AES 41st Conference: Programme

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The paper and poster titles below contain links to the AES E-library where you can view the abstracts, download the published papers, and discuss them online.

Wednesday 2nd February

8:30 Registration and badge collection
9:30 Workshop 1

Introduction to Games and Sound
Jonatan Crafoord, Co-founder, Tapeduck
Due to its interactive nature, game development introduces a number of unique concepts and challenges for sound. In this session we will outline some of these challenges and look at useful tools and techniques for overcoming them.

11:00 Break
11:15 Workshop 2

Balancing Foundational, Aesthetic and Technical Education in Game Audio
Jeanine Cowen, Assistant Vice President - Curriculum, Berklee College of Music
Michael Sweet, Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music
As a prime destination for college graduates, the Video Game Industry is top on the list of possible career choices at many arts, music and technical colleges and universities around the world. How do you ensure your students have a solid foundation in the tenets of audio and the aesthetics of sound while still preparing them for the highly technical and proprietary needs and workflow of video games? This workshop provides a model to create balance between solid, audio fundamentals and aesthetics while also exposing students to industry workflow expectations.

13:00 Lunch
14:00 Workshop 3

Writing High-Level Game Audio Tools
Nicolas Fournel, Principal Audio Programmer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Larger game worlds and more immersive levels require the creation of an increasingly high number of audio assets, many of them having to exhibit a dynamic behaviour. Working on such complex projects with usually small sound teams quickly becomes a challenge and conventional audio tools and scripting systems are often inadequate.
High-level audio tools should both help the sound designers to express their creativity and allow them to boost their productivity. During this presentation, we will examine what constitutes such a tool. In particular, we will see how the next generation of tools will need to interface with the other game subsystems and will be able to leverage the power of audio analysis and procedural generation.

15:00 Break
15:15 Workshop 4

A New Framework for Creating Reverberation Tails and Its Application for Interactive Processing of In-Game Sounds
Bike H. Suzuki, President, SONA Corp.
Steve Martz, Sr. Design Engineer, THX Ltd.
Steve Martz, Sr. Design Engineer, THX Ltd.
Tomoya KISHI, CAPCOM Co., Ltd.
There are many types of interactive reverbs for video games that utilize geometrical simulation for calculating early reflections and/or statistical calculation for creating reverberation tails. Recently, research in geometrical simulation has been conducted to reduce demands on the CPU and improve the accuracy of the effect but the statistical methods for creating reverberation tails are less studied. Even with this progress, conventional algorithms, which generate reverberations by random responses with RT-based amplitude curves, are still used in many cases. The workshop will show 1) an overview of recent interactive-reverb techniques, introduce 2) a new framework for a statistical method of generating reverberation, and demonstrate 3) practical methods for implementation of this technology for interactive processing of in-game sounds. The new framework introduced here can create room responses, which include spatial information of room shapes without room modeling calculations. This means that a calculated response is robust enough to be used not only for a reverberation tail but also for the whole response of a room.

17:00 Close
17:15 - 18:00

Dolby Pro Logic IIz demonstration and drinks reception

Attendees are inivited for a beer after the conference in the "The Warwick" and to listen to a demonstration of Pro Logic IIz in the local Dolby offices. Places are limited so please sign up at the registration desk.

Thursday 3rd February

9:00 Registration and badge collection
9:30 Workshop 5

Emotion Driven Audio
Dr Maciej Zurawski, Managing director, Musemantik
It is becoming accepted that the game experience drives the success of a game. The essence of that experience is emotional. Audio can be a central part of the game experience and is a powerful tool for evoking emotions. However, currently the emotional dimension of game play and audio is handled in an informal ad-hoc way, despite its importance. This talk will show how this emotional dimension can be formalised and controlled computationally to maximize the player´s immersion. We will particularly focus on how audio can be intentionally emotion-driven in real-time by such technology - particularly music - that is "the language of emotion".

