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Halo

28 Mar 2021

Here is how the sounds in Halo were made

Music and sound effects can make or break immersion in any form of media, including video games.

Firing a rocket launcher without a loud and deep explosion noise following would just take any player out of the experience.

Looking at how these sound effects are made, it might surprise a lot of people as quite often these sound effects are made from some weird objects and sometimes using obscure techniques.

343 Industries recently gave fans a look behind the curtain at some of the methods used to create the sounds we will be hearing in the upcoming Halo Infinite that is due to be released later this year on Xbox One, Series X|S and PC.

How Halo Sound Effects Are Made

In a recent Halo Waypoint blog post, the audio team at 343 Industries gave us an insight as to how some of the sound effects were created for the upcoming Halo Infinite.

One interesting method for creating some of the sounds effects was by smashing up a piano and recording the resulting sounds of destruction to create some really unique sound effects which can be made after processing the audio.

"We used 11 microphones on this day, along with some contact mics attached to various parts of the piano. Having all these different mics and locations really opened up many different sounds that the piano made while we were torturing it.

We started the day placing a large subwoofer on its surfaces to use it as resonator, sending signal sweeps through the speaker and we recorded the vibrations through the piano itself.

After that we took objects like bats, golf clubs, hammers, and rocks to its armor revealing its inner workings. The violent act on the piano gave us some really nice beefy impacts, with some satisfying debris.

Once we opened it up, we took some electric bows to the strings to get some interesting tonal source. Next, we snapped its strings then took a Dremel to the ones that remained.

Lastly, we busted out the dry ice and applied it to everything that could possibly resonate, which yielded a large offering of singing, bellowing, screeching and everything in between"

That definitely sounds like a fun day at the office.

Watching the video below, it is really interesting to hear the resulting noises and even be able to pick out what those noises could be used for.

Some of the sounds could be a Covenant ship landing or sounds that could be used in a cutscene where Master Chief's suit malfunctions.

There are also plenty of sounds that are instantly recognizable as sounds of rocks and debris being thrust into the air and landing after a grenade explosion.

Yet, it is actually the sound of a hammer and a piano.

So when you're playing Halo Infinite later this year, make sure to listening carefully and try and pick out some of these audio effects and you'll know exactly how they were made.

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