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Jan 7 10 1:12 AM

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Hi,

I'm new here so let me start by thanking you for the excellent mod you made of good ol' GT Legends. I played that game to death and now this mod for rFactor got me hooked on driving again. It. Is. Incredible!

The sounds in the mod are pretty good overall but there are some things that bother me a bit with some of the HistorX car sounds. Let me explain:

The "main" sound of the engine, the one that is clearest and highest in frequency response, is sometimes panned quite a bit left or right, depending on the wheel position in the car. It might seem like the correct thing to do, after all, the engine is in the middle but unfortunately this is far from being realistic. It is also highly annoying when playing with headphones.

Due to the early reflections of a "close boundary miniature room" inside a car you'll have pretty much equal sound pressure coming from all sides to the ears of the driver. This is because of the very strong early reflections and due to sound of the engine travelling much faster through the body of the car itself than through the air. All this causes a chaotic sound system within the car meaning it will be impossible to hear a precise stereo position of the engine.

Please take some time and go drive a sports car of any type.. listen carefully how the sound is divided quite evenly between the ears. It takes a bit of practice to do critical listening of "room acoustics" (I've got a little bit of experience in the recording field and quite a bit in mixing/mastering).

If you MUST use panning then at least make sure the "main engine" sound gets a nice "inside car" reverb added to it (using google you can find plenty of impulses taken from inside cars that you can use in a convolution reverb). Do NOT use mono samples of any kind, if at all possible and if you must use them, pan them dead center. As soon as you have a mono source, it becomes what we call a "point source" and thus when using headphones one can precisely determine where the source has been panned.. which in a chaotic acoustic system as a car interior is very unrealistic.

The other issue I have with the sounds is some heavy digital clipping that you have in your engine sound samples. This is very unfortunate and makes some of the car engines sound too digital/"raspy" and fatiguing to listen to.. meaning it takes away the pleasure to drive. Some of this can damage can be partially fixed with carefully applying EQ and by adding some darkish reverb/ambience to the samples (again, impulses from real car interiors is a good way to go) but distortion can never be removed, only masked.

This is why, when you record new sounds, you should always record at 24bit and make sure you have PLENTY of headroom. There is no need to get anywhere near digital fulls scale when running 24bits. You can easily record inside the car and tune the microphone pre-amplifiers so that you barely hit 20dBFS, just to make sure you never get any clipping. There is NO loss in doing this because 24bit easily gives you more than 100dB signal to noise ratio so there is no point in going anywhere near red.

If you have any questions about post processing audio material or recording then do not hesitate to ask. I'd love to help you guys out with anything I can. I'm running a small commercial mixing/mastering studio in central Helsinki, Finland and have been in the music business a little over 10 years now.

Cheers!
bManic
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#2 [url]

Jan 7 10 10:36 AM

I have noticed the digital clipping also. I was planning on doing a video where engine sounds would play important role. I tried to find a car which had kind of pure howling sound. I could not find one. I thought that Ferrari engines would be close to what I was seeking, but it was actually pretty far from it.

My PC is behind good amplifier and very good head phones, maybe these things are easier to notice with such equipment.

I joined the team just yesterday, I haven't checked the internal 1.5 release yet. Maybe sounds have some changes too.

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#3 [url]

Jan 7 10 2:38 PM

Hi there!
Nice offer from your side, Wolferl, our Sound engineer might get back on that offer since it is his department!

I think the most obvious problem we have sounds-wise, is the fact that the samples we get are very bad, not near the quality you described. I think we used for the v1 release only one real incar recording on our own, the rest is from videos (mostly bad quality) And since we want to use sounds from the actual engines the cars use our sources are even smaller!

So from the sources we got the sounds we have in our 1.5 version is the best you can probably get...Wolferl knows his art and he is very very good at it.

One of our WIP cars recieved sounds from a DVD quality video and these sounds turned out to be extremely good. So, basically, we need some better recordings of the cars...

