FMP week 4

Research Tasks

Tengami is a peaceful game so I plan to play it to get immersed in its atmosphere so I can get a better understanding of how audio is used to get the player involved and seen as the game takes the player on a journey through ancient Japan I maybe able to get a feel for how ambience and peaceful sounds are remembered from the Sengoku period of Japan. I have also out of interest emailed the developers Nyamyam about how they created, recorded and edited the soundtrack and the sounds of their game.

Capture of email to Nyamyam

I plan to conduct an experiment as well with researching the sounds of Tengami where I will dub over a scene from the game and completely change the atmosphere of the scene.

This is important as it helps me get a feel for the sort of sounds I will need and it will help me develop my skills of creating juxtaposition with audio and I hope to learn from all of this just how effective sounds are in a game when it comes to creating atmosphere and it’s a test of my skills before the FMP so I can see what I need to learn for when I officially start my FMP. This blog will be updated at a later date with the work on it.

Sadly after playing through the game there’s no points where I can really take it and change the scene almost completely so I have decided to not do the experiment but It is still useful to me to be able to identify scenes and think about how they can be change, this will be shown in my FMP as there will be a lot Juxtaposition involved within it.

 

But due to there being a slight horror-thriller theme to our work I will be also doing research into Japanese horror-thriller work. This research should help greatly as it will give me an understanding of what sort of music/sounds I will need for a Japanese themed environment. I will be listening to parts from the soundtrack of the Fatal Frame franchise that I will find on YouTube.

I listened to the trailer for Fatal Frame Wii-U and a music piece from Fatal Frame 1. The audio of the trailer is very interesting, using vocals throughout but it really gets good while she sings then the music starts kicks in to start building the suspense up much more for the sudden loud noise to catch the viewer off, and just from listening to it I could tell that I don’t have to make the horror sound Japanese at all but rather I just need to make it scary, spine-chilling yet authentic enough to not sound really fake, as if it shouldn’t be there at all.

The hospital ambience plays to its setting of an abandoned hospital very well using distant creaking, moans and even babies crying to really build up fear in the player, having them constantly scared of what will happen next. This could actually be a quite useful resource to listen to when creating the horror part of the tracks, yet it’s not really constant fear i’m after but rather to get the listener/viewer to look at the concept pieces in a completely different light, I want them to think they’re listening to a nice calm ambience track and then have a trigger noise to change what the sound is entirely, I want that ambience track to change to something still slow but much more scary.

The music piece is really useful as it has helped me by inspiring me to have that sort of ambience in my tracks, as I said above I want the ambience to change and be seen differently and I believe if I can transition the ambience to something similar to this well enough then I could quite easily use the ambience alone to create a horror environment.

The research into horror was secondary research but the research task + experiment is primary research.

 

As I’ve said in previous blogs I have a lack of knowledge when it comes to methods, techniques and philosophies for creating sounds effects and so I decided to do research into this by borrowing the book “The Sound Effects Bible” by Ric Viers and he says

“there are no wrong ways to record sound, just better ways.” (Ric Viers, 2008, p. 209)

Which is true, I know how to create and record sounds but I could easily be better, but this book is quite long and this chapter is over 100 pages long, due to this I decided to focus on taking notes on certain sounds that he has covered that I believe I will/might use and talking about what he said could help.

Ambience:

When it comes to ambience I should always record much more than I actually need because there can be external sounds outside of my control that pollute parts of the track but not other parts which allows me to use layering and replacing to create a cleaner track. Which is something I can do but not very well at this moment.

I should get better equipment when I can such as a mic stand and a proper piece of recording hardware so I can record sounds and have them sound consistent throughout the recording. also I should also develop my skills so that I can artificially create ambience as it can sound hyper-realistic and can help enhance a poorly recorded ambience track which is what I will most likely have to do a bit for my FMP which means I will have to be imaginative. Although I don’t have correct recording equipment I have noted for the future that I should never record ambience below -40dB and I should only record it in stereo.

Footsteps:

I need to keep in mind that shoe type, surface, weight and pace can effect the sound of a footstep and so I should keep a recording of multiple cause I never know when I’ll need to use them, and he highlights the importance of footsteps in media as they can make a scene realistic instead of surreal.

Monsters:

In my FMP there’ll be a relation to demons in the concept piece, that is why I looked into footsteps but in case I need more than footsteps I looked into Monsters and I discovered that I should actually try to avoid using animals to make growling or roaring effects but rather be vocal and use editing to get the sound effects, and that almost anything can be used to make monster sounds.

