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Sound recording glossary - IMPROVED

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Sound recording glossary - IMPROVED

  1. 1. Salford City College Eccles Sixth Form Centre BTEC Extended Diploma in GAMES DESIGN Unit 73: Sound For Computer Games IG2 Task 1 1 Produce a glossary of terms specific to the methods and principles of sound design and production. Using a provided template, you must research and gather definitions specific to provided glossary terms. Any definitions must be referenced with the URL link of the website you have obtained the definition. You must also, where possible, provide specific details of how researched definitions relate to your own production practice. Name: Paulina Karolina Kucharska RESEARCHED DEFINITION (provide short internet researched definition and URL link) DESCRIBE THE RELEVANCE OF THE RESEARCHED TERM TO YOUR OWN PRODUCTION PRACTICE? SOUND DESIGN METHODOLOGY Foley Artistry* A FoleyArtist is a personwhocreates(or re-creates) sounds for movies. For example, ifthe soundof an actor's footsteps were not recordedwell or lost when the voice wasre-recorded, a Foleyartist will recreate them. In fact, except for dialogue andmusic, almost all the sounds youhear inHollywoodfilms is Foleysound. Foleyartists work ina Foleystudio, a room withmany props, a viewingscreenandrecording equipment. The artist watches the film andcreates the soundinreal time. http://www.mediacollege.com/employment/film/foley- artist.html Foleyartistryis a method inwhichthe additional soundis addedinreal time to a recording. It usually includes special effects or just the normalones which were either not recordedproperlyor at all. After the recordingI maylisten again to the track and think of what else I can add. Thenwith recorder againI can create more sounds, bydoing various actions (e.g. moving myhandingrains or drop somethingheavy) and hear the outcome. Before the recording I was thinking what sounds I can make with what objects and readied the broken light bulb to make a fairy sound. Foley artistry is a pleasant technique if the creator has imagination for creating sounds. Sound Libraries* A collectionof sounds storedon file (for example on CDs, DVDs, or as digital audio files) http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/so und-library Sound libraries are either paidfor or for free. They store soundfileswhichcanbe sharedandre used for future tracks. If I wouldlacksounds or music, thenI canlookinto free soundlibraries, whichallowpeople to store and borrow sounds. Sound libraries are a quick and easy source of any sounds we are looking for. I was using college libraries to search for some desired tracks.It also allows sorting and organising audio, making the
  2. 2. Salford City College Eccles Sixth Form Centre BTEC Extended Diploma in GAMES DESIGN Unit 73: Sound For Computer Games IG2 Task 1 2 search more efficient. SOUND FILE FORMATS Uncompressed Uncompressedfile formats are exact copies of the originaldata. As such theytake upmore space than compressedformats. […] the cost of storage has reached a point where the extra storage requirements and associatedcost for uncompressed formats is negligible. [Uncompressedaudiofiles are: AIFF, FLACandWAV] http://www.audiostream.com/content/guide-common- music-file-types Uncompressedsoundfileskeep the original data without anylacking tones. However theydo take more space than lossyfile formats. To have the original soundrecording without any noise missingI shoulduse the files, whichwill keep the soundrecordinguncompressed. I maydo that while recording andcollectingsounds, dialogue and music and before joiningthem together intoa single piece of track. .wav* Short for WAVeform Audio Format, it is normallyusedin an uncompressed format onthe Microsoft Windows platform. This rawaudioformat, whichwas developed jointlybyIBMand Microsoft, stores audiodata in blocks. On the digital music scene, its usefulness has diminished over time withthe development of better losslessaudio formats, suchas FLACandApple lossless. It is a standard that will probablybe used for some time yet due to its widespreaduse inprofessional music recordingandis still a verypopular format for audio/video applications. http://mp3.about.com/od/glossary/g/WAV_def.htm This file format willbe probablyusedbyus, as we work on Windows system. As it is anuncompressed format, it will be goodto keepthe full recording without losing the small bits of it. However, it may take a lot of space inthe folder. Wav is the format I was saving my manipulation exercises with. It doesn’t compress a sound but takes space (my 4second recording takes 1.36 MB of space, whereas 1 min 46sec recording takes 29.2 MB of space). .aiff Stands for "Audio Interchange File Format." AIFFis a file format designedto store audiodata. It wasdeveloped byApple Computer, but is basedonElectronic Arts'IFF (Interchange File Format), a container format originally usedon Amiga systems. A standard AIFF file contains 2 channelsof uncompressed stereo audio witha sample size of 16 bits, recordedat a samplingrate of 44.1 kilohertz. Thisis also knownas "CD-qualityaudio," since CDs use the same audiospecifications. http://techterms.com/definition/aiff This format is usedbyApplecomputers. .au Audio file introduced bySunMicrosystems;used primarilyon Sunor other Unix-basedmachinesandhas been adoptedbyseveral audioprograms, including Adobe AuditionandQuickTime; stores the data inthree parts:a header (24 bytes), a variable lengthannotation One of audioformats, usedbybothAdobe Audition and QuickTime.
