I recently passed the Audiokinetic Wwise certification course, which covered the core concepts of using Wwise to implement audio into a 3D game. Audio middleware like Wwise gives sound designers (or audio Wwizards) a ton of power, and puts less of a burden on game programmers. It's a night and day difference from just rendering out audio files, and triggering them when an event happens in game. I particularly enjoyed learning about how straightforward Wwise makes optimizing audio for multiple platforms.
Ryan Baldwin - Technical Sound Designer & Audio Engineer - Blog
[Sound Design, Game Audio, Sound Art, Interactive Computing, Field Recording]
This past week I went out hiking and recorded a variety of water sounds from two waterfalls and some streams. I'll be making everything available in libraries down the road. Beautiful scenery and soundscapes...
If you use a recent version of Safari on your Mac to browse the web, you may notice some sites that take forever to load, or don't load entirely, even on a speedy internet connection.
One trick I found that has helped my situation, is disabling Safari's DNS prefetch feature. There isn't a toggle in the preferences for this, but a quick trip to the Terminal can turn it on or off easily.
Make sure to quit out of Safari first. Then go to /Applications/Utilities to locate the Terminal application. Copy and paste the following, then hit Enter/Return.
defaults write com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled -boolean false
In theory, DNS prefetching is supposed to make navigating the web feel snappier, but for whatever reason it seems to often have the opposite effect. Try it out, your mileage may vary. Restoring to the default setting is also straightforward.
defaults delete com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled
I've just released the first version of my ambient sound app for Mac. You can read more about it and download it here. It creates a variety of ambient soundscapes and can act as a sleep aid, or help with focus while working.
MelloToneGen is a generative ambient music and noise machine application for OS X.
Built with Max/MSP, it runs as a native Mac application, and creates soothing, meditative soundscapes, using sounds of nature recorded in the Pacific Northwest, along with algorithmically-generated synthetic tones.
You can choose from multiple soundscape themes, created from layers of original field recordings. Along with that, mellow tones are generated, that evolve over time (especially enjoyable on headphones).
Having a non-repeating source of ambient sound can be beneficial in many situations. Focusing on work or creative tasks in a totally quiet space can be difficult. Similarly, it's hard to concentrate when listening to music with melodies or lyrics. MelloToneGen aims to strike a balance by providing more than just white noise, and avoiding melodic repetition.
MelloToneGen sounds best over good headphones or speakers. Put it on while programming, drawing, meditating, doing yoga, or use it as a sleep aid...the name is in part a reference to Melatonin.
Please contact me with any feedback or issues.
Some footage from recent sound design projects.
A reimagining of Half-Life 2: Episode Two's audio. All visuals belong to the developer, Valve. Sound was removed from the original gameplay trailer and entirely replaced by me, using a combination of manipulated recordings and synthesis.
I refrained from listening to the original audio while working on the project, and tried to create my own take on what the scene should sound like, while also paying homage to a great game.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of contributing to a very neat project -- Patterning : Drum Machine, developed by Olympia Noise Co. for the iPad. I designed samples for one of the bundled drum kits in the app, called "Extraterrestrial". All of the samples came from recording objects around my home, and then processing them digitally.
I'm also making the individual drum samples available for download, as hi-res 96kHz/24-bit WAVs, for use in any audio application. They can be obtained from the SoundCloud playlist linked here.
Some sound design done while interning with Impossible Acoustic in Seattle. All sounds came from recording a Volkswagen GTI.
Field recordings of a thunderstorm in Washington.