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SFX Requirements


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Hello The Dark Mod Community
As a fan of Thief series and sound designer I would love to contribute some custom sound effects for everyone to use in fan missions (The Dark Mod and Thief series FM's).
What are the requirements when it comes to format, bitrate, sample rate, length etc.? Let's say I want to create an interior ambience loop. What should I take into consideration?


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The Dark Mod is using the following standards:

  • SFX: Ogg, 44100Hz, 96kbps, mono
  • Ambient: Ogg, 44100Hz, 160kbps, stereo OR Ogg, 44100Hz, 96kbps, mono. (Does the sound really benefit from stereo format?)

Doom 3 supports 1 or 2 channel, 16 bit OGG or WAV files at 11025, 22050 or 44100 Hz.

If making your own recordings use some lossless format like FLAC and only then convert them to OGG. Converting them first (with probably bad compression options, too) to MP3, then recompressing to OGG will introduce unnec. compression artefacts.


Edited by Airship Ballet
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Those guidelines sound a bit outdated to me — like they were conjured up the era of dial-up modems.

Ogg Vorbis files are not generally encoded with a specific bitrate, but with a quality factor which goes from -1 to 10. Quality of around 4 - 5 should be more or less transparent to most people, so I'd aim for this. The output bitrate will probably end up somewhere near the values given in those guidelines, but they won't match exactly, and that's fine. The important thing is the constant quality factor, which ensures that the music/SFX sounds good no matter how "complex" it is.

Ambient background music should definitely be stereo. Mono music sounds like it comes from the middle of your head whereas stereo can sound like it is all around you (i.e. "ambient"). Of course this depends on the content of the music and how it is mixed, but there is absolutely nothing to be gained by mixing down to mono in this day and age.

And if you do submit some sounds, please submit uncompressed (FLAC/WAV) versions as well as Oggs if possible. This allows the sounds to be remixed later (or used to create entirely new sounds) without introducing generation loss due to repeated compression.

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Yeah, I should say I've left everything stereo, but there are definitely lines in there that just totally prevent anything from playing in-game if you don't follow them. I haven't taken the time to see which is which, just done everything it says there but left it stereo.

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Hi Umami, Welcome.

I don't know if a repository containing the sounds in uncompressed format exists but you can easily access all base sounds in their current compressed format.

You first need a file archiver such as 7-Zip, Winzip, Winrar... I recommend 7-Zip since it is open source / free. Go here: https://www.7-zip.org/

Then go to your The Dark Mod root folder and look for these type of files:

  • tdm_sound_ambient_decls01.pk4
  • tdm_sound_ambient01.pk4
  • ...
  • tdm_sound_sfx01.pk4
  • ...
  • tdm_sound_vocals_decls01.pk4
  • tdm_sound_vocals01.pk4
  • ...

Use 7-zip to extract the contents and you shall find all sounds in the new folders that got created with identical names.

Looking forward to your sound work!

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On 7/19/2022 at 5:18 PM, snatcher said:

I don't know if a repository containing the sounds in uncompressed format exists

It doesn't, which is a major oversight in my opinion and the reason I always encourage new sound contributors to provide uncompressed versions as well.

As a result of the initial failure to retain uncompressed versions of the original sounds, any editing or cleanup of those sounds (as another forum member did recently) has to rely on decompressing and recompressing Ogg Vorbis files, which is sub-optimal from a quality perspective.

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Posted (edited)

EDIT I'm gonna post them later in better shape

Hello again guys ;)
Shortly I willl post a link to a Google Drive folder with raw SFX (details in "read this first" file).
Bare in mind that I'm pretty new to sound design and I'm not a musician so don't expect a music.
These are mostly ambience sound. Drones, rumble loops, some one shot ambience sounds etc. 
I'm posting raw sounds first to get some feedback before I edit them if you find at least some of them interesting.
Be honest with me ;) Any feedback appreciated.


Edited by Umami
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