Fear destroys Power

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#5 [url]

Jan 8 10 12:17 AM

Yutja wrote:
... So, basically, we need some better recordings of the cars...


Totally agree! I'm afraid our main limitation (as well the one most of the mod teams have) is that is very, very hard to get sounds with proper quality. Many of them come from videos with mono sound, and very low quality.

The Vette 76 (unless my memory is failing) is the only one recorded by ourselves (by Wolf, I mean, hehe). I think there's a big difference between the quality of one and the rest, just because of the source and the amount of sample he got.

But yes, ALL the cars will have improvements in sounds for the next update of the mod, despite the source samples still having poor quality in many cases. If you know where to get better ones, just let us know. That would be very good news!

Anyway, constructive critics are always welcomed, even more coming from someone with real experience in that field. Anyway I'm sure Wolf will be more than happy to share his thoughts about this with you, from sounds' guru to sounds' guru

Regards

Anyway

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#6 [url]

Jan 8 10 2:10 AM

That cars need sounds?

Sounds of the Fiat 600 I can get prints from the car, here are pests on runs of 1/4 mile so they are extremely cheap and hurts no one gives them break... :mrgreen:

If you tell me how we should record the sound I can help



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#7 [url]

Jan 8 10 11:01 AM

Nice move GeraArg!

Wolferl must get back on this but to get real good recordings there is a little more to it. As far as I know it would be ideal if you make small recordings in each rev-range. so a 5 sec recording at 1000rpm, 2000rpm, 3000rpm... etc on throttle!!!!

Then to make perfect sounds do that same for the off-throttle sounds, because they are usually quite different in sound as you might know. so best would be going down various hills without applying the throttle....

But the dragstrip would be a start ;)

Fear destroys Power

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#8 [url]

Jan 9 10 5:53 PM

Yutja wrote:
Nice move GeraArg!

Wolferl must get back on this but to get real good recordings there is a little more to it. As far as I know it would be ideal if you make small recordings in each rev-range. so a 5 sec recording at 1000rpm, 2000rpm, 3000rpm... etc on throttle!!!!

Then to make perfect sounds do that same for the off-throttle sounds, because they are usually quite different in sound as you might know. so best would be going down various hills without applying the throttle....

But the dragstrip would be a start ;)


I contacted a member of the of Asociación Argentina de Automóviles Sport ( www.aaas.com.ar ) and he is really interested on this
There is problem with the times?, As I have to coordinate with them to record the sounds.

Saludos

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#11 [url]

Jan 10 10 5:49 PM

Gera is good to have the best Microphone posible. It have to capture the hi-end and low-end spectrum of the sound. The high end is not the problem, the problem is the low-end (or the low sounds). Maybe you can contact someone who works on audio recording, they can help you with some recomendations.

PD: If possible! of course

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#12 [url]

Jan 14 10 9:40 PM

Don't worry too much about microphones. Even a pair of good ol' shure SM57 can be made to work wonders in a loud environment (or any basic dynamic microphone). Most of them will have an extended enough frequency response.

If you have the option of running phantom power then for sure it would be better to get some condenser microphones. If you want to really capture the lows down past 20hz then you'll probably be best off with an omnidirectional microphone but this will yield a less spacious stereo field unless you can get the microphones really far apart from each other (which is practically impossible in a car). The typical cardioid pattern microphone in a basic x/y setup might be the better choice.

They make pretty decent condenser microphones for cheap in china. In europe you get them all over the place with different names (T-Bone, SE Electronics (these are relatively "high-end" chinese ones), Marshal, etc.). Another option is the Australian Rode brand.. they make some pretty decent small diaphragm (you'll want small for portability and stability, perhaps even the tiny "pin" like things) microphones that don't cost so much.

Basically what I'm trying to say is: Don't worry too much about the microphones. A lot can be done in post processing to get out details and because a car is such a noisy environment, there is no issues with self-noise or recording medium quality (16bit 44.1kHz should be more than enough for the task).

The tricky part will be finding a stereo setup for the microphones that sounds "natural".

Cheers!
bManic

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