Sound Design on Tribes: Ascend - Part 1



Hey everyone,

I am the sound designer at Hi-Rez Studios and I have been doing all the sound design on the new Tribes: Ascend video game. I would love to get some feedback from people on my sounds. Right now we just released the first gameplay trailer so that is all that is available at the moment, but I would really appreciate feedback on the sounds in the trailer, and the game when it is released. This is my first major video game title, so I am extremely excited and nervous at the same time. I know that I am going up against some serious industry vets, so I am curious to what everyone thinks of my work.

Thanks for reading,

Benjie Freund

Benjie Freund

Posted 2011-06-28T19:45:11.667

Reputation: 606



First of, I'm ecstatic that there's a new Tribes game, one of the finest and underrated Online FPS games of all time.

Trailer is great, great panning and mixing, the stereo image was amazing especially when the crafts flew over head at the end.

Can you answer some questions?

  • in terms of sound design, are you just mixing? recording foley (if needed)? and are you also implementing the audio into the programming?

It's my goal to be involved in game sound design, I'm more than competent when it comes to mixing and recording for TV and Film but I don't know about programming audio into games, is this vital?



Posted 2011-06-28T19:45:11.667

Reputation: 1 302

Thanks for the feedback! I have recorded and created from scratch just about all of the sounds that will be in the game. Im on my 6th protools 9 session. I keep filling the session track count. Each sound has an average of about 6-10 layers of effects. As far as the implementation, yes I am doing all of that in UDK as well. UDK is pretty friendly and easy to learn. And yes, I am mixing the game as well. (sound effects that is) Someone else is doing the music. As far as the trailer mix goes, thats the designers who put all that together, I just give the source needed. – Benjie Freund – 2011-06-28T20:26:02.910


Sounds awesome! Really like the sounds you have created! I would personally add the "KA-pow" into the more mechanical weapons hence making the feel more powerful. Only sound I didn´t quite like was the round grenade thrower, would have liked it to be more animated sound wise (more mass to the weapon, mechanical sounds and some rattling perhaps?). One question though, is the pistol the most powerful weapon in the game as it sounded most loudest and bad ass from all the ones that were in the vid?

Ville Sorsa

Posted 2011-06-28T19:45:11.667

Reputation: 415

Thanks, im glad you liked it. About the "KA-POW" They turned weapon sounds way down in the video, when I was making them in the studio I would always have someone from across the building saying they thought there was an earthquake when an explosion or weapon sound went off. To the question about the power of the pistol, as much as I want to answer that I cant right now due to NDA. I appreciate the feedback though, and I really hope you enjoy playing when we release it. – Benjie Freund – 2011-06-29T16:36:16.660


The pistol clip at the end remove/reload sounds were my favorite. I thought a lot of the other sounds/fx were a pretty stock. Maybe this is because it looked so much like HALO at first. Continuing on though, there were some sounds in there that were unique but I did not feel were fully realized. Plus the music was so loud and abnoxiously normal that it took away from the story that would have felt more realistic for me if it were lower and the sound fx had more room to breath.


Posted 2011-06-28T19:45:11.667

Reputation: 2 594

Thanks for the feedback Chris. Its funny you mention the Halo thing, that seems to be the trend going around on the forums. like the saying World of Warcraft was the first MMO. Well people are now arguing which came first, halo or tribes. To the comment at the end, I appreciate your opinion, being that this is a sound designers haven hearing feedback like that is what I am really going for. Unfortunately I do not handle the promotional end of things im just the worker bee so I had no control on the trailer mix. Ill remember this though if we do any other trailers. Thanks. – Benjie Freund – 2011-06-29T22:41:21.427