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Sound design in Assetto Corsa

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by BanjoMaster, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Hi, first post here, so be gentle ;-)
    I’m watching AC’s development with extremely high interest. I’ve never had the opportunity to experience NK or FVA first hand, but other people’s opinions are high enough to convince me that AC will be the benchmark for all sims going forward.
    My specific question – and forgive me if this has already been covered here or elsewhere, but I didn’t see anything specific on my trawl – is what are Kunos’ plans for sound design in the software. So far, it looks like most other boxes have been ticked; graphics look amazing, handling is unlikely to be anything less than spot on, online and offline racing is being tackled, and the game is to be moddable from the start. So far, so very good. But I haven’t seen that much from Kunos on sound, apart from the sounds we heard in the videos to date were placeholders, and that sitting above the pits at Vallelunga all day serves a fairly up-front reminder that it’s been a neglected aspect of racing sims up to this point.
    I’m not a programmer or anything, but I know enough about it to realise that modelling sound anywhere near real life is probably very difficult and resource hungry, but are we anywhere near a stage where we can incorporate realistic behaviour such as in this vid (Monza, appropriately):

    I don’t know the technical terms enough to try and use them without mixing them up and confusing people, but it should be immediately obvious what I mean; the echoes off the trees and barriers, the backfiring on the over-run and on the gear change, and (probably the most difficult but perhaps the most important effect) the way the sound ‘carries’ and ‘floats’ as the car storms off round the Curva Grande. Is this possible? Is it feasible?
    Another aspect that I’ve never seen captured is the difference in engine note from different ends of the car; the huge differences between induction and exhaust noise, suitably demonstrated by this vid of the Merc SLS GT3:

    Again, it’s fairly obvious what I’m talking about. The induction noise of the car coming towards you couldn’t be any more different to the exhaust noise (if you can even call it a ‘noise’. Perhaps ‘force’ would be a better description :-D ) Again, I’ve no idea how difficult it would be to model on a scale that could be used in a simulation, but I’m asking the question anyway: Is it possible? Is it feasible?
    If graphics are scaleable for different system levels, why can’t we do the same for sound if resources are an issue?
    As more than a few people have noted, sound is often the most neglected aspect of racing sims. I’ve heard the samples Simbin put out as GTR3 teasers, and they were definitely a step in the right direction, assuming they hadn’t been enhanced post-production. I’m not convinced we’ll ever see GTR3 though, and AC has already captured a lot of attention from a lot of fans. If AC get the sound right, I doubt I and a lot of other people will need to go looking elsewhere for a while.
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  2. Stefano Casillo posted a message (4 July) about the location of their workplace in his twitter account were he talks about this:
    "Yep, very inspiring, but also a constant reminder that sounds in sim is not even close to the real thing."

    Don´t know how its gone and who is working with them in this area (hope DucFreak is working with the team since Aristotelis and everyone who tested P&G mod for GTR 2 know how good is his work).

    Knowing Kunos work from the old "namie" release of netkar, I can say that he might not get the result he wanted from the start of the project but I assure you that he will do all he can to get it.

    I really trust in the work of this great little team.

    If someone have some information about this, please share it.
  3. The guy that is working on sounds i think is LucaSodano(i mean i dont know if he is the only one).
  4. Thanks. I'll maybe attempt to point him in the direction of this thread, see if he's interested in contributing to the discussion. Even an explanation of why these effects are not currently possible would be good if that's the case. Would be nice to think there's some way to get closer to reality sound-wise though.

  5. I would be very interested as well to learn more about what is planned or in the works for sounds in AC. With recent improvements in sound samples as well as sound dynamics in RRRE, iRacing, and Pcars, the bar is being raised and I hope that the Kunos team have something planned to match or exceed that trend.

    As it is now, the internal engine sounds in AC are decent IMO but lack some dynamics and details. Obviously, as a WIP, there are going to be things missing or temporary. Most of the engine sounds are good representations of the actual cars but, the exterior sounds need to have much more punch and power as the car passes and departs the camera views. The use of a low pass filter can add some of that but, I wonder if it will be possible to have alternate exhaust sounds to better represent that effect in AC. None of the above mentioned titles have a very effective way to mimic the downshift/backfire sounds. Effectively adding that sound feature alone would take AC to a whole new level.

    Another aspect of the external sounds are that there be some variation in backfire sound samples and sequence so that they appear to be more random - or at least - not all the same or occur in an obvious pattern.

    Another area that benefits exhaust sounds greatly IMO is that of variation of the engine note and rhythm at different RPMs. Modified race cars especially, often run rich at lower RPM's and sound very different as engine speed increases/decreases. The C6 Corvette and other stock cars in iRacing are a good example of that. Early fuel-injected engines also displayed that effect as well.

    Effective car sounds are a huge part of being immersed in a racing SIM. AC has the goods in other areas and hopefully, will have the sounds to match at some point.
  6. Sound in any game has always been above graphics to me. I know that is the opposite of the majority of folks. I'm the kind of guy who hears electrical frequencies from across the room (I reckon I must have been spliced with a bat in the test tube).

    The sounds in AC are good as other have said but not quite up there with the best as yet. As said before the dynamics need tweaking. As many cars are high revving my buttkicker doesn't really have the effect I want it to as it only senses bass. I can't run a 2nd soundcard for Simvibe as I'm on an iMac and I'm selling the 2nd buttkicker to a mate to pay bills. What I'd love (don't know if its even possible) is to run some form of ultra low frequency parallel track to enhance the chassis vibrations, shifter changes, armco scraping etc. That would make it perfect for me.
  7. Yes, some of us are just more aural than others, I hear every little noise when driving a car and my wife thinks I'm hearing things. I think that sound is certainly a key ingredient to immersion and I'm so happy that it is getting more attention these days.

