The title for my soundscape is Kitchen. I used a Tascam sound recorder with a sennheiser compressor mic to film the sounds of preparing a meal. I was originally going to create a single layered track with one sound going on at a time e.g. chopping, frying, getting pans out but when I came to edit it together it ended up that it sounded better with two tracks playing at the same time. I found that this gave the impression of an awkward cooking situation which is when I came up for the idea of having two people preparing dinner together in total silence. I found that the noises came across very acute and forceful, which adds to the idea of an awkward dinner time. I tried to make the soundscape into a crescendo the whole way through, adding more and more sounds and making the sounds nastier to listen to as the track goes on, ending in the sound of frying.
This is the soundscape I created from our sound carousel day.
Because we saw everybody recording their sound outside, we decided to go into a cafe and ask them to record the sounds of them making drinks, serving customers and the sounds of eating and drinking.
We also recorded the sounds of footsteps through leaves, the sound of birds taking flight, traffic, people passing by and car engines.
I found that listening to the tracks back in logic, that the sounds really create that sense of place. I put the outdoors sounds together and it immediately felt cold, miserable and urban, whereas when I put the cafe sounds together, the faint music, clattering plates, milk frother and sound of eating created a cosy atmosphere.
It is true that wearing the headphones make you feel strange. We collected sound using a direct mic, so when other members of my group pointed it at different things when I was wearing the headphones, it makes you lose your sense of surroundings as you feel closer to the sound.
James Matthew Wearing is a game developer and sound designer from Montreal. He worked as a Sound Designer for Crytek for a year beforebecoming Audio Lead for Ubisoft 2008-2011. In this time, he worked on Assassins Creed 2 and 3 and Far Cry 3, all of which I have played and noticed the attention payed to even the most minute of sounds.
I was first attracted to the sound in Far Cry 3, when hearing songs I like such as Die Antwoord — “I Fink You Freeky”, M.I.A. — “Paper Planes” and Skrillex & Damien Marley — “Make It Bun Dem” during gameplay. Then, after a SISE workshop where we had exercises of listening to sound in detail and ‘opening our ears’, I went home and while playing Far Cry, began to do the same.
There is not a whole lot of information on James Wearing’s work as a sound designer online, I don’t know why, maybe it’s not considered ‘high profile’ enough as it’s not something that a large amount of people would look into. However, I did find his LinkedIn page, where he has posted this:
Below is a video which I think shows off a lot of the sound effects used throughout the game, start watching at 1:30. I didn’t realise the amount of effort that must go into making each individual sound until listening without playing it.
As a test, I first listened to this video while watching it, then listened to it with my eyes closed and noted down what I could hear and what I noticed both times.
- Footsteps, arrows shooting, ground beneath feet, drawing knife, plants moving.
- Birds shrieking, birds singing, breathing, arrows rattling in quiver, arrows leaving bow animals in the distance, vehicles in the distance.