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Kafee Soundpack For Ghost Recon


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Kafee Soundpack For Ghost Recon

Author: Kafee

File Size: 7Mb


Reviewed By: Hoak

Well Kafee requested a review, and as an experienced Sound Designer I thought I should attempt one as sound is frequently one of the most ignored and misunderstood aspects of realism game design.

A Little Background

Kafee is up against some stiff comparisons as the [Ghost Recon] sounds were recorded and post produced by SOUNDELUX DMG; widely regarded as 'the' premiere Sound Design/Effects studio for film, advertising and games. But Ghost Recon offers the advantage of excellent source material -- that arguably could greatly benefit from better post production (IMHO anyway).

Presently no game engine's sound renderer correctly scales sounds for first and third person perspectives, or steradians (solid angles) -- and this is especially noticeable with weapon sounds if you've heard the real thing. Game engines sound renderers employ simple amplitude algorithms and crude EAX, Miles or other environmental DSP that for distance culling that amounts to little more then EQ and volume. While this is a workable solution it's hardly state of the art, and if weapons are distance recorded as Ghost Recon's sounds were, then played in a first person perspective they'll sound rather insipid and weak -- as Ghost Recon's sounds do.

Near-field recording weapons fire sounds is extremely difficult; no microphone made that has any manner of fidelity can record the shock wave off a rifle without gross overload and even damage. Done right though near-field recording can yield much more articulate results as game engine sound renderers work more consistently with anechoic first person perspective sounds -- DSP-ing a more convincing distance or third person perspective. But most of all first person perspective is the one we hear most intimately and lends the most of the 'feel' to the game of that most interactive aspect of tactical realism 'our weapon'...

Kafee seems to taken this to heart -- editing and post processing the GR sounds to add more immediacy and articulation to each sound that you would in fact hear holding and firing the Ghost Recon weapons -- that is to say Kafee's sound have made a subtle transition back to a first person perspective.

The Good

From the comments in this thread you can see that Kafee's editing work is appreciated, strongly and widely liked. The net effect of his work is a much more intense, immediate, and convincing first person sound perspective that give the game a lot more 'feel'...

Most of Kafee's edits are well crafted, clean and seamless; the guy has obviously heard real weapons and it shows in his work... What better complement can I give then that?

The Bad

By his own admission Kafee is not an experienced Sound Designer, and while I still don't have details I expect he's using rather crude tools and methods to get the job done. But imagine what he could do with some high power audio editing tools... I have!

There are continuity issues; inconsistent ambiance and reverb across all weapons and even in different fire modes for the same weapon. The MP5 for example doesn't have consistent reverb from select, burst and full auto fire modes, and is a bit to loud compared to a much larger caliber suppressed sniper rifle -- where in real life a suppressed MP5 is very quiet. Some weapons fired full-auto and the interrupted will hiccup without any reverb. And the slap echo, that is a very real environmental effect of weapons fired in large open spaces is a little too pronounced.

These are technical issues though with regard to experience, skill and tools -- generally the aesthetic Kafee has applied is dead on; the MP5 may be ragged across it's firing modes and a bit too loud, but it has a sound much closer to the real banana, and his post work on the AK-47 is some of the best I've heard.

Final Words

Verdict: Nine Smileys Out of Ten! (not allowed to post so many smileys :huh:)

Overall this is a fantastic sound mod, and not only the best I have heard for Ghost Recon, the best I've heard in FPS tactical realism gaming (short of my own work)! It's a light weight download at only 7Mb and is a MUST HAVE Mod for any Ghost Recon Fan in this Reviewer's opinion.

Kafee is a very earnest guy, is very receptive to constructive criticism and feedback and I can only hope he will continue to improve and add to this mod. I'll definitely be there; even collaborate, contribute and help where it's welcome.

Don't waste any time; if you play Ghost Recon -- get this mod!


Edited by GiWeDa
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Thanks for the review, Hoak!

I've received a lot of positive feedback and I'm currently working on the next version. I've recently began to understand some of the basics of sound developing, so hopefully the next version will be regarded improved also by the technical aspects. I will not rush release of the 6.0 and I hope the improvements there are the final. :)

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The update changes the auto fire of some assault rifles so they should sound more consistent with the semi fire. It's not necessary to download the patch.

The most recent version is 5.0.

Edited by Kafee
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Hmmm, all these new sounds make me wonder how many others could be replaced (not just weapons, but effects and environmental sounds). BTW, I'm looking through my sound folder and I see sounds for ears ringing and different reloading sounds for all the guns but when a grenade lands near me i don't hear the ear-ringing sound and all the guns have pretty much identical reloading sounds. Does anyone else have this or is it just me?

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IMHO this mod is so good that I prefered to replace the original sounds in the sound folder with the new one. In this way I have not to activate Kafee mod in order to enjoy it. CONGRATULATIONS!

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I agree, great job! I have replaced "almost" all of the original sounds with this pack.

The ones that stand out the most, to me, are his M60 and AK47 sounds . Being former Army, I know what these weapons sound like, and Kafees' choice is much closer to real than RSEs'. :thumbsup:

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Guys, I'm sorry to be very negative but I'd like to give my honest opinion. I've grown an interest and am slowly becoming involved with sound development and sound modding. In fact I'm having my sounds featured in a publicly released total conversion (Ost Front) for a RTS called Blitzkrieg.