    BTW, I like the bat-splicing comparison - it is a bit like having sonar. :)
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  8. differences between induction and exhaust noise (i want this badly too):
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  9. Sounds in the game are very well done, allot more clearer than GSC has produced, but SimBin seems to be slightly better in how they create it.
  10. Bram

    Ezekiel 25:17 Staff Premium

    The sounds are the thing in AC I dislike and then I am putting it mildly still :)

    Compared to the fantastic graphics and physics the sounds are off, way off.

    On the other hand, we always wanted a Gran Turismo on the PC, and now we have it :)
    • Haha Haha x 1
  11. That's a bit harsher than I would put it but, I generally agree that the sounds are the weakest link in the AC chain at this point and certainly don't match the level of the rest of the title. I'm confident that they will make significant improvements over time but, sound is one of the last things to get attention as I understand it.
  12. Bram

    Ezekiel 25:17 Staff Premium

    The sounds don't match any other modern sim racing title to be honest. SimBin has raised the mark and set the new standard for sounds with RaceRoom imo.

    The comparison with GT5 was a genuine one though: great game, with realistic handling fantastic looking cars, nice modeled tracks and very poor car sounds.

    But I am optimistic, this game will be supported for a long time so sounds improvements can be made along the road.
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  13. When I play AC through my monitor speakers the sound is "functional" but not great...When I play it through my headset it sounds amazing....This is probably the first time I have disagreed with Bram, at least this strongly.
  14. I agree with Bram on this one, the sounds in RRE are way ahead of AC. RRE is the benchmark now.
    AC has a few other features well ahead of RRE though.
  15. Bram

    Ezekiel 25:17 Staff Premium

    @Michael Hornbuckle

    Does your Z4 GT3 in game sounds like this?

    It doesn't on my PC, not even remotely close apart from the backfire soundeffects, which are ok.

    Compare with R3E which has a much richer pallet of sounds it seems

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  16. Chris

    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium

    I actually thought a lot of the cars sound pretty close to their real life counter part.

    The Ferrari 458 is pretty close, could be a bit more "raw" sounding.
    The M3 E92 sounds almost perfect with that classic BMW gargle.
    I thought the 599XX Sounded pretty accurate, but the downshift sound is too loud in relation to the throttle.
    The Pagani Zonda R sounds PERFECT.

    I'd say the few that are wrong would definitely be the Z4 GT3 and the Formula Abarth. But yeah, as you say, the support for this game is going to continue for many years to come, so I'm sure these will be corrected. As long as people report them.
  17. Samples are definitely missing.
    Overall it's not bad and better than most other sims on the market except RRE.
    I especially like the way the Ferraris sound. That part is spot on.
    Hopefully in the next few releases we'll get transmission whine, clutch take-up, brake squeal, high frequency rumble strip buzz, etc..
    They've got a few more samples in certain cars than others.(i.e.. the unstable combustion and ECU fuel cut pop) is very good in the F40.
    The brakes also need improving across the board.
    Take a look at 1:50 of that first Z4 video in the above post. see where the driver applied the brakes to haul that car down? It's right at the 200 mark isn't it?.
    That's how it needs to be.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  18. As I am sure ya'll are aware, there will be a whole slew of sound mods that will be released soon...I drive from cockpit view so I don't expect the sounds in the cockpit to be the same as they are for somebody sitting in the stands. Sounds will never be the same as real life because I would get evicted quick if I had a stereo that would shake the ground hundreds of yards away from the volume.

    R3E sets the standard for sounds in a game, I agree...that could be because there are more resources ($$) directed to the sound department than any other part of the game design....They probably have more than one sound guy also.

    For me sound is in the same category as graphics.....As long as they are good enough to get the job done I am happy, if they are a step above then that is cake. The driving experience is what is important to me and as long as everything else around it isn't so bad as to be a distraction then I am good.

    If graphics matter to you more than anything else, go play pcars.
    If sounds are your thing, R3E will make you happy.
    If the most realistic vehicle dynamics are what you are after, AC is the way to go.

    I know that my Firebird sound alot different standing behind it than it does sitting in the drivers seat, I'm sure it would be even more drastic if I was wearing a helmet.

    Just because I am satisfied with the sounds doesn't mean I don't think or want them to be improved. It just means that they are currently good enough for me in the grand scheme of things.
    Just my opinion, yours may (and probably does) vary.
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  19. Bram

    Ezekiel 25:17 Staff Premium

    FYI: Simbin has one sound guy (but a very good one) and there budget isn't unlimited either. Really don't know where those fables come from that they are some large wealthy company as like Kunos, ISI and Reiza they aren't.

    I am driving Assetto Corsa because i am blown away with the overall package, from the first moment I tried it at Gamescom '12 I stand firmly with my first review posted: excellent physics, easy to race, fabulous graphics and poor sounds.

    Mostly curious I am about the reason the sounds are so much different in quality compared to other games. Can't be the sound guy as I am sure he is very talented as well. Is it resources missing to do the recording? A limitation in the software itself (if so mods won't solve it either).

    I truly hope it will be a focus point for the future as I am sure that triple A car brands aren't happy to hear their cars like this either on already thousands of youtube videos (that rank higher than real life footage :D)

    FYI2: I am mainly speaking about engine sounds.
  20. Sounds are ok-ish, but definitely the weak link in this game. Would love to see a solid update across the board. Every other sim is better in this area.

    Oh who am i kidding, just give me MP and i'll forgive you Kunos! :p
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