10:30 Break
11:00 Keynote Address

Perfect Partners And Unsung Heroes
20 yrs of game audio's inextricable link between creativity and technology

John Broomhall, Audio Director & Consultant, Broomhall Projects

John Broomhall is an audio content provider and independent Audio Director & Consultant with many years' experience in videogames, a number of senior management roles under his belt and dozens of published titles to his credit.  In 2009, he was honoured with a Recognition Award by the Game Audio Network Guild of America.  His prolific career, which also includes working as a composer and game producer, encompasses contributions to global hits such as the original X-COM series; Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix series; MechWarrior 3; B17 Flying Fortress 1 & 2; Superman, American Idol/Pop Idol, Football Manager, Wallace & Gromit (DVD game), New International Track & Field, Heavenly Sword and Guitar Hero DLC.  Broomhall has chaired many BAFTA Audio Awards and sits on the BAFTA Videogames Committee.  He regularly speaks on game audio at seminars and university lectures, organises the annual Develop Conference Audio Track, writes a monthly column for well-known industry magazine, Develop and is a contributor to pro-audio publication, Audiomedia.  He currently provides audio content, production management and consultancy for a wide range of developers, publishers and other consulting companies.  Meanwhile, his jazz/blues piano skills are much in demand for a variety of live and recording gigs each year.

13:00 Lunch and Poster Session 1

Application of HRIR Factorization to Game Audio
Gavin Kearney, Claire Masterson, Marcin Gorzel, Henry Rice, Frank Boland
Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Audio Transformation Technologies Applied to Video Games
Oscar Mayor, Jordi Bonada, Jordi Janer
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

Providing an Immersive Gaming Experience Using Wireless Low-Latency Coded Audio Streaming
David Trainor, Gary Spittle
Cambridge Silicon Radio, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Cambridge Silicon Radio, Cambridge, UK

Location-Aware Interactive Game Audio
Natasa Paterson, Katsiaryna Naliuka, Tara Carrigy, Mads Haahr, Fionnula Conway
Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Sound Effects Processing and Manipulation with Wavelet Packet Transform
Bruno Silva, Rafael Santos Mendes
State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Granulation of Sound in Video Games
Leonard J. Paul, Vancouver, BC, Canada

14:00 Paper Session 1: Education and standardization

Integrating “Audio for Games” into the Modern Audio Production Curriculum
Mark J. Sarisky,
The Art Institute of Austin, Austin, TX, USA

Audio Air Hockey: A Pilot Study in Using Audio- Based Games for the Measurement of Loudspeaker Placement Preferences for Smart Tables
Karen Collins, Bill Kapralos, Alexander Hodge, Andrew Hogue
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

15:00 Break
15:30 Paper session 2: Music, Synthesis, and Speech Processing

An Online Platform for Interactive Soundscapes with User-Contributed Content
Jordi Janer, Stefan Kersten, Mattia Schirosa, Gerard Roma
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

Server-Based Pitch Detection for Web Applications
Sascha Grollmisch, Christian Dittmar, Estefanía Cano, Karin Dressler
Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT, Ilmenau, Germany

Language Scrambling for In-Game Voice-Chat Applications
Nicolas Tsingos, Charles Robinson
Dolby Laboratories, San Francisco, CA, USA

17:00 Close
17:30 - 23:00

Conference social event
Please join us for a few drinks and a bite to eat at the Captains Cabin pub near Leicester Square. Further information and your free tickets will be included in your conference pack.

Friday 4th February

8:30 Registration and badge collection
9:00 Workshop 6

Production and Implementation methodologies of contextually driven speech
Gordon Durity, Studio Audio Director, Electronic Arts Canada
Dieter Piltz, Studio Audio Director, Capcom Vancouver
Speech /dialog are critical components to any modern gaming experience. It is one of the most effective ways to imbue a character with personality, emotion and depth. Game speech is a complex and very resource intensive process where issues of appropriateness and repetition are the usual challenges. Poorly implemented speech can ruin an otherwise brilliant sonic presentation.
Using a contextual versus more typical linear/branching approach allows for a more open ended type of game speech to occur by utilizing a more rule-based versus linked association style of construction.
This presentation will demonstrate the paradigm shift that has to occur when designing interactive speech for a game, new ways of content acquisition on the session, and successful implementation methods, when engaging a contextually-based approach.