  3. 3. Salford City College Eccles Sixth Form Centre BTEC Extended Diploma in GAMES DESIGN Unit 73: Sound For Computer Games IG2 Task 1 3 block, andthe actualaudio data. http://fileinfo.com/extension/au .smp Music file usedbySmartMusic, a music practice application for band, orchestra, and voice; saves an accompaniment that can be used for practicing solos and other musical parts http://fileinfo.com/extension/smp The smpformat is suitable for savingthe music recordings, however I am not a musician, and I wouldonlyuse it for recordingdialogue. Lossy Compression Anyaudiocompressionalgorithm which does not retain everybit of data but onlyreproduces a signal that sounds more or less like the original. Examplesare MP1, MP2, MP3, AAC. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lossy+audio+co mpression Lossycompressioncuts offthe unwanted bits of data making the whole file to take lessspace ona memorydisc. Theyoften sound verysimilar to an originaltrack, but more the file is compressed, the worse qualityit is. Insteadof wastingspace onmemory card as with uncompressed sounds, I can use soundfile formats for a lossycompression. Lossycompression, same as with pictures, takesawaybits of sound we can’t hear andremains similar to the original track. .mp3 There are manyaudiofile formats ofwhichthe first was MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 -- or more commonlyreferredto as MP3. It is a lossycompression algorithm that removes certainfrequencies that humans can't hear. When creating anMP3 file, the bitrate that is usedto encode the audiohas a big effect onthe qualityof the sound. Settinga bitrate that is too lowcanproduce a file that has poor sounding quality. http://mp3.about.com/od/glossary/g/mp3def.htm Mp3 is the most familiar format for me, it will be suitable for a copyof the finishedrecording, as it won’t take muchspace. It maybe alsomore easily put on YouTube (ifneeded). AUDIO LIMITATIONS Sound Processor Unit (SPU) Like its graphics counterpart, the GPU, the APU (audio Processing Unit] helps increase overall PCsystem performance byoff-loading audioeffects processing from the CPU. Unlike traditional soundcards with extremelylimitedfunctionsets, anAPU is definedbythe following three parameters: An advancedarchitecture featuring, at a minimum, support for hardware accelerationof 256 2D voices and 64 3D voices, andadvanced3D positional audio. Full support for all DirectX8.0 features and capabilities. It’s similar to a soundcard. It stores the decoded data of anaudio, and thenplays it backthrough speakers. Incontrast to normal sound cards SPU is more advanced and enhances the sound quality. It supports programmes such as DirectX(which supports game software and video) and Dolby Digital.
  4. 4. Salford City College Eccles Sixth Form Centre BTEC Extended Diploma in GAMES DESIGN Unit 73: Sound For Computer Games IG2 Task 1 4 The abilityto incorporate support for DolbyDigital 5.1 and a DolbyDigital encoder inhardware to deliver an uncompromised, cinematic-qualityaudioexperience. http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/apu.html Digital Sound Processor (DSP) Digital Signal Processors (DSPs)take real-world signals like voice, audio, video, temperature, pressure, or position that have been digitized andthen mathematicallymanipulate them. A DSPis designed for performing mathematical functions like "add", "subtract", "multiply" and"divide" veryquickly. http://www.analog.com/en/content/beginners_guide_t o_dsp/fca.html It converts data of audioinboth ways – digital-to- analogue andanalogue-to-digital. It manipulates sounds going throughit. The sounds is first taken from real world, digitizedandagainit returns back in either analogue or digitised form. Random Access Memory (RAM) RAMis made up ofsmall memorychips that form a memorymodule. These modulesare installedin the RAMslots onthe motherboardof your computer. […]Running programs from the RAMof the computer allows themto functionwithout anylagtime. http://techterms.com/definition/ram In order to run files andprogrammessmoothly, the computers readinformationfrom RAM. The more RAMthe computer (or anyother hardware)has, the better the performance. Mono Audio* Mono or monophonic describes a systemwhere all the audiosignals are mixedtogether androutedthrougha single audiochannel. Monosystems canhave multiple loudspeakers, andevenmultiple widelyseparated loudspeakers. The keyis that the signal contains nolevel and arrival time/phase informationthat wouldreplicate or simulate directional cues. […]The big advantage to mono is that everyone hears the verysame signal, and, in properlydesignedsystems, all listeners wouldhear the systemat essentiallythe same soundlevel. This makes well-designedmonosystems verywell suitedfor speechreinforcement as theycanprovide excellent speechintelligibility. http://www.mcsquared.com/mono-stereo.htm While playing the recording fromsimple headphonesor speakers, it is better to keep them in mono. It will help focusingmore onlisteningand it will be best whenworking onthe audio. It is also easier to joinsounds in audio; however, it doesn’t create anydepth to the recording. When trying mono audio, the sound appears flat, therefore boring. It makes a lot of constrains for an audio sequence, since it doesn’t allow to create a depth and dimensionality of the sound. Stereo Audio* True stereophonic soundsystems have two independent audiosignal channels, andthe signalsthat are reproducedhave a specific level andphase relationship Stereo is better to be usedafter joiningthe different sounds as a final phase ofwork. It will take more time andI’llneed to tryto imagine from
