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Realistic weapon sounds


WytchDokta
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Right, where do I start?

So many games out there claiming to be realistic, but they all have one thing in common: different weapon sounds.

Now lets take GR and RvS. Both very realistic but both have different sounds for M16, M60 etc.

Also you take Chaser for example. You may not think it's a realistic game, but on the Chaser website it say that "90% of the game is based on reality". And ya know what? Different sounds for the same weapons again.

The M4 in SoF2:DH sounds alot different to the on GR or RvS.

It's not the games based on modern day combat. The M1 Garand, Thompson M1A1 etc in MoH:AA sound alot different to the ones in BF1942 and the ones in VietCong.

What up with that guys? Surely if these games were realistic they would have the same weapon sounds because the weapons only got one sound in real life!

Opinions pls.

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"Realistic" when referring to weapon sounds, probably means that the sounds are suitable to convince you that they're a real weapon sound. They may not be a real weapon sound at all. I know for a fact that, on SOF and SOF2, they recorded real weapons, and then samples of other sounds (hammers on counters, etc) to thicken up the weapons. Also, keep in mind that, on a recording, a weapon will sound completely different each time you record it, as the sound is dependant on the location, type and proximity of the microphone, as well as the environment.

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Well, I've actually thought (obsessed) about this a lot. I think truly realistic sound will make games a lot more immersive and powerful than you might expect. To reach this goal, however, a lot of complicated variables have to be considered.

1. When I'm at the range, I can tell the difference between a "hot" round and an average or slower round of the same caliber coming out of the same gun. ammunition really matters.

2. The sound of a gunshot is rather simple. Explosion, sonic boom of round (if supersonic), cycling of action, cartrige hits ground. sometimes the impact of the bullet can also be heard. in a gunfight, this sequence of events is repeated many times in a short period. to really record this accurately, the sounds should be recorded in an acoustically clean studio. often in games and movies, sounds are taken at the range or are simply made up. this is not acceptable, for reasons I will explain in a minute.

3. After the round is fired, the sound interacts with it's environment. humidity and temperature can affect the sound. As the sound travels away from the muzzle, it bounces off walls, is dampened by trees, is scattered by multiangled objects like cars, and is affected by every object that it touches. simulating this doppler effect would be a lot more like drawing 3-D graphics than playing a sound. The shape of the environment must be calculated, along with the other variables mentioned, and the sound of the shot should be timed and distorted accordingly. I'm not an expert on game design, but I would imagine this would require quite a bit of processor power. Now, do this with every weapon in the game, and calculate these variables for each gunshot (for that matter, for each sound) that takes place in the game. starts to get tough on the 'ol processor now, doesn't it? This is only after you have recorded all of the sounds in a nice clean studio, which is going to be expensive, even if you can find a studio that will allow you to fire high-powered assault rifles in it. However, consider the result. If you have ever heard a real firefight, you know how different it sounds from a game. it immerses you. guns don't sound like simple bangs. as they get farther away, sharp reports turn to dull pops as the length of the sound waves gets longer. the roar of a shot may hang in the air for several seconds, or do even stranger things. you may first hear a bang, then quiet, the sound swooshing away across terrain. This may not make sense, because it is hard to describe, but the sound of a gunshot sounds nothing like I've ever heard in a game, or even in a movie. I'm not even going to touch things like bombs or grenades, but they are the same sort of thing. very hard to accurately simulate in game.

4. Another thing that I think really takes away from games is background noise and music. I doubt there are a lot of birds singing or such in a battle. I also strongly doubt there is a large orchestra there to enhance the experience. I don't want to hear things that I wouldn't hear in real life. In a pause in fighting, the silence alone can be powerful. footfalls echoing, commands yelled, magazines changing, this is the comparitive silence in the midst of a firefight. with the expansive sound environment, all have a stronger effect, since they don't sound like they are coming from inside a box with no echo or reverberation.

Anyway, I've done my essay for today, if you managed to read the whole thing, let me know your opinion of it. I'd especially be interested in the input of people who have experienced the real thing. how do the sounds effect you? what are some of the things you might not think of without being there? thanks, and sorry I wrote so much.

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There's really no way to emulate natural sound with 100% accuracy, unfortunately. As far as games go, I think that Operation Flashpoint does a good job of emulating the effects of sounds over a long distance, albeit with a few bugs.

Regardless of the environment, though, each particular gun has its own report, which is unaffected by the environment. The after-effects of that report can (and will) be affected by your surroundings, but the gun will be recognizable wherever you are. The problem is, real guns don't sound like they do in movies or in video games. There's no big whoosh sound or a boom sound. It's more of a "pop" than anything.

