NEWS - Tuesday, August 13, 2002


Pro Race Driver Audio Tuned Up

When the cars roar off the starting grid this September, Pro Race Driver will make history. Codemasters is using Dolby technology, new industry motion capture dialogue recording techniques and licensed music from top artists to further the gritty realism and excitement in Pro Race Driver. Set for a fall release, Pro Race Driver will become one of the first titles to fully implement Dolby Surround Sound in every aspect of a video game. The game’s sound track, movie sequences, in-game engine and even crash sounds will all be heard through Dolby’s technology. The game also boasts an eclectic music playlist with licensed tracks, including Iggy and the Stooges’ “Search and Destroy,” Al Green’s “So You’re Leaving,” Ash’s “Death Trip 21,” “Cowboy Song” by Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and “The Sea” by Morcheeba. Rather than simply playing over option screens, the tracks are played in an ambient fashion to build location atmosphere. Music will be piped in over loudspeakers around the race circuit and even through in-scene radios in the office and workshop area. Another essential element of Pro Race Driver’s audio is the dialogue spoken in the scenes between the race action. The game’s development team worked with film production professionals to record the dialogue for the game’s story sequences as part of the motion capture work at a studio soundstage in Long Island, New York. Unlike most gaming MoCap sequences, the characters’ movements were recorded with a full cast of actors performing with all their dialogue recorded simultaneously to give a more natural feel to the scenes. While common in movie production, it’s a departure for the MoCap process for video games, which usually captures one actor’s movement at a time, before montaging a scene together. “Pro Race Driver sets the new standard for audio within the driving game genre,” said Gavin Raeburn, head of studio and producer of the PRD series. “By implementing a wide range of audio recording and production techniques, usually reserved solely for the film industry, the game delivers one of the most comprehensive uses of audio heard within a gaming environment.” The recording process for the distinctive engine sounds from the mightiest cars in the world is also another key element of Pro Race Driver’s auditory experience. Engine sounds were professionally recorded at MIRA, a leading independent provider of product engineering and testing services, in a rolling road chamber. The cars were driven under varying extreme racing conditions at speeds of up to 120 mph to achieve the most accurate and authentic engine sounds possible.
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