Game Audio at GDC 2019 Asbjoern Andersen


Like an alarm clock that rings and throws you bolt-upright out of bed, this year’s Game Developers Conference is swiftly upon us. Packed with more presentations that you can shake a stick at, this year’s hot tips focus on things happening outside the conference and are (mostly) accessible to anyone in San Francisco who is up for some good ol’ game audio. Here’s what’s happening!


Guest post by Damian Kastbauer



 
Sunday, February 26th
DesigningSound.Org Meetup
4:00pm-7:00pm

Maybe you’re hitting the town early, soaking up the San Francisco ambience. If you’re not too busy exploring the Musée Mécanique or drifting away with the Wave Organ, drop by the DesigningSound.org meetup on Sunday afternoon and kick the week off celebrating the scene with some of the folks behind this incredible resource.

RSVP recommended but not required. Details here.

Monday through Saturday
Sightglass Game Audio Podcast Meetups
7:00am-9:00am

Arriving bleary-eyed at 7am for coffee and conversation during the week at GDC is the best/worst thing you could do for yourself throughout the conference. Best, because the brew at Sightglass (7th & Folsom) is worth talking about for the rest of the year. They also allow a motley crew of game audio folks to ascend to their 2nd floor balcony and hold court and wax philosophically about the unfolding day’s game audio epiphanies. Worst, because 7-9am amirite? (I bet you don’t have anything else scheduled during that time though, do you?)

 
 
Monday through Friday
Carousel Con
Lunchtime (Behind the Carousel on the Grassy Knoll)
12:00pm-2:00pm

Brown-bag your way behind the carousel on the corner of 4th & Howard to the concrete stairs for an informal gathering of folks bursting with inspiration. This is a chance to stretch out in the sun (hopefully), grab a bite, and soak up some of the knowledge folks have gleaned throughout the morning’s presentations or adventures. Some of my favorite memories have come from deep conversations shared by anyone and everyone who coagulates. (Bonus points for the mass carousel ride at the end of Friday’s lunchtime.)
This year marks the first Carousel Con, a micro-talk formatted conference that will take place simultaneously off in a corner of the area and will feature speakers sharing their game audio knowledge (in short-form 10 minute bursts) with a circle of interested people. Organized by Matthew Marteinsson, Mike Csurics, Fryda Wolff (and a little help from me), there will be buttons, ribbons, and opportunities for folks to walk up and submit a talk for a chance to jump on the stump and share your passions.

Tuesday, February 28th
Audio Bootcamp
10:00am-6:00pm

Tuesday’s Audio Bootcamp signals the official start of the Audio Track at GDC and is a powerhouse of professionals prepared to submerge the packed room in a comprehensive game audio master class. Matthew Lee Johnston kicks it off with an alarm call for audio developers in his talk titled “GREAT AUDIO DESIGN: BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY” followed quickly by Tomas Neumann (one of the audio programmers on Overwatch) breaking down “AUDIO TECH 101”. We’re then treated to a presentation by Steve Green, Lead Sound Designer and Music Implementor, which leverages his experience on ABZÛ titled “INTERACTIVE MUSIC APPROACHES”. This takes us right into the “LUNCHTIME SURGERIES” where tables full of bootcamp attendees have an opportunity to chat casual-like with all of the presenters while noshing.

The afternoon lineup has some wonders to share! Khris Brown gets the crowd revved up with “FIGHTING LEGOS: AUDIO CHOREOGRAPHY FOR BATTLE DESIGN” which promises to be a workout of vocalization sound, and then Matt Piersall will demonstrate “PERFORMANCE BASED SOUND DESIGN” drawing from his experience creating sound for AAA games. One of the forerunners of VR Audio, Sally Kellaway, will be speaking on “APPROACHING AND DESIGNING AUDIO FOR INTERACTIVE VR APPLICATIONS” and will be sharing experience gleaned from her time working in VR, and then Leonard Paul will bring his considerable expertise as a game composer and educator to explain “DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO GAME MUSIC”. Rounding out the day is Bonnie Bogovich and her presentation “PARTY OF ONE: HOW TO BE ‘THE AUDIO DEPARTMENT'”. All-in-all, a tremendous breadth of information from every corner of the game audio universe. All of these are absolute musts!

 

Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • Foley Switch Play Track 124 sounds included $24 incl. vat

    124 recordings of various switches and buttons, flipped, pressed and clicked. This collection contains household light and lamp switches, radio buttons and a variety of other activate and click presses.

    Recorded in 2018 and 2019 with a stereo shotgun microphone.

    All sounds were recorded and edited at 24-bit / 96Khz resolution and mastered to broadcast quality, with only the best final sounds selected for this collection. Each audio file includes embedded meta-data.

