Today we’re taking a look at how we can use Wwise to make sound effects and create variations for use in linear media. By linear media I mean film, tv, radio, music and so forth.
The process is very simple and extremely versatile, so let’s take a look!
Setting Up The Sound
Imagine that we have a shooting sequence in a movie with tons of sci-fi laser weapons shooting left and right. A sequence like that would take a pretty long time to make since you need to create a bunch of variations for all the weapons, time them properly etc. We can streamline this a bit using Wwise.
So, for this example I made a blend container with five random containers with all the different layers I want in my gun sound. Now of course, when we press play, all of the random containers choose a random sound and is then “layered” in the blend container, making for the randomized full gun sound.
Let’s apply some randomization to the layers. Select all of the random containers in your sound, right-click and choose “Show in Multi Editor” (Ctrl+M).
Inside of the Multi Editor, navigate to Audio -> General Settings. Double-click on the little grey ball next to the property you want to randomize, in this case the voice pitch.
(I’ve already applied randomization, which is why my randomizer is yellow)
The randomizer opens up. Click the little box next to “Enabled” to enable to randomizer, choose the min and max values that you want.
Do the same for all of the other properties you want to randomize. Now you could also do this individually each of the random containers, but this process applies it to all of them at the same time. You can always go back to your random container to adjust the randomization amounts later.
Each time we play the blend container now, we hear the different layers of the sci fi gunshot play with a lot of variation because of the randomization. Now if we could only export all of these variations somehow….
Exporting The Sounds From Wwise
All of our sounds eventually pass through the “Master Audio Bus”. So navigate to that bus in the “Master-Mixer Hierarchy” and click on it. Navigate to the effects panel in the top of the “Audio Bus Property Editor”.
If you don’t know where the “Master-Mixer Hierarchy” is, you can find it in the project overview to the left, it’s at the very top.
Now click the little “>>” icon and select the Wwise Recorder effect. What the Wwise Recorder does, is that it records the output of Wwise as long as the transport control is playing.
Click the “…” edit button to open up the “Effect Editor”. This is where set up everything relating to your recorded file.
Start by setting up the path under the “Authoring Tool Output Path” to wherever you want to save the file. Be sure to name your file, as you see I’ve just named mine “SciFiGun1”.
All you have to do now, is make sure you have the blend container selected and the press play. The file is recorded and added to the specified folder. Now you have a totally randomized gunshot recording.
Keep in mind though, that you have to manually change the name of the file each time, otherwise it just overwrites the one you just export. As you can see in this case, I’ve named the next one “SciFiGun2”.
This might seem like a bit of a hazzle but once you get used to it, it isn’t really that bad. I would personally love a way for the naming to just increment in some way, but I haven’t found one yet.
Now if you go to your export folder, you can see all of the sounds you exported from before. Perfectly ready to be implemented into whatever linear media you need it for and with tons of variation.
You Can Use This For A Million Different Things!
This example is using a sci-fi gunshot as an example, but you can use it for just about everything. Footsteps, Car engines, 3D objects and so forth.
You could for example automate a 3D object moving around you with attenuation and everything, and then record that output with many different variation. Or you could trigger different sounds to spawn all around for a specific soundscape. Only your own creativity sets the limit here.
There might be some things that are a lot easier to do in say Pro Tools, but in terms of creating variations this is almost unbeatable.
Hope you learned something and found it useful!
See you next week 🙂
– Frederik Max