Friday, January 21, 2011

Iggy & The Crypt Rats: Adding Sounds At Jokaydia Grid

Front Door
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.


Vanish said...

Heh, thanks for the link. I'm glad you found the script useful, it was actually more of a byproduct of me building a house.

Mera Kranfel said...

I just wish I had sounds! But i use imprudence and i only has music, no environmental sounds. I tried Hippo and I got environmental sounds but that client is a bit old.... Imprudence seems to give some ppl problems with environmental sound unfortunately. I use the last stable version,1.3.0, SSE =(

Iggy O said...

@Kranfel, we'll get more clients to support sounds. As for Hippo, it's 100% stable for me at Jokaydia Grid.

But then I drive a 15-year-old vehicle and use a 58-year-old piece of farm equipment. If a tool does what I need, I don't switch...I've not switched to Viewer 2 in SL, either, and won't until I am forced to do so.