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February 21, 2019
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Sound design with our own voice

by Alex Mars on 01/25/18 06:02:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Hi, this is Alex from sound design studio AK Audio. 

Today I'm gonna show you how I use my voice in the sound design process. Our studio is working on making music and sound for the game called "Wrack: Exoverse". This is a rogue-like tower defense first person shooter. Not long ago I was working on sound design for its grenade launcher called the Thumper. 

To get the right idea for the sound I started recording the sound of my voice while watching the animation of the weapon. From the recording, we have 2 parts of the sound. The first could be synthesized with a noise oscillator and the second with tonal waves. 

I imported it into iZotope RX to watch its spectrogram. That helped me understand the sound I recorded. From the picture, I can set the fundamental frequency somewhere near 150 Hz, with a little pitch modulation. Also, there are several harmonics, that means It should be synthesized with something richer than a sine wave.

From the spectrogram, I know the length of the sound, tone and pitch modulation and I finally can make it with my favorite synth. 

In Serum, I added some harmonics to the sine wave to make its timber richer and modulate the pitch and the volume. In the fx section, I added a little distortion and a reverb filter. 

After synthesis, I usually resample the sounds, it's always easier to change its length and fade the sample.

The main bass layer I tuned up 4 semitones and processed with the Amp, filter, and Imager. 

Also, I used this sound in granular sampler Polygon to create some sci-fi textures to layer with the sound. 

To add some fatness in the sound I synthesized a sub-bass layer from a sine wave with modulated pitch and volume. 

And one more interesting layer. It sounds like the weapon spit out the grenade. I started with a Kick drum attack sound. Then I applied some other effects to the texture. Plate reverb makes it sounds metallic, compressor adds attack, and reverb-filter make it sounds like it spits.

There are some other layers like noise with tremolo, and sample of mechanical attack of an m203 grenade launcher. 

Then I just needed to create more variations for each layer and put it in the middleware. 

I hope this technique helps inspire you to make good sounds.

You can find more information about our sound design studio at

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