The stream started on May 9, 2014, @ 2pm EST.

Devstream 28 - Audio Department Q&A

Devstream 28 - Audio Department Q&A



DJ_Redwire: - There are often many emergency vehicles that pass by the offices of DE. Does this possibly interfere with recording in your studio?

George: It does not. We're at the back of the studio, so we don't hear it. Sometimes when we do creature voices or loud screams, people around the office can hear us.


Q: What general sound reworks are coming? What have you used to make the sounds?

George: We've reworked a lot of the weapons, so we don't have any one focus right now, but there's always room for improvement. We did add a lot of new sounds for Melee 2.0.

Travis: About 90% of the weapon sounds got redone.

Casardis: Will some of the infested weapons, more specifically the Dual Ichor and Mire, ever get unique sounds as opposed to metal blade sounds?

Travis: It's something we definitely want to work on. We want each faction to eventually have its own specific sound.

George: The whips are a good example of this. For any weapon that is clearly faction-specific, we try to design with that in mind.


Q: Retro sound packs/custom sounds?

George: It is a cool idea, but we already have a lot of content released frequently. There's always something new, so we're constantly creating and revising. As far as Vipers go, they will get looked at sometime in the future.


theGreatZamboni: One idea that could be lifted is the kill notification sound. Killing is a central part of the game, and it is oftentimes hard to tell whether someone/thing has died due to the unique kill animations (fire, electrocution, headshots, etc.). Additionally, magazine depletion sounds (where applicable).

George: That's something we've talked a lot about, but we don't want to spam the player with kill notifications. Maybe on certain kills with a well-modded weapon. The magazine running out is a cool idea we have explored as well.

Jeff: More user feedback. We want to give the player those cues so they don't have to look at the UI.

Travis: We want to add things like flesh bullet impact into the mix in the future.

George: Every enemy does have a death sound they make, which is the first real indicator.


Magalor: (and many others) Sound assets for the kubrow?

Jeff: We have a video of an attack with sound. The feral one you're seeing will be a lot more vicious, whereas the tame one will be more controlled, like a pet.

Q: Will they have a pack mentality? Is there a general theme?

Jeff: The sounds include dogs, my own vocals, and lions. The sounds will also be pitched down.

George: When doing enemy sounds, we include human elements to help communicate intention to the player. The human voice resonates with us the most, and Jeff did a great job of implementing that.


ConcretePie: Who voiced the infested?!

Evariskitsune: Will we get more scary vocal sounds for the infested?

George: The infested sounds were long overdue for revision. A lot of the time they appear in packs, so it is difficult to distinguish between them. We've been working on a new voice set that makes them creepier and more unique for each unit type. We have some clips of individual unit sounds (Crawlers, Runners, Sleepers). There's a bunch of new infested coming, so we're sort of working on infested sounds 2.0. We want to make it seem like they're these messed up creatures with serious problems. The Crawlers and the Runners are all human vocals.

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Q: When are we getting an official soundtrack?

George: Yeah, definitely. We have been working hard with Keith Power on the music, who also did the music for Dark Sector. He's working on a bunch of different cues, including a whole new set for the Grineer.

Q: What do you mean by cues?

George: We're redoing the music system too - kind of a Music 2.0. It used to be that one track would play for each enemy, which would get repetitive. Now, the sounds are more layered, overlapping and interacting, also changing based on the AI. We brought a clip; you'll hear four different Grineer pieces, then hear all four of them combined.

The plan is to redo all of the factions with faction-specific music. Bosses too, in the future. Grineer will be first, followed by Infested, then Corpus.

Travis: We think the system will feel really fresh, because you may never hear the same arrangement twice.


Polymelodic: Ships AI about security: more AI voices in tilesets? (Guardrails are there for your protection, please respect).

George: The first step is getting the AI sounds all in shape. After we redo all of the faction's voices, we'll go back and relook at the voices. There's also the Vey Hek propaganda drones. Although the AI sounded cool, it didn't really fit in with a lot of the new levels.


Icymountain: Why did you remove the bzztbzzt sound of the Foundry when there are counstructions?

George: we had a bunch of users that complained, and I could see how it would be annoying. So we took it out, and I honestly didn't even notice. We're going to be redoing most of the UI sounds in the coming months anyways. For instance, we want to make the startup music more dynamic.


Se05239: 1) Individual voices on enemy units. As it stands, all Grineer males use the same voice and all Grineer females use the same voice. Any plans on making it so that enemies got a chance to spawn with a different voice? It would help create a little more variety.

George: Definitely. It comes down to time for us. We started by inventing a Grineer language; Steve even wrote this app that translates from English into Grineer. Same thing with the Corpus. To answer the question, right now we have two male sets, and it would be great to add more. One of the Grineers is me, and the other voice no longer works here. We want it to be good, so we're not rushing it, but it's definitely on the list.


Q: Where will players notice the weapon sounds changing? How did you record the new sounds?

George: We have some pictures, actually. A programmer here invited us out to a gun range in the fall of last year, where we recorded a bunch of new sounds. Prior to this, we had some weapon sounds, but after this session our library grew a lot more.


Q: Changes to Melee 2.0 weapon sounds?

Travis: We used a bunch of different items for Melee 2.0, including a butterfly net which was used for the daggers.

George: A lot of the time, using other items sometimes sound better than the real thing.

Jeff: We also used a cheese grater on a rope, some spatulas...

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Agung.up: What is the grossest thing you ever use to make sounds?

Jeff: The frozen turkey. We wanted to use it for punches, but it came out sounding more squishy. We used high drops for body falling noises. It was nasty.