    Add to cart
  • Whooshes Effective Trailer Risers Play Track 106 sounds included, 26 mins total $41.99 incl. vat

    Over 100 cinematic riser effects and epic buildups featuring distorted synths, eerie whispers, sci-fi glitches, hardcore guitars, dramatic reverses, drilling leads, and profoundly evolving textures. This original library is from the personal collection of trailer music composer Federico Soler Fernández (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” – “Middle Earth: Shadow of War” – “Halloween – 2018” – “The Predator 2018”)

    Add to cart
  • Animals & Creatures Botswana Play Track 49+ sounds included, 136 mins total From: $72

    Botswana Faunethic sound library is a unique collection of 49 sounds recorded through several national parks of the country (Okavango, Chobe,…). All these sounds has been recorded and produced with high quality equipment in multichannel.

    This collection offers a wide diversity of soundscapes and animals sounds such as:

    -Bush, savanna and forest soundscapes.
    -Hippopotamus grunt and vocals.
    -Elephants vocals, showering and drinking.
    -Zebras and impalas fighting.
    -Lion chasing an elephant during one night.
    -Birds and insects at different perspectives.
    -Villages

    If you want to hear more about this field recording trip, feel free to check this post.
    The multichannel version contains 40 tracks in native 4.0 and 9 tracks recorded in stereo only.

    This library provides authentic and interesting sounds, recorded with DPA, MBHO and Neumann mics powered by an Aeta 4minX.
    All Faunethic tracks includes metadata carefully edited, compatible with Soundminer, Soundly and Basehead.

  • City Life Shenzhen Play Track 53 sounds included, 266 mins total $47.99 $23.99 incl. vat

    Shenzhen is the first ever sound library of the Silicon Valley of China. Jzoo Sound invites you on the first ever audiological journey to the unique locations in Shenzhen that only locals know.

    This is a unique collection of sounds captured of various atmospheres at different times of the day. From energetic local farmer’s market, to howling subway tubes, to local middle school performance day, to old alleyways of a forgotten part of town.

    The library also contains many rhythmic elements, such as meat chopping, construction hammering, and ominous beeps. Not to mention the echoing Chinese announcements between two schools, and the cacophony of crying and construction in a forgotten alley. I hope this library will even meet your sound design needs, and ultimately show you a local and unique side of China.

    All recorded in 24 bit/96 kHz. Some recordings contain detail information above 20khz. The library is passionately described emotive words, and all the recordings are fully tagged with metadatas compatible with Soundminer, Basehead and Soundly.

    Gear Used: Roland R26, four channel built-in microphones (OMNI and XY), four channels merged down to a stereo file.

    Shoot me an email if you have any questions: shiheng_xu@emerson.edu

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1561845600
    Add to cart
  • Twisted Reality – Drones & Other Worlds, brings you 50 dark, twisted, ominous and magical drones / underscores for all your sound design needs. Perfect to create that unworldly atmosphere in your theatre show, film or game. Made from original field recordings and twisted into something quite different, the styles vary from monotone drone to full soundscape. All styles covered from, the condemned man's last walk, to the Snow Queen's, Ice Palace, and with most of the files over 3 mins, there should be plenty there to cover your scene.

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1561845600
    Add to cart

Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

Wednesday, March 1
IASIG Meetup @ Thirsty Bear (661 Howard St)
6:00pm-9:00pm

The IASIG continues to throw one of the best-attended parties during GDC at the Thirsty Bear. For over 20 years, the organization has been a lightning rod for technically-minded interactive audio folks and has been at the forefront of standardization and publications. Mingling with some of the finest minds after the first full day of the Expo Hall is sure to inspire some engaging conversations about some of the exciting things on the show floor. How do the new Nuendo 8 game audio workflows look? What fun is to be had with the new Wwise Authoring Application API? Is there a demo (and how long is the line) for the Valve “Steam Audio” Solution? This will be the first chance to dig deep after submerging in the newest offerings, and it’s a great group of folks to get down with.

Wednesday, March 1
Game Audio Karaoke (177 Eddy St)
Pandora Karaoke
8:00pm-11:00pm

Follow the sound of wild falsetto and pitch-perfect celebrity vocal impressions to the first official(?) Game Audio Karaoke night. Organized by Luca Fusi, this is exactly the kind of bonding experience you might be looking for after a long day of hustle and flow. Bring your setlist, jump in the cue, and sing your life!

