Sound Design Outtakes from The Order 1886

Over the weekend I was able to sit back, reflect and spend time to capture the variouse sound design works straight from The Order 1886 release disc. I tried to look for the most significant audio moments that there are in the game. And because there were so many (I have to say that!!), the content was split into categories, each representing their sound key area. I also recorded myself talking about how some of the sound design and its development.

Being the only in-house sound designer representing the world of audio inside Ready At Dawn Studios, means I wear many hats, dealing with multiple responsibilities. My core duties range from being an ambassador for audio among team disciplines, sound conceptualization, sound design creation, audio direction, implementation and integration, feature design and development, mentorship, linear and interactive mixing.

When I joined Ready at Dawn for The Order 1886, I was somewhat suprised, that there already existed a solid foundation of how design felt about the different pallet and sound design for firarms! I thought to myself, what a great start! That’s always the best when design follows a vision! This enabled early brainstorming and audio conceptualization for the weapon universe during the pre-productions in 2012. Apart from designing most of the gunfire, I’ve also spend a large amount in the field recording original materials to be used for ambient, interacts and footsteps heard in the game. Because of the amazing work the art team at Ready at Dawn has created to aim for a high visual representation for the game, drove inspiration on my end and greatly influenced the audio design decisions.

Worth praising is the cinematic audio production done by our awesome publisher’s sound service group and their talented audio staff at Sony San Diego, whom I’ve had the privilege working with very closely throughout the production. Their responsibilities was recording, performing and editing foley and sound effects design (surround sound) and on-site integration and scripting support. Not to mention the extraoudenary voice and music production support, provided by the Sony Santa Monica and San Mateo (music only) offices helping with casting, direction, recording (mocap, ADR and walla), editorial and supervision.

Here is a little preview:

Check out all other videos in the demo reel section:

Demo Reel – The Order 1886

Field Recording: Weapon Test Recording

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On my last project I needed original gun recordings aimed to be used for sound layers for a mixture of Sci-Fi and realistic weapons. Good weapon recordings can act great for all kind of  ‘character supporters’. They can serve to increase beefiness (impact & size) or to reveal information on space. Of course this does depend on the general weapon mechanics and overall requirements.

As always – I tried to work from the very early gun concepts which, at the time, appeared to be very Sci-Fi-y, but also had typical mechanical gun parts associated to it. Because each of the eight total weapons, which we needed sounds for, had an alternative fire: Sci-Fi faster fire rounds and we immediately knew we would have to experiment in order to come up with a unique sound texture for each of them!

Initially, hand in hand with the visual effect department we went over the possibilities for the different weapon types and how they might ‘feel’ & interact when being used by us and the gamer. Throughout the entire development and production phase, we went through constant durations – audio as well as Vfx. Many times the art director changed the art and design concepts completely. Since the audio department remains to typically be the very last craft to be concerned about, on occasion, we did miss valuable information on changes that happen to come up in meetings, which had relevance to us and our decisions.

However, until then, I never really had the chance to do a proper gun recording and it felt to be a perfect timing to set one up. :-) Yeah!!! In Germany this wouldn’t be possible with ease – or at least it would be very very bulky! Germans love bureaucracy! And as a result, the law likes to ‘make’ things extra difficult. On the other hand, in America its really easy – and a super -duper fun experience!! To shoot a gun is like whiskey on the rocks. ;-) Stephen, my sound college, helped me out with managing range location, ammo and to find caliber types which suited our sound concepts.

During production we soon discovered that we would require every possible gun that we could get our hands on, due to the ever changing nature of the project. The more the better! It turns out that guns would change into a more realistic and mechanical look/feel! Either way, we concentrated on the recording and collection of fresh material which also should include alternative perspectives for NPC and PC distant fire. Stephen and I went out several times to test out location-space and microphone setups. Here is short video of a test sessions on the range in Gainesville, Florida.

Please note that the guns shown in the video may differ from it original sound you’re hearing. At the time I couldn’t quite keep track of look and sound to sync them up perfectly – sorry :-) This should serve for demonstration purposes only and should give you pretty decent idea of how it all went down!