Sound-Design Challenge #1

Someone over on the Psy Producers Forum Facebook page suggested a regular sound-design challenge as an exercise.

The description was the sound of a swarm of electric birds in an impossible space. Check out my attempt here!

I started by recording multiple layers of my Roland Alpha Juno keyboard into the computer. The patch uses the filter going into self resonance with a high-speed LFO adjusting the cut-off frequency of the filter to get a moving squeaky sound. A bit bird like!

I played the notes in by hand un-quantised to get a bird like timing.

The rest of the sound-design is layers of effects in REAPER. There is a delay to fake the number of “birds” (eg. get more layers). Chorus to imitate more birds, and also to give it a classic sci-fi feeling (adding to the “impossible space”). Stuttery / glitch plugin is in the chain to give a robotic feeling. I imagine robot birds glitch and stutter. The final few effects are a few convolution reverbs, one using the impulse of a spring reverb: something a bit other worldly / not a realistic / not in the real world reverb for the “impossible space” part of the challenge.

Here it is over at my SoundCloud.

 – Wim

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Goa-Trance Tunes and Workflow

I have been writing GoaTrance lately. I have found having a rather strict workflow has helped me to complete songs. Working with hardware can force one to work in a more regimented way. My rough workflow is something like this:

 – Sketch MIDI arrangement using placeholder VST synth sounds. Also work on percussion. Export layers of percussion as audio.

 – Send MIDI to hardware synths and record into the computer.

– Do a few more passes of synths for effects, risers etc.

 – Final mix-down.

There are a few advantages of working this way. The workflow is helpful for me as I mentioned. Not relying on writing with the synths in real time means its somewhat easy to multitrack a monosynth. Both for multitimbrality, but also for polyphony.

Dealing with jittery MIDI is thing… Hopefully not too distracting or noticeable but worth looking into some tighter timing solutions…

I mix in the computer using REAPER. It’s practical. Lots of nice sounding effects is nice too. For the most part I only use the stock plugins.

Check ’em out:

https://soundcloud.com/astral-brain-tentacles/battle-incense-demo
https://soundcloud.com/astral-brain-tentacles/gong
https://soundcloud.com/astral-brain-tentacles/biochemical-images-demo

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The C++ rewrite is taking a while longer than I hoped (what in…

The C++ rewrite is taking a while longer than I hoped (what in game development ever doesn’t?) but it’s going very well. So far every catastrophic, game-breaking bug I’ve run into has ended up just being a one-line fix with my original algorithm having been perfectly sound.

Shown here is a simple one. Like a dumbass, I wasn’t providing camera roll to my view transform when rendering the skybox, so you get silly stuff like this happening.

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hypertensiongamedev: One thing I like about Blender is just…

hypertensiongamedev:

One thing I like about Blender is just how customizable it is. Here’s some add‑ons that I made that made my life easier when I’m making animations. I released all of these in MIT License so feel free to make use of them!

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ToggleGhostFrames.py: Re-assignable hotkey for toggling visibility of Ghost Frames for current Armature. By default it’s assigned to F. I use this to quickly see if the arc of my weapon swings look right. I got tired of having to use the GUI for this, cause it’s taking me out of the zone when I want to concentrate on the animating, so I made a hotkey for it.

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RestPoseToggle.py: Re-assignable hotkey for toggling between Rest and Pose Mode for selected Armature. By default it’s assigned to Shift-Q. This is just one of those things that I felt like having when I’m working on the rig.

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SelectedKeyframesLength.py: Show number of frames of selected keyframes. Info is displayed at the rightmost area of the Dopesheet Header. I use this to check how long my attack swings or recovery periods are, so when I’m making an attack combo where I want the swings to take the same time, I use this.


If you need help installing Blender add-ons, here’s a simple guide:
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  1. Open your User Preferences window
  2. Go to the Add-ons tab
  3. Click on the “Install from File…” button at the bottom and choose the file. It may be a .py file, or a .zip or .rar archive (you can select archives and Blender will extract it automatically for you).
  4. To see the new addons, you may need to view only the “Testing” level add-ons. Or you could search for it by name using the search textbox at that upper-left area.
  5. Once you find the add-on you want, click on their checkbox at the upper-right corner to enable them.
  6. Click on “Save User Settings” so that Blender remembers your enabled add-ons.

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Rewriting the engine in C++

Just checking in, as I haven’t posted anything in a few weeks, I’m currently in the middle of completely rewriting the game in C++ and it will likely be about a month or so still before visual progress resumes.

To make a long story short, some of you who’ve played the demos in the past may have noticed that the game occasionally stutters, freezing for a split second in the middle of gameplay. This is caused by a memory leak in the collision code for characters that I was putting off, having recently tried to fix it I realized there was no straight-forward way of fixing it without spending weeks studying Bullet and JNI just to get a single physics object to reset its state properly.

It had been my intention to rewrite the engine in C++ after the initial release as it’s the only way I’d consider doing any kind of multiplayer. While I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll actually add any network features, I was never going try doing it with LibGDX. As I’m now rewriting the whole thing anyway, I can plan around this future capability when I’m putting the game back together.

Stay tuned and have fun!

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