★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Sourcing Audio...

10-15-2012, 03:14 PM
#1
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Sourcing Audio...

Hello all, just wanted to start a little discussion about where you guys as iOS Deveolpers source your audio (Music, SFX & Voice) from? Do you go to libraries for Stock Content? How do you license this if so? And if you do go to libraries for Music & Sounds are you not concerned about things sounding cheap, or the best sounds appearing in many titles and then cheapening your games?

Any of your thoughts, ideas or comments on this I'd love to hear.

Thanks
Aj
10-15-2012, 08:54 PM
#2
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 192
Hi Fortesounds. A lot of folks get custom music and sound from many of the many artists you can find in the for hire forum on here or elsewhere on the net. Some artists will license you to use music for a limited time while they maintain the rights. Others offer you fully customized music made specifically for your title for usually pretty fair and low prices.

SFX, at least the way I do it, come from some stock sources mixed with other synthesized and found sounds along with original recordings and voice work. It depends on the project.

It definitely cheapens a game to have familiar stock music or really short, annoying loops.

BeatScribe
Original Songs For Less Than $100 Per Song [samples]

Last edited by BeatScribe; 10-16-2012 at 09:31 AM.

10-16-2012, 09:24 AM
#3
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Hi Beatscribe, thanks for your input. I was hoping to keep this free of plugging, more to have an open discussion with dev's to hear their views.
10-16-2012, 09:32 AM
#4
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 192
Fair enough. I whittled my post down to bare facts

BeatScribe
Original Songs For Less Than $100 Per Song [samples]
10-16-2012, 11:44 AM
#5
There's a ton of sound effects out there available for purchasing if you search for them. I'd stay away from the commonly used ones because I do think it cheapens games a bit to have the same sounds all the time. But that shouldn't be a problem with the tons and tons of options available.

It's a bit of a beast sorting through them though, and after your 400th laser zap sound, they all start sounding the same...

But you could buy all the sfx you need from those sites and only be out $50 or so.

When it comes to soundtracks though, custom work is nice. I've actually used Beatscribe before and they do a pretty awesome job. There are some other guys out there too, but I can't vouch for them personally. Maybe some other devs can.
10-16-2012, 02:09 PM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by BravadoWaffle View Post
There's a ton of sound effects out there available for purchasing if you search for them. I'd stay away from the commonly used ones because I do think it cheapens games a bit to have the same sounds all the time. But that shouldn't be a problem with the tons and tons of options available.

It's a bit of a beast sorting through them though, and after your 400th laser zap sound, they all start sounding the same...
I like what you said about all the sounds starting to sound the same. I know this experience all too well lately. Such a pain to sort through so many.

As for music, you have to be sure to fully understand the rights and potential implications. Many royalty free sites or licensing sites have limitations against using their music for video games, or limitations as to the number of copies you can sell before having to purchase a more expensive licensing package.

The game I'm finalizing now is rhythm based, and thus requires many unique tracks. For some tracks, I ended up going with royalty free with an option to upgrade licensing after 10,000 units sold (wishful thinking)
10-16-2012, 11:00 PM
#7
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: California
Posts: 92
Funny. I started using those sites and I swear I must have listened to the same sfx in like 100 versions. It drove me mad, but it allowed me to get maybe a little more than half (maybe 2/3) of the sfx I needed at maybe $2 a piece. That being said, I did seek professional sound for the remainder. Maybe I overpaid, I don't know. I paid $25 each for those, but I liked what he came up with. We had four original songs/loops made for our game too...1 for each act and one for the main screen, act select, etc. it costs a little more, but I liked that we could go back and forth a little and make some adjustments. I think I liked one song at first, then two, then three. I'm not completely sold on the fourth to be honest, but I think it works good enough and my colleague likes it, so it's a keeper. If you do use professional sound I recommend going on YouTube or elsewhere and trying to find some examples that you can send sound for examples. At first, my sound guy was pretty off from what I wanted, but I cant say it was his fault. It's pretty hard describing sound to someone over email. After i sent him a youtube video from an old 80s NES game, he nailed it. Saves you lots of back and forth time for revisions if you spend a little time up front.

Last edited by MarcJay; 10-16-2012 at 11:02 PM.
10-17-2012, 06:34 AM
#8
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 192
Great input Marc. I know what you mean about plowing through sounds. I recommend Soundsnap.com since it has the least amount of 'filler' sounds and pretty decent prices. Even when I build custom sfx, I need stock sounds sometimes (I mean I cant really synthesize or field record a lion roaring ) and I prefer soundsnap over the rest.

I agree too, if you work with a musician for custom stuff, give as many examples as you can! And request samples before they spend hours creating a song. This will help you to get what you wanted in the end and save the artist some time too.

BeatScribe
Original Songs For Less Than $100 Per Song [samples]
10-19-2012, 05:33 AM
#9
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Thanks so far guys; I think Marc's comments are bang on the point; when getting in a composer/sound designer real life examples are king, as you really can't describe what your imagine things to sound like with text/words alone. Also from the perspective of the composer/sound designer it's a massive help & reassurance that the developer has taken the time to think & research what they really want it to sound like.

My biggest concern I've notice is the amount of developers that forget about music & sounds untill the very last minute. From my perspective (I'm sure Beatscribe will agree to) being involved with the project from an earlier stage makes a much better end product.

I would always suggest if you can bring a professional like Beatscribe or myself to be an integrated part of the team it really makes a massive difference to the end-product. More often than not the cost asscoiated with this isn't as high as people assume and is far-outwieghed by the added value we bring to the game & player experience. IMHO librarie content sounds cheap & disjointed and ultimately the player will notice, even if it's in-directly by not returning to the game for continued play.
10-19-2012, 05:35 AM
#10
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatScribe View Post
Fair enough. I whittled my post down to bare facts
thanks mate!