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Craigs

Sound quality

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When the first Doom game came out, the sound effects for the weapons were awful. The shotgun didn't even sound like a shotgun, the chaingun had the same sound as the pistol, and the plasma gun sounded awful. yet some of the noises the monsters make are pretty good and are still used today in advertisements and TV shows. (one of the sounds for the former human)

So why didn't id software put as much effort into the weapon sound effects as much as they did with the monsters?

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They didn't. All sound effect came from sound libraries available to the public domain. No licenses need to use them. They never really fully composed their own sounds until Quake 2. What ever they had available they used. I think Doom3's the only id ame not to re-use textures too.

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DOOM's weapons sound great. No idea if they're realistic (I don't shoot guns often) but they fit its brutal theme very well and are one of the things that hooked me onto the game early on.

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Uhh, I think Doom's sounds are fine, fitting, and decent quality. Just don't compare them to sounds outside of the game and you won't notice a huge difference in quality.

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myk said:

DOOM's weapons sound great. No idea if they're realistic (I don't shoot guns often) but they fit its brutal theme very well and are one of the things that hooked me onto the game early on.


The shotgun doesn't even sound like a gunshot for God's sake!

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Technician said:

They didn't. All sound effect came from sound libraries available to the public domain.


Royalty-free != public domain. They used the Sound General series 1000 sound kits.

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It should also be noted, Craigs, that back in 1993 I imagine a hell of a lot of sound compression probably had to be implemented, further reducing the qaulity of the effects. I always use a PSX sound wad because I think the sounds are superior to the PC version.

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GoatLord said:
It should also be noted, Craigs, that back in 1993 I imagine a hell of a lot of sound compression probably had to be implemented, further reducing the qaulity of the effects.

Not compression (which came about later with more powerful systems); but lower quality than what you can easily use today (DOOM Uses 8 bit mono 11025 MHz WAV sounds, for the most part.) And then that has nothing to do with any ridiculous concerns about the realism of the sounds.

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Is it possible to find the sources for the sounds and assemble them into a wad? Since Cheapy knows, I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard.

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I love the shotgun sound, especially when it's coming from the chaingunners or spider mastermind.

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Speaking of which, I always wondered why their chaingun sounds are the shotgun sound?

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GoatLord said:
Speaking of which, I always wondered why their chaingun sounds are the shotgun sound?

The Spiderdemon's is easy to explain; they simply reused the Shotgun guy's attack to create a megachaingun (that sounds more brutal and inflicts a lot of damage). In the case of the Heavy weapon dude, I'd say they first applied the Pistol sound, and noted it sounded wrong, and thus applied the Shotgun sound instead, which they knew sounded fine from the Spiderdemon.

The Player's Chaingun has a duration of 4 per shot, and this duration is used for other rapid attacks (Spiderdemon, Arachnotron), but monsters with such an attack need to check to see if the target is in sight, and this needs a frame with a duration of 1, and that makes each attack last 5, too long; give the Heavy weapon dude the Zombieman's attack pointer with DeHackEd, you'll see that it sounds too weak.

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Technician said:

They never really fully composed their own sounds until Quake 2.

Uhh, Wolfenstein 3D?

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Piezo said:
Uhh, Wolfenstein 3D?

I don't know if he's fully correct (not sure if Quake has 3rd party sounds other than Reznor's, nor if there are any in quake 2), but he's taking about making the sounds from scratch, as opposed to using an existing sound library.

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Craigs said:

When the first Doom game came out, the sound effects for the weapons were awful...


Let's put it in context: When Doom first came out many, perhaps even most, PCs didn't even have a sound card. I know I was considered a freak, a geek and a game obsessive for having one ;). So, many people played Doom with the bleeps and bloops of the DPXXX sound lumps in Doom.wad and never even heard the luxurious 8 bit sounds. :D

myk said:

The Player's Chaingun has a duration of 4 per shot, and this duration is used for other rapid attacks (Spiderdemon, Arachnotron), but monsters with such an attack need to check to see if the target is in sight, and this needs a frame with a duration of 1, and that makes each attack last 5, too long; give the Heavy weapon dude the Zombieman's attack pointer with DeHackEd, you'll see that it sounds too weak.


I can certainly accept that explanation (it does sound weak if you do that) but I also remember an interview with one of the id people from "back in the day" and at the time they said one of the reasons for the different sound was to hide the fact that the chaingunguy was shooting at a slower rate than the doomguy was with the same weapon. Same sort of explanation, but coming in from a different angle.

Technician said:

They never really fully composed their own sounds until Quake 2.

Surely many of the sounds for Quake1 were custom sounds by Trent Reznor, done for id - or was that just the soundtrack?

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GoatLord said:

I always use a PSX sound wad because I think the sounds are superior to the PC version.


