Grasp the fundamentals of digital audio work in the context of video games, including the basics of middleware such as Fmod and Wwise. We will review software such as Apple’s Logic and Garageband, Paul Davis’s Ardour, and many other popular digital audio workstations.
We will start with an introduction to the basic terminology of digital audio work while also getting acquainted with current generation audio hardware. We will then discuss the basics of the venerable Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) and how it relates to music composition as well as the tools and techniques for writing tracker music/chiptunes. The book also covers plug-in software, soundproofing at home, and voice work.
The book takes a practical approach while tackling both hardware and software components used in cutting edge audio engineering, composition, and audio monitoring.
What You Will Learn
- Understand the fundamentals of digital audio production in the context of video games
- Learn about audio integration with popular middleware solutions and APIs
- Leverage plugin effects software to sculpt your audio to professional levels
- Identify modern audio file formats and how and when to use them
- Learn best practices when mixing sound effects and music for video games
Who Is This Book For
The intended readership includes beginners in digital audio engineering who use Windows, macOS, or Linux.
Table of Contents About the Author About the Technical Reviewer Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1: Bits, Sample Rates, and Other Fundamentals of Digital Audio On Audio Bit Depth Pulse-Code Modulation (PCM) More on Quantization On the Human Hearing Range Fundamentals, Harmonics, and Overtones The Audio Spectrum Decibels and Normalization Loudness Standards Max Headroom The Nyquist Theorem and Frequency The Perils of Aliasing Going Beyond 44.1 kHz On-the-fly Oversampling Delight in Dithering A Few Words on Word Clocks Common Audio File Formats What Exactly Is a Codec? Lossy vs Lossless WAV and AIFF, the Undefeated Duo of Mixing The Mighty MP3 Xiph.org Presents: Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Opus, and FLAC Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Apple’s ALAC Constant vs Variable Bitrate Beyond PCM: Direct Stream Digital (DSD) The Pest Called Phase Cancellation The Power of Transients In Closing Chapter 2: Current Generation Audio Hardware Balanced vs Unbalanced Cables XLR and 1/4" Cables Dynamic and Condenser Microphones The Fundamentals of Vocal Microphones Microphone Polar Patterns The All-in-One Podcast Microphones Pops and Plosives More Common Audio Cables Digital Interfacing A Few Thoughts on S/PDIF and AES3 Monitoring Hardware: Headphones Closed vs Open Headphones Active Noise Cancellation Studio Monitor Speakers Tweeters and Woofers Nearfield vs Farfield Speakers Speakers and Watts Connectivity Protocols: The Sweet Flow of Data USB 3 Specification Confusion Firewire: Going, But Not Gone Audio Interfaces and You Operating System Support Headphone Amplifiers Computer Matters RAM Affairs CPUs and Cores Core Multiplication Those Important CPU Extensions Storage Hilarity Computer Shopping Intel vs Apple M1 In Closing Chapter 3: Manipulating the Spectrum Equalization (EQ) Mastering The Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) EQ Filter Varieties Implementing EQ EQ and Color More Filters: Butterworth and Chebyshev EQ Limitations The Three Universal Rules of Equalization Dynamics: Compressors and Limiters Attack and Release Make-Up Gain The Five Types of Compressors Serial and Parallel Compression The Wizardry of Magnetic Tape Tube Temptations Power Classes Software Saturation Sound Effects Best Practices In Closing Chapter 4: More Effects and Digital Audio Workstations More on Plugin Formats Plugin Management Reverb 101 Components in Reverb Reverb Parameters Send vs Insert Best Practices: Reverb in Sound Effects Best Practices: