• Miroslaw Sienkiewicz

Tutorial: Shaking Wall Effect (aka outside of the club) for video game

This is an instruction of how I did this effect for my 'Soul City' project: https://www.battleangelmusic.com/single-post/2018/10/17/UE4-Soul-City-Audio-Implementation-Final

After this tutorial you can simply change music track and whole process will be automated thanks to side-chained Expander.

Take any music track bass / sub-bass rich. Set Low-Pass filter somewhere between 20-60Hz depending on your speakers, so you can feel that your speaker or sub is working but you don't hear anything beside just a rumble.

Now take your microphone with portable recorder or any other recording device and bring it close to your speaker cone. DON'T EVEN DARE TO RECORD YOUR INPUT FROM THE SAME DEVICE THAT IS PLAYING YOUR AUDIO BECAUSE FEEDBACK WILL DAMAGE YOUR EARS AND EQUIPMENT LIKE A CRAZY! Get close to speaker cone on the distance where you'll hear that the sound you're going to record is similar to the rumble that you would hear from being outside of the club. I got best results by recording on my portable recorder (Tascam DR-05) with omnidirectional microphones. Sound captured by my shotgun microphone was no different than totally distorted sine wave.

Record few seconds and then edit it: take just a tiny bit (1 second in my example) and make it as seamless loop. Then import it into your favourite sampler (or audio track).

In my case it's build-in sampler in Cubase. Sample is looped and played back in piano roll.

Now it's time to use side-chain effect but instead of Compressor use Expander effect. It's because you want to hear your Rumble SFX when bass is playing back not opposite. Think of Expander as reversed compressor. Duplicate your original music track and work on duplicate: set it to mono (just in case) and set EQ to something like this to keep just your bass:

Bass from duplicated track will drive the signal going to Expander effect.

So, put Expander as Insert effect on your Rumble SFX track. Send signal from duplicated track to Expander. Set your send as Post-Fader because you want to mute this track (you don't want to hear it) but you want this track to still drive Expander input. Now play all three tracks: original music, duplicated and Rumble SFX and adjust setting of Expander to the point where it will sounds realistically. These are my settings and GR is between -10 to -40dB:

Finally I added EQ to Rumble SFX where I changed the timbre to my liking.

Now you can export both tracks: original and Rumble sfx tracks as separate files and then import them to your middleware and/or game engine and there add some logic. You can hear results here at 3:33 (don't mind sounds of electric sparks):

I believe that process in DAW can be automated in Wwise as it also have Expander effect but I've had no opportunity to test it yet. If I do then I'll do another tutorial.

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