Last month I was really impressed with the AudioWeather and AudioSteps sound effects generators from Le Sound by AudioGaming. They have a range of plugins that are designed to generate environmental and background sound effects for film and computer games. The weather and step emulators were free versions of larger products, but AudioFire is the real deal and comes with a real price tag.
They describe AudioFire as a synthesizer dedicated to the emulation of fire and heat sounds. It uses dynamic modelling technology rather than samples to create and modulate the sounds, although some samples are used for specific modules. The synthesis engine responds dynamically to the control signals generating everything from a single flame to an entire inferno.
AudioFire consists of 4 elements:
This can be of all sorts of shape, colour and intensity. It has controls for intensity, density and blaze-tone along with an intriguing “Nuke” button. The flame module uses subtractive synthesis to generate these various sorts of sounds.
This sound is often produced by liquids inside the burning material, like water or sap, which then boils and contributes the fizzing, popping and crackling elements to the sound. You can control the range between minimum and maximum sound, whether it’s wood or coal and the duration represented by how long you want your steak cooked.
This is more of a gentle crackling, a background sound shaped depending on the materials and temperature. Embers uses granular synthesis to generate the ever-changing textures.
Finally we has the sound of gases coming out of the fire with control over the tone, intensity and whether it’s naturally occurring or leaking dangerously into the environment.
All the generated sounds are then mixed through a master envelope and a 5.1 output.
The Le Sound range of products offer what some might see as a much more natural way of generating environmental backdrops than using samples. The interface is clean and easy to the point of being a little bit boring, but clarity is better than mystery in my opinion. These are probably no more than curiosities to the music producer but for sound design in film and game producing they must surely be essential tools, although I’m still looking forward to using the free version of AudioWeather in some musical projects.
AudioFire is available now, requires an iLok for VST/AAX and AU on OSX or Windows and costs €329.
More information can be found on the Le Sound AudioFire product page.