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Advanced Sound Effects

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Sound effects (sfx) go a long way towards making a build better. They do a lot for trying to promote whichever environment your going for.

Places to find sound effects

  • Google. If looking for a fog horn sfx, just type something like this: "fog horn" "sound effect" (be sure to include the quotes to treat them as a single keyword entity).
Most likely you'll find junk and pay sites. However some site let you play a preview the sound effect. I typically just use the preview since they're good enough. You can't save them through the website, so you'll have to do internal recording.
To do internal recording, go to your control panel -> sounds and opening the volume controls for the recorder...make sure "wave" is checked, not microphone. Then open up a recorder such as Audicity or even Windows Sound Recorder and start recording, then play the preview.
See references section at the end for links to sound sites.
  • Games you have installed on your computer. RPGs in particular are typically a gold mine of sfx. You'll have to poke around the game's directory in Windows Explorer to find the sound archive. If you can't find it, it's most likely compressed in some proprietary format, though it'll usually still have an obvious filename like AUDIO or SOUND. Try google and see if there are any modding tools available to extract that format. There usually is.
  • AW cache. Try looking through the cache for content, located at active worlds/cache/art/misc.

Applying Sound Effects

Some things to know:

  • You can only hear 1 create sound for a .wav, and 1 for an .mp3, and 1 for an .mid.
  • .mp3s don't have a seamless loop. There's a delay. The length of the delay seems to governed by how lagged your system is. As such, the only way to make them loop is to make them quite long, so the delay only happens once in a great while, or, make a fade-out and fade-in effect at the front and end so you can't hear the delayed restart.
  • You can hear many create noise sfx at the same time. They do not get quieter as you move away from the source, unlike create sound. Don't forget to add the overlap tag at the end in case it's an active noise.

Advanced Tips

Here are some lil' tricks, in no particular order.

  • To create an open and close sfx on a door all in one chunk of code, put this on the door:

activate rotate 15 0 time=1 wait=<how long the door stays open in seconds>,noise <open sfx.wav> overlap,animate me <the texture of the door>. 1 1 <how long the door stays open in milliseconds>,astart;adone noise <close sfx.wav> overlap

  • To create a sound generator, place this code on an object (tip: make this object easy to find later on. An underground speaker is recommended)

create animate me 1. 1 1 <how often to play the sfx in milliseconds>,astart;adone noise <sfx to play>,astart

Using sound generators are best used in numbers. For example, grab a bunch of individual bird chirping, or forest setting sfx. Then place a sound generator for each one. Make the delay (the "how often to play the sfx in milliseconds" part) different for each one, like, maybe 10 to 30 seconds.

  • To make an ambient sfx (create sound) play everywhere, to counter how it fades away when you distance yourself from the source, place this on the master speaker:

create name <name>,animate me . 1 1 2000,astart;adone sound <sfx to play> name=<name>,astart

Then, simply place relay speakers all around the area. Simply put "create name <name> on them, and the master speaker will play its sfx off them. Just pick a name for the <name> field - I usually just use "music" (eg - create name music). Once again I recommend making these easy to find in the future, like by using underground speakers.

  • Say you have an ambient sound effect for the outside, and you want another one for the inside. Here's how:

Assuming you start outside, place the indoor speaker roughly at the center of the building. Give it a name, and put it's sfx on. Then put it like 100 meters underground.

The outdoor speaker has the same thing, except don't put it 100 meters underground. Just near the surface is fine.

Build a one-way wall at the door entrance. Put this on it:

create visible no,solid no;bump move 0 100 time=0 wait=99999 name=<indoor speaker's name>,bump move 0 -100 time=0 wait=99999 name=<outdoor speaker's name>

When you enter the building, the outdoor speaker moves down, and the indoor speaker moves up. This makes the indoor speaker closer to you, so it'll be the one that you hear play. Put this on the one-way wall when going back outside:

create visible no,solid no;bump move 1 name=<indoor speaker's name>,bump move 1 name=<outdoor speaker's name>

This simply moves the speaker to put them back where they were before (since an object HAS to move from it's original placement).

  • If the indoor and outdoor ambience aren't the same format (like, one is .wav and one is .mp3), you can apply a music transitional fade effect, which is pretty cool. Simply change the time=0 part in the move command. 0 will cause an instant change, where as 10 will cause the music fade to last 10 seconds.

Note: If you want ambient sfx to start from the begining when the user hears it, the bump walls will also have to apply the sfx to the speaker too.


These are some good places to find sounds:

Page last modified on June 18, 2009, at 07:46 AM
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