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:  
  • From 24/96 Sound Effects. Immersive Crowds in Motion features 58 HD 24 Bit / 96 kHz Surround Sound Effects with a large selection of Interior and Exterior moving crowds. Train stations, conventions, sporting events and more. Recorded with a Voyage Audio 2nd Order Spatial Microphone. Recording locations were centrally located within the crowd for better immersion. Intelligible words have been reduced or removed when possible.

    Mastered with ProTools Ultimate in 3 configurations: Ambisonic (Ambix 2nd Order (Wyzxrstuv), Atmos™ 7.1.2 Surround Sound (LRCLfeLssRssLrsRrsLtsRts) and Stereo (L-R). Most tracks are 2-3 minutes in length with embedded metadata. All-new, original recordings.

    Want a taste of what’s included? Download the O2A and 7.1.2 Surround Demo files here: https://tinyurl.com/ImmersiveCrowdDemo and try it out on your own system!

    10 %
    OFF
    Ends 1580943599
  • SCI-FI GUNNERY is a collection of high-quality futuristic gunshot sound effects.

    It features 330 sounds of anything from big artillery hydraulic guns to small ray blaster and handguns.

    Collection consists of 105 different weapons.
    Every weapon comes with 5-6 variations that have slightly different pitch (+/-0.4 semitones) and time alignment
    (+/- 15ms) for maximum realism.
    All SFX have baked-in Soundminer’s meta data.

    Download includes:
    96-192KHZ 24BIT version
    44.1KHZ 16BIT MONO version for Unreal Engine
    44.1KHZ 16BIT STEREO version for Unreal Engine

    RECORDED WITH: Sound Devices MixPre 6 + Sennheiser MKH8060 + ATE208 + DPA4060, PCM D100

    EDITED AND MASTERED WITH: RX, Pro Tools, Brufri, DMGAudio, Reaktor, Massive, Serum, Monark, Alto, Soundtoys, Live.

    20 %
    OFF
    Ends 1580857199
    Add to cart
  • Several waterfalls and rivers recorded in the Vosges Mountains in France.
    It tooks place in three different location: Cascade Charlemagne, Pont des Fées, Saut des Cuves.
    For almost every place, several microphones placements were used at close, medium and far distance.
    In addition to the 2 stereo microphone pairs, a hydrophone track is also available to allow you to modulate the low end and to add more movement.

    Gear used:
    Sound Devices 788T
    MKH8020 stereo pair
    MKH8040 stereo pair
    JRF hydrophone
    Add to cart
  • Cars Porsche Macan S 3.0 V6 Play Track 200+ sounds included, 354 mins total $150 $130

    The Porsche Macan S 3.0 V6 sound library features 198 high-quality files recorded with a multi-mic setup. The Engine was recorded in sync with interior cabin ambient, and you can expect different styles of driving. From casual city driving, through accelerations on a highway up to rpm ramps and constant rpm loops for game audio.

    In addition to engine recordings, this sound effects library features exterior passes, whooshes and other road-related sounds recorded in mono and stereo on dry asphalt.

    Last but not least, different foley were recorded to cover exterior and interior activities. In addition to designed onboard recordings, there are also premixed stems for the engine, intake and exhaust and RAW files, of each microphone without any post-processing.

    13 %
    OFF
    Ends 1580597999
    Add to cart
  • Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are all around us, they are everywhere and each electronic device produces them. Imagine a whole new world hidden from us. It is time to lift the veil of secrecy and look into it.

    This library contains raw electronic sounds – a perfect source for sci-fi movies, trailers, games, computer interfaces, experimental music or whatever you can think of. The frequency range of these sounds is impressive, it reaches 48 kHz allowing you to effectively manipulate their pitch and spectrum.

    All sounds are sorted into categories, such as: Glitch, Hum, Click, Movement, Distortion, Beep and many others, which makes it easy to navigate and choose not only by the recorded object but by the type of sound it generates. And last, but not least: this library was recorded with high-quality 96KHz/24bit.

    Equipment used:

    • LOM Audio Elektrosluch Mini City
    • Sound Devices MixPre 6

    Main features:

    • 134 raw electronic sounds with variations
    • Perfect source for all kinds of harsh noises, glitches, drones, movements, whooshes, beeps, hum, clicks, buzz, nasty distortions etc
    • Astonishing frequency range up to 48KHz
    • Created for further manipulation with spectrum and pitch
    • Recorded with high quality 96Khz/24bit
    • Categorized by types: Glitch, Hum, Click, Movement, Distortion, Beep and so on
    • Contains metadata for search engines

     

    52 %
    OFF
    Ends 1583017199
    Add to cart


Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 
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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:
 
 
  • Ice Frozen Play Track 809 sounds included $45 $23

    Frozen is a collection of ice impacts, scrapes, debris, slides and more taken during a miserably cold winter in the arctic tundra of Massachusetts. These recordings were meticulously recorded, edited, named, renamed, edited again, re recorded, then re-renamed (you get the point) to give you the best quality ice library you can get.