Vaskadar: How much variety in music tracks can we expect for each faction? Will it be planet-based?

George: Music will only be faction based. Each new set will have roughly three new pieces of music. The next update will have an ambient piece, mid-combat piece and heavy combat piece. We believe the factions have more of a feel to them than specific planets- we wanted the Grineer music to feel kind of dirty and bombastic, while the Corpus will be more electronic, and the Infested will be straight-up horror. We try to give the weapons the same kind of character.


Q: How do you approach Warframe-specific sound design?

Jeff: We want to give them each their own voice. The Valkyr is a great example of that.

George: As with everything, it's a work in progress. The metal sliding sound is one thing we definitely need to change. Right now, the surface detection only works sometimes, like in water. We do have surface detection for things like footsteps and body falls, but sometimes it doesn't work. We may not even have sounds for some surfaces; we'll have to check.


Q: Revamping Infested sounds?

Keenan: We're trying to make the new Infested tileset sounds more organic and natural. We've been doing a lot of work in the vocal studio, trying to create a lot more dynamic one-offs that don't repeat as much. You won't be hearing the same arrangement twice. Same with the music.

Q: What are you basing work off of?

Keenan: Playing through some of the levels we do have with art, I just try to play want I'm making in Pro Tools overtop. If it works, I throw it in and start revising.

Q: What is the big picture?

George: They never really had a tileset before, so it's pretty much being completely redone. It's almost a new enemy type with new voices, sounds and music. We will aim to have the music ready for the next major update.


Q: Any plans for a Dojo music overhaul?

G: Not specifically. Whenever we come up with cool stuff like the bells we'll add it, but our main focus has been on the infested stuff. We felt that the Dojo was more of a meditative place to spend time.

Keenan: We added some stuff to the Solar Rails, like the big door and lasers. There's also the Observatory they just added.

George: As more of that stuff comes online, we'll be adding to it.


Anatolius: Will there be tileset specific music? Like creepy sad music for the infested derelicts? Super upbeat dangerous music for Grineer?

George: It's going to be orchestral and action-based, but they'll definitely feel like they're your enemy. Different instruments will be used for each faction to help differentiate.


Q: Will the Tenno get a specific song? Or will it always be the Taiko drums?

George: Good question. The drums are a vital part of Warframe, so I don't think they'll ever disappear completely. Now several songs cycle through, so that every time you log in, you get a different piece.


PenutReaper: What are they the most happy with? And why? And conversely, what would they like to change the most? And why?

Travis: Starting with the wanting to change, we want to improve the general environment sounds, so that sounds reverb and filter properly based on space.

George: There's always something we can make better. I'm happy with the dynamic music- we promised it for a long time, but it's finally coming together. The dynamic Grineer music should be coming in the next major update.

Keenan: I'm pretty happy with the ambient stuff. Me and Travis worked on the shipyard, and that turned out well. With tilesets, we try our best to balance the one-offs making it feel real. The difference between day and night was a lot of work.

Jeff: We may still add some more sounds for the daytime.

George: That was a big challenge, because we really wanted the sets to feel different. We wanted some things to stick out in the background, while still finding a balance.

Travis: We wanted to make each environment feel real using ambient noises. The machine sounds in the shipyard are really good.

George: The ambient noises are just as important as the AI voices, as is the music. It all combines to create an experience.

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Rebecca: Update 13 on the PS4 just passed certification, and will be live later today!


Q: General places where there isn't sound. UI feedback?

George: It's a few months down the road. There are so many parts to the UI, that we have to sit down and map it out. But it is coming.

OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK (We covered this earlier, might want to just remove)

Q: Will soundtrack be made separately?

George: We definitely want to, once there's a bit more music in the game.


Q: What kind of sound will we see in the Valkyr rework?

George: We're going to wait and see. Her screams are definitely staying, because it gives her so much character. We'll refresh it based on whatever aniumation goes in.


Q: Shotguns feel hollow. Are there any weapons that you want to rework?

George: There's always tweaks we can make. We have to think about how a weapon fits into the broader context. The Gorgon is one that we hear is too quiet, but we don't want to turn it up, because it might make the pistols sound wimpy, for example. We have to find a balance for all weapons in how powerful they feel. Because we also don't want to nerf a weapon and make someone stop using it.

Jeff: We also have to account for speed mods too, because not all the noises sound as good sped up.

George: Same with reload speed. Testing that stuff is a nightmare.


Q: Will there be boss battle music?

George: Yeah, that's something we'll be working on after the faction-specific music. How cool would it be to fight Vey Hek or Sargas with his own theme? It'll come in a matter of time.

Q: Will the Stalker, Zanuka and Grustrag 3 have their own music?

George: The Stalker and Zanuka have music, I think. We'll do faction-specific, then bosses, then the Stalker and such.

Q: Captain Vor theme?

George: He kind of has a theme from the E3 trailer last year. It'd be cool to bring it back in his battle.

Q: Darvo own theme?

George: Probably. If we had the time, everyone would get their own theme.

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George: We're going to be putting a video together showing how we recorded and collected the sounds at the gun range, so you'll get to see where the sounds came from.


George: Right now, you play the missions and they all have the same music, which we don't want. It's more important to get variety between tilesets, instead of no variety and boss music.


Q: Will the Warframes ever get their own voices?

George: I think no. I think it's cool that they're mysterious. It's part of the experience.


Q: Dynamic music for invasion music?

Travis: That's a good question. We'll need to check that.

George: I think it would be the music of the invading faction.... But we'll have to check.

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