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Post-production sound: a new production model for interactive media

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One of the most profound differences between film sound design and game sound design is that where film contains linear visual footage against which any number of sounds can be synchronized and blended, a game triggers individual sounds based on events occurring in the game at non-specified times. Broadly speaking, films are about emotional immersion within a narrative, where video games concern physical immersion in a universe of action and reaction. Games therefore require a radically different production philosophy from that of film, yet one that replicates the involvement of a dedicated audio post-production phase at the end of the project. This period would allow consideration of all the elements of music, dialogue and sound effects as fully integrated parts of the final game. Post-production sound design and mixing are therefore where video games can finally begin to articulate themselves with a similar sound design language to that of film.
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Keywords: interactive media; interactive mixing; next-generation sound design; post-production; video game sound

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-11-07

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  • The Soundtrack is a multi-disciplinary journal which brings together research in the area of music and sound in relation to film and other moving image media. A complex cultural, technological, industrial and artistic phenomenon, sound-with-moving image is a rich area for analysis, investigation and speculation. We encourage writing that is accessible to audiences from a diversity of intellectual backgrounds and disciplines as well as providing a forum for practitioners. The Soundtrack's aim is to nurture this new and expanding area of academic investigation in dialogue with soundtrack producers of all kinds.
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