The Sound Update Thread (The Return)

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Mike Caviezel is senior audio lead at PD now.
He's a great man in this department and was audio lead at Turn 10. (Forza Motorsport series)

Subtle distinction: he is a senior audio lead at PD.

These responsibilities from his previous role at Microsoft tell the full story:
Responsibilities include:
- Sound Supervision and quality control for all audio content produced by Soundlab
- Sound Supervision for individual titles
- Soundlab staffing, facility design and maintenance
- Sound Design
- Dialog supervision (Scripting, Directing & Implementation)
- Post-Production
- Game Mixing
- Music Mixing
- Music Composition

Looking at his contributions to the early FM games, it seems PD got the right guy. ;)

I guess they'll be starting up a new team of sound designers at SCEA, working to increase the rate of production of new cars, perhaps.
 
Mike Caviezel is senior audio lead at PD now.
He's a great man in this department and was audio lead at Turn 10. (Forza Motorsport series)


For once, PD actually took something from Turn 10 :lol:

Should be interesting though, very curious as to how he'll overlook the use of that new AES system as it definitely won't be the sample based work he used to deal with.
 
For once, PD actually took something from Turn 10 :lol:

Should be interesting though, very curious as to how he'll overlook the use of that new AES system as it definitely won't be the sample based work he used to deal with.
Yes, it will be different, but his roles have always been almost "architectural" in nature, so he will be working at the design and organisation level, not the technical level.

It's just a case of adapting to new tools and accepting the starting points given by the data entry step (although they'd have to learn to recognise when that starting point is wrong, e.g. due to errors). The actual tweak-compare cycle is unaffacted, you just have slightly different controls. The major advantage is that those controls will correspond more closely with physical things, making them more intuitive to use (once an understanding of the physical thing is attained), which implies less trial and error to learn.

I actually did not expect that :eek:

Wow, so PD went and borrowed something from Turn 10. I wonder what else those 2 are bartering :D

Interesting turn of events I'd say. I wonder if we'll get the brutalness of Forza's engine sounds in GT possibly.

I believe you must be excited 'ey @Griffith500 ?:D

I don't think Mr. Caviezel was responsible for Forza's eventual "brutalness", rather FM2's excellent fidelity, detail and focus on expression in the car sounds - i.e. it was the last game to have tuning modifications properly reflected in the sound via separate samples. With AES, the vast scope for such modified sounds is well within reach. ;)

Note also that Mike most recently worked for his own "company", not Microsoft.
 
I don't think Mr. Caviezel was responsible for Forza's eventual "brutalness", rather FM2's excellent fidelity, detail and focus on expression in the car sounds - i.e. it was the last game to have tuning modifications properly reflected in the sound via separate samples. With AES, the vast scope for such modified sounds is well within reach. ;)

Note also that Mike most recently worked for his own "company", not Microsoft.

I get that he wasn't part & parcel for Forza's sounds but hey I like the fidelity and detail bit

I like the way Forza 2's sounds are



So maybe something like that is destined for GT but on a different level with AES though?
 
There has to be a catch though. Can't be the almighty problem solver. There's some things it can't do
That can be said for all technology (nothing will ever be perfect). But with this sound simulating technique the issues are going to be much smaller than those present currently.
 
That can be said for all technology (nothing will ever be perfect). But with this sound simulating technique the issues are going to be much smaller than those present currently.
Not necessarily. Other games have proven that you can do a fantastic job with sound simulation using current sampling techniques and sound generation technology. If done properly they are extremely convincing IMO. The issue with the new method, again IMO, is going to be finding a way to make artificial sounds at least as natural and realistic as current techniques will allow and not sound digitized and "fake". IMO the bar is pretty high already and it remains to be seen if you can take the AES method and create convincing sounds for 1400 cars in a world where comparisons between real life and games are just a couple of button pushes away.
 
