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The Sound Design of Journey
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The Sound Design of Journey

October 10, 2012 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

The sounds of the rolling sand waves have short and tall versions, and were made by putting a headset mic in a Ziploc bag, burying it in sand, and sweeping the sand over it with my hand. There are also pitched-down spinner fireworks that play as sweeteners.

Short and Tall Rolling Sand Waves by Journey Sound Design

The sandbox wasn't big enough for getting the big sand sprays, so I recorded them at 1 am in the playground of nearby Clover Park -- and ducked from cops!

The player's scarf is made from a microfiber apron that was sweet-talked out of a salon by Phil Kovats, my former manager and the audio lead of The Last Of Us. There is a loop that plays from the middle of the scarf, and a loop that plays from the end of it.

The robe and scarf loops are always reading a few variables from code in order to play at the appropriate speed and intensity. They take into account player velocity, wind speed, and for the scarf, scarf length. So each scarf loop is always playing one of 64 specific arrangements of scarf sounds.

Scarf - Half Length Walking Light Wind by Journey Sound Design

The flapping of the giant cloth banners came from a heavy, ugly denim duvet cover I got when I was 13.

Large Cloth Flaps Light Wind by Journey Sound Design

The sand surf sounds were actually repitched, EQed, grass loops from Flower (plus separate loops for turning/carving the sand)... until the day before everything wrapped. I was the only one who knew or cared, but it always bugged me, so I recorded and replaced it with what's there now, what I always thought it should be, my finger drawing circles in the sand. Took about five minutes to do!

Sand Surf and Turning Sweetener by Journey Sound Design

I ruined a pair of old jeans when rubbing them across the parking lot for the sound of surfing across stone, but it was worth it.

Stone Surf by Journey Sound Design

The sound of gliding along cloth bridges is a spoon on fabric.

Bridge Glide by Journey Sound Design

Magic Sheen

The chime-like sounds that play from the tombstoney things and in the menus are actually re-pitched drill bits being struck.

Tombstone Symbols Turn On - Fly Out by Journey Sound Design

Most of the shining magical stuff was made by mutating and convolving various bells and chimes against each other using a free program called Soundhack.

Scarf Collect - Absorb - Swirl - Grow - Fill In by Journey Sound Design

The bridge stitching sound in the game is the shining magical stuff mixed with my fingernails raking the carpet of my room.

Cloth Bridge Stitch by Journey Sound Design

The sound of the large cloth banners getting colored in was made from the shining bell and chime stuff along with soft liquid lapping, to contrast the dry desert. They pitch up according to how colored in they are, like the flight meter of the scarf. (This is done in code, and not heard in the example below.)

Cloth Color Ins and Completion - No Pitching by Journey Sound Design

The lantern hums in the game were made from meditation crystal singing bowls. Their lighting up sound includes a bell that sits in my parents' living room.

Lanterns by Journey Sound Design

The splash sound of diving in and out of the spirit water in the vertical 6th level came from a hall in Naughty Dog, when Damian Kastbauer, who was there helping with sound implementation on Uncharted 3, walked up behind me and swirled real life sparkles around my head -- a tiny plastic box with a thumb wheel on it that played "Pop Goes the Weasel" at any speed. The little guts of a music box or baby crib mobile, maybe? Timestretched, EQed, effected bursts of it became the magical splashes I needed.

Into and Out Of Spirit Water by Journey Sound Design

Austin also provided musical flourishes that were combined with chimes for collecting the flying cloth strand bits. Collect one at a time and it plays individual small parts; sing to five or more at once and it instead plays a moderately sized flourish; sing to 10 or more at once for a large one. So that way it wasn't just a large stack of individual sounds, but something that sounds like a section of the orchestra springing out of the score.

Cloth Strand Pick Ups by Journey Sound Design

Article Start Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

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