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STALKER sound project

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  01:44:14  1 February 2008
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Darius6
The sound guy...
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 04/05/2007
 

Message edited by:
Darius6
02/01/2008 2:35:47
Messages: 2131
Well well well, I think I have my next "semi-big" idea:

Replacing the bullet "whizz by's" with supersonic cracks.
I just read an article on describing this effect in reality and maybe future usage in games for added realism. Also checked a few videos on the subject.
I think this might be a pretty cool feature.

Already have some sounds being tested...

[EDIT]

Well, did some early ingame testing. I think this feature will be pretty cool!!!
Now all I have to do is match the sounds to fit better together with the other game sounds, the test versions really stand out (not in a good way).
Anyway, leaving a few "whizz" sounds makes the sounds in a firefight really interesting.
Now you can hear a few bullets whine past you now and then, but the sonic "crack" really makes
you aware that the bullets are flying really close!
  03:04:56  1 February 2008
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motiv-8
(Senior)
 
On forum: 11/23/2007
Messages: 120
Sounds fantastic
  18:22:05  1 February 2008
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Darius6
The sound guy...
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 04/05/2007
Messages: 2131
Well, some progress, but also a weird problem:
I've got the sounds tweaked and ready, and they work like a charm.
Except in a weird way, they kinda "block" the initial firing sound from the npc's.
It's like this: Npc starts shooting at me, I start to hear the new "whiz" replacements (and my brain is yelling "Get the f*** DOWN!!!" ),
but somehow the sounds interrupt the actuall gun sound, so I only occasionally hear the shot itself in-between the bullets flying by.
Hmm, I'll have to check this more carefully when I have more time.

But as a feature itself, the new sounds are great! I'll see if I can get a video made from them.
  18:47:52  1 February 2008
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FreeKiller
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 10/24/2007
Messages: 613
Hello Darius,i´ve download your sound files,i´ll hear them...

Have you find anything about lost threshold?
Are you thinking add to the signal flow a noise gate or compressor,maybe,if you find how audio signal flow works inside STALKER you can add a noise gate with frequency response,add to silenced sound a especial frequency sound to make the noise gate works,send the sound to compressor and you will have what you whant do.

Do you know where can i start read threads talking about how audio signal works,you should be busy,i guess,so don´t worry with my questions,if you can help me,you are wellcome,other way you are wellcome to.

Good luck with your quest
  04:08:56  2 February 2008
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Darius6
The sound guy...
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 04/05/2007
 

Message edited by:
Darius6
02/02/2008 4:17:17
Messages: 2131

---QUOTATION---
Hello Darius,i´ve download your sound files,i´ll hear them...

Have you find anything about lost threshold?
Are you thinking add to the signal flow a noise gate or compressor,maybe,if you find how audio signal flow works inside STALKER you can add a noise gate with frequency response,add to silenced sound a especial frequency sound to make the noise gate works,send the sound to compressor and you will have what you whant do.
---END QUOTATION---



I don't think adding a compressor would be neccesary.
The problem is simplified this (values used are just there to be "pointers":

The level in the noise meter (=how much noise you make)

Gunshot (unsilenced) is about 80%
Footsteps (walking) are 25-30%
Footsteps (sprinting) are about 80% again (as loud as a gunshot!?!)
Silenced shot (non-edited from ltx) is again 80% (so silencer has no difference)

The point being, that somehow the game diffrentiate the loudness of various sounds, like sprinting and walking use the EXACT same sound, but the other is REGISTERED being louder, the other quieter (in the meter, the sound itself is just as loud).
So, there must be some way of making the silenced shot to be registered as being quieter than the un-silenced shot WITHOUT actually lowering the volume for it (from the ltx).
Hell, If I'd use a normal gunshot as a replacement for the footsteps (for test), IT would be registered as a quieter sound when being a footstep, instead of a gunshot, but the exactly same sound AS a gunshot would be registered louder. So I'd like to find WHAT determines this, which value controls which sound is being louder and which not.


---QUOTATION---

Do you know where can i start read threads talking about how audio signal works,you should be busy,i guess,so don´t worry with my questions,if you can help me,you are wellcome,other way you are wellcome to.

Good luck with your quest
---END QUOTATION---



You know, my friend, I'd offer all of my knowledge, if I had any!
Regarding stalker, I myself am in the process of figuring out how the sound engine actually works. I mean, it's a great game, but codewise it's a total mess trying to figure it out.