    The library roughly is broken into two sections, raw and processed. Raw is designed for sound designers to go wild with: stretch, distort, compress, and more to your hearts content. The processed section is for designers and content creators on the go. If you’re on a tight deadline, pulling some sounds that are already going to get you close to where you need to be is imperative. These processed versions play very nicely even when not designing ice.

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  • Get the sounds of exotic birds – a huge collection of seagull recordings – with the Birds Extension SFX library:

    The Birds Extension Pack

    This collection of sounds contains a nice variety of birds: 18 different species spread across 41 audio tracks – including Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Crow, Goose, Great-tailed Grackle, Hen, Macaw Parrot, Magpie, Motmot Turquoise Sourcils, Nestor Kea Parrot, Peacock, Rooster, Snow Owl, Yucatan Woodpecker and more. The sounds have been recorded in Mexico, Finland and France. Seagulls available in a separate pack.

    The sounds have been recorded in 24bit / 96 kHz Stereo or Mono, the Mono tracks have been recorded with a wide-frequency response microphone (30 Hz to 50 KHz).


    Library specs: 41 tracks mono or stereo (mostly stereo) • 949 MB • 29 minutes total
     


    Chachalaca Group Scream (1:13)
    Crow 1 (1:12)
    Crow 2 (0:23)
    Crow 3 (0:06)
    Crow 4 (0:02)
    Crow 5 (0:03)
    Crow 6 (0:02)
    Crow 7 (0:01)
    Goose Finland (0:12)
    Great Curassow (0:09)
    Great Kiskadee 1 (0:14)
    Great Kiskadee 2 (1:18)
    Great Kiskadee 3 (2:41)
    Great Tailed Grackle, misc Yucatan exotic birds in background 1 (1:06)
    Great Tailed Grackle, misc Yucatan exotic birds in background 2 (0:14)
    Great Tailed Grackle, misc Yucatan exotic birds in background 3 (1:18)
    Great Tailed Grackle, misc Yucatan exotic birds in background 4 (0:10)
    Great Tailed Grackle, misc Yucatan exotic birds in background 5 (2:04)
    Great Tailed Grackle, misc Yucatan exotic birds in background 6 (3:17)
    Hen 1 (0:40)
    Hen 2 (1:05)
    Hen 3 (0:36)
    Hen 4 (0:38)
    Macaw Parrot (1:41)
    Magpie (1:03)
    Misc Finland (0:19)
    Misc Yucatan birds 1 (0:22)
    Misc Yucatan birds 2 (1:03)
    Motmot Turquoise Sourcils (0:30)
    Nestor Kea Parrot (0:28)
    Parakeets (1:00)
    Peacock Female 1 (1:13)
    Peacock Female 2 (0:36)
    Rooster 1 (0:47)
    Rooster 2 (0:06)
    Rooster 3 (0:13)
    Rooster 4 (0:09)
    Snow Owl France 1 (0:05)
    Snow Owl France 2 (0:15)
    Woodpecker (0:22)
    Yucatan Woodpecker Grackle in background (0:18)

    The Birds Extension Seagulls pack

    This collection of sounds contains 20 seagull tracks, and a nice Tern close-up recording. You will find a nice variety of seagulls vocalizations such as calls, scream, screeches. Some single close-up recordings and some large group recordings. All the sounds have been recorded in Finland and France.

    The sounds have been recorded in 24bit / 96 kHz Stereo or Mono, the Mono tracks have been recorded with a wide-frequency response microphone (30 Hz to 50 KHz).


    Library Specs: 20 tracks mono or stereo (mostly mono) • 371 MB • 14 minutes total
     


    Seagulls and Tern Close Tern (1:03)
    Seagulls Close Agitated Group 1 (0:29)
    Seagulls Close Agitated Group 2 (0:36)
    Seagulls Close Agitated Group 3 (0:16)
    Seagulls Close Agitated Group 4 (0:12)
    Seagulls Close Agitated Group 5 (0:22)
    Seagulls Close Single 1 (0:43)
    Seagulls Close Single 2 (0:39)
    Seagulls Close Single 3 (0:30)
    Seagulls Close Short Screechs (0:08)
    Seagulls Close Long Screechs 1 (0:42)
    Seagulls Close Long Screechs 2 (0:21)
    Seagulls Close Screechs 1 (0:36)
    Seagulls Close Screechs 2 (0:40)
    Seagulls Close Screechs 3 (0:43)
    Seagulls Close Screechs 4 (1:07)
    Seagulls Close Screechs 5 (0:30)
    Seagulls Large Group fight for food (2:34)
    Seagulls Call (0:48)
    Seagulls and Fledging (1:47)

    Birds Extension Bundle

    Contains both packs above, at a special price!


    Bundle Specs: 61 tracks mono or stereo • 1.32 GB • 44 minutes total

  • The Exotic Birds sound effects library is a unique collection of 24 different species of exotic birds. It features birds like flamingos, parrots, parakeets, crane, crow, ibis, peacock, and many others.

