In this 2014 GDC talk, Telltale Games’ Guy Somberg offers a breakdown of his experience in 10 years of audio programming, including tricks for working with …

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22 Comments

  1. Just saying… don't ever say the words "NO" to a creative… especially an audio engineer.  They know what they want when they ask for it. Nos will always create tension between the two of you. Word choices are very important.  Us audio people are very stubborn, "NOs" get under our skin almost immediately.  Maybe instead, ask them "Would there be something else we could create for you to use to make this task better/easier than *insert current solution here*?"

  2. As a guy who was interested and practicing in music producing for several years now but started programming in the web field ~2-3 years ago, only now I decided that it's time for me to merge my two favourite things which is audio and programming and thus focus on audio programming more.

  3. I'm just bad at audio stuff to where I'm fairly certain this just isn't a talk for me. Like the other day a DJ said that spotify had bad audio quality, and I still don't hear it. A shaky camera and I'm done though because I'm more visually artistic.

    HAHAHA this is a job? HAHAHA I'm lost.

  4. So now a question: If I want to get into engine development, and am tired of practicing graphics code, what should I learn for audio programming?

  5. I love how he looked around in the audience to make sure everyone finished taking a photo hahaha.

    Very clever man, seems like a true master of the craft.

  6. very thorough overview of audio programming, might be true not only for a game audio engine…but what seriously happened with that hand at 18:08

  7. Here I am, programming my game, making the music and sounds, moving stuff on the screen, managing cameras, designing the gameplay…

    … And then there's a guy who is a sound programmer, but not a sound designer. What the actual fuck.

  8. I haven't worked on a game in my life but was happy with a lot of things he pointed out. I found them a bit obvious every now and then, but I know most people are very poor at listening.
    I find this both as a musician and as a language learner.
    Doing sound well is hard and a lot of people will not consciously notice. It's also the cause of the loudness wars in pop music.

  9. Playing sounds badly is nearly free. Playing sounds well is incredibly resource intensive to the point that the nobody even tries anymore.

    There is only one sound source and only two ears, so how does that generate complexity? The sound can reflect, refract around and transmit through objects and it's all frequency dependent. You've got doppler shifts, you've got the propagation delay before the sound reaches the listener which is different in different media, you have head related transfer functions that simulate the way the shape of the head and ear filters the sound. It gets very complex very quickly as soon as you leave the comfort zone of modern games with bog-standard stereo, or perhaps an inferior quality HRTF and some simple echo filters.

    Even just a very simple and incomplete implementation of partial wave tracing and with HRTFs for directional implementation, which was done 20 years ago with the aureal vortex 2 chipset, is better than anything we have today.

    This is a very sad fact, and I hope VR will revive the quest for accurate physical simulation of audio.

  10. incase somebody missed the code or coming back to get it that he posted on the screen at 9:36 :

    float dBToVolume (float dB)
    {
    return powf(10.0f, 0.05f * dB);
    }

    float VolumeTodB (float volume)
    {
    return 20.0f * log10f(volume);
    }

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