[EDIT]

Regarding Stalker sound overhaul 1.7:

New features will be:

-Adding various weapon reload sounds to the silencer shots.
(Well, obviously this is realistic. Even when the silencer IS attached, the gun's mechanics still work, right? You should be able to hear the slide moving etc.)

-New bullet sounds. (As mentioned earlier, I got into researching on the subject of supersonic cracks, the sound heard when a supersonic bullet passes by. Since it's moving faster than sound, it should realistically cause the "crack".)

-Well, probably all new weapon-specific reload/draw/holster sounds.
  04:38:06  2 February 2008
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ket
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 01/13/2006
 

Message edited by:
ket
02/02/2008 4:40:27
Messages: 1432
I have a few things which might help you Darius. I dont know if its exactly what you meant, but regard silencers actually being effective and not cosmetic, its very possible to make them work. All you have to do under snd_silencer_shot is add , 0.4 to have the gun make 40% the noise vs unsilenced. Just to make that a bit clearer heres a proper example;

snd_silencer_shot = weaponsw_ak74_shot1, 0.4 the bit in bold what you need to add.

As regard to your gunfire sounds not being heard - or only very rarely, go to your user.ltx file and scroll until you find snd_cache_size and most importantly, snd_targets. These values control maximum cache size in megabytes and number of sounds that can be played at any one time. Adjust these values to 32 and 30 respectively. By default stalker sets a very crappy value for both of these paramaters, usually 16:16.

By adjusting those values, self explanatory as it may be, the increased cache size means stalker doesnt have to flush its sound cache nearly as frequently and increasing the number of sound targets allows more sounds to be played at the same time. Hope that helps solve your dilemma
  04:48:55  2 February 2008
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Darius6
The sound guy...
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 04/05/2007
Messages: 2131

---QUOTATION---
I have a few things which might help you Darius. I dont know if its exactly what you meant, but regard silencers actually being effective and not cosmetic, its very possible to make them work. All you have to do under snd_silencer_shot is add , 0.4 to have the gun make 40% the noise vs unsilenced. Just to make that a bit clearer heres a proper example;

snd_silencer_shot = weaponsw_ak74_shot1, 0.4 the bit in bold what you need to add.
---END QUOTATION---



Yes, I know this. But the problem here is that the silencer sound becomes also PHYSICALLY quieter, like turning the volume down to 40% when the sound is played. The thing I'm after is that I could keep the silencer sound at 100% like the normal shot, but have it be registered as a more silent sound.
There IS a way to do this, I'm sure. Since the footsteps are registered at making less noise when running than when sprinting, but still the sound for the footstep REMAINS at the same volume that the sound originally had. Man, this is so hard to explain...


---QUOTATION---

As regard to your gunfire sounds not being heard - or only very rarely, go to your user.ltx file and scroll until you find snd_cache_size and most importantly, snd_targets. These values control maximum cache size in megabytes and number of sounds that can be played at any one time. Adjust these values to 32 and 30 respectively. By default stalker sets a very crappy value for both of these paramaters, usually 16:16.

By adjusting those values, self explanatory as it may be, the increased cache size means stalker doesnt have to flush its sound cache nearly as frequently and increasing the number of sound targets allows more sounds to be played at the same time. Hope that helps solve your dilemma
---END QUOTATION---



Yep, I already have the caches maxed out. I kinda pinpointed the reason already, now I'll just have to find the solution.
I'm doing my sound testing while at the same time testing OL 1.3.
I found out that MY problem is somehow related to the ak/abakan sound replacement that OL uses. I'll test with vanilla and other sounds to see, if the specific sound from OL is the culprit.
  14:43:29  2 February 2008
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ket
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 01/13/2006
 

Message edited by:
ket
02/02/2008 14:45:53
Messages: 1432
Understanding the sound engine in stalker is no easy task.. so bravo to you sir for figuring out wht yu have. Skitting around various files and looking at log files, it looks like stalker may have more than one sound engine, could be way off base, its just something I read in a log file along the lines of "Load default sound engine", which suggests to me there is a 100% software sound engine, and for supported soundcards a hardware sound engine. This would also explain why stalker uses such a large amount of system memory as a cache.

