'Industry middleware has more in common with data entry than with digital audio workstations'

Firelight: ‘Game audio tools falling short’

Game audio tools are too different from their film and TV counterparts, causing a high barrier to entry, claims Firelight studios lead designer Raymond Biggs.

“I believe there’s real frustration among sound designers and composers about the tools currently available for game audio,” said Biggs

“For those coming from music, film and television to games, there’s a high barrier to entry because current tools are just too different from the ones they use every day.”

He also said game audio tools have more in common with data entry applications than their mature music, film and TV counterparts.

“If you look at audio tools available outside of games, they are very mature pieces of software that share fundamental design features, conventions and terminology,” he said.

“But if you look at current audio tools for games, they’ve got more in common with data entry applications like spreadsheets than with digital audio workstations.”

He believes because of this poor interface, most sound effects in games are simple random playlists, despite the power to do more.

He added that those currently working in the games industry are hamstrung by the lack of features that are standard for DAWs in other sectors.

Firelight have created their own audio middleware, FMOD studio, which he said aims to bridge this gap and simplify the games audio process for newcomers and seasoned games composers.

The upcoming FMOD studio will include features such as a virtual mixer, multi-track editor, shared workspaces and Perforce integration.

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