04/09/2015 Acoustic Improvements: #1

For a while I was unsure if would stay in Munich for much longer and therefore didn't invest in some proper room acoustics treatment for my work space. Well, things have changed. Time to get down to business and dive into to realm of room acoustics (I'd like to add at this point that I'm in no way an expert in this area, this will be a learning process for me as well!).

Setup & Room Dimensions

I don't have the luxury (yet) to have a dedicated work space so I'm using one of the rooms of my flat as my homestudio. Here's a 3 dimensional layout of my room I created using Googles Sketchup. As you can see my room is relatively small.

Due to the positioning and dimensions of my desk I am in a situation where one speaker directly faces the short wall of the room and the other one is orientated towards the long end. This un-symmetrical setup probably creates all kinds of problems at my listening position. Rotating the desk isn't an option because I'm using this room for other things as well and this is like the one layout that's not wasting too much space.

First Measurements

Luckily a friend of mine owns a Behringer ECM 8000 measurement microphone, so I didn't have to buy one myself.
As my program of choice I decided to use the well known Room EQ Wizard.

These are the results of my first measurements in my completely untreated room. As you can see I have severe problems in the low end and the waterfall diagram shows that the decay times are really really bad.

Frequency Response:

Waterfall Diagram:

What Next?

I am well aware that it's going to be difficult if not impossible to create a "perfect" mixing environment in this room. But it sure can be improved by a lot! First I am going to tackle the decay issues by getting some broadband midrange absorbers for the walls and the ceiling and maybe some corner bass traps. Then I'll measure again and take it from there. Another option would be to use some sort of room matched EQ in the monitoring path of my DAW to tackle the bass problem (Reaper has a Monitoring FX chain). I am certainly going to experiment with this idea.

01/09/2015 ReCap August

Hey again! Time for another quick monthly recap! In short:

  • I went to Gamescom 2015
  • Reaper 5 is out! Yay Lua scripting!
  • I'm taking part in a GameAudioJam
  • re-organized my workspace & planning for some room acoustic treatment.
  • one new track

Gamescom 2015

I attended Gamescom 2015 earlier this month and I had a blast! It was actually my first Gamescom and it surpassed all of my expectations. I met a lot of cool new people like Felix Pulmano from Guns For Hire, who did the Sound Design for The Flock.

I especially enjoyed hanging around at the Indie Booth as there where lots of cool games to be seen and played. Like for example The Flock, which I already mentioned, Dieselstormes, Deliver Us The Moon, Submerge and Epistory just to name a few.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the GDC Europe which was a couple of days earlier. But I plan on attending both conventions next year!

Reaper 5 is out!

This month my new favorite DAW received a major version update and I love it! Among my favorite new features are per item FX automation, the new theme and the new video features and of course the new integrated Lua scripting!

For a detailed overview of all the new Reaper 5 goodness head over to the Tour Of New Features In Reaper on the Reaper Blog. If you haven't tried Reaper I highly recommend you check it out!

GameAudioJam! I'm in!

There's currently a #GameAudioJam happening on GameJolt organized by Atsiitech.The goal is to create a game that focuses on the audio/sound in creative ways.

I decided to give it a shot using Phaser and ToneJS. Things are coming along nicely so far given that I'm not a pro programmer and that this is really my first attempt at creating a game solely by myself. My idea revolves around procedural generated audio where the player represents a Synth. I am still not sure about the game mechanics but I hope I can come up with something fun! Here's what I have so far (make sure to enable audio in the lower right of the video):

The Game Jam ends on Sep 16th, so there's still time to jump aboard! Lets #gameaudio together!

Workspace updates!

I wasn't 100% happy with how my workspace was setup for quite some time now and decided to move things around and see if I could find a way to arrange the room a little better. And as it turns out I could!

I am now researching my options for room acoustic treatment. I hesitated until now to fully commit on room acoustics because there's a chance that I would be moving somewhere else sometime "soonish". But now I know for sure that I'm gonna stay a little longer, so I'm definitely going to invest in some proper room treatment. I also plan on posting updates on my progress.

One New Track

I only managed to finish one track in August. I started writing on some other material but I was a little short on time to finish more. I tried myself on Trip Hop this time around.

27/07/2015 ReCap July

Hi again! Time for another monthly recap about what I've been up to during July! In short:

  • I won stuff!
  • I wrote a couple of new tracks and released some old ones under a CC license
  • I'm now on Patreon
  • I'll attend Gamescom 2015 (wanna hang out?)

A Winner Is You

I haven't won much in my life as of yet but July was a wild month because I won twice in a row!