  5. 5. Salford City College Eccles Sixth Form Centre BTEC Extended Diploma in GAMES DESIGN Unit 73: Sound For Computer Games IG2 Task 1 5 to each other sothat whenplayedback through a suitable reproductionsystem, there will be anapparent image ofthe original soundsource. Stereowouldbe a requirement if there is a need to replicate the aural perspective and localizationof instruments ona stage or platform, a verycommon requirement inperforming arts centres. http://www.mcsquared.com/mono-stereo.htm what directionthe sounds come, either right or left. Stereo audio is much better option for any sound sequence, as there I can freely manipulate the panning, so the chosen sounds have a movement, making it more interesting to the ear when e.g. someone runs past. It’s the most basic for a designer and good when people use only headphones or two speakers to listen. It’s like a practice before moving onto surround sound. Surround Sound Surroundsoundis a term usedto describe a type of audiooutput inwhichthe sound appears to "surround the listener" by360 degrees. Surround soundsystems use three or more channels andspeakers in front and behindthe listener to create a surrounding envelope of soundanddirectional audiosources. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/surround_sound. html Surroundsounds willbe the trickiest to mix, andit will involve manyspeakers, which we don’t have in class. However, surroundsound will addmore excitement to the audiorecording when finished. If the speakers won’t be to use, thenI maystayjust with Stereo. Direct Audio (Pulse Code Modulation – PCM) Pulse code modulation (PCM) is a digital representation of an analog signal that takes samples ofthe amplitude of the analogsignal at regular intervals. The sampled analog data is changedto, andthenrepresentedby, binarydata. […]Each sample ina PCMis quantized, approximating a verylarge set ofpossible valuesbya relativelysmallset ofvalues, which maybe integers or even discrete symbols. No matter how complex they are, all analog data maybe digitized. This includes analog data suchas full-motion video, sound, telemetry and virtualreality. http://www.techopedia.com/definition/24128/pulse- code-modulation-pcm PCM allows analogue recordings to be converted and savedas digital data. AUDIO RECORDING SYSTEMS Analogue As humans, we perceive the worldin analog. Everything we see andhear is a continuous transmission of informationto our senses. This continuous streamis what defines analogdata. Digital information, on the other hand, estimatesanalog data using onlyonesand Analogue data, thoughbetter inquality, is much harder to edit, as the recordingis savedina continuous line. It alsocan’t be storedon computers unless digitised, so this data
  6. 6. Salford City College Eccles Sixth Form Centre BTEC Extended Diploma in GAMES DESIGN Unit 73: Sound For Computer Games IG2 Task 1 6 zeros. For example, a turntable (or record player) is ananalog device, while a CD player is digital. This is because a turntable reads bumps andgrooves from a recordas a continuous signal, while a CD player onlyreads a series of ones andzeros. […]analogdata is actuallymore accurate thandigital data. However, digital data can canbe manipulated easier andpreservedbetter thananalog data. More importantly, computers can onlyhandle digital data, which is whymost informationtodayis stored digitally. http://techterms.com/definition/analog Digital Mini Disc A pre-recordedMiniDisc is exactlylike a CD, except smaller. […]A recordable MiniDisc is a magneto-optical device capable of storing 140 megabytes ofinformation. Music canbe scattered all over the diskandthe player can "put it together" correctlywhenplaying the disk. This means that you canerase andre-recordsongs on a MiniDisc without having to worryabout how theyfit together. This is tremendouslyconvenient comparedto a cassette tape, where you have to basicallyre-record the entire tape if you want to change anyof the songs on it. There are also4-track MiniDisc recorders for musicians, which are great for recording songs as they are performedandthen mixing the tracks. http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question55.htm As the definition shows, the Mini Disc is suitable for recording music, muchbetter thana regular CD. It’s good for fewsongs, or tracks, so it maybe used to store our soundrecordings. Compact Disc (CD) An optical disk approximately4.75 inches (12 cm) in diameter, on which a program, data, music, etc., is digitallyencodedfor a laser beam to scan, decode, and transmit to a playbacksystem, computer monitor, or televisionset. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/compact+disk CD, alongside withpendrive, is the most familiar wayfor me to save data. If the soundfile will be small enough, I couldkeep andsave them onCD, though I prefer the other storage object. Digital Audio Tape (DAT) DAT (Digital AudioTape)is a standard mediumand technologyfor the digital recordingof audioon tape at a professional level of quality. A DAT drive is a digitaltape recorder with rotatingheads similar to those foundina This tape recording allows tracks recordedbyit soundmore professional.
