Remember way, way back before Halo 3 came out when we chatted with Marty O’Donnell and Jay Weinland about just a bit of Halo 3’s audio? We released an MP3 of a door opening on Crow’s Nest and Marty gently walked readers through how he incorporated music into Halo 3.
One of the key components in implementing audio in Halo 3 comes from Waves Audio Ltd, a software company specializing in audio plug-ins. Bungie Audio Lead Jay Weinland remarked on the partnership with Waves saying, “These plug-ins, specifically the L360 Limited/Maximizer and the Q10 Equalizer allowed us to process our overall mix in real-time without digital clipping (the L360) and create authentic sounding occlusion/obstruction and radio filters (the Q10).”
To anyone who isn’t an audiophile that can sound a little bit confusing, here’s Jay’s translation:
"The Waves plug-ins process our audio in real time as the game engine generates the audio calls. This is a major shift as typically to use Waves in development before we would use the plug-ins offline (such as in Pro Tools) and then put the processed assets into the game. As an example in our game it is possible to have the same dialog play over the radio or not over the radio depending on how close the actor (such as a marine) is to the Master Chief (the player). If the Marine is standing next to the Chief, the line of dialog would just play un-processed, but if the Marine is in the next room it be processed on the fly and play as if it is coming over the radio. Another great example is when audio (such as an explosion) is played within your line of sight vs. behind a door or wall.”
We’ve put together a short video showing before and after examples of several sections of gameplay demonstrating how Waves
impacts our audio and presentation. Download it here