Sound Design For Mobile Devices / How do you prepare your sounds to translate well on different devices?

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Well, the obvious answer would be to check on the actual devices, but I can’t afford to have a bunch of mobile phones/tablets just for this purpose.

Are there any do’s/don’ts/insights that some of you learned and maybe like to share :).

Thanks in advance,

Michael

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Play back your edit at a very low volume on your monitors. Works especially well if you have a heavy hitting mix. If it still has the weight when played back low, you’re on the right track. If not, start tracking down where it’s not translating.

If you have cheap speakers (TV, computer, laptop, etc…), check on them too. I love this app called “Airfoil”. It lets me play protools (or any audio – it taps the audio bus) directly to my laptop, iPhone, airplay devices, etc… Very useful!

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You should think about the “having a bunch of tablets/smartphones” part. When I work on mobile games I usually do a lot of testing as well. This means I have to at least have one iOS, one Android and one Kindle Fire device. You can treat this as an investment/business expense.

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A fun trick to do is to put a bandpass EQ on your master bus to simulate the frequency range of a mobile device. You can have it on bypass and only enable it for quick mix checks. Devices’ ranges will vary, but a good starting point is a HPF at around 800Hz and a LPF at 7kHz. If your mix still sounds intelligible and punchy, you’re probably safe.

Nothing beats the real thing, of course.

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Hoping that this may be helpful in the future (it’s still being designed, though): http://m-ref.com/

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