Blog Post #2 – The creation of my very first sound file

Hello and welcome to my 2nd Blog post entry. This week I will talk about how I created the sound effect for the pitchfork swing and it hitting its target. The Pitchfork is the prefered weapon used by one of our enemies in the game we are currently creating and therefore, we needed a fitting sound for the attack animation.

As mentioned in my first Blog entry last week I am also the sound designer of my team Amarok and I am creating every sound in our game, aside from a few soundtracks which we outsourced. Since I had no experience in creating sound files, just like the other members of my team, I asked my friend and dear colleague Mikael Sukoinen for advice in terms of which program a beginner like me should use. He advised me to use the program Reaper a very potent software, which is available for free as an evaluation version. Since Mikael has worked as a sound technician prior to studying at Uppsala University, I trusted his expert opinion and acquired the software. NowI just had to familiarise myself with Reaper`s UI and basic functions. I did this mainly by watching video tutorials on YouTube. After the initial tutorials and a bit of playing around in the software itself, it was time to create my very  first sound file.

It was important to me, to create as many sound files and effects by myself, without relying on free externally produced sound files, as possible. Therefore, I tried to figure out how to create the sound of a pitchfork hitting the protagonist, who is a Witch flying on her magic broom. Another important point I had to take into consideration was that I had to make the sound effect last roughly as long as the animation i was creating it for, otherwise it would sound out-of-place by not being synced to the motion of the enemy character.

After a session of brainstorming I came to the conclusion that a normal fork would be a perfect substitute for a pitchfork and poking it against the wall of my room would create the perfect improvised sound of it hitting the Witch on her broom. I then captured several iterations of said sound with my headset microphone until I was satisfied with the captured result. Now, the only thing missing was the sound of the enemy actually swinging the pitchfork towards the Witch, which is basically a sound of air being pushed away. This kind of sound I created by simply blowing into my microphone and then adding some additional effects to it with the help of the FX (sound effect) modifiers in Reaper. I mainly changed the pitch of the swinging sound by heightening it.

The 2 sound tracks displayed in Reaper

All that was left now, was to cut, align and sync the two sounds, in order to have one coherent sounding effect. After a view different alignments and listening to the rendered outcome, while looking at the attack animation created by my lead artist, I finally had created a sound effect that I was satisfied with.

I am quite happy with the outcome and so was my team. It can of course still be improved and iterated upon, but I tried to judge my result based on the fact that i didn´t have any prior knowledge or expertise in creating sounds. For the future I plan to get more comfortable with Reaper and it´s additional functions in order to create higher quality sound files or even iterate on old projects such as this one.

This concludes my blog post for this week. If you want to find out how my adventure with team Amarok continues, just revisit the blog next week !



One thought on “Blog Post #2 – The creation of my very first sound file

  1. Hello Marcel

    Awsome blog post!
    You make it clear on what you have done with the sound and you why it’s there. Impressive that you did everything from scratch. The way you explain everything in detailed on how you started your little adventure to learn how to make sound is very compelling.
    The structure of the text is very clear. The what?, why? and how? is all explained and it’s easy to read.

    With that said I’m a little concerned with the result. With the sound being very monotonous and sounds plain. I haven’t seen the whole product and can’t see the big picture. But as I remember your game this enemy showed up quite a lot. Listing to that sound over and over again can easily make it boring. I’m just going to assume here (I know, the horror) that the witch will make a sound as well when getting hit. That might help with the hard sound of the pitchfork. But keep experimenting and take examples from how games present the sound from a thrusting spear and maybe play around with that. Since this sound is very hard and it really sounds like you are hitting a wall and not a witch.

    A great post and I’m really impressed with the work you have done so far. Keep experimenting and you will make the soundtrack great for your game!


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