Not necessarily. Other games have proven that you can do a fantastic job with sound simulation using current sampling techniques and sound generation technology. If done properly they are extremely convincing IMO. The issue with the new method, again IMO, is going to be finding a way to make artificial sounds at least as natural and realistic as current techniques will allow and not sound digitized and "fake". IMO the bar is pretty high already and it remains to be seen if you can take the AES method and create convincing sounds for 1400 cars in a world where comparisons between real life and games are just a couple of button pushes away.
The problem with samples is what happens when you upgrade your car? They are not dynamic like real engines.

this AES is all about pushing the tech and experience on and up, a very good direction for PD considering their current downfalls.

It seems you are not very eager to move on from samples, johnny?
 
The problem with samples is what happens when you upgrade your car? They are not dynamic like real engines.

this AES is all about pushing the tech and experience on and up, a very good direction for PD considering their current downfalls.

It seems you are not very eager to move on from samples, johnny?
That's not a problem with samples. It's a problem with PD including upgrades to the car in the game without recording relevant samples and/or how the sound programming treats the upgrades.

I am not for or against samples, AES or anything else. However I am for simulation, and whatever sounds more convincing is what I prefer. All I'm saying is, AES is only "good" for GT if it succeeds in a convincing sound package. Simply better than what they have isn't good enough IMO, as what they have is the worst overall sound package in all of sim racing IMO. The new standard will be to exceed what other games are already doing with the old methods, not just do something better than what they did before. Several other games are very convincing IMO, it remains to be seen if PD can meet or exceed those already high standards.
 
Simply better than what they have isn't good enough IMO
Which is why they need to get radical. Creating perfect samples for 800 or so cars is impossible for them now, which is why this works.

Recording cars and then producing replicating samples of them was once new ground itself, it's all about pushing the game on. The only game I would say that has near perfect sounds is raceroom racing experience, so for gt7 to, like you said, exceed what other games are already doing, it's going to need to try something new. And big.

Admit it, you'd be all for it if PCARS was doing it ;)

@matherto AES is a sound simulator engine that creates the sound of the car live, eliminating the need for samples
 
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Which is why they need to get radical. Creating perfect samples for 800 or so cars is impossible for them now, which is why this works.
It's far too early to say whether this "works" or not. "Works" of course being defined is closely simluating real car sounds. There isn't a single example of the new sound generation method in full use, just bits and pieces on various cars.

Recording cars and then producing replicating samples of them was once new ground itself, it's all about pushing the game on. The only game I would say that has near perfect sounds is raceroom racing experience, so for gt7 to, like you said, exceed what other games are already doing, it's going to need to try something new. And big.
R3E has probably the best sound package of any game as far as I can tell and to me it's very convincing. The gap between it and perfection is awfully small to anyone but a sound engineer micro analyzing every little detail and looking for flaws. GT doesn't need to try something new, it's a choice they are making which may or may not succeed. Much like choosing to rely on VGT for the majority of their GT6 DLC, it's a choice, not a requirement.

Admit it, you'd be all for it if PCARS was doing it
I'd be all for it whoever was doing it, so long as it works. I care about results and what I get as the end user, nothing more.
 
It's far too early to say whether this "works" or not. There isn't a single example of the new sound generation method in full use, just bits and pieces on various cars.
"Works" as in "provides all the cars with a new sound". In regards to accuracy, we have no idea. What we do know is that some of the cars in gt6 are using merely a few or single parameters of the full sound engine, and while still quite behind the competition, they are a big step up. And this is just a very primitive form. It seems very promising if you ask me.

Like i said, r3e is the only game with sounds that satisfy me 100%. As PD have a hell of a lot of cars to develop sounds for and are not so good at both recording and creating samples, I don't think they can really take the same path. Ten years ago? Maybe, but not now.
 
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"Works" as in "provides all the cars with a new sample". In regards to accuracy, we have no idea. What we do know is that some of the cars in gt6 are using merely a few or single parameters of the full sound engine, and while still quite behind the competition, they are a big step up. And this is just a very primitive form. It seems very promising if you ask me.

