Bytesize Adventures
Crafting bite-sized digital worlds

On Sound Effects and Music

I’m currently spending a large portion of my time refining the gameplay elements to ensure that the game is as good as it can be. It’s certainly getting there and I promise the final product will be heaps of fun.
Today I took some time out of coding to address the issue of sound effects and music for the game. I’m certainly no audiophile and I need a solution that doesn’t cost the earth. I decided to check out some software for computer generated sounds and I found some great solutions.

Sound Effects
I found an excellent, and free, application called CFXR – it’s a Mac port of SFXR by DrPetter. It lets you create sounds from a bunch of tweak-able properties and also has the ability to randomly generate sounds of a particular type (e.g. it can generate random examples of beeps). You can export these sound effects in WAV format (perfect for the iPhone). Best of all it has a free software license so you can use it for whatever you like. I’ve already created some basic custom sounds for my game ready to be tweaked by Audacity (more on that in a minute).
Music is a slightly different ball game since it needs to play constantly in the background without getting annoying whilst remaining interesting enough to hold your attention. I’ve found the perfect piece of software, its called Bitnotic Chill. This one’s not quite free but its very close, it costs $20 (£15 with taxes) and again you are free to use the music for whatever you like. It’s a relatively basic application that generates random examples of soothing music. Like CFXR, it has properties that can be tweaked to create truly unique pieces of music. Again, you can export the music in WAV,AIFF, and MIDI formats. I’ve created a basic background track ready for Audacity tweaking.
Adding that last layer of polish
In order to ensure the sound effects and music (created with the applications above) truly fit with my game, I opted for Audacity. It’s the perfect solution for adding that final layer of polish. Its an open source application that allows you to edit AIFF and WAV files by tweaking numerous attributes. You can splice, mix and edit speed and pitch (amongst other things).

So there you have it, 3 programs to deal with all my Sound related needs at the incredibly low price of $20. I’ll post some more info on my progress with these applications shortly.