The Sound Effects of The Old Republic Explained

BioWare has posted a substantial new essay to the official development blog of Star Wars: The Old Republic, in which audio designer Scott Morton goes over the creative process behind the upcoming MMOs rich batteries of sound effects.

Who farted?
In addition to talking about how the games audio is designed to mesh with the established canonical sounds of the Star Wars universe (Lightsaber buzzing, etc), Morton also delves into how each class will have their own bespoke sound-banks designed to maximise aural penetration.
Designing sounds can end in some delightfully deceptive results when it comes to supporting a visual component of a particular ability in the Player’s mind. There are many cases where the source layers we put into a sound aren’t at all what the listener might expect. A great example of source layers is with the TIE Fighter from the first Star Wars trilogy. Believe it or not—the core sound Ben Burtt used for the screaming engine was actually an elephant call!

In our game, the Bounty Hunter’s Rail Shot uses a combination of interesting layers. A number of these sounds incorporate other noises that have been distorted or otherwise altered using computers, such as the tail end of an explosion that was processed and delayed to create the echo of the shot, or the time-stretched sounds of smoke that were used to make the entire effect sound more “metallic.” Other sounds were much more simplistic, like the sound of a solid object striking wood.
Interspersed throughout the essay are embedded videos demonstrating the SFX in action; you can check out the article by clicking here.

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