Like i said, r3e is the only game with sounds that satisfy me 100%. As PD have a hell of a lot of cars to develop sounds for and are not so good at both recording and creating samples, I don't think they can really take the same path. Ten years ago? Maybe, but not now.
Well there's our fundamental disagreement. You think successful is defined as a "new sample", I think "works" is a convincing and realistic sounding, overall sound package, as good as or better than what their competitors are offering.

By the way, as I understand it, AES doesn't produce samples, it generates sounds on the fly, in real time, with no samples necessary.
 
Well there's our fundamental disagreement. You think successful is defined as a "new sample",
Oh no I don't think this at all, I was specifically talking just about AES working better than sampling in regards to delivering new sound to all of the cars. If they sound wrong I will be the first to deem it a failure.

Apologies for the misuse of the word "sample", I slipped up there.
 
I get that he wasn't part & parcel for Forza's sounds but hey I like the fidelity and detail bit

I like the way Forza 2's sounds are

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud54vNU4qUs

So maybe something like that is destined for GT but on a different level with AES though?

It needn't be a fixed sound per upgrade part with AES. You could choose parts, and that might open up a sound customisation option appropriate to the part chosen. It'd be great if those options affected the performance, too. CFW users could potentially already get the customisation aspect in GT6 using a third party tool (or hand-editing), although you'd either have to break the patching or live with a very small number of shared custom sounds.

Regarding the FM2 sound, I think it works as a better example when you contrast that Supra to its stock form (separate samples):



Not necessarily. Other games have proven that you can do a fantastic job with sound simulation using current sampling techniques and sound generation technology.

...

Could you explain what this means?

That's not a problem with samples. It's a problem with PD including upgrades to the car in the game without recording relevant samples and/or how the sound programming treats the upgrades.

...

So it's not a problem with samples, it's a problem with samples. :D

What other games offer separate samples for tuned cars? I don't recall it being a common feature; the major drawback to any fixed content, when the thing it represents is meant to be dynamic, is the very fact that it is fixed. So samples are a problem when you need to represent a wide range of sounds, purely because you have to record and produce so many of them. Samples are a problem for GT.

Would you not enjoy the possibility of fine-tuning the sounds of your cars to suit you, without having to make do with the sounds the developers hand-picked for you? Even if it did result in a lower fidelity than is currently possible with samples (like the age old battle between real time and pre-rendered graphics). It may not come immediately (interface design, parameter limits, general treatment of wide range of engine configurations etc.), but it's eminently possible.

Could you explain what "sound programming" can do with a given set of samples to represent different states of tune?
 
Could you explain what this means?
Not sure what you want me to explain. It seems pretty self explanatory.
What other games offer separate samples for tuned cars? I don't recall it being a common feature; the major drawback to any fixed content, when the thing it represents is meant to be dynamic, is the very fact that it is fixed. So samples are a problem when you need to represent a wide range of sounds, purely because you have to record and produce so many of them. Samples are a problem for GT.
In context, I was saying that the current samples aren't the problem as it relates to the sound when upgrades are added. The problem is that PD didn't obtain samples of cars in their upgraded state, instead relied on software to do the job, and it didn't do the job very well.
Would you not enjoy the possibility of fine-tuning the sounds of your cars to suit you, without having to make do with the sounds the developers hand-picked for you? Even if it did result in a lower fidelity than is currently possible with samples (like the age old battle between real time and pre-rendered graphics). It may not come immediately (interface design, parameter limits, general treatment of wide range of engine configurations etc.), but it's eminently possible.
99% of the time I just want to jump in a car, press a few buttons, get on the track and have everything work. Fine tuning sounds to me would be a nice added feature, so long as the stock sounds were accurate. It's something I'd play with when I didn't feel like racing, like adding custom parts, painting cars, VGT cars etc. I don't buy the game to do that stuff, I only do it when I don't feel like tuning/driving/racing.
Could you explain what "sound programming" can do with a given set of samples to represent different states of tune?
I cannot, it's not my area of expertise.
 
