09 - Audio and Music

Sound plays a big role in both game design and dome production. While we have just begun to integrate sound with Unity during the grant period, we are now concentrating on audio and music in our after school classes. With our students, we begin with Garageband for the basics. We have recently focused on Ableton Live as both a production platform for music and sound effects and a live performance tool that can be synchronized with Unity or operated independently. Ableton has a low-cost entry-level program called Ableton Live Intro that works well for us.

Unity has a very capable audio system, built around Audio Listeners (often attached to a navigating camera or game character) and Audio Sources (triggered when a collision is detected, or designed as 3D ambience in a space). Sounds can trigger once or loop, and the falloff of a sound with distance can be graphically determined. Unity allows both stereo and Surround sound design, which is a useful capability for dome production.

In the new Girls Club facility, audio production will center on the Airstream recording studio, a full-featured Pro Tools station for live recording of voice and instruments and mixing in both stereo and Surround sound. Outside of the Airstream will be several Ableton Live composing stations for students to work on in classes or on their own.


Ableton Live

Audio in Unity

Sound Design in Games