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Online portfolio of Tristan Weis

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Black Mesa Incident

For a test run of the wave field synthesis sound system in the Zeiss-Planetarium Jena I created a short multi channel audio play. The overall technical environment somehow reminded me of the Black Mesa facility, part of the famous game Half Life. I decided to somehow quickly (remember, this was just for a short test) connect the posibilities of the sound system with my memories of the game.

I took various short samples of the character voice acting from both Half Life and Half Life 2 and arranged them into a new fictional story. Combined with many synthesizer layers, the final product should feel like something similar to a core meltdown during an experiment.

I bounced the play into 8 separate tracks, which then could be manually moved within the sound system. The whole thing was designed so that there are not more than 8 audible events happening simultaneously – which was necessary for a logical composition of said 8 tracks.
The seperate tracks combined with the technical advantages of the spatial sound system made it possible for me to exactly determine where in the 3D space what should happen – and everything live! (It felt a bit like a spatial DJ. :D)

Of course, there is no way to show what this sounds like in the planetarium, so I decided to make another 5.1 mix. I rearranged, encoded and packed all tracks into one AC3 file. With a 5.1 system hooked up, the VLC player should be able to route every channel and play it back properly.

Download Black Mesa Incident – 5.1 mix

And lastly, if you can’t enjoy spatial sound at all and/or maybe just want to hear what the play sounds like by itself, here’s a browser-friendly stereo version:

[audio:Black_Mesa_Incident_stereo.mp3|titles=Black Mesa Incident – Stereo mix]