Radiant Silvergun in English

update:

Well today managed not to be a COMPLETE disaster. The two playing Baster and Reana told me last minute that they wouldn't be able to make it until later in the day, and then I was unable to get ahold of anyone else. So basically all that got done today was finishing up Baster and Reana's voices.

To make matters even worse, I'm not entirely happy with what I got, but it'll have to do. Doing English dubs for female characters, especailly Japanese archetypes like Reana, is really really difficult. Hopefully most people won't find the end result annoying.

Foley progress is still trudging along. I'm getting closer on finishing the sounds for the intro, but I haven't even TOUCHED the ending movie yet, which is going to be a ton of work! Here's to hoping I can still get everything done by the end of next week like I had planned.

Sorry, no new videos at the moment. I've gotta get up for work in...uh...three hours, so that's being used for sleep. I'll try to put something up later today.
 
update:

OK, so I promised a new video days ago. I decided to try to get the background sounds more complete first.

As of about an hour ago, all the foley work for the intro is complete! This means I can share a segment of the intro as a finished product....more or less. I mean, I still need to go through and think of any sounds I may have missed, and there's still mastering, and a little volume adjustment here and there, but for the most part, this is what the final result will look like.

English Silvergun preview

Here's the remaining checklist:

Recording:

- All of Igarashi's lines. I actually paid the guy already for this work. I'm going to have him into the studio early next week.

- Tengai's soliloquies at the beginning of stages 3 and 4. I'm meeting Ralph tomorrow at noon to knock these out.

- Student B's lines. My actor from Texas said his computer broke, so I'm going to ask my friend Danny to do this part instead. He's actually a very decent actor. A touch lower-pitched than I had imagined for this guy, but it should be alright.

- Foley sounds for the ending movie. Grass rustling, birds chirping, that sort of thing.

Editing: Exact timings on the CD-DA tracks and the ending movie

Mixing: Just a little level adjustment for the intro. Just about nothing has been done mix-wise for any of the rest of the game. In all honesty, the intro movie is like half of the work required anyways.

Mastering: Our mastering rig is all set up as soon as I'm finished with all the audio streams. Since this is sound for picture, not a lot of mastering will be required. Truly, the part of this that will take the longest is making sure the heads are clean on the 2" tape machine.

Video editing: Not that there's going to be a lot. Just some subtitles for the text. Nontheless, my video guy's computer is on the fritz, but should be up and running soon.

Distribution: I still haven't done any looking into how to set up a BitTorrent tracker. Ugh.

The list is shrinking folks! I was honestly hoping to be done before November. Oh well. It's still come together pretty fast, I think, all things considered.
 

SkankinMonkey

Established Member
You should fix that robot voice to be slightly more understandable. It's rather annoying to try to listen to sometimes. And the girls voice......sorry English just shouldn't be spoken in high pitched tones like Japanese is by girls, it's not natural and very annoying.
 
I'll agree to an extent with the comment about high-pitchedness, but I quite like the Creator's new voice.

One thing I don't get is why Guy says "shit! damn." It seems a little redundant.

Edit: I heard the solar-plexus-sucker-punch groan. A+.
 

SkankinMonkey

Established Member
I think the general voice of the robot is fine, but maybe something can be done with it to make it a little more clear without changing the overall tone?
 
Originally posted by SkankinMonkey@Thu, 2005-10-27 @ 05:44 AM

I think the general voice of the robot is fine, but maybe something can be done with it to make it a little more clear without changing the overall tone?

[post=141134]Quoted post[/post]​


Yeah, probably. It's...pretty effected, as you no doubt noticed. Possibly I could work with EQ to try to make it stand out against everything else clearer (which would actually make the sound even MORE artifical and effected)...or I could ::gulp:: back off one of the effects I'm using...but it sounds so cool...

WARNING: Largish rant incoming

I agree with both you guys about the high-pitched female voice thing. It's not something I really understood until I tried to do a dub. In fact, one of the reasons I wanted to do a dub in the first place was to understand it a little better.

Here's the problem: There's no better voice that can go naturally with what's being seen on screen. I'm serious! Just try to imagine one. Just TRY! It doesn't work. Still don't believe me? Try getting a female acquaintance to say the line (sister, girlfriend, wife, whatever). Try to get their tone to match what's on the screen while still sounding as young as the character is. It just doesn't work! The real problem is that Japanese just doesn't translate very well culturally to English, and this is exacerbated GREATLY when a translation is vocalized (hence why I've made all these "controversial" changes to the script). Beyond that, a piece of American-made entertainment simply would never portray a female like this, because the very portrayal is unnatural in English! Yes, that means it will NEVER sound natural, unless you actually change the core meaning of the lines (and you'd have to change quite a few of the visuals to make THAT stick). I've done what I feel is my humble best with the situation, given that I myself am working for free, and all the actors except the guy playing Igarashi are also doing it for free, and that no one wanted to take the time to rehearse the lines the way I wanted, etc. etc.

Actually, you'd never guess, but I've actually always been one of those guys: you know, opposed to dubbing anything Japanese, just on principal. This whole experience just serves to re-inforce such beliefs. Japanese entertainment is meant to be experienced in Japanese.