Not sure what you want me to explain. It seems pretty self explanatory.

It seems pretty false, actually. No current racing game uses "sound simulation", or "generation technology". Except GT6. If you were trying to make a different point, then please explain.

In context, I was saying that the current samples aren't the problem as it relates to the sound when upgrades are added. The problem is that PD didn't obtain samples of cars in their upgraded state, instead relied on software to do the job, and it didn't do the job very well.
What software are they relying on for "upgraded state" samples?

And the reason they didn't record enough samples is there's too many to do, and they'd already decided to go the new route as a result. Samples are the problem for the direction PD have chosen to go, so samples had to go. Samples will be a problem for any other game with a similar number of cars and total states of tune to represent, also. That is the primary reason other games do not represent sound differences in state of tune.

99% of the time I just want to jump in a car, press a few buttons, get on the track and have everything work. Fine tuning sounds to me would be a nice added feature, so long as the stock sounds were accurate. It's something I'd play with when I didn't feel like racing, like adding custom parts, painting cars, VGT cars etc. I don't buy the game to do that stuff, I only do it when I don't feel like tuning/driving/racing.
By GT7 it'll sound just fine without touching anything, so you'll not miss those samples. Best not touch the engine when you're tuning, though.

I cannot, it's not my area of expertise.
Then how do you know it's possible?
 
It seems pretty false, actually. No current racing game uses "sound simulation", or "generation technology". Except GT6. If you were trying to make a different point, then please explain.
I refer to the sound engine in any game as "sound simulation". They are simulating sound by manipulating samples.
And the reason they didn't record enough samples is there's too many to do, and they'd already decided to go the new route as a result. Samples are the problem for the direction PD have chosen to go, so samples had to go. Samples will be a problem for any other game with a similar number of cars and total states of tune to represent, also. That is the primary reason other games do not represent sound differences in state of tune.
Too many? Or just not a top priority until now?
By GT7 it'll sound just fine without touching anything, so you'll not miss those samples. Best not touch the engine when you're tuning, though.
Maybe, maybe not. We'll have to wait and see. Until then I remain skeptical.
Then how do you know it's possible?

Not sure what you're getting at, sorry. You quoted this, and your question was at the end of that portion of your response.
That's not a problem with samples. It's a problem with PD including upgrades to the car in the game without recording relevant samples and/or how the sound programming treats the upgrades.
I'm not sure what my lack of knowledge in sound programming has to do with knowing why PD's programming efforts around game upgrades does or doesn't work currently.
 
I refer to the sound engine in any game as "sound simulation". They are simulating sound by manipulating samples.

Well, they're actually not at all simulating sounds by playing back recordings. They're playing back recordings. A photograph is not a simulation, either.

You can use that definition if you like, but it's at odds with the definition used in the post you replied to, and that which the entire games industry uses, so that's why I asked you to explain it.

So what special, personal definition of "generating technology" are you using?

Too many? Or just not a top priority until now?
GT has always had sounds that varied with upgrades, so: too many.

Maybe, maybe not. We'll have to wait and see. Until then I remain skeptical.
Skepticism is healthy. No need to be overly conservative, though. It's just a game. :)


Not sure what you're getting at, sorry. You quoted this, and your question was at the end of that portion of your response.

I was referring to this specifically:
how the sound programming treats the upgrades
Could you explain what "sound programming" can do with a given set of samples to represent different states of tune?
I cannot, it's not my area of expertise.
Then how do you know it's possible?

Which must also be related to:
relied on software to do the job
What software are they relying on for "upgraded state" samples?

Which you conveniently ignored. You seem to be under the impression that PD are not using samples for the upgraded states, or that they are processing them using "software", in some way. This is false, either way.

I'm not sure what my lack of knowledge in sound programming has to do with knowing why PD's programming efforts around game upgrades does or doesn't work currently.
No, I get that you don't understand why your lack of knowledge on a subject should cause you to resist making false statements about that subject as if they were facts.
 
