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Voicing the Dead

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dSonic explained today how they experimented with cutting edge technology when creating sound for Bioshock's story-telling tools. Their use of new processing techniques brought life to the game's ghosts and added very realistic qualities to its audio logs and radio transmissions. These tools are vital to giving players clues as they navigate their way through the game.

"We decided to experiment with using convolution as an extreme processing tool," says Kemal Amarasingham, dSonic's creative director. Amarasingham and his sound design team processed sound effects files with various impulse responses to create an eerie ghostly atmosphere. Check out an example:
http://www.dsonic.com/bioshock/Bioshock_ghost.mov
Kemal continues, "Convolution is a technology that is usually used for creating reverberation effects but we're excited to have found a new use for it."

This same processing technique was used to give very realistic qualities to the audio logs' ambiences and radio transmissions. To further add to their authenticity, dSonic strategically inserted static and feedback into each file by hand, and then processed the entire file to get a degraded sound. Amarasingham explains, "We imagined that the audio logs were recorded on a wire recorder which were popular in the 1940s, when Bioshock's world was first created. We made the log itself sound old by inserting static and snippets of period radio music, then we made the whole thing sound like it was being played out of an antique player." dSonic also applied custom made sound design to the voice-over files used for the TVs and PA systems in the game.

Bioshock is an action, first person shooter set in an underwater utopian world. The title was developed by 2K's Irrational Games studio and is now available for Games for Windows and Xbox 360.

dSonic provides music, sound effects and voice-overs exclusively to the game industry. They have over sixty titles to their credit and have contributed to AAA titles such as Bethesda's Oblivion, Namco Bandai's Mage Knight: Apocalypse and Ubisoft's Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. For more information, visit www.dsonic.com



 
 

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