Anyway, a few things that really bummed me out about this soundpack.

I read the description and was blown away by the amount of detail that was discussed.

The author is using the same sound for every weapon. Maybe I'm the only one who can tell beacause, by now, my ears are trained to hear these things. The problem is that the author tried to create a feeling of the explosion that a bullet creates once fired. I can tell you this sound is very hard to capture. Most of the time it will become distorted and you will lose lots of quality. The author has kept the volume in a controlled manner, but in doing so has kind of 'dulled' the sounds.

I could go on and on, but I'd like to preserve the appreciation everyone has shown. It is truely a feat trying to create new sounds , from scratch none the less. If anyone is interested , I will post my sounds. you can compare them and criticise as much as you want.

Edited by Burke
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Thanks for you comment Burke. I appreciate any constructive critisism as I'm new to sound engineering. You are right about using the same sound. I've used one sound to different weapons to gain more "punch" for the blast. I've simply tried to mix it in, change its pitch etc. to make the weapons sound different.

I'm also very interested in sounds and hopefully I'll become better. I'll release version 6.0 probably today and I hope it will be considered technically better. Atleast I am under the influence that it would be a bit better in that field.

Burke, I'd appreciate it if you'd give your honest opinion on that too in case you notice any improvements in my techniques.

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I think its great that your open to suggestions. Everyone should have that same attitude. The suggestions that I can make are for you to go listen to real small arms being fired. They ARENT bass(ey) like most people think. They are light on the bass, higher on treble and mids.

A friend of mine actually recorded rifle sounds for me, and I was surprised to hear how light they sounded.

Anyway, Here is a zip file with a few of my sounds. Take a listen, give me some criticism.

In this zip

-Mauser 98k


-Mosin Nagant







Edited by Burke
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I have listened a lot small arms fire both in- and outdoors. Outdoors without hear protection also.

I agree that when recorded they don't have lots of bass, but when you're there standing next to the shooter or behind him, you can feel the blast. The feel-part is what I've mostly tried to achieve, the sound from shooters perspective. Of course I have had to take into concideration that some sounds are heard from distance so I've made a sort of a mixture of them.

I've also tried to make the sound reflect the recoil of the gun. The lower the recoil shorter the echo.

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Burke makes some very blanket statements about weapon fire sounds that are only circumstantially true. Many large caliber weapons possess rather a lot of low frequency energy, even a small caliber pistol fired in a close proximity or in a small steradian will absolutely boom with deafening low frequency energy.

There are three effects effects of physics of sound at play that have radical effects; proximity effect, the inverse square law of energy loss over distance which is frequency dependent, and the steradian or solid angle a weapon is fired into -- also known as boundary effect.

This is why weapons sound dramatically different when you fire them as opposed listening to someone else fire them at a difference, and sound radically different fired indoors. Modern game sound renderers do not compensate for these environmental differences unfortunately and do not offer real proximity, boundry, or scale first and third person acoustic perspectives. It's apparently felt it would take too much DSP and processing power for something regarded by some as too minor (though I disagree).

Microphones have dramatic proximity effects all their own and distance microphony will unrealistically curtail bass response, where as near field recording will unrealistically boost it -- in both cases more so then the human ear.

All these effects in confluence with the virtual impossibility of recording weapons sounds without double digit distortion and the render limitations of game engines makes what's good a very subjective proposition.

Burk's sounds for example have a lot of complex and articulate breech sound, but could in recording engineering terms be heavily critiqued for sloppy production and in absolute terms of realism are heavily flawed -- but all that falls by the ways side with one simple statement: "I like them.", which I do.

I stand by my review, Kafee's sound are not a definitive master achievement of audio post production -- but as a complete sound mod they do achieve what he set out to do, and the 6.0 iteration makes further improvements. Certainly some sounds are not literal 'improvements' but only 'alternatives', and on the subject of sound design for games -- absolute realism is not the only or even in many instances the most important consideration, but thats material for another post.


Edited by Hoak
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  • 3 months later...

Where can I find a Mac friendly version of this to download?


what does 6.1 have that 6.0 doesn't?

On a side note.....

I am a MOD converter for Mac, and we have a site called MacGamingMods.com where I, and a few others, try and keep up to date with all the latest MODs that come out that have to be converted to be 100% playable on a Mac.

But the problem we are having these days is that modders keep forgetting us Mac players are still out here (and are a diehard group to Ghost Recon because we dont get new games as much as PC gamers, so we stick with [GR]).

What I am tryin to say is please package your mods so ALL Ghost Recon Players have a chance to play them. If you would like more info on this subject check the link out here in the general modding topics forum. :thumbsup:

BTW - Kafee soundpack 6.0 is growing like a virus on the mac side, it's a must have.

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This mod adds a new dimension to GR, making it almost like a whole new game. I don't understand the technical aspects of sound modding and how there are alleged faults or defects in your work as some have posted, but after trying this mod I couldn't care less. It kicks everyone else's ass! Really like the pinging and whining sounds of near misses -- terrifying! Thanks so much for creating the mod.

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