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The Superhuman Sound of inFAMOUS Second Son

Brad Meyer's Avatar + Posted by Brad Meyer on Mar 18, 2014 // Audio Director, Sucker Punch Productions

Hey everyone! I’m the audio director at Sucker Punch, and I’m excited to show off some of the fun and painstaking attention to detail we took with the sound design of inFAMOUS Second Son.

We knew we had to up our game on all sonic fronts because we were launching on PS4, so we started early by identifying the key areas we wanted to focus on. Obviously the powers were going to be the most important aspect, so we began conceiving ideas before there was even visual concept art. We created a language for each power set which we used as a palette to craft the design of each set. With smoke, it was charcoal, air, and extinguishing flames. For neon we strapped a contact mic on our Sly Cooper neon sign and also recorded fluorescent tubes, electromagnetic interference, and a very long induction coil.

Another area we knew needed to come alive was the ambience. Since our game takes place in Seattle, what better way to capture the bustling city than running around with microphones, capturing the subtle nuances from birds, sirens, and car alarms, to rain and traffic? We took things to extreme measures with our ambient design, setting up unique audio events based on the neighborhood, the time of day, and whether or not Delsin or the D.U.P. is in control of a district.

Another concern for us was the final mix. We mixed the game at Sony’s Bridgepointe Studio, which was a wonderful experience. The game sounds great no matter what listening environment you may have: home theater, TV speakers, headphones, and so on.

Going even further, our team also worked closely with the PlayStation hardware team to develop a custom audio mix for the new PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headsets which provides an outstanding example of how the audio mode enhances the sound experience.

Hope everyone enjoys the sonic magic of Second Son starting this Friday!

inFAMOUS Second Son features custom audio modes for both the PlayStation Gold and PULSE Elite wireless headsets. These modes will be available at launch and accessible both in-game for Gold and via the Headset Companion App.

For more information on how to download custom audio modes for the PlayStation Headsets, check here.

//Add Your Own

31 Comments   7 Replies

1

+ W1ck3dSk1lls on March 18th, 2014 at 8:09 am said:

Can’t wait to finally play this game!


2

+ Poonjo on March 18th, 2014 at 8:10 am said:

Is there anything else you can tell us about the custom audio mix for the Gold Wireless Stereo Headset?

I’m sure this can push the headset sales even more.


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    + Brad Meyer on March 18th, 2014 at 11:10 pm said:

    Hi Poonjo. We worked very closely with the hardware team iterating on a custom mix for inFamous Second Son on the PS Gold Wireless headset. We’ve enhanced the low-end to give those impacts and explosions and more sweetening and did a subtle mid-range cut to balance it all out. It sounds really nice on both the PS Gold and the Pulse Elites. (The Pulse Elites also have their own custom mode along with rumble when Delsin uses his powers or beats up bad guys :-) )


3

+ stlthriot on March 18th, 2014 at 8:12 am said:

I hope I can find a PS4 in stock before Friday!


4

+ PanTheMan16 on March 18th, 2014 at 8:13 am said:

Really looking forward to playing this with my PX4’s. I actually bought the Gold headset with this game in mind, but to be honest it’s such a terrible headset that I had to go with the PX4 instead. FAR better audio quality, especially with VSS enabled. inFAMOUS: Second Son is going to sound incredible through these!


5

+ ButtersThaatsMe on March 18th, 2014 at 8:15 am said:

The section at the end is a little confusing… Is the custom audio mix only available at launch for the Gold Wireless Stereo Headset or BOTH the Gold Wireless Stereo Headset AND the Pulse Elite Headset?


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    + Mia Putrino on March 18th, 2014 at 11:11 am said:

    Hi Butters, both the Gold and the Pulse Elites have their own custom audio modes for inFAMOUS Second Son. You’ll be able to download it to your Pulse Elite via the Headset Companion App when the game launches!


6

+ cubbielovr on March 18th, 2014 at 8:22 am said:

Will there be a chance to pre-install the game for my digital pre-order before Friday? I really want to play some before work on Friday morning, and I don’t want to stay up until midnight to do so.