    EXOTIC BIRD SPECIES INCLUDED:

    Bali mynah • Black headed ibis • Canada goose • Chilean Lapwings • Collared parakeet • Crows • Grey parrots • Grey winged trumpeter • Guira Cuckoo • Indian peacock • Kookaburra • Little bustard • Macaw parrot • Moorhen • Palm nut vulture • Paradise crane • Parakeet mouse • Red breasted goose • Red flamingos • Senegal parrots • Southern screamer • Superb starling • White naped crane

    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • From 24/96 Sound Effects. Immersive Crowds in Motion features 58 HD 24 Bit / 96 kHz Surround Sound Effects with a large selection of Interior and Exterior moving crowds. Train stations, conventions, sporting events and more. Recorded with a Voyage Audio 2nd Order Spatial Microphone. Recording locations were centrally located within the crowd for better immersion. Intelligible words have been reduced or removed when possible.

    Mastered with ProTools Ultimate in 3 configurations: Ambisonic (Ambix 2nd Order (Wyzxrstuv), Atmos™ 7.1.2 Surround Sound (LRCLfeLssRssLrsRrsLtsRts) and Stereo (L-R). Most tracks are 2-3 minutes in length with embedded metadata. All-new, original recordings.

    Want a taste of what’s included? Download the O2A and 7.1.2 Surround Demo files here: https://tinyurl.com/ImmersiveCrowdDemo and try it out on your own system!

    10 %
    OFF
    Ends 1580943599
  • SCI-FI GUNNERY is a collection of high-quality futuristic gunshot sound effects.

    It features 330 sounds of anything from big artillery hydraulic guns to small ray blaster and handguns.

    Collection consists of 105 different weapons.
    Every weapon comes with 5-6 variations that have slightly different pitch (+/-0.4 semitones) and time alignment
    (+/- 15ms) for maximum realism.
    All SFX have baked-in Soundminer’s meta data.

    Download includes:
    96-192KHZ 24BIT version
    44.1KHZ 16BIT MONO version for Unreal Engine
    44.1KHZ 16BIT STEREO version for Unreal Engine

    RECORDED WITH: Sound Devices MixPre 6 + Sennheiser MKH8060 + ATE208 + DPA4060, PCM D100

    EDITED AND MASTERED WITH: RX, Pro Tools, Brufri, DMGAudio, Reaktor, Massive, Serum, Monark, Alto, Soundtoys, Live.

    20 %
    OFF
    Ends 1580857199
  • Several waterfalls and rivers recorded in the Vosges Mountains in France.
    It tooks place in three different location: Cascade Charlemagne, Pont des Fées, Saut des Cuves.
    For almost every place, several microphones placements were used at close, medium and far distance.
    In addition to the 2 stereo microphone pairs, a hydrophone track is also available to allow you to modulate the low end and to add more movement.

    Gear used:
    Sound Devices 788T
    MKH8020 stereo pair
    MKH8040 stereo pair
    JRF hydrophone
  • Cars Porsche Macan S 3.0 V6 Play Track 200+ sounds included, 354 mins total $150 $130

    The Porsche Macan S 3.0 V6 sound library features 198 high-quality files recorded with a multi-mic setup. The Engine was recorded in sync with interior cabin ambient, and you can expect different styles of driving. From casual city driving, through accelerations on a highway up to rpm ramps and constant rpm loops for game audio.

    In addition to engine recordings, this sound effects library features exterior passes, whooshes and other road-related sounds recorded in mono and stereo on dry asphalt.

    Last but not least, different foley were recorded to cover exterior and interior activities. In addition to designed onboard recordings, there are also premixed stems for the engine, intake and exhaust and RAW files, of each microphone without any post-processing.

    13 %
    OFF
    Ends 1580597999
  • Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are all around us, they are everywhere and each electronic device produces them. Imagine a whole new world hidden from us. It is time to lift the veil of secrecy and look into it.

    This library contains raw electronic sounds – a perfect source for sci-fi movies, trailers, games, computer interfaces, experimental music or whatever you can think of. The frequency range of these sounds is impressive, it reaches 48 kHz allowing you to effectively manipulate their pitch and spectrum.

    All sounds are sorted into categories, such as: Glitch, Hum, Click, Movement, Distortion, Beep and many others, which makes it easy to navigate and choose not only by the recorded object but by the type of sound it generates. And last, but not least: this library was recorded with high-quality 96KHz/24bit.

    Equipment used:

    • LOM Audio Elektrosluch Mini City
    • Sound Devices MixPre 6

    Main features:

    • 134 raw electronic sounds with variations
    • Perfect source for all kinds of harsh noises, glitches, drones, movements, whooshes, beeps, hum, clicks, buzz, nasty distortions etc
    • Astonishing frequency range up to 48KHz
    • Created for further manipulation with spectrum and pitch
    • Recorded with high quality 96Khz/24bit
    • Categorized by types: Glitch, Hum, Click, Movement, Distortion, Beep and so on
    • Contains metadata for search engines

     

    52 %
    OFF
    Ends 1583017199
 
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