— Benoit Alary (@BenoitA)March 3, 2014
“Any property/command will be controllable. You create binding groups that can be quickly activated through a toolbar/shortcuts.” / Wwise Lemur template? “Yes! Anything coming through as midi will be supported.”
I can’t help but feel that this single image is massive news for video game mixing. Its something I know AK have said they wouldn’t be doing, so this is like discovering that there really is (and always has been) another half-life - There is so much to say about it, but hardware mixing is something i’ve been happily advocating for over 8 years. After control surface integration was announced and demonstrated in Fmod studio, it seems Audiokinetic were not far behind. I’m really looking forward to seeing their implementation and getting hands on in a mix. The reason behind this being big news, for me at any rate, is that video game mixing still (on the whole) feels like something that is being held back in the realm of the keyboard / mouse and entering dB changes in absolute values - while this approach is often incredibly useful and exacting (and you can definitely produce a great mix without a console), my feeling (and experience) is that mixing is every bit a tactile, touch and feel based way of working - making many many tiny (or large) adjustments on a tactile interface completely changes the experience of mixing a game, it changes the relationship with the material in way that is often difficult to explain (its quite an abstract sensation, and that is a good thing, to be simply working with sound as material) - there are things you can do with faders that you just can’t ever do with a mouse - and being able to instantly preview, group, move and balance multiple faders at the same time brings sounds (and busses) into a very different relationship with one another. Maybe it is the immediate and physical connection to what you are creating - But, perhaps it is best put by saying that mixing a game on a hardware surface is the (rare) moment at which the technology simply and completely disappears.
Ultimately, this is a vote of confidence in Quality for video game sound. It brings that extra final 10% (that you can spend up to 90% of your efforts on achieving) within tangible reach.
Now it looks like both major middleware providers are pushing this, a massive part of what some of us thought the future of game audio would look like 8 years ago, just got one step closer. I for one, am insanely giddy with excitement at this news and that image!