Arcane University: Music Composition

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This is the main page of the Beyond Skyrim Arcane University Music Composition tutorials.

Expectation[edit]

A composer can create an acoustic reference to lore and environment and deepen the player's perception of the world they encounter.

General terminology and description of sounds[edit]

See Arcane University:Audio Basics

General Workflow & Format[edit]

Implementation[edit]

Discovery Sounds[edit]

We reached to an agreement about the way of implementing discovery sounds (technically a music in CK) for all the BS teams. All the provinces will have a parent location, stored in BSAssets that will indicate the province. Every province will implement their discovery music using a keyword system on location, that will be conditioned.

Combat Music[edit]

The challenge is, not to overwrite vanilla combat tracks OR just overwrite temporarily and not to overwrite other teams playlists. One method: https://www.creationkit.com/index.php?title=DefaultObjectManager_Script

Mastering[edit]

For music, you have a choice of quality - 192kbit XWM, or WAV's that have not been re-encoded. There's a huge quality difference between either choice and vanilla music, easily perceptible and borne out by ABX (blind comparison) testing - I had 99.95% confidence results that I could correctly identify each file (100% accuracy). I'll be putting up some comparison files at some point.

My own ABX testing of the 192kbit XWM vs the WAV's gives results below statistical significance (74% confidence), though obviously this may vary according to your own ears and audio equipment, so the files are there if you want them. If in doubt, just go for the 192kbit XWM's, they are a huge improvement over vanilla and do not use the extra 3GB of space needed for the WAV's.

The voices only come as one encoding option, 192kbit XWM's - WAV's would both be far too large (25-30GB) and couldn't be packed into .fuz files with lipsync data. Again, ABX testing against the vanilla files gave 99.95% confidence of perceptible difference between vanilla and the mod. These have been carefully level matched to within 0.2dB of the original vanilla voices - so they will fit fine with any mod-added voices based on vanilla volumes. 1dB is generally regarded as the limit of perceptible volume difference for humans, so any difference should be imperceptible.

The original Vanilla files are 44.1kHz at 48kbit XWM files. UHDAP's files are 48kHz 192kbit XWM files. WAV Music is lossless PCM conversion from the PS4 AT9 compression (so not re-compressed in any way)

  • Source quality 44.1 kHz / 16 bit
  • Quality after xwm conversion 160 kbps or 192 kbps
  • Peaks at ~0 dB after (a very subtle) limiter processing
  • Subtle stereo image expansion per channel where needed
  • No prominent mono sounds centered in the stereo field (some exceptions in Chime sounds + other short effects)
  • Generous reverb in most cases (for sinking the music into the background). Less reverb in heavy drums f.ex. in battle situations.

Asset-specific Tutorials[edit]

Tool-specific Guidelines and Links[edit]