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Q: video game sound effects ( No Answer,   5 Comments )
Subject: video game sound effects
Category: Computers > Games
Asked by: gnossie-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 07 Aug 2006 05:19 PDT
Expires: 06 Sep 2006 05:19 PDT
Question ID: 753361
I am coding a retro-style 2-D video game.

The problem I'm having is getting sound effects.

You know, the kinds of beeps, buzzes, lasers, etc. that were all over
the place in arcade games from the early 80's.

Is there a place online where they're archived, or where I can purchase some?

Or better yet, is there a tool available (downloadable; paying is no
problem) that would allow me to create my own?

I remember when I was a kid getting my Commodore 64 to emit all sorts
of customizable beeps and whistles by tinkering with its BASIC program, but
I haven't the foggiest how to get a garden-variety computer these days
to do anything like that.

Ideally I'd like to make my own sound effects using a program's help,
so that they're completely original creations.  But they have to be
convincing-sounding futuristic sounds, like shields and guns and
explosions, etc.

Currently what I've been doing is recording things into Audacity (such
as me ripping a piece of paper or squeaking a balloon) and then using
Audacity's effects menu to render these sound futuristic.

But this is getting pretty pathetic.  Plus all my sound effects are
starting to sound the same.

(Incidentally, I know how to grab sound samples off emulators like
MAME and STELLA; what I'd like to do is either create my own or
acquire some legally.)

Request for Question Clarification by keystroke-ga on 07 Aug 2006 08:14 PDT
If you want to do 8bit sound effects i feel you are going to need to
learn assembler. This website is a good start:

Clarification of Question by gnossie-ga on 07 Aug 2006 22:05 PDT
I find it difficult to believe that I cannot get my computer to emit a
series of beeps, whistles, and grunts without learning hexadecimal
code first!

There's got to be some sort of utility out there that can help me
create the sounds I want.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: video game sound effects
From: anthonylavado-ga on 14 Aug 2006 06:32 PDT
I'm not a researcher (unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how
you view the policies surrounding this place), but I felt compelled to
help you out.
Here's what I wrote out earlier in my free time at work:
There probably a multitude of ways to go about this, and it depends on
just how far you want to go into making your own.
There is a good free sound collection available at:
The aim of the project is to collect Creative Commons licensed files,
and they seem to be doing a very good job of it. (Additionally, you
can see for their sound section,
perhaps find some free music to use.)
Because they are CC-licensed files, you'll have to check the license
on a pack/effect. Usually they'Re good about only requesting
If you really want to make your own, the favoured way seems to be
using VST plugins:
YMCK Magic 8-Bit Engine
Tweakbench Triforce

I don't know how familiar you are with VST plugins. Unfortunately,
support for them in Audacity is quite limited at the moment. However,
you can probably try using an alternative VST host (just take a
recorded wave file, then apply the effect).
There's not a whole range of free-ish solutions for a VST host, but
something very promising is the Kristal Audio Engine ( ). They have a section in their help
describing adding a VST plug-in ( ).

If you have some time to kill/want to get pretty old school, then I
recommend something such a MODPlug ( ). It's a
free open source MOD tracker, and if you can, it would be well worth
the time to invest in.
If you want 8-bit music in general for your game, try checking out
some chiptune artists. Usually they're good about that sort of thing
if you e-mail them and ask politely. For some chiptune resources,
Wikipedia has a variety of information ( ).
Hope this is of some help!
fellow 8-bit enthusiast
Subject: Re: video game sound effects
From: gnossie-ga on 14 Aug 2006 07:50 PDT
Holy cow, Anthony.  That first one alone was a massive help.  Will
take a few more days before I can investigate them all.

Thanks so much!
Subject: Re: video game sound effects
From: anthonylavado-ga on 14 Aug 2006 12:44 PDT
Believe it or not I had more. Let me know how it goes!
drop me a line ndesk2 [AT] gmail [DOT] com.
Subject: Re: video game sound effects
From: the_grim_reaper-ga on 01 Sep 2006 15:32 PDT
Hello Gnossie,
Personally, I like to use Jazzware

But here is a list of tons of sound sites... sound effects, music... anything. :)
Subject: Re: video game sound effects
From: zoombapup-ga on 18 Sep 2006 06:20 PDT
You might also want to check out sidtracker/sidplayer... basically C64
music maker/player software.

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