Ambience (/ˈambēəns/) Transition Test

Ambience is the blurring of designed emotion and reality, evoked through your subconscious.

The ability to create a parallel reality without questioning the origin or intention is a unique opportunity. As sound designers, we’re sonic architects with the ability to shape whatever emotion we chose. For game audio it is no longer a technical limitation, but a creative leap.

An ambience transition test… the concept is capturing a location without context. In post, conduct the emotion through processed elements and slowly introduce the locations actual sound. The equivalent to fading from black & white to color.

Specs:
Stereo 24bit / 96KHz
Fostex FR2
Rode NT4

Recorded in Lachine (Google Maps)

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!

Soundscapes, SPL and Standards

Was talking with a workmate earlier about environment sounds and why urban planners don’t spend more time designing our cities soundscapes. Perhaps stricter laws need to be enforced for SPL (sound pressure level) outdoors and not just in the workplace. A quick look at the Canadian laws regarding SPL: Levels of Sound – Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, Part VII.

And from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: “Sound is what we hear. Noise is unwanted sound. The difference between sound and noise depends upon the listener and the circumstances.” Great quote!!

If you have an interest in the affects of SPL in the workplace, education establishments and cities check out Julian Treasure’s TED talk below on encouraging designers to focus more on SOOOUND.