Hell yes (or the Doom 64 Resource Pack for JDoom)

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Man I remember at age 6 I got used to playing with the bleeps and bloops as Enjay said (All I remember is it sounded like the PC speaker sounds used in Wolf3D)
Then my dad apparently bought a sound card (I didn't know back then) and he said: yeah, try out Doom now. Then when DEMO1 started playing, I remember having a disgusted reaction when I first heard the moaning and groaning of the zombies dying; I at first was like wtf this sounds worse especially when I first heard the mancubus sounds(when DoomII came).
good times good times..
As for the PSX sounds I played Doom 64 for the longest time before the PSX version and I thought Doom64's sounds were exclusive as it was a remake.

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My problem with the PSX sounds is they sound so contrived: really fake "oooh these are scary sounds". They are all ramped-up, echoey and treble-downed to sound scary. I do sometimes play with them but to me they sound less realistic than the PC ones and very, very consoley.

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I'll tell you what is to me the scariest sound I've ever heard in any game: the high hiss/whine of a Revenant waking up, followed by the sound of one of its fireballs being launched. Hearing that out of nowhere makes me jump a mile out of my seat..

It's funny.. they're not even the Doom monsters I most hate to fight -- they're no higher than fifth on that list -- but that sound startles me like crazy.

Who needs quality?

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myk said:

I don't know if he's fully correct (not sure if Quake has 3rd party sounds other than Reznor's, nor if there are any in quake 2), but he's taking about making the sounds from scratch, as opposed to using an existing sound library.


I fully take back what I said. I read an interview from John that he and McGee did make some of the sounds from fucking around on soundboards. The player sounds and doors and the gib sound were done by Trent along with the music. However allot of the sounds were again taken from the Common sound libraries. The ogres grunt is from the collection.

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Neil said:

I'll tell you what is to me the scariest sound I've ever heard in any game: the high hiss/whine of a Revenant waking up, followed by the sound of one of its fireballs being launched.


I still remember the very first time I heard that. I nearly shat my self and started running around all panicky trying to find out what on God's green Earth had made that terrifying sound. :)

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According to the sound engineer guy working on my game, the Quake 2 sounds are also taken from free libraries. He says he has those libraries as well. He also let me hear an MP3s out of those libraries in which some guys makes a series of pain/push/grunting sounds and you can clearly hear the doom guy's pain sound among them, heh.

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Craigs said:

The shotgun doesn't even sound like a gunshot for God's sake!


I've fired a Benelli and a Double Barrel... Doom's sounds sound like recordings of 'em, not true shots but like a bad recording quality version. :p

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The problem with weapon sounds is that many people "know" what weapons sound like from watching TV or movies when, in reality, most weapons don't make the suped-up, post production-enhanced sounds that you hear through those media.

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Csonicgo said:

Is it possible to find the sources for the sounds and assemble them into a wad? Since Cheapy knows, I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard.


Quoting for emphasis.

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Another post for extra emphasis. I'd really really would like to see this done for Doom. :)

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I suppose this doesn't really help, but...
A game I make addons for, Carmageddon II, uses a few of these very sound library dealies for foreign versions of the game where the pedestrians are replaced with aliens.

I say it "doesn't really help" because like I said it's only a handfull of them and they're not that much better quality really (8 bit, mono, 16000 Hz) but they're still noticably clearer than Doom's.

The ones used are the same as:
DSPOSIT1
DSPOSIT2
DSBGSIT1
DSBGSIT2
DSSPISIT

The Doom versions were apparently not only downsampled, but also...compressed kinda (same pitch, but much shorter duration.)

So, I could provide those if anyone gives a crap. But of course, I too would much prefer to get 'em straight from the source...or have someone else do it, should anyone ever find said libraries?!

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Enjay said:

The problem with weapon sounds is that many people "know" what weapons sound like from watching TV or movies when, in reality, most weapons don't make the suped-up, post production-enhanced sounds that you hear through those media.


People should be happy Doom doesn't have realistic weapon sound effects, or you would be deaf after a few hours of playing. I'm sure a few blasts with the DB shotty with realistic FX would give you a terrible ringing in your ears for hours, and the chainsaw... oh man.

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I like Shotgun and double shotgun sound.

The explosion of them feel impressive and destructive.

I also like rocket sound, the flying sound of rocket is cool

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Baron said:

I suppose this doesn't really help, but...
A game I make addons for, Carmageddon II, uses a few of these very sound library dealies for foreign versions of the game where the pedestrians are replaced with aliens.

I say it "doesn't really help" because like I said it's only a handfull of them and they're not that much better quality really (8 bit, mono, 16000 Hz) but they're still noticably clearer than Doom's.

The ones used are the same as:
DSPOSIT1
DSPOSIT2
DSBGSIT1
DSBGSIT2
DSSPISIT

The Doom versions were apparently not only downsampled, but also...compressed kinda (same pitch, but much shorter duration.)

So, I could provide those if anyone gives a crap. But of course, I too would much prefer to get 'em straight from the source...or have someone else do it, should anyone ever find said libraries?!


better than nothing.
*sigh* now if only we can find those libraries so we can have them in 44khz. :)

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