Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Sample presentation at Installation

As mentioned previously we are using a lot of sampled sounds, narratives, and ambient sounds in the watertower work. Using simple triggers it is uneconomical in Half Life causing the engine to stutter and freeze. This could be solved using soundscape scripts, a sort of automated sample recall system using some predefined parameters but this hands over some creative control. We found it would be far more performative to trigger samples in an installation environment.
The advantage of such a system is that we can spatially position a sound where we want, manipulate volume, and add interesting effects such as delays and dynamic sample playback rate. With a large number of samples to chose from it means we can create a unique sonic experience for every instance of gameplay. Indeed its even possible to 'play' the samples like a musical instrument creating interesting textures and modulative interplay between samples.

List of samples:
sewing machine
chopping sound 1
chopping sound 2
chair squeeks
bed creeks
radio sound 1
radio sound 2
radio sound 3
dentist drill
ecg machine
plane flyover
grenade far away
grenade close
machine gun
cracked neck

I am using Max MSP to manipulate the samples in real time during gameplay. The patch is designed to allow each sample to be looped, panned left to right, panned up and down (in a quadratic speaker arrangement to create pseudo surround sound), slowed down, speeded up, and sent to a delay line.

*All patches are original and feature bespoke sub-patches for a front to back panner (including links to the delay line) and a linear volume panner that also acts as a limiter. Design by Lee Scott

Max Patch for bottom floor of Watertower simulation

Max MSP presentation mode for bottom floor of Watertower simulation

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