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BloodSpell Development Updates

Episode 3 Did You Know

BloodSpell Development Updates

Episode 3 Did You Know

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Here's some more sound / music trivia, this time about the third episode of BloodSpell:

Saving Benedict
Someone actually mentioned on the Comment Board that they liked the metallic sound of Captain Benedict's voice reflecting off his metal helmet. Oh how I wish it were intentional. Here's the story on the Cap'n.

The quality of Benedict's recording was, for whatever reason, completely hosed. The levels were extremely low, and while digital recording is quite a bit more forgiving in this regard than analog, the fact that his recording took place in a somewhat noisy room obliterated the track when I normalized it to boost his levels. All that hiss and crackle came to the forefront right with his vocal; it was agonizing, and no amount of EQ could address the noise without totally corrupting the vocal itself. What to do?

Enter GoldWave, an audio application a friend in radio turned me on to about eight or nine years ago. GoldWave has one of the most effective Noise Reduction filters I've ever seen anywhere, because it can actually take Windows clipboard input as its sample basis to perform the NR. If you've got a noisy track, I'm telling you this filter is worth the price of the program all by itself. (Incidentally, GoldWave has a remarkably friendly shareware evaluation setup... or at least it did back when I purchased it.)

You simply select a section of your wave file which is JUST noise and nothing else. This can be tricky sometimes in a vocal track; people tend to breathe in between their lines, or even smack their lips... you do NOT want to get any of these sounds in your clipboard grab or it will detract significantly from the end result. Grab pure noise, the longer the clip you can grab the better, and copy it to the clipboard. Then invoke the Noise Reduction Filter, choose the "Use Clipboard" method, and there you go. It's stunning what this thing can do when no standard NR filter seems to get it right.

Mind you, Benedict's track was bad... REALLY bad. As a result, even with the power of GoldWave, the end result had a bit of a metallic-sounding gleam because parts of the vocal were eroded when applying the filter. But the improvement, while not perfect, was stellar, and salvaged a track that was otherwise completely beyond redemption.

So, whenever you can, get GREAT levels while recording, and in a quiet room. But when life throws one of these situations at you, GoldWave is the saviour.

Just Philler
The "Gregorian" style chant you hear in the cathedral... that choral group was actually one guy (me) layered four times. What, then, was the Latin-ish invocation they were raising? Hell if I know. BloodSpell featured what was, as far as I know, the first machinima incarnation of a Lorem Ipsum hymn, using an online generator (here) of the filler text of the printing/typesetting industry. Sacrilege? Well, who knows, really? For all we know, I could have been singing something really nice about orange marmalade or lupins or the beautiful sound of horns. (see the comment page)

It's Magical
Weirder still? A sample of the above-mentioned chant is built into the magical casting sounds in the film. Why? We are not only Creative Commons here... we also support recycling.
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