Adding Weight to Impacts with GameSynth

2019-05-07

Introduction

Raw recordings often lack weight by themselves and require a certain amount of layering and effects processing to create the desired impact. Fortunately, GameSynth has a dedicated Impact model which can create a variety of different surface impacts. While it is true that the Impact model in GameSynth can operate as an outright replacement for these sorts of impacts at run-time, it can also be used as a tool for embellishment in traditional sound design practice.

Original impact sample
Impact samples after layering & processing

Resynthesis

To demonstrate this, I’m using a short sample from a free library. Since it’s a taster library, there are only a few variations of the impact sound. To get more life out of it, I’ve decided to use the waveform analysis feature within GameSynth’s Impact model. This feature creates a quick approximation of the sound, which allows for further manipulation at the source level. Since the sample is quite noisy, and not especially harmonic, the impact generated isn’t particularly close to the original. However, it’s a great starting point for creating rich layers which are sympathetic to the envelope and general character of the sound.

gamesynth impact resonance screencapture of modal waveform analysis

After analysis and resynthesis, I applied some random variation to all of the Global parameters and set up some arbitrary parameters for the Impact noise portion. I then rendered out a set of samples with variation applied, and then once more with the second set detuned down an octave.

gamesynth impact noise screencapture of bank shaping and slider randomisation

Sound Design

With the new samples rendered out, I’ve employed more traditional sound design tactics to manipulate and balance out the sounds. This process involved staggering the different impact layers and altering the playback rate of the original sample, with some processing via a handy bass-shaping plugin for Reaper.

Conclusion

By simply highlighting and attenuating the relevant aspects of each layer, I was able to extend the usability of a single sample, by adding in more layers and allowing for more variations. The analysed waveform can also now be saved as data within the GameSynth tool, and used in future as the starting point for other impact sounds, which is quite an interesting way of cataloguing sounds.