playingangrybirds

Creating in 2011: A Composers’ View of Mobile Game Audio, From Trends to Slot Machine Sound Design

Pay attention to those Angry Birds. They could be a sign of upcoming gigs, composers and sound designers. Photo (CC-BY) Johan Larsson. Composer/sound designer Ben Long has a resume of work on dozens of games. Here on CDM, he shares the topic on which he recently addressed GDC China: mobile. If mobile game audio is going to rise to people’s expectations, it’ll have to get past rushed developers and hardware obstacles, including revisiting the whole mono/stereo debate. Ben lets us know his insider take on that landscape, and shares with us the process for designing sounds for virtual slots. Everyone, …

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fx

Moog’s Filtatron for iPhone Indispensable in Pocket; 1.1 New Features

What good is a sound app on a phone or iPod, really? Just ask a Filtatron user. As with plug-ins and desktop software doodads, I find out of the sea of apps on iOS, a tiny handful are genuinely useful. But those select few can prove indispensable. I would count the Moog Filtatron in that category. Sure, in case there was any doubt, the app contains a subtle link to the Moog hardware catalog, an effort to upsell you to the company’s sound gear. And sure, owners of said gear might turn up their nose at the idea of something …

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portastudio

Portastudio on iPad, with Faux Cassette, and Everything Old is New Again

If it’s an iconic piece of hardware or software, there’s at least a decent chance you could be seeing it in virtual iPad form soon. Tascam’s Portastudio, released today, is a particularly striking example. The famed, budget cassette multitrack recorder, the box on which countless demos and quick songwriter creations was forged, appears on Apple’s tablet. There’s even a fake cassette tape, which I have to say is a little bit unnerving. This is all nostalgia, right? Well, no, actually: those big, simplified plastic controls and memorable layout work because they’re so easy to use. The problem with a lot …

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Wintry Samples: Recording Snow, Free Snow and Ice Drum Samples, Gnomish Choirs

Photo: Frank Bry, courtesy his blog The Recordist. It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For some of us, there’s little need to remind us of snow and ice. But if you fancy adding some frozen sounds to your music, we have both free samples and expert recording tips to help get your cold on. Frank Bry, a master sound designer, apparently has plenty of access to snow in his home of Idaho, but that hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for the white, fluffy stuff. He’s devoted an entire library to Ultimate Snow with some 300 locations. You can read an interview …

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Sound Design, in Video: DesigningSound.tv

“HALO: REACH” Game Audio Profile from Michael Coleman on Vimeo. Our friends at Designing Sound have been rocking out on that site, with extraordinary original and linked content for sound designers, ranging from work on games, broadcast, and films to sonic exploration for the curious field recorder or producer. (Designing Sound is hosted by CDM and Noisepages – hence the new template, which will benefit from some corrections we’re making over the coming days.) Now, they’ve launched a second site just to pull together video content. If you love sound design of any kind, get ready to curl up on …

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Ten Music Technologies to Be Thankful For Right Now

Photo (CC-BY-ND Dave/riptheskull. Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers. I was thinking about technologies for which I’m particularly thankful, some non-obvious, some perhaps so obvious they might be easily be taken for granted. Each I hope represents some opportunities for others. At the risk of starting a Thanksgiving roast, in no particular order, here are the ones foremost in my mind in the waning days of 2010.

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Music Made with Bees, Free Sample Set, and Why You Should Care

I’m late in posting this, but it’s too good to pass up – our friend Troels Folmann sends us his latest sound design experiment, this time with bees. Better audio: Bees by Tonehammer Specs: 200-230 wing flaps per second (hence the tone) Top speed: 15 mph. Compound eyes with thousands of tiny lenses plus simple eyes. A life form with 20,000 known species, on which human life depends Availability: with our protection, a long, long time. Without, we’re toast. There’s also a free bee sample set for use with Kontakt or (via WAV) any other tool. [Download link, .rar ] …

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Exclusive Leak: Moog Music Make Filtatron, an iPhone Filtering, Effects, and Sampling App

The Moog app sits on my iPod touch, next to its analog predecessor Moogerfooger. Yeah, okay, I still like the knobs better, but it is fun, and the Moogerfooger doesn’t fit in my pocket unless I wear really silly-looking overalls. Moog Music, they of the normally analog-only gear, have built their first iOS application. We’ve acquired exclusive details of the innards of the app, and I’ve been testing it today on my (second-generation) iPod touch. Blasphemy? Perhaps, but it’s a nicely-designed little application, and with audio input capability, could turn your Apple handheld into a tiny recording and effects-processing unit …

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Sonic Terrain, a New Site Dedicated to the Art of Field Recording

What’s in your bag? Photo courtesy Nathan at Sonic Terrain. If you want some hope that good things can happen online, look no further than Designing Sound, a blog/online magazine by Miguel Isaza and Jake Riehle. They’ve built a place where pro legends regularly rub shoulders with newcomers eager to learn more. Now, Miguel has a new site, entitled Sonic Terrain, that promises to do the same for the “art, science, and craft of field recording.” Whereas Designing Sound focused on sound for visual media, Sonic Terrain is really for anyone who wants to take a mic out into the …

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Real for Reel: The Amazing Sherlock Holmes Experibass, and More Winter Cinema Sounds

Sometimes, the best sounds come not from synthesis, not even from electrified instruments, but from the purity of a mic and acoustic instrumentation. It remains electronic, or even digital sound, but its source is organic. And so, one of the best reasons to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie in theaters is the wonderful noises that bounce around Hans Zimmer’s score. Behind many great film scores are great soloists as much as great composers, and Sherlock Holmes is no exception. Zimmer worked with Diego Stocco, sound designer, sound artist, inventor, and composer in his own right. To realize the inner …

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