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8 bit files for Video Games Special Ef­fects Plugins
Old 26th February 2005
Lives for gear
jumpnyc's Avatar

8 bit files for Video Games

I am working on my first video game and preparing the voice audio files. The files sound great - but going down to 8bit is f**king killing everything.

I am working on the right chain to maximize the sound i.e. normalizing, eq'ing, limiting and then down-samling.

Anyone have a good suggestion - or a signal chain they can recommend?

Old 27th February 2005
Gear Nut

I have found that writing for 8bit needs special treatment. That is, you can't treat it like a 24bit file and hope it sounds ok when slammed down to 8bit... it simply wont work.

Either write it all at 8 bit using SID chip emulations, or dithering on the master fader while working, or trying to use it as an effect that fits the situation (like an intercom sound, etc) rather than just something that has to be done because they want it that way...

Try adding a dithering plug to the master then compressing the snot out of the audio track. Mess around a bit... 8Bit is great fun, but its a completely different animal than 24bit.

If you can get your hands on a Commodore 64 with Data Cassette try a program called Prophet 64. You can feed an audio signal through the Sid chip and control that filters to create some very cool vocal effects...
Old 27th February 2005
Lives for gear
jumpnyc's Avatar

Thanks for the response. I have had the experience of creating telephone prompts at 8bit (yes I am humble and take work I get) but these need to have more intelligibility. They are currently 24 bit files.

I have tried a bunch of dithering situations. I don't have my Commodore 64 anymore. Any other suggestions?
Old 27th February 2005
Gear Maniac

I've done some game stuff in 8bit.

I don't know where you're coming from, so if you don't mind me asking - how exactly do you src and dither?

Not that my 8bit tracks sounded as good as 16bit or 24bit ones but they sure sounded good for games. Mbit+ dither algos in Izotope Ozone 3 were a Godsend fot the job. Highly recommended. Read the manual if you decide to get it.

Is PCM 8bit gonna be final the format? They mostly use mp3's in games these days.
Old 27th February 2005
Lives for gear
jumpnyc's Avatar

I use waves platinum stuff for my processing. Basically I normalize it, eq it (boosting higher frequencies in the 3-4k range to accentuate the vocal sound), high pass at ~126hz, for when it is sampled down, then I limit it and use the L2 dither or the Sony re-sampling dither to maximize quality.

This video game is being assembled in India and they have asked for 8bit mono files and intelligability is critical as it is an educational game and word pronounciation is at it's heart.

The sample files they sent to compare have a better sound than I am currently acheiving, but I know it's not the source files - as they are fantastic. It is in this downsample process.
Old 27th February 2005
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Realtugs's Avatar

Why do you normalize, then boost eq?
Old 27th February 2005
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jumpnyc's Avatar

Whoops - my bad in terms of order. I do eq, normalize, limit, then resample :-) It's Sunday morning for gosh sakes - I am losing my mind.
Old 27th February 2005
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jumpnyc's Avatar

Hey guys - problem resolved. I was being too reserved in my application of eq. Got it now.

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