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Very Dead/"Tight" Sound?
Old 16th October 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 

Very Dead/"Tight" Sound?

So I'm doing some audio editing for a video game that's in development and I'm kind of shaping/designing each piece of dialogue (of course, so that they all sound similar, as in.. in a similar space/ freq. content, etc.) and as it's a survival horror game in dark spaces, and with tight/narrow corridors, I'm trying to develop or get a very "particular" sound.

As survival horror is brought into the mix, of course, I can't help but call back to classic titles in the genre, and studying the sound design, actually, from Silent Hill 2: Silent Hill 2 Cutscenes 52 - Maria, Jail Cell - YouTube

This is just the dialogue between Maria and James and I looked specifically for the cutscene, stripped of all other music or sound, aside from just the spoken parts.

An incredible thing to the sound design ethos of this game was that all those footsteps and dialogue spoken felt very very dry and dead, which added to the overall "silence" theme in the soundtrack, for me, and I was trying to emulate this sort of very very direct dead kind of sound.

It sounds to me like it could have been done using a very particular acoustic space, and a very particular microphone or set of microphones (would shotgun mic for very directional sound be a good guess?), but aside from sticking a mic in front of someone's face and pressing record, I'm not quite sure how to go for this sound, specifically!

What I can discern is, there is just a smidgen of pre-delay, enough for your ears, not your eyes, to tell you it was recorded in *some* form of like acoustic space, but there doesn't seem to be any depth or decay time or reverb, just the tiny snaps of the pre-delay. The YouTube video doesn't give the best idea in terms of "hi-fidelity" but other than dialling in a fraction of pre, and turning down the mix fader to 2 or 3%, I'm not sure about recreating this sound.

And I'm doing this to learn and adapt it to my uses and apply it within the game design of another, it's not just because I'm trying to strictly rip off Silent Hill, but it is rather interesting..

I was wondering if there's a way to get plug ins that are actually more specific towards dead acoustics, as opposed to really really wet verbs, of course. Either freeware or something I can buy at a good price, I'm looking for something more deadening like this example.
Old 16th October 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Have you tried a good noise gate? I do voice over work for trailer, promos, radio and so on.

I use a TC Electronics Finalized 96 to make things even cleaner than my vocal booth, even when Mic'd in the very live control room. Even in those cases, I have had major studios and producers who say my room is the single most silent room they have ever heard, over the Zephyr, wave files or mpeg.

It can take a lot of tweaking, especially on soft syllables at the end of a phrase, but you described the exact sound. Including the sense of momentary space as the gate kicks in.

I have no experience with software gates, so your flow and tweaking there may be different than what I described.

Good luck!
Old 16th October 2013
  #3
Gear Head
 

Oh interesting! A noise gate sounds like a good solution, but yeah I'm looking for mostly soft-solutions. Thanks! I'll be sure to try that out.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?
Old 16th October 2013
  #4
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pethenis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValourWinds View Post
Oh interesting! A noise gate sounds like a good solution, but yeah I'm looking for mostly soft-solutions. Thanks! I'll be sure to try that out.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?
I've had good luck with the "claustrophobia" impulses from Altiverb. Some give the same feeling like when you walk into a very dead VO booth, as if sound is pressurized.
Old 16th October 2013
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pethenis View Post
I've had good luck with the "claustrophobia" impulses from Altiverb. Some give the same feeling like when you walk into a very dead VO booth, as if sound is pressurized.
Hmm.. interesting. I can't find these on a simple Google search though.. link??
Old 16th October 2013
  #6
Here for the gear
 

You'll get close to it with some EQ manipulation and a noise gate. Boosting the low mids will give that closer sound you're looking for without you needing to shove a microphone in front of someone.
A bit of really reallllllly subtle reverb and/or delay will help if you're after the slightly iffy sound the speech has in the Youtube example.
If you have Soundforge, the "Resonant Filter" in the effects toolbar might also come in handy.

Your best bet is to experiment; start with EQ and a noise gate as those are cheap and cheerful if you have access to basic software.
Altiverb is expensive. You do get Acoustic Mirror with pro versions of Sound Forge and you could potentially download some impulses for that but it really depends what software you have access to Good luck!
Old 16th October 2013
  #7
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pethenis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValourWinds View Post
Hmm.. interesting. I can't find these on a simple Google search though.. link??
Impulse responses for the claustrophobia impulses.

But I was wrong, It was actually one of the standard post-production sets from Altiverb:

Impulse Responses for Post Production

I think I used a small closet filled with matresses, that did the trick
Old 16th October 2013
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pethenis View Post
Impulse responses for the claustrophobia impulses.

But I was wrong, It was actually one of the standard post-production sets from Altiverb:

Impulse Responses for Post Production

I think I used a small closet filled with matresses, that did the trick
Haha!! Well then. I could certainly see how that would work, I was thinking one of their small closet verbs haha, awesome, nice. Thanks a lot.
Old 16th October 2013
  #9
Gear Head
 

Where can I register for the Altiverb stuff? Like to demo out their post-production impulse response sets? When I click "download" it says only registered Altiverb customers, and I don't see where to register on their site? : S
Old 16th October 2013
  #10
Audioeases Speakerphone has impulse responses from car trunks, metal and wooden boxes too. The demo vid made it work quite good as I remember.
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