NFS Pro Street - Sound Recordings
1. What's new and innovative in the audio for ProStreet?
Phil: This year, speech plays a much more supportive role compared to previous Need for Speed's. As ProStreet takes place entirely within real world race tracks, it was decided early on that these locations would require voices to support the idea of being at a sponsored racing event. Why hire actors when you could get the real deal, right...? So we asked a few "professional" race announcers to be a part of the game - Jarod DeAnda (Formula-D), John Hindhaugh (Radio Lemans), and Jbird (NOPI) spent over 100 hours in the voiceover booth recording lines of speech specifically for our game. They talk about everything that goes on in ProStreet, both on and off the track. This has added a tremendous amount of life and energy to each and every race. If you've ever heard just one of these guys announce a racing event in person, you'll know exactly what I mean... This is the real deal.
Jesse: NFS Cars now have "real" physics, which means cars will sound and feel much more realistic. Pro drivers use their ears constantly for feedback during a race and we wanted to recreate this experience in Pro Street as good as possible. We use nearly every modeled physics input to drive sound. You will now get a great sense of feedback from your engine and turbo/supercharger how hard you're working your car. Tire sounds are accurately modeled as well, letting you know how close you are to edge of control.
Charles: ProStreet's audio feel is very different from previous Need for Speeds. It's all about cars, reality and racing, so the main focus this year was, you guessed it ; cars . More than 100 car audio models are in the game, completely new technologies were created for skidding and forced induction. Forced induction is now fully modeled as well. Our technical sound artist supreme, worked on this for several months to perfect it, studying every detail. The recordings for this were done on real cars, under real circumstances. We found that using “sterile” methods like some other games do, simply didn't make it sound alive enough.
The other brand new addition is world modeling with continuously adapting early reflections. The cars will sound alive in their space. It's a real treat to have this in, very cool stuff. No other racing game has done this before that we know of. There are some other hidden gems that I don't want to give away (yet). They have to do with making the car come alive and be more aggressive sounding.
Adam: We've got real-time damage this year and the audio has been completely rebuilt from the ground up to support this feature. What we've done is created a layered damage model, so that for any crash, what you hear is the sound of the surface you hit plus the sound of the part of the car that was damaged. Every part of the car that can be damaged has an entire sequence of audio to support it, from the lowest intensity bump to the sound of the part being ripped off and clattering down the road behind you.
2. How long does it take the audio team to record, process and finalize the audio for a car?
Jesse: It takes about one day to get a full set of recordings for one car (half day spent on a dynomometer and half day spent on a closed track). It takes about one to two days to process, implement and rough tune one car in the game, then many hours of fine tuning and adding sweetners. All of this does not include the other sounds that go along with the car such as forced induction, suspension, cabin-shakes, wind, skids, collision sounds etc. Of course we'll tweak and tune everything to get it sounding just right for as long as we possibly can (until they rip the code from our hands!).
3. Where did you go/what did you do this year to get the car recordings?
Jesse: Most of our cars are recorded in Los Angeles as its just too rainy in Vancouver during the time we need to record outside, however we also do some recording locally during the Summer months. One trip was done this year to Sebring Raceway in Florida to record three GT1 American Le Mans cars (Corvette, Cadillac, and Viper). We try to get each car on the dyno as well as the open road, but that doesn't always work out. The best part of the job is getting some of these exotic and super high performance cars out on an abandoned mile stretch of pavement and watching our driver put them through their paces. We also record the pro and amateur race events like EA sponsored Formula D, both for reference as well as source material for the game.
Adam: The team also went on a hunt for new sound designers to create fresh material. We contracted some of the best sound designers and Foley artists in the world, known from movies like 300, Matrix Trilogy, Spiderman and King Kong to create source recordings for our crash-sounds and cinematic sequences. These sounds in combination with our car crash recordings will create some of the most satisfying, yet realistic crashes you'll hear in a racing game.
4. Any cool stories to share that took place during recording?
Jesse: Not many I'm allowed to talk about ;) There was actually one big scare during a road recording session. Audi had given us a pre-production R8 for the weekend to record. On the first test run, one of the oil lines split open and started spraying oil over the engine and back of the car. I was needless to say very nervous about having to call Audi to report the problem, but in fact, they were extremely apologetic, and believe it or not, had a second car there within the hour so we could finish our shot list. Now that's customer service!
Charles: Well, it was a real treat working with the Corvette GT1 team recording their cars. Having some of the best drivers in the world perform the cues that we needed, in 1 million dollar cars is sometimes heart-pounding and comes as close to an audio recordist's aural fiesta as it can be. Having a car taken apart to be able to mount microphones and cables anywhere was a first for us too. I want to thank the GM teams again for being so supportive those days. Something I'll never forget.
Recording days are always fun. It's neat to see a Porsche racing team lined up with a Mazda factory team, SCCA racing teams, Audi prototypes, old muscle cars and a bunch of tuners all on the same days of recording. This really shows you the difference in engine sounds, which translates well in the game.
Source: Blog Answers @ Needforspeed.com
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