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Surround necessary for game audio creation?
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SmokeandShadow
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#1
12th December 2012
Old 12th December 2012
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Surround necessary for game audio creation?

After working through the Avid learning series "pro tools 10 for game audio", I am left with a silly question that I may already have the answer to, but want to confirm...is a reference-grade surround setup unnecessary since sounds, music and dialogue are only mono or stereo and the in-game panorama is determined by the middleware/game engine? If this is the case, I can only see the benefit of a consumer grade surround setup for testing implementation. Of course, I still use a reference grade stereo monitor setup during creation and mixing/mastering.

I understand that dealing with dolby surround is another thread altogether and requires proprietary hardware.
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12th December 2012
Old 12th December 2012
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I have two answers really:

1. What you say makes some sense, a consumer grade system will certainly let you know how it will sound on that particular system. Not particularly useful for seeing how it'll work on other systems though. That is the aim of monitors.

2. Consumer systems aren't so good at helping you isolate problems in the audio. For example it won't help you with the LFE since consumer grade systems use bass management into a general sub.


I mix surround for all formats including games. I have a CMS40 based system at home for checking on smaller speakers and in a different environment; you could bring in one of these sort of setups for less than £2k. I also have a consumer system for a final check... Still do most of the work on the same SP1 system I mix movies score.
SmokeandShadow
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12th December 2012
Old 12th December 2012
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Thankyou Narcoman, I was not familiar with the focal CMS as used for a surround setup, and from the looks of it I could swing that. I'm at a point where I need to make budget concessions and narrow down to critical pieces and make this happen.
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22nd December 2012
Old 22nd December 2012
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I imagine (just from user experience), that surround in games is handled entirely different than in the audio world. IE. The surround is likely part of the engine itself in the game and is constantly being updated to 1) user location and 2) sound source location, all moving around in the 3D environment. I suppose there is some sort of mixer or data that is controlled by the code itself to produce a realtime experience.

I think the only time 'audio' surround would be used is in movie sequences and/or short clip scenes.

So I suppose there would be a need to understand the basics of the game engine mixer as well as typical surround production.
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22nd December 2012
Old 22nd December 2012
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That's true for in game stuff, but there is still score to mix.

Events are handled in bespoke middleware or FMOD,wWise or other products. very useful if it is one of those as we can test and work the mix here.
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1st January 2014
Old 1st January 2014
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gameplay surround will be handled by the game engine.

cut sequences are premixed and it could be a nice touch to provide the surround stems to the developer
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6th January 2014
Old 6th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeandShadow View Post
After working through the Avid learning series "pro tools 10 for game audio", I am left with a silly question that I may already have the answer to, but want to confirm...is a reference-grade surround setup unnecessary since sounds, music and dialogue are only mono or stereo and the in-game panorama is determined by the middleware/game engine? If this is the case, I can only see the benefit of a consumer grade surround setup for testing implementation. Of course, I still use a reference grade stereo monitor setup during creation and mixing/mastering.

I understand that dealing with dolby surround is another thread altogether and requires proprietary hardware.

My company Dark Winter Music does literally everything in 5.1 surround, and stereo. When we finalize everything whether it's a trailer cue, library cue, game score or anything there is always two versions. A 5.1 surround mix and a stereo mix. Gives clients everything they need in more. Bu that's just my company.
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6th January 2014
Old 6th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffreyvernon View Post
My company Dark Winter Music does literally everything in 5.1 surround, and stereo. When we finalize everything whether it's a trailer cue, library cue, game score or anything there is always two versions. A 5.1 surround mix and a stereo mix. Gives clients everything they need in more. Bu that's just my company.
Do you have any links to the trailers you've placed music in? Checked out your site, but would love to see the music paired with the visual. Trailer music is interesting to me, though I don't do much orchestral work.
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