My goal is for this blog to function as a link between various sound design, synthesizer, and art communities.

Audio Gung Fu is written as a nonlinear series of journal entries to share resources with the audio community, to tighten up my workflow, and to reflect on explorations into niches of the audio world. It is one part research log and one part art analysis with a healthy dose of sonic experimentation.

Gung Fu is a centering philosophy as I immerse myself in the art of sound design. It provides a thematic impetus and gives this research blog movement.

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Book Recommendations & Additional Resources

I have collected a range of stellar books and online resources about game audio and sound design. The full list grew too large for this tab and can be found on here - Additional Resources .

Check out this YouTube Playlist which includes some of my favorite sound design GDC Talks, Analyses, Tutorials, and more.

Books & Readables!

    Sub Group - Sound Design Centric

    - Dance music manual (4th edition is most recent)
    This book is among my favorites for information about synthesis & sound design. It’s truly a gem. It discusses ‘all the things’ of synthesis and digital/analog sound design with detailed information about frequencies, FM wavetables, envelopes, effects, compression, it goes on and on. There is a lot of wild information thrown around on the forums, and this book is a breath of fresh air to read with thought out explanations from a reputable source who discusses the history, components, settings, and uses for many tools of the trade.

    Snoman, Rick. Dance Music Manual: Tools, Toys, and Techniques. 4th ed. Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, 2019. ISBN: 9781138319622 (hardcover); 9781138319646 (paperback); electronic book; kindle edition. Accessed 2021; https://catalog.loc.gov/vwebv/holdingsInfo?searchId=20985&recCount=25&recPointer=0&bibId=21545985.

    - The Fat Man on game audio: tasty morsels of sonic goodness
    Meandering advice about traversing the landscape of sound design - like a 'desert full of mirages'. It provides a reflective snapshot of the history of the game industry from an audio pov for better and worse. The unique insight into the early days of game audio was eye opening in many ways. I have a bit to say about this book and will leave it at that for now. George Sanger also has a blog.

    Sanger George Alistair. 2004. The Fat Man on Game Audio : Tasty Morsels of Sonic Goodness. Indianapolis Ind: New Riders.

    - THE GAME AUDIO FAQ (free, online doc)
    "A Strategy Guide for a Totally Audacious Career in Games". This is a one-stop shop of free and open resources to help support the global game audio community.

    Brendan Wolf. 2022. THE GAME AUDIO FAQ: A Strategy Guide for a Totally Audacious Career in Games. Accessed 2022 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bE_xuSedxHWBpF9cE7C8hGNWdXjOFdiWXtFGYbqP_30.

    - Bible of getting a job in game audio (free, online doc)
    Ditto as above, A compiled list of information from people in the business - “avoid paying the price of learning from needless mistakes, and get the job quicker.”

    Florian Titus Ardelean. 2020. The Bible of Getting a Job in Game Audio, 2020 Edition. Accessed 2022 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sAd8xOdngsdLJqKfcOnyL8xRhPi3Uitys6fEXU9O2X0.

    Sub Group - Foley & Recording

    - The Foley Grail
    An indepth look at sonic acting and the Foley process. It is not a recipe book.

    Ament Vanessa and Safari an O'Reilly Media Company. 2021. The Foley Grail. 3rd ed. Routledge. Accessed 2022; https://www.worldcat.org/title/1288628713.

    - The Sound Effects Bible
    This book provides heaps of Sound Design recipes. Very fun to read through.

    Viers Ric. 2008. The Sound Effects Bible : How to Create and Record Hollywood Style Sound Effects. Studio City CA: Michael Wiese Productions. Accessed 2023; https://www.worldcat.org/title/221141534.

    Sub Group - Maths & Sciences!

    - Fundamentals of musical acoustics
    This book presents a mathematical understanding and description for audio principles; it's a deep dive into oscillation, vibrations, acoustics, loudness, and much much more. A blog-review of this book is coming... Get the 2nd, revised edition!

    Kinsler, L. E., and A. R. Frey. Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics. Key ed. New York: Dover Publications, 1962. Originally published in 1950. Accessed April 3, 2022. https://openlibrary.org/works/OL4297842W/Fundamentals_of_musical_acoustics?edition=key%3A/books/OL5201260M Secondary book link.

