Blending and Layering: the Art of Sound Design


SAN FRANCISCO, CA - 5.12.09 - Today dSonic gave a behind-the-scenes look at the sound design for Gaia Interactive's MMORPG, zOMG!. After finishing work on 2K's award winning Bioshock, dSonic's sound design team turned its attention to zOMG!. The game's creatures are hybrids of living and non-living objects and dSonic co-founder, Kemal Amarasingham, revealed some of the methods behind blending the two.

Amarasingham explained, "The most difficult aspect of sound design is finding the right base sounds for each creature, so that when they're all processed and layered, they blend well and sound natural. Blending was particularly important for us while working on zOMG! because of the hybrid nature of the monsters." To get the effect of a creature sounding mechanical-real, as opposed to just mechanical, dSonic's sound designers adopted leading edge techniques like morphing and convolution.

Kemal Amarasingham used the sound design for the Mosquito Clock as an example of his team's work in the game and said that when players hear this monster in attack mode, they will hear five different sounds combined to make up the movement sequence: 1) a clank sound for the mechanical body, 2) a buzzing sound reminiscent of mosquito wings flapping, 3) a clock mechanism winding up and down as the antennas go around, 4) the ding of an alarm clock when the antenna arms strike twelve o?clock, and 5) a sonic wave (the attack itself).

The Mosquito Clock is but one of 36 monsters and characters in the zOMG! world. Amarasingham added "We strived for originality and to bring out the story in the sound of every creature in the game. We hope that by doing so we have added to the richness and the depth of zOMG!" See the Mosquito Clock monster and other zOMG! creatures here:

dSonic provides music, sound effects and voice-overs exclusively to thegame industry. They have over ninety titles to their credit and have contributed to AAA titles such as 2K's Bioshock and Bethesda's Oblivion. For more information, visit

zOMG! is an anime-style, MMORPG developed by Gaia Interative, owners of Gaia Online, an online community that encourages teens to be creative and express their individuality. The game is part of the wild world of offerings at

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