Rain:

It’s easy to get rain, if it rains that and seen as it’s coming up to summer I have decided to look into what Ric Viers says to do in case and I’ve discovered that using a hose can create the same effect, it’s more trying to get the sound of it on the right surface that counts. He also said about just record any rainstorm/thunderstorm I hear, this is something I can’t do right now due to improper recording equipment but it will be useful to remember this in the future.

I’m also doing research into microphones are which ones are better for recording ambience and in a home studio this is because I will be needing one for my FMP to really get clean and crisp audio but my problem is budget, microphones can be expensive; especially the high end ones so I hope to learn what microphone would be best for me for recording both ambience out and about but also hardfx at home.

I am currently unsure where I’d find information like this so I will be looking on google and I will reference every website that I looked at. Before looking online I spoke to my tutor about it and he told me that with my budget I won’t be able to get any good ambience-specific recording equipment.

References:

Nyamyam. 2012. games. [ONLINE] Available at: http://nyamyam.com/games. [Accessed 5 May 2016].

Disclaimer: All videos referenced below are from games originally owned by Nintendo™ and distributed by those named below.

Sir Bedlam. (2015). Fatal Frame IV – Hospital Ambience (Unreleased OST). [Online Video]. 9 December 2015. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TavrG19i5WQ. [Accessed: 5 May 2016].

IGN. (2014). Fatal Frame Wii U — Trailer. [Online Video]. 17 July 2014. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHAfJturexI. [Accessed: 5 May 2016].

JedaiChocobo. (2011). Fatal Frame OST – 03 Encounter to Himuro Mansion. [Online Video]. 19 October 2011. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MjK2XtJhXM. [Accessed: 5 May 2016].

 

Final Chosen Idea

Recently we discussed with others in the class about our ideas and got feedback about how we could develop them and what’s wrong with them.

Click here to read the ideas.

In this part I will be covering what feedback I got, what I learnt from it and how I changed each concept.

Idea 1:

The feedback we received for this was to the consider the environmental aspect of it more such as where it would it be and what sort of environment would be surrounding the boathouse and focusing mainly on the mood of the place instead of the story of the place as this allows for me to focus a lot more on just the sound. Other feedback we got was to make it like idea 3 and make it just sound to concept. We were also informed that our idea was simply just too ambitious within the time.

Idea 2:

Someone showed Charlie a book of Japanese-style art and told him it would be good to focus around the tones and art style and told him to look at Tengami for inspiration. More feedback we got was that this idea isn’t achievable and is too ambitious, it’s something we could do but we just don’t have enough to time to do it, after hearing this about both Idea 1 & 2 we realised we kept setting ourselves tasks that were too ambitious but despite that our final idea; idea 3 is not.

Idea 3/the final idea:

The feedback I received over this was to not make multiple tracks but to make 1 where the atmosphere changes during the track to show juxtaposition, which is an idea I really liked and have decided to go for that instead of my original idea. I was worried about not having anything to do while Charlie worked on his concept pieces so I got some feedback and some of the recommended ideas were to work together at the same time where he updated his concept piece at the same time I update my track and tracking how as the concept gets more detailed what changes with the sound. I was also told to try and find a short film by Alfred Hitchcock where he shows how sound can change how something is interpreted.

We have decided idea 3 to be what we do our final major project and we’ve decided to do it because it’s much more achievable than the other ideas and caters to our planned career paths (Charlie wants to be a concept artist in the future and I want to be an audio engineer and this idea involves us both focusing on what we want to do as a career). And it’s also very useful to show and develop our understanding of how audio compliments sound and vice versa.

Strengths:

  • The idea caters to our planned career paths as I mentioned above
  • It is actually achievable within the time frame
  • It helps show our understanding of the amalgamation of different elements in media

Weaknesses:

  • Our plan requires heavy organisation that we’re not quite used to

Opportunities:

  • This allows us to develop our skills in our respective fields
  • It allows us to get a feel for our wanted career paths
  • It stretches our skills and allows to fully understand what we can and can’t do

Threats:

  • The first threat to our project is time, some unanticipated problems could arise meaning we can’t get the work done in time
  • A breakdown in communication could lead to work not being done

We have 4 weeks to actually create this final product including the evaluation, so for the first 2 weeks I shall be creating one audio track a week as my friend creates 1 concept piece a week. For the 2 weeks after me and my friend will be working extremely collaboratively on one detailed piece and our evaluation. We will be giving feedback about each others work so we can get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. I will have to do research into how to be better at creating, recording and editing sounds as well as how certain things may sound in an authentic Japanese environment.

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One thought on “FMP week 4

  1. Lucas, some good discussion of your findings here and you have referenced these correctly. You may want to look back at a game such as Eternal Darkness for more ideas on how to create a horror themed soundscape. I’ll be interested to hear the results of your experiment. Please update this with your results soon!

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