A little OT here, but, once you've got a bit of experience with a particular weapon, you can actually hear the various components of the report. When I fired my Ruger P95, I could distinctly hear the action cycle, and I could hear the explosion of the primer. That's hard (if not impossible) to do with sampled sounds in video games, because, even in a game like Ghost Recon, the sounds aren't really authentic. If anyone has ever heard a real SAW, you'll know that, while the sound is somewhat reminiscent of the SAW, it's not really the same.

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para, that's exactly what I mean, and what I probably futily want to see in games in the not so near future. I don't expect it any time soon, if ever, but having been exposed to real shooting, it's hard to enjoy the game quite as much. I think if this ever happens we may see something somewhere in between a video and a sound card especially to deal with advanced sound physics (one of the reasons I doubt it will ever happen). oh well, I can hope and pray, can I not?

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I hate the sounds in SoF2. They're so flat and dissatisfying. The M4 sounds like someone filled a sack with gravel and is hitting it off a wall.

The GR sounds are alright, but only after giving them a bit of a lift. MOH:AA's sounds are quite obviously fabricated.

The best sounds I have ever heard are in SWAT3. They are real recordings of weapons, and are extremely satisfying.

As for distance, RtCW had an effect that delayed and muffled the sound of a gunshot over a certain distance.

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- .:Nightmare:.,Oct 17 2003, 15:28 ] So if I repeatedly banged a saucepan with a wooden spoon, looped it (on me 'puter), sped it up and put it an a game, it could convince people that it was a real M16 gunshot sound?

Well, no, but using other sounds is a common way to beef up real gunshot sounds.

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Just to add, the sound in RVS should not in the least be called realistic. They were designed (Key word there is 'designed') by a sound studio out of Hollywood. Keep in mind there are a ton of recycled sounds used for various weapons in Raven Shield. The M14 and M4A1, for instance, use the same exact sound. Then, almost every suppressed weapon in the game uses the exact loop, more or less. Some have less or more bass, but all the same base sound. When a SD 9mm is sounding the same as a suppressed 7.62, I think something is alittle wrong, lol.

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- .:Nightmare:.,Oct 23 2003, 08:50 ] If I can record the real sounds of the weaps, from ACTUAL weapon sounds in documentaries etc, why can't these game designers do the same?

Because real weapon sounds are a bit boring, in comparison to what gamers may expect to hear.

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well to through my bit in the mix, before we will here the same sounds we hear out in the range or the bush we must have a minimum of a 64bit cpu.

our ears can tell the slightest difference in sound whether we respond to it or not, and that level of detail is not available in a 32 bit system its just not accurate enough.

and the way the environment effects the sound would be just as the fellow said as intensive as 3d graffics. but could you image how poor the quality would be at the "resolution" our cpu's can produce.

but one day it will come

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you know on my drive home i thought of something. you could use multiple sounds to simulate the different surroundings.

have one be the base ( the gunshot and no after effect )

and then depending on the location have a secondary wav play with that could give that drawn out sound at the base of a hill, or a diffused sound in the trees. just a thought

considering the way sound work if done carfully you could really change the sound with the over lay. it shure would increase memory size though.

hhhhm get kit actor fired play wav hhhmmm get zone?ok know im just rambling. :D

Edited by *NSO*Suli
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Guest SI-Prozac

no games compare to real sounds.... the way sound changed in the enviromnet matters a lot... and weather... i.e. air pressure, humidity.... makes big diffrence.

Id love to see EAX take a leap into that type of enviroment.

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The sounds for the M4s in all the games I've ever played are not very realistic. I've shot a real m4 cqb, and it sounds nothing like the sound in GR or RvS. To be honest, you could hear the action cycling, the little sonic boom, and then the reverb off the hills nearby. That's just firing short bursts. The weapon sound in GR that is closest to a real M4 is that of the MG3 imo. Or at least from what I can remember. Been a few months since I shot the CQB :)

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you know on my drive home i thought of something. you could use multiple sounds to simulate the different surroundings.

have one be the base ( the gunshot and no after effect )

and then depending on the location have a secondary wav play with that could give that drawn out sound at the base of a hill, or a diffused sound in the trees. just a thought

considering the way sound work if done carfully you could really change the sound with the over lay. it shure would increase memory size though.

hhhhm get kit actor fired play wav hhhmmm get zone?ok know im just rambling. :D

America's Army has something like that. Each weapon has two sets of sounds. One for indoors, and one for outdoors.

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