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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Stereocilia Armor: Protect Your Hearing With Etymotic ER-20 Earplugs

I don’t think it would be presumptuous of me to think that readers of this site probably spend quite a lot of time at gigs. Whether on stage or in the audience, musicians (and VJs) spend plenty of time in loud environments. I find it quite surprising then, that relatively few of the artists I know use any kind of hearing protection. Stereocilia damage in mammals is permanent, and tinnitus is no fun. Most people know that cheap foam earplugs can help prevent damage, but few seem aware that a slightly larger investment can make gigs considerably more enjoyable. Etymotic …

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Gig Rigs: Girl Talk – PC, Plastic Wrap, and AudioMulch

Photo: Jordan Harris. Used on CDM by permission. Yes, for the record, that is a young woman screaming to the sounds of AudioMulch. Believe. Jordan Harris was able to snag some screenshots of Girl Talk’s rig. There’s not much to tell: a laptop, a mouse, and in a sign of the growing stature of Girl Talk (Gregg Gillis), some very practical plastic wrap to protect the machine. What’s unique about Gregg’s work is that this computer doesn’t clear out the room: it attracts screaming throngs of fans. Especially lady fans, proof that this does not have to be a sport …

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Ableton Live Demo Terms Get Still More Generous, Could Save a Gig

Quick! What do you do in an emergency when you need to re-authorize software for a gig? Good news: Ableton will not be “evil.” (see photo at right; thanks, Amanda.) It happens: a hard drive dies, or you lose an entire computer and switch machines. Now, in an ideal world with no copy protection, this wouldn’t be such an issue, but most of us are fairly resigned to some kind of copy protection being a necessary evil. There’s software we rely on that requires some kind of authorization or unlock, if not a hardware dongle. That means you need to …

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How to Record Laptop Performances – And Make Them Sound Live (Keyboard Mag)

We’re serious when we say laptop performances — the Moscow Laptop Cyber Orchestra (“CybOrk”), influenced by similar groups like Princeton’s PLOrk, uses laptops as instruments, augmented by alternative controllers. Here’s the surprise: when they record it, they intentionally treat it as you would an acoustic ensemble. Photo by Elena Krysanova. My feature story for Keyboard Magazine on recording live laptop performance is now available online at keyboardmag.com (as well as in the July print issue). When I got the assignment, I think my editor imagined futuristic, sci-fi like network recording, in which audio was streamed entirely virtually from players to …

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