7

+ Poonjo on March 18th, 2014 at 8:25 am said:

@PanTheMan16: Actually, at 150$ regular (120-130$ on sale) for the PX4’s, you aren’t getting that much bang for your buck. Especially since the Gold Headset will be receiving a lot of support.

For the 99$ price tag, the Gold Headset is one of the best headsets you can get for the money.

I was extremely dissatisfied with the sound quality of the PX4s. The Sony MDR-7506 that I had were infinitely better than the PX4s, and at a fraction of the price. The ATH-M50 headphones, which are pretty well known and easy to find, are not quite as good as the MDR-7506 but once again much better than the PX4s and once again at a fraction of the price. You are paying for the ”Turtle Beach” name, and the convenience of being able to find them at Gamestop.

f you are serious about your headphones (and don’t want to pay 400$+), then you should check out the Sennheiser 558. Still my favourite gaming headset (has been for a couple of years now).


8

+ SWIFTYSNAKE on March 18th, 2014 at 8:30 am said:

I really hope the sound mode comes to the pulse elite too.


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    + Brad Meyer on March 18th, 2014 at 11:11 pm said:

    Good news SwiftySnake, the Pulse Elites do have their own custom mode as well featuring a custom EQ and added rumble on Delsin’s powers and impact sounds. Hope you enjoy it!


9

+ Wayndawind on March 18th, 2014 at 8:34 am said:

Will there be a Infamous and headset bundle? Anyone?


10

+ GeoDarky on March 18th, 2014 at 8:35 am said:

A job well done you guys, everything in this game is a step up not just from previous Infamous games but also form other PS4 games we had so far, i am so pumped to play i just can’t wait till Friday XD


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    + Brad Meyer on March 18th, 2014 at 11:13 pm said:

    Thanks so much. The entire team is SO excited to finally get the game in our fans’ hands. We really hope you guys enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it for you. Our fans are so amazing! We get letters everyday from people of all ages and it’s such a humbling experience to see the joy we bring to people. It makes our the hard work we put into these games so much more rewarding, so thanks again!


11

+ Spidey817 on March 18th, 2014 at 8:37 am said:

Looking forward to checking this out Friday. I have the CE preordered.


12

+ Lefoul-123 on March 18th, 2014 at 8:55 am said:

Waiting for third parties reviews.


13

+ GABEv01 on March 18th, 2014 at 9:08 am said:

Just like the awesome sound setting for The Last of Us on the Pulse Elite!!! Can’t wait for Friday!!!!! All PS4 games should have a specific sound setting for maximum enjoyment. Greatness!!!!


14

+ Sanador62 on March 18th, 2014 at 9:09 am said:

Can’t wait for this game. I too have the CE pre-ordered, and took Monday off so it will be a big Infamous-athon!


15

+ Ryumoau on March 18th, 2014 at 9:57 am said:

i really enjoyed the first two infamous games but i have to admit i’m not entirely sold on either the story or main character of Second Son. Deslin looks like such a stereotypical angsty teen d-bag. And the story sounds like the most cliche oppressive government monitoring everything story i’ve seen since the 90s.

I really hope theres more to this game than this, otherwise it will just be a gamefly rental because i do really like the gameplay at least.


16

+ PanTheMan16 on March 18th, 2014 at 10:22 am said:

Poonjo,
The Gold wireless headset has such a hollow, tinny sound that I could only begin to enjoy them in stereo mode. The game/chat teeter-totter volume rocker is a MAJOR flaw of the headset, which I suspect may be intentional so they can release an improved, Platinum headset in a year or so. The chat mic is also the worst I’ve ever used. A little pinhole on the back of an earcup is never going to work well as a microphone.
Sennheiser makes great headphones. I have one of their audiophile pair for use on my PC, but the one headset I did try of theirs, (the U 320) for PS3 was probably the most poorly designed headset I’d ever used, so the audio quality was completely irrelevant for me. Have you tried the PX4? For gaming and chat, they’re excellent. The VSS doesn’t make everything sound hollow and distant like some other headsets do. The game audio is still rich and full, just like I like it, with option to boost bass, treble or both. And with the lousy chat quality of the PS4, I just pair the bluetooth of my PX4 to my laptop so I can chat with my friends over Skype while still receiving game audio. That option alone is a big reason I have stuck with Turtle Beach. Gotta have my Skype.


