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Big Wheels Sound Studio Q&A

Labeled With  big wheels ghost recon xbox360
Written by DM on Monday, March 27 2006

We got a chance to speak with Fred from Big Wheels Studio. You may not isntantly recognize these guys, but they are the sound team responsible for the sound effects behind such games as GRAW and Brothers In Arms. Keep in mind this is a French company.

First of all, great job on the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter sound, it is some of the best we’ve heard. How did Ubisoft decide you would be the team to work on the game?

At first I would like to say thanks because I was glad to participate to such a project.
I had already worked on Tom Clancy’s like GR2 or Splinter Cell (Pandora tomorrow),
since the result satisfied all the teams, Splinter Cell was also nominated at Gang awards as the best sound design, I must say that their choice was not to difficult.

Did you have to create many news sounds for GRAW or were most of the effects just altered forms of sounds you had previously created?

Both, I took some sounds from GR2 (some fire arms), but everything has been done again at 95%, knowing that it was possible to have a great quantity of sounds in stereo or in 44.1.

Were you able to use real weapons to capture sounds for some of the firearms in the game?

Yes, for some but a large quantity of them in the game are just prototypes in reality.
According to the frequency of shots and of their seize I was able to set my imagination free although keeping in mind the realistic side.
Can you walk us through how you would create a sound effect from beginning to end? Say you needed to crate a new sound for a grenade launcher, what would the steps be?

At first I take care of the size of the weapon as much as its texture, complexity and handling. Next, I must find objects that are close to that weapon. A metallic object in which the grenada fits. Then a mechanic objects to close the compartment. Handling and insertion of grenada, and armament of the weapon. This already makes 3 layers. Above, I add foleys of clothes and of the arm handling.
I then mix all this in mono or stereo.

Does the sound differ in the different version of the game? For instance, did the PC version of the game require a whole different set of effects than the Xbox360 version?

Yes, and especially for the atmospheres. On PS2 most be shorter (20s) that’ll be launched depending on the place or the event. The frequency of the sounds can also differ from one console to another. The PS2 ram is weaker.
I remember the guy who had to enter all sounds in the PS2 version for Splinter Cell didn’t know how he was going to make it. I think it was a good result.

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