Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Silent Sims Creep Me Out

It would be a shame if these brooms made no sound!

I’ve written much this same post before, but here I go again.

Written 28 July, 2009

Silent Sims Creep Me Out

Second Life is filled with beautiful places that are completely silent.

I find this unbelievably creepy.

It’s sort of like the all-is-silent thing before a tornado hits. Foreboding.

Me, I say since Second Life supports sounds, why not use them to enhance the immersive experience? If you own land, put down bird sounds, wave sounds, house sounds, city sounds, whichever sounds fit the environment.

A Second Life beach is more compelling when you can hear the waves crashing on the shore, the cries of gulls, and the distant sigh of a sounding whale. Nights aren’t nights without the constant chirping of crickets and the occasional hoot of an owl. And a creepy old house isn’t creepy unless the floors creak and the doors squeak.

So what’s with all the silent volcanoes, mute machinery, and soundless water effects?

Placing sounds isn’t difficult. MAKING sounds isn’t either; you can use the free program Audacity to create a sound compatible for importing (.wav format, less than 10 seconds in length, and frequency of 41,000 hz).You can find thousands of free sounds at www.freesound.org, and it’s easy to capture your own sounds with a digital recorder or mp3 device with recording capabilities.

If you would like some free sounds and scripts to trigger them, just go to my Flights of Fancy store on Whimsy and pick them up. The box includes a prim (a rock) that plays an assortment of bird and animal sounds during the day and crickets and owls at night; You can copy the script and sounds to your inventory and then drag them to any prim for which you have modify permissions, and it will give you sound without adding to your prim count. You’ll also find a script that will loop any sound you put in a prim with it; a script that will play a sound on touch; and 4) a script that will play a sound every x seconds (you can set x to any value you like). All prims and scripts are set full permission, so feel free to pass them on. Please do not remove my name from description fields of the prims or the scripts.

Eyes closed.
I hear the occasional high-pitched squeak of an unoiled wheel.
I hear a fan in the background. No, make that two fans, one left, one right.
I hear a bubbling sound.
I hear the intermittent crackle of electricity.
I hear the faint sound of flames.
I hear the sound of brooms.
I hear the P.A. system say, "Visiting hours are now over. We will be arming the deathbots. Please leave promptly and in an orderly fashion."
I'm at the robot sanitorium!


Peter Stindberg said...

Funny you mention that. I had a similar discussion with my friend Zippora a while ago. My SL is mostly silent, I almost never have sound on due to privacy issues. The same privacy issues prevent me from using voice - which I used maybe 3 times, one time of those with you. I am even known to visit clubs with sound off, just looking at the DJ's displays to see what tune they play.
Zippora claimed she could not imagine a SL without sound, as it adds so much to the immersion.

Lately I had the opportunity to switch sound on a few times and I agree it DOES add a lot, but it was no point-of-no-return experience to me. My SL still is predominantly a mute experience.

Cheyenne Palisades said...

Peter, headhpones aren't all that comfortable, but you should put on a pair every once in a while. Especially at clubs.