Game Sound Workflow Questions - Track Mgmt & Batch Export


I used to do my game sound stuff in Logic Pro X and still use it for things, but because of the great batch export and naming convention features I came over to Nuendo. But I’ve been wondering how to setup a session best to being able to export and manage my tracks and sounds easily.

Here’s how I work.

The Project
Game Sound is a thing where you go back and forth all the time. From Nuendo to the game, listening how it sounds, then back to Nuendo to tweak things. I don’t like juggling projects and remembering where I created what sound. So I generally use one big project where I have all my sounds.

Question 1) How do you setup your projects? One master project or do you create a project for each sound? Or each game object with its different sounds?

The Tracks
Each sound in the game consists of several single sound files that I put together, layer on top of each other, mangle with plugins. Each game sound usually has several variations so I vary parameters, sound positions, or change some of the sound layers with other sound files.

Now that I have 2 or sometimes 6 or more different tracks per sound effect, I like to group them together so I have 1 fader for them all and also one channel where I can add group effects, like a compressor, a distortion effect or EQ. See the screenshot. You have this “Bus Menu Buy Sell” folder that contains the 3 tracks. On the left there’s the channel strip where I have an EQ, an echo effect and so on on this folder!

In Logic there’s this nice “Summing Stack”. It’s a folder that also is a group channel at the same time. Imagine a folder in Nuendo that has a fader and an insert section for plugins. This worked very well for me because it saves a lot of screen space and keeps everything neatly together. It groups together what belongs together.

Currently I’m fighting in Nuendo. I have folder tracks, yes, but those only group channels visually, not from an audio routing perspective. Then I have group channels, separately. My fear now is that I will end up with a lof of stuff in the track window when I keep working like that. Because the folder will take up space, the tracks with the actual sounds take up space, and when I create a group channel, this also takes up space. Group channels appear at the bottom in the group section, which is nice but it makes overview hard. I know I can move it into the folder for example but it feels like an additional step and an additional line.

Like I said, I tend to keep everything in one project file as I sometimes can re-use source material from one sound to another, it makes me faster than having dozens of single project files. But I feel this will end up in a huge mess.

Question 2) How do you guys setup your project, busses etc, so you can tweak sounds individually on each layer, on the group bus and keep the overview?

The Export
I like the different batch-export options in Nuendo. But as you see from the screenshot above, I have to export many sound layers at once over a group and master bus, so it adds my compressors, effects and limiters in the end.

I hoped to be able to use the batch export options, but none of them really fits what I’m looking for. I want to export every block, every sound variation with all its layers (see above screenshot with the yellow blocks and name them by the folder, or group track. And then add a 01, 02, 03 for variations. But I cannot tell Nuendo to render the group track but take the events from other tracks as delimiters where to chop up the individual sounds. I haven’t found any configuration how this could work.

So what I end up in Nuendo is a veeeeeeery long project where I have each sound sitting at its own place in time where no other sound interferes. And then I do cycle markers that I name. And then I can batch export by markers and name the sounds by marker tracks. This works, but it’s a huge additional effort keeping track of all the cycle markers and names and renaming stuff and so on. I have to have track names for individual sounds, names for folders, for group tracks, and then also juggle all the cycle markers and marker names.

Is there no easier solution to this? I would like to have all sounds start at 00:00:00. And then Nuendo export the sounds based on the folder name and chop it up like defined by “As Block Events” in the render in place settings.

Question 3) How do you organize your batch export to export lots of files in one go when you changed one parameter and want to get dozens of files out quickly? How does it best work with render in place or audio mixdown with event marker names. How does your workflow and track setup look?

Hi ChrisPolus,

probably this won’t really answer any of your questions, but we have an interesting white paper about asset production with Nuendo 7 that you may find helpful.

You can find it here or directly download it from here.

Hope that helps (at least a little).

All the best

Do you have contacts to people in the industry? Do you know how they work? Some interviews with them about best practices in big studios? This would always be appreciated if it’s informative and not just marketing shmoo (e.g. yeah Nuendo is great, we use it all… blah - we know Nuendo is great otherwise we wouldn’t be here).

Maybe this would be enlightening doing some marketing in this direction, showing real studios working with Nuendo and HOW they work, show some workflow and best practices.

The Assassin’s Creed video is nice, but high level and more about how they recorded the sound, not so much about how they use Nuendo. And the white paper wasn’t what I was looking for, thanks anyway :wink: