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Game Sound Design StrategiesGSD Strategies
Check out the gamesounddesign.com strategies when you are feeling creatively uninspired. Each random strategy will present you with a new avenue to pursue. Give them a try!
Game Sound Design GlossaryGSD Glossary
Our game audio glossary has all the sound terms you have been wondering about. Game audio can be confusing enough without having to deal with a new technical language. We are constantly updating the database with new terms that relate to not only game audio but game developer terms as well.
How To: Ebow, Singing Bowl, and Thunder Tube
Article by George Spanos
If you are anything like me, you are constantly on the look out for new and interesting ways of producing sound. Sure, if you need that huge explosion sound you may be tempted to make use of your stock sound effects library as a base layer. Adding separate elements on top of the stock sound effect to breathe some life into the explosion is accepted practice.
But what if you are designing a more unconventional type of sound design, or soundscape? Something that straddles the fine line between sound design and music. It has tonality, and may even have rhythm, but fits into that gray area of sound/music. This type of sound design is what I often enjoy the most, as it can be incredibly rewarding from a creative standpoint. Of course, nothing quite replaces creating that thunderous low bass explosion sequence. But sometimes you need a change. And change is good.
In the interest of pushing the sound designer's envelope and giving you something new to try, this article will expose you to three off beat instruments that can breathe new life into your soundscapes and sound effects collections.
Keep in mind that these videos and sounds are all unedited and raw. The sounds produced by these sound design tools are pretty cool in and of themselves, but you'll need to bend, morph, and reshape them in your favorite sound editing software to get the custom results you're looking for.
Tibetan Singing Bowl
The singing bowl is also called the Himalayan bowl or Tibetan bowl. These are often used by monks for meditation purposes and are also commonly used for meditation and yoga. These bowls produce a strong sustained note when hit and when the striker is moved in a circular direction along the lip of the bowl. The bowls come in many different sizes, and have to be heard in person to really get the complete experience.
The Ebow is something most of you have probably already heard of. It is a battery operated electronic device that is used to simulate the sound of a bow on a guitar. However, it produces an electromagnetic field that vibrates the guitar strings. The sounds you can get out of it can be very interesting for use in sound design projects. I often run the guitar's output through some reverb while using the Ebow. You can get some very cool long sustain notes that can be used for sci-fi ambiences, for example.
Thunder tubes are pretty simple devices. A hollow tube is open on one end and has a thin membrane coupled to the other, sealed end. Attached to the membrane is a long coiled spring. When you move the tube the spring vibrates and causes the membrane to amplify the movement into the tube, resulting in a thunderous sound.
Thunder tubes are great for one-off blasts but work well for long, sustained chaos sounds as well!