Post Magazine

September 2015

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GET INTO GEAR 34 POST SEPTEMBER 2015 don't really get much 'silence' to grab and use as filler on the dialogue edit," she says. "If you do find a small bit of silence and loop it, it doesn't sound very natural. So the Ambience Match has been super useful. It's a life saver!" Another favorite RX 4 Advanced feature is the Spectral Repair, which Johnstone used to help remove unwanted bird tweets from the post-apocalyptic short film, The Reverie, created by Sam Wildman, which tells the story of Amy, the sole survivor of a catastrophic event, who seeks out the source of a mysterious radio signal. Johnstone notes there was no dialogue in the film, just the sound of the main char- acter walking in the woods and breathing through a gas-mask. "They did record sound on location, so I had the sound of her breaths and some faint natural sounds, like her walking through the leaves. But in the more open shots, you hear birds along with her breathing which is not what you want if everything is meant to have died," says Johnstone. Although she replaced a few sections with ADR to remove the birds, Johnstone liked the sound of the movement and breathing on the produc- tion tracks. "I used Spectral Repair to go in and find the specific frequencies of the birds, and was able to draw them out and remove them." For Knit Me Some Happiness, a film cre- ated as part of the Arri short film challenge for the Sheffield Documentary Festival, in which filmmakers use Arri's Amira camera, Johnstone notes they shot, edited, and mixed the film in three days. Due to the tight schedule, the voiceovers for the film were recorded when and where it was pos- sible, using a Zoom H1 portable digital re- corder. In post, Johnstone used the Declip tool in RX 4 Advanced to help rebuild several lines that were distorted. "When I zoomed-in on the waveforms, they were completely squared off. The Declip feature essentially rounded them again," says Johnstone, who did additional processing on the lines using Denoise. "It didn't sound perfect, but it sounded a hell of a lot better than it did originally. The RX 4 Advanced was very helpful on such a tight schedule. Being able to have all these different tools in one place was so useful." AUDIOKINETIC WWISE It's no secret that the game industry has the talent, the tools, and the budgets to create soundtracks and scores that rival those of big Hollywood films. But if you're thinking of crossing over from film sound to game sound, there's something you have to understand — integration — get- ting your sound into the nonlinear game world, and having it do what you want, when you want. Popular middleware, like Audiokinetic's Wwise (www.audiokinetic. com) isn't just a means to get sound into a game. It provides tools that can help you be more creative with game sound, explains lead audio designer Nicholas Bonardi at Ubisoft Studio SF (www. in San Francisco, creators of guitar skill-building game Rocksmith. "Think of it like this: Wwise is the audio engine for your game. It holds all your original files, converts them for use on your target platform, and gives you the tools to make your audio accessible from the game engine," says Bonardi. "On top of functioning as a pipeline solution, Wwise provides AAA realtime audio tools that give you a metric ton of flexibility to create solutions and expe- riences. It was absolutely crucial for the execution of Rocksmith." Rocksmith looks similar to games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, where players have to hit the notes that come down the note way, but there's one huge exception. For Rocksmith, players use an actual guitar, any electric guitar they have on-hand, to play the game. Instead of hitting buttons on a guitar-shaped controller, Rocksmith players play real notes on a real guitar, essentially learning how to play popu- lar songs. The challenge was making a player's real guitar sound exactly like the guitar that's on the album. "The player's guitar tone proved to be one of the pillars of the Rocksmith experience. If you're tone didn't match the song, or worse yet, didn't make any sound at all, there was no feeling of participating with the music. That's the hook — connecting to music through par- Ubisoft's Nicholas Bonardi (inset) says Audiokinetic's Wwise middleware allowed the publisher to make the guitar game Rocksmith truely interactive. Lucy Johnstone (right) used iZotope on Knit Me Some Happiness (here) and The Reverie (below).

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