Tutorial: How to Make Decent Sounds

Guides on how to make skins, modify JPOG and much more

Tutorial: How to Make Decent Sounds

Unread postby Docszoo » Tue, 14th Sep 2010 22:45

Introduction

Since we now have a skinning AND SOUND download section, I figure you little newblets would like to know how to make a decent sound for your dinos, eh? Reason I am putting this up is when I did play and mod the game, there were TOO MANY sound downloads with sounds that lacked the matching animation of the dinosaur. Reason why you did this? Either you didn't know what to do, or you were a lazy bum and didn't care. I will be tutoring you on the former of the two. If you don't follow along on your own measure, then you are the latter problem. So lets get to work.

Some terms you should know about sounds overall


Sound:
    a frequency of vibrations that cause atoms to collide with one another. These atoms continue to collide until the power of the original source has died down, and is no longer affecting the atoms.
Initial:
    For a lack of a better term (if I ever find the real term) is how a sound begins. In this case, its the initial call or roar to the peak of the highest wave on your wave chart.
Duration:
    This is how long your sound lasts at its highest wave. It can be made longer by adding echos, or reverberations.
Decay:
    This is when your sound quiets down, and eventually stops.
Sinusoidal Waves:
    There are the lines in which you can see frequencies, ie. the tone of your sound.
Hertz:
    The frequency of your sound. The lower the hertz, the lower pitch the sound is. The higher the hertz (Hz), the higher the pitch will be. Humans can hear 12 Hz to 20 KHz.
Wavelength:
    This is how the frequency of your sound is measured. It is by the distance it takes for one complete cycle to occur in your Wave chart.
Amplitude:
    This is the loudness (essentially) of your sound. Its measured by the distance of the y axis of your Wave graph. The larger the amplitude, the louder of a sound you will get.

Here is an image from Wikipedia as an example of the Wave Graph:



Every line has the same amplitude. However, the frequency is different, with the lowest line displayed above having the highest frequency (most hills).

Software

Now, to get onto the sound editing tutorial. The programs I would prefer you all get (if you want to edit sound properly) is WavePad, which cost $50 for the full, but you can download a trial or a 'not-as-good' version by clicking here. However, you can also use programs like Audacity, which I don't have experience with. However, as long as you can edit the height of the amplitude in an area, paste sections, and essentially mix up stuff, you will be fine.

First off, you will want to find a good source for your sounds. They have to be CLEAR for you to have an edited CLEAR sound. You wouldn't base your skins off a poor looking image would you?

For example, for my Sound Pack, I used two sources for my sounds. Any unedited sound you use is Ok, just as long as you link to where you got the sounds, and the site says you can use them. If they say you can not use them even for free distribution, don't use them unless prior permission is given. Even then, ask and hope for a reply. Usually it will be something about not being allowed to sell their sound files in any way. However, this is free, and as long as you link to their site and say you received the sounds from them, then you are good.

Either way, you got your sound downloaded, and you can play it on your sound editing software. Now it's time to modify it (which is a step a lot of you don't take).

Modifying Part 1: Location of Files you want

The first important part is to find the location of your default sound in the game. This is located at the

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Universal Interactive\Blue Tongue Software\Jurassic Park Operation Genesis\JPOG\Data\Sound\Dino

Each file has a dinosaur's set calls for certain situations. I encourage you to observe the dinosaurs in game behavior for which sound you want to edit for the best effects. Once you have the file you want to replace,
make a backup

After you do that, open the default sound in your SES (sound editing software). Once in the SES, it should say the duration of that sound, as well as show you the graph of the sound. Moreover, it should look like a bunch of up and down lines that are not symmetrical, like a large squiggly.

Image

Zoom in, and you will see a series of lines that form peaks which create that familiar looking sine waves.

Modifying Part 2: Length and Fading

So, here are a couple scenarios. Lets say the sound you want is longer than the default. This is easy. What you do is you highlight the section of the sound you are editing in an area you find most important. You either can press copy, or you can cut off a section that you least want, but LEAVE A LITTLE EXTRA SPACE. DO NOT GET THE EXACT LENGTH OF THE SOUND.
If you play your sound back, it will have either a sudden start or a sudden end, or both depending on how you cut it. That is not a problem. In WavePad, you have a tool known as Fade In and Fade Out. For the beginning of your sound, you will need to do a Fade In on about a tenth or so of your sound (Although, it is all your personal opinion). For the end, you need to do a Fade Out. If you notice, you will have extra space at the end where there is no detectable sound. You may cut that part out if you please. However, remember to look back at the default dinosaur sound at what time it ends, as well as looking at the behavior in game to see when the sound goes from roaring straight from the mouth to using just nostrils and growling.

