Friday, January 21, 2011
Iggy & The Crypt Rats: Adding Sounds At Jokaydia Grid
Location: hiding virtual oil can
No, I'm not starting a virtual Punk band. But I do need to record a rat squeaking.
Old doors creak. They simply must. And one of the most wonderful aspects of Second Life's House of Usher simulation was its sound: doors creaked, screams filled the air at opportune moments, rats squeaked in the family crypt. Clumsy props-handlers shot themselves with virtual pistols when an actor called for a distant gunshot...we won't go there.
Unlike that cacophony, Jokaydia Grid's new House, until today, has been silent. I'm not a sound wizard or a scripter, but thanks to a UK site I found, I've gotten a few good sounds to begin making Usher more immersive an experience.
First hat-tip (in a week full of them) is to the blog Three Guides in Byzantium. John Lester put us on to this site at a recent VWER meeting, and in checking the validity of the links for a transcript, I hit the blog. Post at the top when I checked? No, not the one about sex in OpenSim, silly.
How to make a creaky door!
This was a large moment for me. I copied the script, visited the site referenced, The Freesound Project, and downloaded several .wav files of 10 seconds or fewer. Both the script and sound file are under creative-commons licenses for noncommercial use, so I wrote an attribution notecard for the script & sound, then added it to Usher's front door.
Sound has been missing for me, and when the door creaked for the first time on Nevermore, I felt that magic sensation of immersion. Now, without overdoing it, I'll make more squeaky, creaky, crunchy, clunky, and squishy sounds suitable for Poe's world. Rat-sounds were not to be found at the Web site, but I may drag my recorder to the lab of a colleague in Neuroscience. He has lots of rats.
How do you make them squeak for a visitor? Maybe I should start a band.