    - Physics of Music (free, online book)
    A trove of great info; for example, making sense of cents and composer scientists.

    Suits, B. H. "Physics Department, Michigan Technological University." Copyright 1998-2023. Accessed 2022. https://pages.mtu.edu/~suits/PofMCopyRight.html

    - Harmonies of the World (Harmonices mundi libri V)
    Johannes Kepler measured and compiled the movements of the celestial bodies in this magnum opus which was published in 1609! It overlays math, music, and planetary orbits in search of a harmonious understanding for the universe. It has some great ratios which have been especially fun to use with modular synth systems.

    Kepler, Johannes. Ioannis Keppleri Harmonices mundi libri V. sumptibus Godofredi Tampachii ..., excudebat Ioannes Plancus, 1619. doi: https://doi.org/10.5479/sil.135810.39088002800316. Accessed 2020; https://library.si.edu/digital-library/book/ioanniskepplerih00kepl Secondary book link - readable here thanks to Global Grey Books.

    Sub Group - Music

    - Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People
    Nice concise music theory cheat sheets (62 of them!), freely available CC: 4.0 thanks to Toby Rush. Braille Music & Advanced Music Theory resources here.

    Rush, Toby, W. Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People. tobyrush.com Accessed 2023. https://tobyrush.com/theorypages/index.html.

    - Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony
    The internet is great, but wouldn’t it be nice if all that music theory was compiled in a single location and authored by trustworthy sources? This book, albeit dense, has got it all going on.

    Burstein L. Poundie and Joseph Straus. 2015. Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony Preview ed. New York: W.W. Norton 7 Company.

    - Harmony & Voice Leading
    Also a bit dense, but wonderfully so if you are looking for foundations to analyze harmony. Pair it with 8-bit music theory and you’re golden.

    Aldwell Edward Carl Schachter and Allen Clayton Cadwallader. 2011. Harmony & Voice Leading. 4th ed. Boston MA: Schirmer/Cengage Learning. Review from classical.net.

    - The study of fugue
    Here is a link for a listen. Kids these days listen to such music noize. This book pulls references to fuga from 1330 and academic writings about fugue in the 1500s and onward to examine developments in musical trends throughout Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods.

    The style upset people who felt music should adhere to a specific set of rules. It introduced imitative and spaced entrances with strong counterpoints and a free writing style. While dense with musical language, there are distinct sections of the book which sound as if they could be lifted from conversations today about how music isn't as good nor 'the way it used to be'.

    Mann, Alfred. The Study of Fugue. New York: Dover Publications, 1987. Originally published in 1965. ISBN: 0486254399.

    Sub Group - Implementation, Voice Acting, Other

    - Audiokinetic Wwise Blog
    A rich repository of applied implementation using Wwise. This blog is invaluable.

    Audiokinetic Inc. et al. Audiokinetic Blog. 2020. https://blog.audiokinetic.com/en/.

    - Voice Acting Blog of Resources
    Incredible collection of audio resources by Fryda Wolff focused on helping voice actors, especially helpful for VO Direction. And she references the Toast!

    Fryda Wolff. How to Become a Voice Actor.” 2023. https://frydawolff.com/how-to-become-a-voice-actor/.

Project Writeups

Science

  • Waveforms
  • Signal Processing
  • Maths
  • Shannon-nyqist and aliasing
    Bit Depth, Sample Rate
    Fast Fourier Transform -

Synthesizers

  • Experiments
  • - EM Banana Synth
    - EM Banana Synth recreated
  • Hydrasynth
  • - Patch Recipe - Funky Church Organ
    - Vocal Formants

Art, History, Misc. Documentation

Foley & Field Recording

DAWs, Plugins, Software

[Coming Soon] Reaper, Ableton, Bitwig, VCV, Pure Data, Keykit, Trackers, Live Coding, M4L/Max for Live.

Chronological index | More drop down menus

Author's note: This blog jumps between an array of audio subjects, see social media for updates. This is a long term project and right now it surely shows no signs of slowing!