If you are editing the Tyrannosaurs sounds, you will notice it goes quiet, and roars again in the same sound file. You need to replicate that EXACTLY in your new sound by doing a fade out and in at the appropriate locations. But remember, there is a difference in the sound a growl makes and the sound a roar makes.

Modifying Part 3: Combining Sounds

So, you got the basics of matching the animation with ONE new sound file. However, what if you wanted to add a conglomerate of different sounds to incorporate that, or you want this 2nd part of the sound at the start? The copy and paste can come in handy here too. For the first scenario, open both new files in WavePad. Then, do what you did before, but leave some blank area (you can right click an area and add a certain amount of time to the audio). Once you got that, copy the other sound, and paste it onto your blank area by either highlighting and pasting or just right click and pasting.
However, your one file has multiple parts that you want together, but separated by a line of nothing. Highlight a little bit from the left side, and drag your cursor to a little on the right side of the line, and click delete or cut. It should bring the two sound sets together. (I'm hoping the sounds are similar enough so that if played correctly, they will sound like one, not two completely different noises).

Modifying Part 4: Abnormalities

Now, this is where you may get some errors in your sound. You may play your sound, and hear a click, or a pop, or something that makes NO SENSE why its there. The reason for this is because your sound amplitudes don't match at the particular point, or your sound skipped a negative amplitude bar. Zoom into where you think you have the issue as far as you can go, and go along the time to the left or right until you see an abnormality in the symmetry of your waves. If you have bars around it that are similar length, just delete the abnormal ones until it looks good again. If not, there is a tool (I am not sure if it is on all freeware sound editors) that is called a restoration, equalizer, or normalizer. Just use any tool to make that part of the file fixed. Once that is done, you can begin editing the pitch, volume, timbre, frequency, WHATEVER you want. The reason you do that after you have the two together is because sound quality deteriorates over time when you edit. This is exactly the same as with images in which you get scratchy looking messes after you fix the contrast and color aspects. Instead of a smoothing tool or other name of similar function, WavePad has a Noise Reduction tool, which you should experiment with.

Once you have your final sound, you can save it as the same file name as the original, and play the game. If the sound matches your dinosaurs animations, and its got a good volume to it, and its clear, you got a good sound. Be sure that when you post it, upload it to youtube to give your fellow modders a preview of what they are gonna be downloading. Nobody who doesn't play the game anymore will download your file. Simple as that. But to get better, critique is a needed thing, which is why give and example of your audio in the form of a video of an in game example, or somehow displaying your sound so people don't have to download everything is needed, and should be required for any sound pack.

FAQ:

Q: The sounds I want to use are from Youtube/ The TV/ etc. How do I acquire these?
A: If you can have the file downloaded, and playable in something like windows media player, you can try to open it with WavePad or other SES. I do not guarantee this though. I also do not recommend using a recorder, as your sound quality will be very low.

Q: My sound is real metallic-like. What do I do?
A: Don't make it any louder, or increase the wavelength, as this will just make things worse. This is an issue I had when making sounds, and I never could figure out what to do. I suggest either re-doing your sound, or finding a different sound source that is closer to the desired pitch and frequency you desire.

Q: I hear a click, but I can't find it!
A: The difference in the size of the bar will only be slightly different than the rest, so it could be difficult to see. If you really cant find it, delete the section you KNOW it's in, and equalize the area.

Q: Why are there such a small amount of pictures here?
A: Because I want you to download and do my tutorial, and make them. Shoot me a PM if you make them, and I will incorporate them in this tutorial.
-Andrew
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Re: Tutorial: How to Make Decent Sounds

Unread postby Reprieve » Thu, 16th Sep 2010 10:36

I made it all sticky.
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Re: Tutorial: How to Make Decent Sounds

Unread postby RaptorRaider » Tue, 16th Nov 2010 22:50

Reprieve wrote:I made it all sticky.


Whoa, someone loves creating sounds a little too much eh? :hehee:
Goodjob on this tutorial Docszoo! :clap:
Now I'm going to use this to add the sounds I've always wanted!

-RaptorRaider
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