Reverb in Soundtracks Modulation Effects: Chorus, Flanger, Phaser Retro Sound FX Creation A Quickie Reminder on MIDI Taking Latency Seriously Audio Workstation Characteristics Garageband by Apple Recording Quality Garageband Multitracking and Effects Exporting Audio Virtual Instruments and Samples Virtual Amplification Garageband: A Summary Ardour by Paul Davis and Team Scripting in Ardour Recording Quality JACK: Virtual Cabling Ardour Multitracking and Effects Virtual Instruments and Samples Exporting Audio Ardour: A Summary Logic Pro by Apple Recording Quality Logic Pro Multitracking and Effects Virtual Instruments and Samples Exporting Audio Logic Pro: A Summary FL Studio by Image Line Software FL Studio Multitracking and Effects Virtual Instruments and Samples Exporting Audio FL Studio: A Summary LMMS LMMS Multitracking and Effects Virtual Instruments and Samples Exporting Audio LMMS: A Summary Waveform FREE by Tracktion Virtual Instruments and Samples Recording Quality Waveform-Free Multitracking and Effects Exporting Audio Waveform Free: A Summary In Closing Chapter 5: Voice Acting: Hardware and Techniques Elements of Voice Recording Setting Up Your Microphone Microphone Impedance Preamps Some Hardware Preamps Dynamics Processors Portable Phantom Power Soundproofing Voice Material Production Essentials The Typical De-essing Procedure Software for Voice Artists Audacity Ocenaudio WavePad In Closing Chapter 6: MIDI and Composing in the Digital Age Introduction: Composing for Video Games A Smidgeon of Music Theory Bars and Time Signatures On Notes and Rests The Early Days of MIDI Notes in MIDI MIDI, Dynamics, and Tempo Elaborating on MIDI Messages MIDI Channels and Modes Cello with Kazoo: Going Multitimbral MIDI Specifications General MIDI (GM) Roland MT-32 Roland GS General MIDI 2 Yamaha XG MIDI Connectivity The ADSR Envelope Meet the Waveforms Additive and Subtractive Synths Synths vs Controllers Automation Quantization The Power of Virtual Consoles Getting Started with Symphonic Soundtracks A Few Words on Samplers Merrymaking with Articulations Symphonic Soundtrack Best Practices In Closing Chapter 7: Introducing MIDI 2.0 MIDI 2.0 at a Glance MIDI 2.0 in Detail MIDI Capability Inquiry (MIDI-CI) Universal MIDI Packet (UMP) Jitter Reduction Timestamps (JRT) MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) MIDI 2.0 and You In Closing Chapter 8: Chiptunes Chiptunes: The Beginning Traversing Through the Eras The 8-Bit Era The SID Sound PAL vs NTSC Frequency Modulation (FM) Synthesis The 16-Bit Era Chipmusic Today On Music Trackers Tracker File Formats Module Components Effect Enumeration Milkytracker ModPlug Trackers: OpenMPT and Schism Tracker Sound Chip Emulation Trackers FamiStudio (NES) DefleMask (Multiple Systems) GoatTracker (C64/SID) SID Instrument Building Blocks SID Instrument Examples Back to GoatTracker In Closing Chapter 9: Audio Solutions for Video Games Video Game Audio Approaches Sound Occlusion and Obstruction HRTF: 3D in Your Headphones Virtual vs True Surround Ambisonic Audio Dynamic Music: Horizontal vs Vertical On Real-Time Mixing Immersive Audio Elements The Doppler Effect Audio Raycasting and Hardware Acceleration Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) Middleware Some Modern Audio Solutions Miles Sound System by Robert Miles FMOD by Firelight Technologies Wwise by Audiokinetic OpenAL/OpenAL Soft History Lesson: EAX and OpenAL irrKlang by Ambiera In Closing Chapter 10: Selling and Licensing Copyright Publisher Music Supervisor Licensor vs Licensee Synchronization License Master Use License Public Domain Music Royalty-Free Music Performance Rights Organizations International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) Royalties Diegetic vs Non-diegetic Music Preparing Your Music Music Licensing Businesses Exclusive vs Non-exclusive Agreements In Closing Repeats and Endings
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