Well, they're actually not at all simulating sounds by playing back recordings. They're playing back recordings. A photograph is not a simulation, either.
I think you're just nitpicking. Do I really need to explain that a photo is static. In game sounds are not static. Samples are not just copied and pasted into the game to cover every single situation, that's why they are called samples. Those samples are interpolated into a full range of sounds..hence they simulate sound

I was referring to this specifically:
Which must also be related to:
Which you conveniently ignored. You seem to be under the impression that PD are not using samples for the upgraded states, or that they are processing them using "software", in some way. This is false, either way.
So which is it? They used separately recorded samples for the upgrades states or they used some manipulation on the original samples to produce the sounds associated with the upgrades? Or both? Or neither? Explain.

No, I get that you don't understand why your lack of knowledge on a subject should cause you to resist making false statements about that subject as if they were facts.

You mean like this?:

And the reason they didn't record enough samples is there's too many to do
By GT7 it'll sound just fine without touching anything
That is the primary reason other games do not represent sound differences in state of tune.
 
I think you're just nitpicking. Do I really need to explain that a photo is static. In game sounds are not static. Samples are not just copied and pasted into the game to cover every single situation, that's why they are called samples. Those samples are interpolated into a full range of sounds..hence they simulate sound

Samples are just "copied and pasted" into the game. The "interpolated" sounds are sounds that never existed in the first place (blend together a sample recorded at 4000 rpm with one at 6000 rpm, both time-stretched to 5000 rpm, and it won't sound like the engine did at 5000 rpm, guaranteed).

Samples are referred to as being analogous to photographs in this piece. In a book titled Numerical Sound Synthesis, sampling is described as being an "abstract synthesis method", the likes of which "do not possess an associated underlying physical interpretation".

In computer science, which is where computer games come from: "a simulation should imitate the internal processes and not merely the results of the thing being simulated". Sampling just gives you the results, as long as you're not interpolating.


So any game using traditional sampling should not be claimed to be "simulating" anything, as long as all those words mean what they're generally agreed to mean in the context they're being used.

What about that "generating technology" you mentioned other games using?

So which is it? They used separately recorded samples for the upgrades states or they used some manipulation on the original samples to produce the sounds associated with the upgrades? Or both? Or neither? Explain.

It's obviously separate samples. You claimed they were manipulating them with "sound programming" and "software", and that was somehow the reason they "don't work" (whatever that means).

You mean like this?:
Nope.
 
While I doubt they are pushing any tech boundaries, codemastes continues to make really really good sounding games. Check out this Stratos clip from the new Dirt game.



There is even a reverb of the induction noise. That is a subtle detail I haven't heard before in other games.

And the more fearsome sounding 6R4.



I would even say these are some of the best sounding and most detailed engine sounds I've heard in any game.
 
While I doubt they are pushing any tech boundaries, codemastes continues to make really really good sounding games. Check out this Stratos clip from the new Dirt game.



There is even a reverb of the induction noise. That is a subtle detail I haven't heard before in other games.

And the more fearsome sounding 6R4.



I would even say these are some of the best sounding and most detailed engine sounds I've heard in any game.

And it's not the finished game either, Steam early access.
 
The DiRT series' sounds have always been top notch. PD could take note of a few things from them. For example, the interior sound for a stripped out rally car is on point. Even the other little sounds and things as well.

However it must be acknowledged that when compared to GT, in DiRT we're dealing with about 50 cars (if memory serves) with no modifications involved that could change the vehicle sound. Whereas in PD's case, when you minus the duplicates and cars of the same engine sound, we're dealing with way over 300 cars and not to mention the sound after modifications for most cars. As this has been said before I believe.

I agree with @Griffith500 in the sense of rather have a one size fits all shoe that is able to adapt easily, quickly and perfectly to its wearer and cover many cars at quickly rather than spending too much time making the perfect Cinderella shoe for each car and each modification. I dunno about that analogy but spare me it's early :P

That's thinking of it from a practical and business perspective. AES is the key really in my eyes provided it gets done well.
 
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