Perhaps its just me but am I the only one who feels that even the "retail" version we ended up getting was a rushed half-arsed job? Theres just so much wrong with the game.. not really serious issues mostly just bloody retarded spelling errors which cause the game to CTD, or errers which cause the AI to not act properly, such as in the game_relations file where if you dont put the comma in NPCs will just stand about and not react to tushkano attacks. Makes me seriously question if the programming was done by a bunch of 5 year olds on their my_first_computer
  18:48:24  2 February 2008
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FreeKiller
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 10/24/2007
 

Message edited by:
FreeKiller
02/02/2008 18:54:13
Messages: 613
I miss some of your words,but...

of course STALKER has inside something like a mini Logic or pro tools,not interface and not with all features,but somewher there must be a sound engyne,a mixer and some kind of effects,at least there must be software inside telling wich sound must be reproduced at this time.

i think various reasons for not find it:

1-- and what i think is right,In STALKER,as you say ket,there are a lot of bugs,one and most important,i think,it´s realtive about the NPC vision,i don´t know if the problems is about terrain,phisicals,NPC vision,density of darknes or what.

But something makes NPC look for you in rare places(sky,underground,on trees),so i think,in STALKER,npc need hear where you are,it´s a fix for bad vision,in O.L. i found that if you walk with crouch button pressed you can walk between enemies,check these screens first.

http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/4682/ssjl120807195146l10radaxk5.jpg
http://img352.imageshack.us/img352/7719/ssjl120807195204l10radayp3.jpg
http://img352.imageshack.us/img352/2313/ssjl120807195220l10radaxd8.jpg

I like O.L.,is a GREAT mod,don´t think other way.

If you walk without crouch,NPC seem they are seing you,but they are hearing you.

Well,now i´m using a combination of R&G2,Weather Overhould and textures and sounds,dark is SO dark,NV clear a lot of places,you can see really more with NV than without NV,but NPC see you,i say SEE you,because yesterday i was testing this,crouh walking in darkness,they see you and shoot,i think that i´ve seen a NPC looking for me,watch to me but don,t see me them turns again and SEE me,BUT i´m not really sure that they see,I THINK NPC have other value that indicates them where you are,not only vision and sound.So what you want do Darius is a very difficult thing to do,maybe if you left down volume for silenced shoot and add loud sound in expecific places in your mod,you will be able to do sneak missions.

For example:Nimble mision,adding loud hollows or far away blowouts.Or adding mutants that despite bandits.

2 other reason is that sound engyne is inside Xray engyne,not for mod(i noobie,maybe this is a stupid thing to say)

Anyway,we can keep talking about this,maybe we can finally find the lost audio signal.Or we can ask for it somewhere,or someone taking your question to GSC dev,just a help for fans/modders...is good for STALKER,and the question is simple,where is the sound mixer inside STALKER?

I´m going to extract hole gamedata.
  19:10:41  2 February 2008
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Darius6
The sound guy...
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 04/05/2007
 

Message edited by:
Darius6
02/02/2008 19:15:18
Messages: 2131

---QUOTATION---
Or we can ask for it somewhere,or someone taking your question to GSC dev,just a help for fans/modders...is good for STALKER,and the question is simple,where is the sound mixer inside STALKER?

I´m going to extract hole gamedata.
---END QUOTATION---



I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for GSC to answer...

Anyway, I've had some progress:

Now the new bullet sounds work,somehow the OL ak sound WAS the culprit in this. Replaced it with a new sound,( that will be included in the next release) and the sounds no longer get "cut off" by the bullet sounds.

Also, I'm thinking of making an compromise for the next version:

The silencers will be set at 55-60% volume in the scale from 0 to 100%
Ok, this will make them a bit louder, but at least the new sounds can be heard. Besides, realistically a silenced gun can still be heard, the mechanics of the gun still make a sound (which will be a feature in the next version: All weapon shots, silenced or un-silenced will have the sound of the slide moving, bolt clicking etc. Now they really sound like a
working gun with moving parts.)

I've actually fired a few silenced guns in my life, and belive me, they DO still make ALOT of noise. Especially indoors.

And since the stealth in stalker is a bit dodgy, I'd say that I myself would rather prefer nice quality sounds instead of "stealthy" sounds. Now the purpose for the silencers is to score a "silent" kill from a DISTANCE, not right behind the backs of a group of bandits.
You wanna take someone out quietly? Use the knife (THAT i'll make nearly completely silent...)
 
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