17

+ lisatsunami on March 18th, 2014 at 10:42 am said:

I have been waiting way too long to play a real game on my PS4. I will be trying that custom audio mode for my new Gold headphones, too.


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    + Brad Meyer on March 18th, 2014 at 11:13 pm said:

    …won’t be long now! :-)


18

+ TomatoDragon on March 18th, 2014 at 12:16 pm said:

Already preordered. My favorite open world series.


19

+ tusunami on March 18th, 2014 at 12:45 pm said:

I just noticed that this is coming out on a friday. I thought high profile games would come out earlier in the week and not at the end.


20

+ Welmosca on March 18th, 2014 at 1:02 pm said:

Its really amazing to see the amount of work that devs goes through to make the game and just to put the sounds on it…really amazing to watch.That part at 0:45…damn thats beautiful.


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    + Mia Putrino on March 19th, 2014 at 12:35 pm said:

    Right? I was absolutely blown away with the amount of work that went into the ambient audio alone. I learned more about the night/day differences of bird calls than I ever thought I would talking about audio for a video game :D


21

+ sleeKSP3 on March 18th, 2014 at 3:44 pm said:

Sucker Punch,

what’s going on with lead designer for Second Son leaving Sony?? This is really strange. First, Mr.Tretton is leaving Sony at the end of this month, and now one of your designers leaves?? What’s up?!!? The game is not even out yet!


22

+ Blood-Pudding on March 18th, 2014 at 3:55 pm said:

Rev Dr.??????????

Is this from the Universal Life Church?


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    + Brad Meyer on March 18th, 2014 at 11:14 pm said:

    You’re obviously a keen one, Blood Pudding :-)


23

+ HazeBlaze on March 18th, 2014 at 5:11 pm said:

Any word on when the game will be available for download on PSN (EST). If it’s not available until 3 am, I’ll need to go to bed early, so I can wake up early!!!


24

+ T40Rs731N on March 18th, 2014 at 6:01 pm said:

So, no more Tuesday Playstation Store Updates?


25

+ DarkStar83x on March 18th, 2014 at 6:20 pm said:

@24 I checked just a little while ago and many of the new stuff and Plus discounts are up now.


26

+ saab01 on March 18th, 2014 at 9:25 pm said:

I am sure when Friday comes around all of my friends who have a PS4 will be playing this game.


27

+ bucktoothewok on March 19th, 2014 at 9:13 am said:

@pantheman: the Sony Gold headset isnt ‘terrible’ by any means. Its a good headset. Because you dont like it that doesn’t make it terrible.


28

+ Kchow23 on March 19th, 2014 at 11:38 am said:

If I were to buy one of the two headsets which one would you guys recommend?


29

+ ArthurSataine on March 20th, 2014 at 4:39 pm said:

Where in the blazes is the custom profile for Second Son? I’m in the companion app and all I see are the generic profiles and customs 1, 2, & 3.


30

+ SWIFTYSNAKE on March 28th, 2014 at 4:03 pm said:

Is there any way to keep my sound modes from ps3 games on the pulse elite?. if I put the second son mode I loose GTA v and the last of us modes. Its just a hassle to go into the app and add them every time I want to play my ps3


31

+ CitizenInsane27 on March 29th, 2014 at 12:13 pm said:

I have the pulse elite series and I updated my firmware on both the ps4 and the profiles for the headset, and I am unable to change what profiles are loaded into the headset. I see the profile for infamous, but it’s greyed out and I cannot select or deselect any profiles like the guide said I was supposed to be able to. Why?


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