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Chapter 12. The Sound of Games > Creating Sound Effects

Creating Sound Effects

If you are reading this, then you are probably not a professional sound designer. As such, you probably don't own a $2,000 microphone with tube preamp and top-notch digital conversion. But chances are you do have a Sound Blaster card (from Creative Technology, Ltd.) or something similar, and the $3 plastic microphone that came with your computer. This may very well be all you need to capture the necessary sound effects for your games. So let's set up shop! In the following section, we'll give you some practical advice from the trenches on proper setup, recording dos and don'ts, ways to make your own sounds, and where to find prerecorded sounds.

Setting Up

Before capturing sounds, take at least a few minutes to be sure that everything is set up properly for the task at hand. Make sure the microphone is properly plugged into your sound card, and unmute the microphone in your sound manager/mixer. I recommend temporarily plugging in headphones where your speakers are, because you are likely to spawn a feedback loop if you record while the speakers play back. (You are probably familiar with the loud shriek of feedback usually experienced at the high school dance or church picnic when someone memorably points the microphone toward the speakers.) Or you might just unplug the speakers while you record and then plug them back in to hear. It's up to you, but remember—it's your ears.


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