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Bonus Feature: Proper Treatment Of Audio Fades

LucasArts' Jesse Harlin speaks on the importance of proper audio crossfading in this discipline-specific bonus feature targeted at game audio professionals.
LucasArts' Jesse Harlin speaks on the importance of proper audio crossfading, while keeping in mind the nature of the sounds being faded, in this discipline-specific bonus feature targeted at game audio professionals. Mixing and fading sounds can be tougher than it appears, warns veteran composer Jesse Harlin, in his article 'Ahead of the Curve', originally printed in Game Developer magazine last year. Says Harlin, "There isn't much middle ground with music editing. Bad edits are glaringly obvious and unmusical while good edits are completely undetectable." While simple click-based crossfade tools abound in professional audio packages, the results can be jarring when not considered fully. Harlin says, "Simple crossfades can have their problems, as melodies that don't begin on barlines or long cymbal swells are more difficult to tackle with a simplified crossfade tool. In these cases, the join of your edit will probably not be the center point of the crossfade." Attention must also be paid to the characteristics of the sounds you're fading -- "Strings, for instance, fade in and fade out very naturally... Woodwinds and brass, however, sound extremely unnatural with a linear decay," warns Harlin. Find out the right techniques in the full Gamasutra feature, including diagrams.

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