniques that are most effective from the study for each topic.
- Create a sound design showreel implementing techniques investigated in experiments culled from the literature survey.
- Upload the final showreel to vimeo.com.
- Create and deliver a presentation of the final outcomes to peers.
- Produce a cited, reflective report upon the investigation/creation and the experience of independent study that makes reference to appended exercises/experiments and to audio files accessible on soundcloud.com.
Peer Presentation of final outcomes.
Cited, reflective Study Report including appendices with links to online blog, audio and video storage.
Online blog at wordpress.com.
Audio recordings stored for access and comment at soundcloud.com.
Video footage stored for access and comment at vimeo.com.
Android wordpress and soundcloud apps.
Study Time Plan
1 1 Oct 2012 Prepare Study Brief/Create Literature Survey/Create online blog and soundcloud account
2 8 Oct 2012 Prepare Study Brief/Create Literature Survey
3 15 Oct 2012 Finalise and Deliver Study Brief to Supervisor
4 22 Oct 2012 Devise Experiments from literature review
5 29 Oct 2012 Presentation of Study Brief
6 5 Nov 2012 Finalise Design Brief Studies
7 12 Nov 2012 Create analytical experiments on sound design techniques
8 19 Nov 2012 Conduct, report upon and upload outcomes of experiments
9 26 Nov 2012 Conduct, report upon and upload outcomes of experiments
10 3 Dec 2012 Conduct, report upon and upload outcomes of experiments
11 10 Dec 2012 Conduct, report upon and upload outcomes of experiments
12 17 Dec 2012 Conduct, report upon and upload outcomes of experiments
24 Dec 2012 XMAS 1
31 Dec 2012 XMAS 2
13 7 Jan 2013 Conduct, report upon and upload outcomes of experiments
14 14 Jan 2013 Implement, analyse and refine created sounds
15 21 Jan 2013 Implement, analyse and refine created sounds
16 28 Jan 2013 Acquire Peer and expert feedback
17 4 Feb 2013 Write draft of final report
18 11 Feb 2013 Deadline: Draft Final Report
19 18 Feb 2013 Implement Peer and expert feedback and upload final blog posts
20 25 Feb 2013 implement draft report feedback
21 4 Mar 2013 Prepare final presentation
22 11 Mar 2013 Monday March 11th:
Presentation of Study
Friday March 15th: Deadline:
Final Report & Practical Outcomes
Human & Physical Resources
Middlesbrough College Recording Studios
Middlesbrough College Music Labs
Avid ProTools (and a range of plug-in processors)
Remote Recording equipment
Marks, A. (2008) The Complete Guide to Game Audio, 2nd Edition. United States of America: Focal Press.
Viers, R. (2008) The Sound Effects Bible, United States of America: Michael Wiese Productions
Sonnenschein, D. (2001) Sound Design: the expressive power of music, voice, and sound effects in ccinema, United States of America: Michael Wiese Productions