Workshop 7

Audio Level Standards in Video Games: Panel Discussion
Garry Taylor, Audio Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Steve Martz, Sr. Design Engineer, THX Ltd.
Mark Pascoe, Dolby
Jonatan Crafoord, Co-founder, Tapeduck
Steve Root, Audio Director, Codemasters
There are no clear standards governing reference levels for in-game audio. Although the platform holders and major publishers have issued guidelines, these are optional and rarely monitored during the development process, and never measured during quality assurance submission phase for a title. Further to this, the guidelines are independently written and so, even if they are enforced, they cannot guarantee a consistent experience for the player between different titles, different console platforms and in comparison to movie levels.
This panel will discuss what form any future standards may take, how they might be measured given the differences between audio systems and platforms, the impact of standards on the QA process, and the possible repercussions on the development cycle of enforcing any such standards.

11:15 Break
11:30 Paper Session 3: Game Reverb

Scattering Delay Network: An Interactive Reverberator for Computer Games
Enzo De Sena, Huseyin Hacihabiboglu, Zoran Cvetkovic
King's College London, London, UK
METU, Ankara, Turkey

GPU-Based Acoustical Diffraction Modeling for Complex Virtual Reality and Gaming Environments
Brent Cowan, Bill Kapralos
University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

OpenAIR: An Online Auralization Resource with Applications for Game Audio Development
Simon Shelley, Aglaia Foteinou, Damian T. Murphy
University of York, Heslington, York, UK

13:00 Lunch and Poster Session 2

On the Perception of Dynamic Sound Sources in Ambisonic Binaural Renderings
Marcin Gorzel, Gavin Kearney, Henry Rice, Frank Boland
Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

UGen++ —An Audio Library: Teaching Game Audio Design and Programming
Martin Robinson
University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

Songs2See: Learn to Play by Playing
Sascha Grollmisch, Estefanía Cano, Christian Dittmar
Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT, Ilmenau, Germany

Visualizing and Controlling Sound with Graphical Interfaces
Liam O’Sullivan, Frank Boland
Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Multiplatform Audio Game
Jaroslaw Beksa, Krzysztof Majewski, Rafal Sadowski, Pawel Barszcz
Orange Labs, Polish Telcom, Warsaw, Poland

GSound: Interactive Sound Propagation for Games
Carl Schissler, Dinesh Manocha
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

14:00 Workshop 8

International Voice Production: A Systemic Approach
Roberto Pomoni, Audio Project Lead, Binari Sonori s.r.l.
Francesco Zambon, Audio Project Lead, Binari Sonori s.r.l.
Multi-language voice production needs a standardized approach and an efficient workflow to obtain high quality results. This session describes in detail the whole process, starting from the check and analysis of the source assets, and covering the standardization of recording rooms, equipment and software across all the territories involved. We shall explain the benefits of adopting a single approach for recording levels, dynamic range and synch accuracy in order to achieve consistency of audio in each target language. We shall finally analyze different mastering styles, aimed at satisfying today’s requirements of the game development teams, with special attention to games that contain a large amount of audio files to be localized in a short timeframe.

15:00 Break
15:30 Paper Session 4: Spatial audio

Music from the Environment: Perception of Music Created from Sounds of a Video Game Environment
Mario Cáceres
Instituto Profesional Duoc UC, Santiago, Chile

Surround Sound with Height in Games Using Dolby Pro Logic IIz
Nicolas Tsingos, Christophe Chabanne, Charles Robinson, Matt McCallus
Dolby Laboratories, San Francisco, CA, USA, Red Storm Entertainment, Cary, NC, USA

A Perspective on the Adoption of Ambisonics for Games
Andrew J. Horsburgh, Kenneth McAlpine, D. Fraser Clark
University of West of Scotland, Paisley, Scotland, UK
University of Abertay, Dundee, Scotland, UK

17:00 Close

Please note: the AES will endeavour to run the conference programme as shown here, but the programme may be subject to change without notice.

AES - Audio Engineering Society