Game Sound and Music

Games usually have some sound effects, voice and background music.

Recording and Modifying Sounds

There are many of ways of recording sounds (including voice) on your computer. Some options include:

  • plug a microphone in your soundcard and use the default recording software of your computer. You can record many different sounds this way, including voice and other sound effects. Worth buying a more expensive microphone if you can afford it, as the cheap ones won’t record very good quality sounds.
  • use an audio interface and plug it into your computer. You can usually plug in a microphone and other sound equipment (eg: guitar, keyboard, sythesizer) and use software to record from it. It connects to your computer usually via USB. Some more info on audio interfaces is here. A Youtube video is here  –  just gives you an idea about how an audio interface works. Talk to the music technical experts at your local music store as there are many audio interfaces out there.
  • have software to record and modify your sounds. A very good opensource program is Audacity. It allows you to edit sounds very easily and you can cut and paste bits of audio in / out. You can also use it to alter pitch (eg: of your voice) and do other effects. You can save your file as a WAV file or MP3 file. More information on WAV files is here.
  • have a good set of speakers / headphones, especially if you want good quality sounds. If you can afford it, buy a pair of monitors (no not the screen – in audio language, m onitors are a good quality speaker designed for high quality audio recording playback in a music studio). An example is here.

Recording Music

As for recording sounds, you need 

  • a good microphone (if singing or playing an accoustic instrument is required)
  • an audio interface (see above)
  • a good pair of speakers (or monitors)

You also need music sequencing software. This software enables you to record different tracks of music and put them together. For example, you can record the basic drum beat, then record a guitar playing rhythm, then record a Bass guitar, then a voice singing. Some examples include:

There might be also some opensource software out there as well – there is a more comprehensive listing on both commercial and open source software.

You may need a keyboard or synthesizer. A synthesizer can be used to create music with different instruments (drums, organ, piano, strings, wind, guitar, etc). An example is a Korg Radius which is designed for techno type music and you can do special effects with your voice. But other synthesizers you can buy may give you better all-round sounds of different instruments and a full keyboard if you play the piano. Some brands include KorgYamaha and Roland

If you can afford it, you can even get a workstation (eg: Korg workstations) that has a sequencer built in and you can just record all your music and download the finish product as an mp3 file.

Other Sound and Music Options

If you are not a musician or not interested in creating your own music / sound effects, you can try the following:

  • browse the Internet for royalty free music and sounds
  • buy commercially available CD / DVD / digital audio which give you a licence to use for your own projects (one example is here – do a search on the Internet to find others)
  • pay a musician to do the work for you

You could also buy the CDs / DVDs / digital audio (or get royalty-free sounds / music) and then use sequencing / sound editing software to change them if you wish. Many sequencing software also come with sound effects and music loops that you could create music / sounds from as well.