Sounds Of Croatia

The sounds of Croatia was captured from August 25-30 2014. The recordings take you through nine locations, ranging from 7:00am to 1:00am. The never-so-distant sound of crickets gives Croatia a unique charm that can only be heard.

Stereo 24bit / 96KHz
Fostex FR2-LE
Line-Audio CM3’s in ORTF

Tutorial: Create Your Own ORTF Field Microphone Protractor

Here’s how to create your own custom ORTF field protractor that contains both 110 degrees and 17cm.

1. Download the docx file.

9. Rec.

Poll: Field Recorder Shootout

My good friend Michel Marchant, sound design guru,  has built a fantastic portable recording rig. This allows him to simultaneously record with up to four devices. He sent me files about a week ago and asked that I identify my favorite one. He allowed me to share them and see what the community thinks!

After listening to the audio files below, select your top recording in the poll. After voting click here to look behind the curtain.

The Awkward Shootout: XY vs MS

At Funcom we have access to a few microphones that cover our general recording needs. I’m putting some of them to the test to see what options and combinations can be used in the field. I chose two locations that have distinct tones to try and capture the microphones characteristics. Why awkward? Well it’s not the usually suspects when it comes to shootouts specifically MS. Let’s have a listen!

Location 1 – Recorded off of Ste-Catherine street west, between Bishop and Mackay Street. (Google Maps)
0:00 XY – RØDE NT4
1:02 MS  – RØDE NTG3 (mid) AKG 414 (side)

Location 2 – Recorded in the Funcom office at 1440 Ste-Catherine street west (Google Maps)
0:00 XY – RØDE NT4
1:02 MS  – RØDE NTG3 (mid) AKG 414 (side)

Conclusion: One of the reasons people use MS recording technique is because of the wide stereo image. These examples also show how narrow the NT4 is, small compromise for a portable stereo solution. I also really like the frequency response of the MS kit, nice full and round. Let me know if you put together an uncommon MS kit would love to hear it!

24 Hour Day Cycles

FieldThe concept of recording and using proper day periods within a video game world has always attracted me. By proper I mean capturing a locations actual 24 hour cycle, as opposed to recreating typical soundscapes in post. It’s a concept that’s not always feasible because a) the time required to record and b) library material not always containing same locations at different times of day.

Roomtone is roomtone no matter what time. You may choose to add occluded traffic if in a city apartment, but generally you can build it in post-production. When it comes to forests, jungles, cities, mountains, etc the time of day influences the tone and believability. Mostly through wild life, insects, wind intensity and distant sounds.

This past weekend I decided to test out this concept. I grabbed some gear and hiked outside a small village near Quebec city called St-Antoine-De-Tilly (about 2h30 drive from Montreal). I recorded in four different locations at four different times of day: 5AM, 11AM, 5PM, 11PM. This allowed to build a small library of forest sounds throughout a 24h cycle. An interesting analogy is the way my voice timber changed throughout the day while slating location and time… similar to the way the environment did!

Now that I have my sounds recorded and edited let’s see how we can put these sounds to use in some game audio! Excerpts below.

Stereo 24bit / 96KHz
Fostex FR2
Rode NT4

9th Floor Drones

Grinder – Stairwell – Recording gear9th Floor Drones

Had a chance to record an occluded mechanical grinder throughout our buildings twelve stories. One of the most interesting sounds was in the stairwell, walking up and down each floor was like adjusting the wet / dry mix.

Over 45 minutes of audio was edited using different mics and perspectives. How to turn an awful sound into library 101.  Here are some samples of the recording to download.

Mono 24bit / 96KHz
Fostex FR2
Rode NT4, NTG3

Sounds of the Tour de l’Île de Montréal 2013

pic_tdl_bnwThis was my second Tour de l’Île (a 50 Km bike tour starting at boulevard Saint-Joseph and ending at the Olympic stadium) with my friend Mich3D. This time around I brought my Zoom H2, strapped it down to my handlebar and hit REC.

The combination of riding a fixed gear with barely any mechanisms and a good tune up the night before, allowed for little noise to be heard while biking… Putting you amidst the other cyclists! All sounds recorded while riding until 2:06, whereby a live band can be heard marking the activities awaiting along the way.

More than 25,000 cyclist showed up for this years event.

Stereo 24bit / 48KHz
Zoom H2

Tutorial: How to Configure Schoeps Double MS Plug-In in Cubase and Nuendo

I decided to write a quick guide to help you get set up with Schoeps Double MS Tool plug-in in Cubase and Nuendo. The only guide I found was in German and our ol’ pal Google provided me with a confusing translation. However thanks to my German friend Daniel, “Front: Nach ganz link” became “Front: To the far left” and not “Front: link to the whole”. Let’s get started!

Download and install the Double MS Tool for VST Windows/Mac here.

1) Launch Nuendo or Cubase
2) Create an empty Project
3) Add three mono audio tracks in the project
(to keep things simple name the tracks as front, side, rear)
4) Import the files into the appropriate tracks
5) Add a Group 5.1 track and route the Group track to your 5.1 output (if you don’t have a 5.1 output create one from the VST Connections or F4)
6) Route the mono tracks to the 5.1 group and configure the individual channels
as follows (also refer to the images below):
Front: To the far left
Side: To the far right
Rear: Center
7) Insert the Schoeps Double-M / S Tool BF plug-in in the 5.1 group track.
8) Now test out your configuration. Schoeps provides audio samples of outdoor ambiences, concert recordings and a couple test signals. Check them out here.  A good starting point is the Double M/S Test signal: sine bursts reproduced clockwise between 0° and 360°.
9) Enjoy

Channel Configuration
Channel Configuration

*** For Double MS recording tips and techniques make sure to check out these blogs:

Rene Coronado – Quad and Dual MS Technique

Tim Nielsen – MS Recording via DesigningSound

Brian Gilbert – Double MS Technique

Hauptmikrofon – Berlin Ambience Techniques

Schoeps – Double MS Plug-In Overview