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I have a question that’s been boggling my mind for a long time. How do people create those puffy, soft, airy elegant sounds in mobile games?

I’m not sure how else to explain them, but it’s almost like a round/softness to every hard or impact fx I hear..Explosions, gun shots, crashes etc.

Games that come to mind:

  • Boom Beach
  • Clash of clans
  • Angry birds
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Game of War

I'm not working with a ton of gear.

Field recorders: DR40 and Fostex Fr2 Le

Mics: AT4040, MXL 603s (pair), Ntg1

Logic X, Ozone 5

Any miking/mixing tips to achieve a similar sound would be greatly appreciated

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    good question, but a bit too broad at the moment. please link to some examples (game footage) and explain what you have tried to do yourself. this makes it much easier to discuss analyse and give you feedback. – Arnoud Traa May 28 '15 at 15:23
  • Sure thing, I'll update the main post soon. – Lilie Jerns May 28 '15 at 21:42
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I'm not sure exactly what you mean since there are no examples provided. Although, I believe what you are talking about can be achieved through using a Low Pass Filter that cuts out all of the high frequency content in whatever sound (explosion/boom/crash) you are trying to process. The extremely high frequency content of the sound, anything 15kHz+, is really not necessary for many types of sounds, especially explosion/boom/crash where most of the content is taking place in the lower frequencies. By cutting out the high frequencies you will be making it less bright and more muffled in a way. Another technique is to process the sound with reverb as this will "set it back" and not make it so present and harsh.

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I'm afraid there is no wonder button here. Five more or less general points come to my mind:

  • Good sources: Only use high quality source samples. Don't be afraid to use synthetic sounds.
  • Exaggerated realism: If a real chicken sounds too boring, spice it up somehow
  • Spectral balance: Make sure all the different samples eq-wise sounds like the same production - and make sure they're mastered for general purpose (perhaps with a bias toward the primary medium, e.q. smartphones).
  • Dynamic balance: Make sure all samples are roughly equal in volume and use e.q. a shared multiband comp and limiter lightly to even out volume. Use a parallel comp to ensure that sound don't get too low (careful as this may bring up noise).
  • Add signature FX: Find a shared "sound" e.g. a mild short reverb, slap delay, tiny bit of chorus etc. Something to give it a distinguished sound. This may also be exciters, octavers, bass enhancers and what not. It may also add a more synthetic and soft feel to it all.

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