First I won a coffee cup in the Sweet Justice Sound Competition and shortly after I won two sample libraries by Hzandbits Sound Effects. For a moment I considered playing the lottery to put my new lucky streak to the test :).

New Tracks & Free Tracks

I finished & uploaded some new tracks this month!

This one is a experiment between accoustic guitar and some orchestral elements. I am dabbling in the realm of orchestral music every now and then, trying to figure out how much I can get out of the Native Instruments Orchestral libraries that I own. Obviously I am not trained in classical orchestration so there's a lot to learn and improve!

This track started as a melody on my accoustic as well (I might want to record the original idea at some point) but then turned into this chiptunesque short track (it might feature the most annoying arpeggio line you've ever listened to).

At the beginning of the month I also decided to release a couple of tracks that didn't make into any project under a CC license for free on my soundcloud and on opengameart before they collect any more dust on my harddrive!

A couple of them already made it into fun little games. You can check them out here (the maker of Fling Em didn't use a loop though):

I plan to update the Soundcloud playlist and my OpenGameArt account regularly whenever I have a new track worth sharing.

I'm on Patreon

As a consequence of sharing some of my tracks / audio sound effects on OpenGameArt I decided to setup a Patreon account to give people the opportunity to give something in return if they so desire.

I plan to share tracks, single sound effects, atmos, and maybe even Ableton Live & or Synth Presets. I still have to decide on a schedule but for now I'm going with roughly one post per week.

Lets meet at Gamescom!

I'll be at the Gamescom 2015 in Cologne at the beginning of August. If you'd like to hang out and chat or maybe have a drink or two just drop me a mail! I'd love to meet some of my Game Audio peers there!

Until then have a nice time everyone!

29/06/2015 ReCap June

In short: I have a blog again!

I think it's been a little more than 7 years since I shut down my last blog and moved on to a static webpage! Now that I am going 100% Freelance I feel it would be a good idea to occasionally write about recent events and what I've been up to!

So without further ado lets jump into my recap of the last month June!

New Website

If you want to blog you need a blog engine or CMS. Wordpress was out of question. It's nice and all, but I don't like how wordpress themes work and I wanted something fresh and up to date that works well on all sorts of devices.

The static webpage I made prior to this one was build upon a theme from HTML5UP which used skel, which is a lightweight framework for building responsive sites and web apps and Font-Awesome (which is just awesome, no pun intended!).

This trio works so well that I definitely wanted to use it for my new blog theme too.

At first I tried a couple of Mardown and textfile based mini cms'es. But most of them had at least one thing I didn't like (like missing RSS feeds, or weird template engines).

Introducing Ghost!

I've never heard of Ghost before. But it's a simple publishing platform built upon NodeJs that uses Markdown. It's easy to setup (if you run your own server), easy to theme and does exactly what I want.

Adding skel to the theme and make it work across different viewports was very straight forward. The only thing left is cleaning up some of the unused CSS declarations to make the files a little bit smaller.

If you run your own server and are looking for a fast and lightweight CMS you should give ghost a try!

But enough of non-sound related stories!

New Music

After sorting out lots of the business related things I finally got around to finish some tracks again.

In this track I went for a Horror feel. It's very drone like and only has a small re-occurring slightly dissonant piano theme.

I should be easy for every one to guess where I drew my inspiration for this Sci-Fi Orchestral track!

Katana SFX Pack (Unity3D Asset Store)

That's right! I released a Katana SFX Sound Pack on the the Unity3D asset store.

This package contains 75 Mono/16bit/44.1kHz wav sounds of a real japanese Katana. It includes multiple variations of swings, draw-, sheath- and various impact sounds with other bladed weapons.

It also contains sweetener resonances for a more cinematic feel, accompanied with an example script/scene to showcase the usage of these sounds.

Phaser & Webkit Audio

I recently had a closer look at the WebGL Game Engine Phaser. I have a little idea for small game I like to make and Phaser seems like the perfect pick for this. My idea revolves around interactive/procedural audio. At first I tried to integrate WebPd, a Javascript runtime for Pure Data patches, but it had just too many limitations for what I wanted to achive.

For now I decided to exclusively rely on Webkit Audio for audio generation. For this purpose I was lucky enough to discover the wonderful Tone.js library. It comes with quite a couple of useful examples/scripts and I already have it integrated into Phaser.

I'll keep you posted in the development of this little pet project of mine!

That's it for the first monthly ReCap on my new blog! For now I don't wan't to integrate a discussion feature just yet. I am thinking about Disqus. But we'll see.

If you find some of my ramblings interesting just tweet at me!