  7. 7. Salford City College Eccles Sixth Form Centre BTEC Extended Diploma in GAMES DESIGN Unit 73: Sound For Computer Games IG2 Task 1 7 video deck. […]DAT hasbecome the standardarchiving technologyinprofessionaland semi-professional recording environments for master recordings. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/DAT-Digital- Audio-Tape MIDI Stands for "Musical Instrument Digital Interface." It is a connectivitystandard that musicians use to hook together musical instruments (suchas keyboards and synthesizers)and computer equipment. Using MIDI, a musiciancaneasilycreate andedit digitalmusic tracks. The MIDI system records the notesplayed, the lengthof the notes, the dynamics (volume alterations), the tempo, the instrument being played, andhundreds of other parameters, calledcontrol changes. http://techterms.com/definition/midi MIDI is a useful tool for musicians whowant their songs to be recorded in a better way. It allows them to automaticallysave the notes theyhave been playingas well as the instrument used. Software Sequencers In digital audiorecording, a sequencer is a program in a computer or stand-alone keyboardunit that puts together a sound sequence froma series (or sequence) of MusicalInstrument DigitalInterface ( MIDI ) events (operations). http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/sequencer Sequencer, just like anyof MIDI instruments, allows musicians to record music digitally. Software Plug-ins* Software that is installedintoanexisting applicationin order to enhance its capability. For example, plug-ins are widelyused in image editing programs suchas Photoshopto addsome specialeffect. Plug-ins are added to Webbrowsers to enable them to support different types of content (audio, video, etc.). The term is widelyusedfor software, but canalsorefer to a plug- in module for hardware. http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/49395/plug -in Software plug-ins canincreasethe efficiencyof a browser, for example making some of the features to be available to use (small programmes on websites which require java plug-in) or improving others. Software plugins add to software, giving more choices to manipulate the audio. During the exercise we uploaded VST plugins to Reaper software. MIDI Keyboard Instruments A MusicalInstrument Digital Interface (MIDI) keyboardis a musicalinstrument like a piano keyboard. The MIDI portionindicates that the instrument has a communicationprotocol built inthat allows it to MIDI keyboards, unlike the regular keyboards, are able to connect withcomputer sothe data of the music played is easilysaved and digitalised.
  8. 8. Salford City College Eccles Sixth Form Centre BTEC Extended Diploma in GAMES DESIGN Unit 73: Sound For Computer Games IG2 Task 1 8 communicate witha computer or other MIDI-equipped instrument. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-midi- keyboard.htm AUDIO SAMPLING File Size Constraints - Bit- depth* In digital audio, bit depthdescribes the potential accuracyof a particular piece of hardware or software that processes audiodata. In general, the more bits that are available, the more accurate the resulting output from the data being processed. Bit depthis frequentlyencounteredinspecifications for analog-to-digital converters ( ADCs) anddigital-to- analog converters ( DACs), whenreading about software plug-in , andwhenrecording audiousinga professional medium suchas a digitalaudio workstation or a Digital AudioTape machine. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/bit-depth Bit depthfor audiofiles works inthe same wayas for picture files:more bits available make the music soundmore like anoriginaltrack we meant to record. And lessthana robotic ‘beeping’ (unless we intendedto make it) While saving any sound sequence we could change the bit rate. More of bits meant better track as well as more taken space. I stayedwith 24Bit rate. File Size Constraints - Sample Rate* In developing an audio soundfor computers or telecommunication, the sample rate is the number of samples ofa sound that are takenper secondto represent the event digitally. The more samplestaken per second, the more accurate the digital representation ofthe soundcan be. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/sample-rate Higher sample rate ofthe recording makes it sound more accuratelyto anoriginal data and therefore it raised its quality. In order to make mytracks soundmore realistically I needto make sure theydo have a highsample rate. While saving sound sequences there is also an option to change the sample rate. More of it meant more accurate scan of the audio while rendering, but the render would last longer depending on file length. I stayed with 48000Hz.

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