Wednesday, March 1
17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards
6:30pm-8:30pm

The glitz and glam of the Game Developers Choice awards Wednesday night is the hot-ticket to see all of the coolest indies and accomplished developers. With the comedy of Tim Schafer and wit of Nina Freeman celebrating Oscar-style across every game genre and specialty, it’s the perfect opportunity to soak up some paparazzi and party like a game developer rock star.

Thursday, March 2
15th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards
7:30pm-9:30pm

The focus on Game Music and Audio makes this an event worth attending. A room full of folks all looking to honor the accomplishments of the last years game audio accomplishments: what could be better than elevating the art of audio to make you feel like part of something much bigger than yourself. This is a great feeling to cultivate because you’ll find that the conference is a great way to understand the role you play (or could play) in developing games.

Friday, March 3rd
SoVGA Meetup – The Hall SF (1028 Market)
5:00pm
Friday Night Foley
(Coordination)

The School of Video Game Audio has been inviting folks for a final hurrah on the last day of GDC in what has become a final meeting before the explosion of a thousand tiny stars that signals the end. Wobble out from the lobby of Moscone one-last-time with people who will be reticent to let the good vibes and experiences go. It’s a time to plan for later in the evening, or for the future of game audio.

Cody Predum & Emily Meo are pulling together an open invitation to let loose on the streets of San Francisco as a wild pack of sound designers with portable recorders. I imagine hanging off fire escapes to capture the perfect squeak, cardboard box physics impact simulations, and plenty of camaraderie. Find them at the SoVGA Party and climb on board…and don’t forget your recorder!

There’s just too much, and there’s something about the max-saturation, living-in-the-moment slip-stream that makes the best laid plans superfluous. So bring your flexibility, your dynamic personality, and above all your kindness and compassion. The best thing is to go with the flow.

See you on the other side!
Damian

A big thanks to Damian for all the great information!
 

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THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
 
  • Mechanical Gizmo Play Track 2500+ sounds included, 244 mins total
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    $150 incl. vat

    Gizmo is a mechanism library for designing mechanical actions in machinery without the engines. This library covers the gambit of steam, ronks, clicks, clanks, clunks, servos and all sorts of mechanical actions from various props.

    Unlike most libraries, this one was recorded at 192 with a stereo pair of Sanken CO100k microphones for extreme lossless pitching, so you can take something small like a typewriter, and make it sound like a massive printing machine.

    Add to cart
  • Animals & Creatures Animal Hyperrealism Vol II Play Track Over 2000 sounds included
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    $204 incl. vat

    Animal Hyperrealism Vol II is a library containing sounds themed animal vocalisations, from real to designed creatures totaling more than 2000 individual sounds in 283 files.

    The sounds were partly recorded with animals trained for media production, partly recorded in zoos and wildlife centers. The asset list includes but is not limited to: amur leopards, bottlenose dolphins, californian sealions, pacific walruses, red ruffed lemurs, owls, parrots, dwarf little fruit bats, hamsters, guinea pigs and many more.

    The content has been recorded at 192KHz with a Sanken CO100K plus a Sennheiser 8050 for center image and a couple of Sennheiser MKH8040 for stereo image.
    A special section of the library features samples recorded at 384KHz. For these sounds an additional microphone was employed, specifically the CMPA by Avisoft-Bioacoustics which records up to 200 KHz. This microphone was actually used to record most of the library but the 384KHz format was preserved only where energy was found beyond 96KHz not to occupy unnecessary disk space.
    All files are delivered as stereo bounce of these for mics, though in some instances an additional couple of CO100K was added to the sides.
    The resulting ultrasonic spectrum is rich and allows for truly extreme manipulation of the content.

    Bonus: Two extra libraries included for free:
    This library also includes two additional releases from Mattia Cellotto - for free: Crunch Mode delivers 230 crunchy sounds made with a variety of vegetables, fresh bread, pizza crust and a selection of frozen goods. The Borax Experiment gets you 158 squishy, gory, slimy and gooey sounds.
    Add to cart
  • Nature & Countryside Nature Roomtones: Deserts Play Track 44+ sounds included, 116 mins total
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    $70.80 incl. vat

    • In Nature Roomtones: Deserts, get a collection of ambiences with zero wildlife and barely audible wind. Hear the nothingness of desert plains and open sparseness of mountain valleys resonated by barely audible wind. Hear wildlife-free, natural roomtones from 44 different locations perfect for your post-apocalyptic productions or as atmospheric beds for any type of environment.

    • This library offers you an extensive collection of ambiences with sparse flora and zero fauna from winter nights in the desert. Hear the majestic sparseness of desert nights perfect for your dystopian adventure story.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased to offset my field recording travel for this library.

