Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Environmental Rock

What sorts of sounds would you expect here?

Written 1 June, 2010

Environmental Rock

Around the time I was once month old in Second Life, I picked up one of the best full-perm freebies, in my opinion. I'm not certain, but I THINK I got it at Ante Flan's wave shop.

A lot of people sell the rock, or something nearly identical, for big Lindens. Don't be fooled. Get your own rock and make your own sounds. It's not hard!

The environmental rock doesn't LOOK like much, for sure, but it will enhance your parcel or sim by providing ambient sounds.

All you have to do is place the rock-- it's small and will be inconpicuous-- anywhere you would like to hear sound. It will straightaway start producing, at semi-random intervals, songs of seven or eight different birds. When the Linden sun is below the horizon it will produce instead hoots of an owl and cricket sounds.

To make things even better, the rock creatss a subtle firefly effect.

The sounds will carry twenty or thirty meters. When you place a half dozen rocks 20 or so meters apart you'll soon find yourself in a sound field that happily mimics nature. Some sounds will seem distant, others quite close.

You can place the rocks where birds might naturally congregate-- near trees, bushes, or water, leaving some areas-- rocky slopes, for instance-- without sound.

Best of all, you can tailor the sounds to the location. You might want mynah and parrot sounds in a jungle, for instance, and eagle calls near the summits of mountains.

Because the rock is full perm, you can add as many sounds of your own as you wish, and remove any sounds you don't like. You'll need to carefully change the script so it looks for a sound with the exact name of the sound in the prim; if you mistype, you'll get a script error. But not to worry, if you wreck it you can start all over again.

I use no environmental rocks on Whimsy; however, I do use the scripts. Rather than waste a prim on sound generation, I drop the script and sounds inside the rock into the contents of plants, boulders, fenceposts, anything that's handy.

Travel to Whimsy and listen to the various sounds. You'll hear gulls predominately on the beach, parrot calls at the volcano Pele's caldera, and assorted songbirds in the gardens. The sounds subtly enhance visitors' experience-- and mine.

I've placed a copy of the rock at the entrance to my store on Whimsy. Just buy it for $0L. And enjoy.

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