Igor Dall'Avanzi

Igor Dall'Avanzi

Creation of accessible tools for the use of procedural audio in video games

The aim of this research is to investigate and provide new tools to developers for the use of procedural audio into video games. Procedural approaches could address different issues that commonly afflict game audio. In music, generative systems are not only less repetitive, but offer more adaptability as well. For what concerns sound design, they can provide not only variety, but stronger and more realistic support to the interaction with the game world; interaction that is becoming even deeper with the advent of VR

Yet, these methods still need improvement on different sides. One is the level of quality that procedural audio needs to achieve to compete with the current aesthetic established by the use of rendered sounds and music in the media. Another is the additional amount of work required by the CPU to render the assets on runtime, and its variable cost). Finally, there is a general lack of user-friendly tools, to link common programming languages for audio to game engines. Software like MaxMsp, Pure Data or SuperCollider is used to design generative audio systems. A more accessible integration of these software could promote generative approaches among sound designers and composers in the field, that today have instead access to tools mainly designed to be used with rendered assets.

My plan is to bring on research first by focusing on how a higher degree of quality could be addressed, exploring tools like the above mentioned MaxMsp, Pure Data, low level solutions, and machine learning algorithms. Primary research will be run to confront procedurally generated audio content with rendered one; to understand its impact on the player, and the level of quality needed to deliver a satisfactory experience. The creation of more accessible interfaces and tools dedicated to implement procedural audio in video games will be investigated and undertaken.

I like to make noises of all sort and to play with them. For this reason I graduated in Music Production in 2016 and, at the moment of writing, I am finishing my final project for an MSc in Sound and Music for Interactive Games at Leeds Beckett University. Composer and sound designer, in the last year I have been focusing on audio implementation and programming, and I am currently exploring machine learning approaches for procedural audio.

Home institution: Goldsmiths

Supervisor: Dr Matthew Yee-King

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