    KEY FEATURES:
    • 2-5 minutes clips from 44 different locations
    • Mountain valleys
    • Mountain ridge tops
    • Barely audible wind
    • Light wind with distant winter grass
    • Nothingness
    • Zero wildlife and insects
    • Zero water
    • Sparse foliage
    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View larger version or Download CSV
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 40+ testimonials for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files.
    What's the different between “nature roomtones” and “quiet nature” sound libraries? 

    Nature Roomtones: These are natural soundscapes with zero fauna, sparse flora, and sparse water. These recordings are location nonspecific because there is zero wildlife. As a result, these sounds can be used as a foundation for any natural environment you create.
    Quiet Nature: These are natural soundscapes with sparse fauna, sparse flora, and sparse water. These recordings are geographically linked to a place because of the wildlife present in the recordings.

    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser 8040s in ORTF
    • Sennheiser MKH 8040 and MKH 30 in MS
    • Sennheiser MKH50 and 30 in MS
    • Sound Devices 702
    • Rycote ORTF Blimp
    • Rycote MS Blimp
    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Foley Switch Play Track 124 sounds included $24 incl. vat

    124 recordings of various switches and buttons, flipped, pressed and clicked. This collection contains household light and lamp switches, radio buttons and a variety of other activate and click presses.

    Recorded in 2018 and 2019 with a stereo shotgun microphone.

    All sounds were recorded and edited at 24-bit / 96Khz resolution and mastered to broadcast quality, with only the best final sounds selected for this collection. Each audio file includes embedded meta-data.

  • Whooshes Effective Trailer Risers Play Track 106 sounds included, 26 mins total $41.99 incl. vat

    Over 100 cinematic riser effects and epic buildups featuring distorted synths, eerie whispers, sci-fi glitches, hardcore guitars, dramatic reverses, drilling leads, and profoundly evolving textures. This original library is from the personal collection of trailer music composer Federico Soler Fernández (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” – “Middle Earth: Shadow of War” – “Halloween – 2018” – “The Predator 2018”)

  • Animals & Creatures Botswana Play Track 49+ sounds included, 136 mins total From: $72

    Botswana Faunethic sound library is a unique collection of 49 sounds recorded through several national parks of the country (Okavango, Chobe,…). All these sounds has been recorded and produced with high quality equipment in multichannel.

    This collection offers a wide diversity of soundscapes and animals sounds such as:

    -Bush, savanna and forest soundscapes.
    -Hippopotamus grunt and vocals.
    -Elephants vocals, showering and drinking.
    -Zebras and impalas fighting.
    -Lion chasing an elephant during one night.
    -Birds and insects at different perspectives.
    -Villages

    If you want to hear more about this field recording trip, feel free to check this post.
    The multichannel version contains 40 tracks in native 4.0 and 9 tracks recorded in stereo only.

    This library provides authentic and interesting sounds, recorded with DPA, MBHO and Neumann mics powered by an Aeta 4minX.
    All Faunethic tracks includes metadata carefully edited, compatible with Soundminer, Soundly and Basehead.

  • City Life Shenzhen Play Track 53 sounds included, 266 mins total $47.99 $23.99 incl. vat

    Shenzhen is the first ever sound library of the Silicon Valley of China. Jzoo Sound invites you on the first ever audiological journey to the unique locations in Shenzhen that only locals know.

    This is a unique collection of sounds captured of various atmospheres at different times of the day. From energetic local farmer’s market, to howling subway tubes, to local middle school performance day, to old alleyways of a forgotten part of town.

    The library also contains many rhythmic elements, such as meat chopping, construction hammering, and ominous beeps. Not to mention the echoing Chinese announcements between two schools, and the cacophony of crying and construction in a forgotten alley. I hope this library will even meet your sound design needs, and ultimately show you a local and unique side of China.

    All recorded in 24 bit/96 kHz. Some recordings contain detail information above 20khz. The library is passionately described emotive words, and all the recordings are fully tagged with metadatas compatible with Soundminer, Basehead and Soundly.

    Gear Used: Roland R26, four channel built-in microphones (OMNI and XY), four channels merged down to a stereo file.

    Shoot me an email if you have any questions: shiheng_xu@emerson.edu

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1561845600
  • Twisted Reality – Drones & Other Worlds, brings you 50 dark, twisted, ominous and magical drones / underscores for all your sound design needs. Perfect to create that unworldly atmosphere in your theatre show, film or game. Made from original field recordings and twisted into something quite different, the styles vary from monotone drone to full soundscape. All styles covered from, the condemned man's last walk, to the Snow Queen's, Ice Palace, and with most of the files over 3 mins, there should be plenty there to cover your scene.

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1561845600
 
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