August 27, 2008

Make Some Noise for your Game

I'm a great proponent of using music in my games and have been collecting all sorts of tracks from PC/Console games, movie soundtracks and sound effects for several years. It's nice to have music and sound effects in your game because it becomes an added 'voice' in describing where the players are or what are they doing.

However it becomes quite a hassle to try to organise and play all the sound effects and music together without it sounding too repetetive. Sound effects files tend to be short and when played on the loop sounds monotonous and boring. It gets even harder trying to mix it with music because all you hear by then is the sound effect turning into a beat for the music.

Then came along Syrinscape, a cool tool that I found over at ENWorld.

It is a simple sound effect and music mixer/player where you can organise the timing and volume of the sound effects that you want. It's free to download (but requires a free account) and allows a certain degree of customability to add in your own music and effects as well.

This is very impressive as a DM/GM's tool because once you've arranged the timing of sound effects to how it should be played with the music, you could just leave it on its own as it loops (which you can also decide to turn off). Stopping the music and effects is also just a click of a button away instead of having to close all the players playing each track simultaneously.

Here's a short video of how it works and you could see how easy and useful it is!

(taken from the Syrinscape website)

Speaking of sound effects. The Gnome Stew is organizing their first contest where the prize is 5 studio-quality sound effects of your choice! You should really check it out here!

As for music, Stargazer's World has just gave a plug to a German group that compose tracks for roleplaying; Erdenstern. You can download some of their free tracks at their website. Don't worry, they don't sound like Rammstein.


Stargazer said...

Great post. I think I will have to check out that software later. By the way, I really love the last sentence of your post. ;)

tatwd said...

I'm going to have to agree with stargazer on this one - thank god they don't sound like Rammstein. :)

This is an excellent-looking tool, I can't wait to try it out. Thanks for the heads-up!

Questing GM said...

Greetings stargazer and welcome to the blog!

It's really a sweet tool and I'm still fiddling around with it. Thankfully they have a forum where the creator gives out some basic tutorials on how the program works.

Thanks for the comment too! (Did you check out my comment on yours btw?)

Greetings tatwd! Welcome to the blog too!

Don't forget about the Gnome Stew contest! What better time and way to use the tool with some professional custom sound effects ;)

Ishmayl said...

Yeah, the Gnome Stew contest sounds great, I'll be looking into that.

BTW, my usual name is Ishmayl, I'm not sure why up above it posted as tatwd, but I will definitely be following your blog, I like what I've read so far!

Jonathan said...

my game table, for some reason, is always in silence. I've tried playing music in the background - but usually its too queit to hear or my players ask that I turn it off. Maybe I'm using the wrong genre?

Thanks for posting this! Now I have yet another thing to waste time having fun with... (shakes fist)

Questing GM said...

Thanks Ishmyal and duly noted!

I appreciate the support. I also like reading your blog so far too!

Hey Jonathan,

Just what genre of music have you been using? Hmmm.....I'm starting to think should I post some of my experience of using music in my games.