Of course, in the case of this project, I could have used subtitles for the movies, but never for the in-game speech, which would have been inconsistant. So, for providing an English translation of this game, this still remains the best solution.

Screw that. The best solution is for everybody who plays Japanese games to learn Japanese. But, that's not gonna happen, now is it? This translation, after all, was about trying to help RS to reach new audiences (and also to help me warm up for doing the dub of Ys 4), and I think it'll succeed in that endeavor!

I figured no one would like Reana's voice. But here's a thought I will leave you with. Having learned a good deal of conversational Japanese, I think I'm qualified to say that her English voice is far less annoying and way more believable than her Japanese one. Non-Japanese speaking fans often find it easy to mistake every piece of Japanese voice-acting they hear for genious, when in fact, about 95% of it is garbage. That's what's nice about NOT knowing Japanese. Seriously, if you want to continue to love all Japanese voice acting you hear, don't EVER learn conversational Japanese. It will ruin that enjoyment forever! That's not to say that there are no talented seiyuu, though there are many more talented men than women out there. Sadly, not every one can be a Maaya Sakamoto, and more sadly, most tend to be more like a Megumi Hayashibara (YARF!!)

If I hadn't mentioned it before by the way, Foley is very VERY frustrating work. I've put many dozens of hours into recreating all the sounds from the intro, and no one would ever notice, unless I HADN'T.

One thing I don't get is why Guy says "shit! damn." It seems a little redundant.

Despite what you might think at this point, I'm not just making Guy curse for the hell of it. The line is actually "Shit...dad!", which I THOUGHT sounded pretty clear. Apparently, I thought wrong. Hopefully, the mastering process will make it (and Creator's voice) a little clearer.

EDIT: Just thought I'd point out. If anyone wants to seriously take up my challenge...if any one of you wants to swear you could do better, then go ahead. Record it. And then, send it to me, and I will cheerfully replace everything I have if I happen to agree (and if your recording quality doesn't sound like ass). I'm certainly not adverse to letting someone else do my work for me. I ain't holding my breath though. But go ahead, prove me wrong, please!
 

SkankinMonkey

Established Member
Originally posted by Justus@Thu, 2005-10-27 @ 06:19 AM

Having learned a good deal of conversational Japanese, I think I'm qualified to say that her English voice is far less annoying and way more believable than her Japanese one. Non-Japanese speaking fans often find it easy to mistake every piece of Japanese voice-acting they hear for genious, when in fact, about 95% of it is garbage. That's what's nice about NOT knowing Japanese. Seriously, if you want to continue to love all Japanese voice acting you hear, don't EVER learn conversational Japanese. It will ruin that enjoyment forever! That's not to say that there are no talented seiyuu, though there are many more talented men than women out there. S


You realize that I live in Japan, right? haha
 
Originally posted by SkankinMonkey@Thu, 2005-10-27 @ 06:37 AM

You realize that I live in Japan, right? haha

[post=141139]Quoted post[/post]​


Yeah? And? Do you still find all Japanese voice acting to sound perfectly natural and awesome like most white anime fans?

Besides, living in Japan doesn't mean you've mastered conversational Japanese anyways. Here in the dirty south, I get to deal with Mexicans all the time who "live in the United States" and haven't even learned to speak English on a basic level, let alone a having learned to speak it conversationally like a native. I myself "lived in Japan" well before I could claim such a level. Even being capable of translating Japanese doesn't make one qualified to determine what does and does not sound natural in the language. You wouldn 't trust one of the aforementioned Mexicans to write an English movie script, now would you?

For myself, I can hardly be said to have mastered the language, but enough to realize that most voice acting is crap. Most other people I know who practice speaking with real Japanese people and struggle to make it sound right agree with me. So probably even I'm not "perfectly qualified" to make such a judgement. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm even capable of determining what sounds decent in English, for that matter.

OOC, where in Japan are you living? I stayed around the northern areas for the most part myself. I thought Tokyo was fun to visit, but I don't think I'd care to live there.
 

ExCyber

Staff member
Originally posted by Justus

You wouldn 't trust one of the aforementioned Mexicans to write an English movie script, now would you?
No, but if they've spent any substantial amount of time around English-speakers, I bet they could tell the difference between real-life English and cartoon English.
 

SkankinMonkey

Established Member
Conversational ability has nothing to do with what I said at all. I was merely saying the voice sounded bad. Comparativly Japanese voices are much closer to their anime 'voice' than your female voice is to anything in English. Voice actors are supposed to change their voice, add flair and such, while still maintaining some sort of realism. I was just pointing out that your female charachter does not do this, but if you do not want any input into your project - and cannot resort from making pseudo elitist insults when criticism is shown (especially when your insults have no base) then don't post information in a public space like this and you won't get any feedback.

And I live in Hiroshima.
 
Alright, now just calm down there. The internet's already got more than enough people seeing insults where there aren't any, and I didn't mean it that way. I feel like I'm more than open to suggestion about things here. You're certainly right about the robot's voice being illegible. But all you've told me so far about Reana's voice is

- it sucks

- it shouldn't be high-pitched

None of this is terribly useful, and there really aren't any suggestions here that I can take. The actress playing the part (an amateur doing this for free who is also a full-time student with two part-time jobs), MIGHT be convinced to return to the studio for another session, if and ONLY if I have a solid idea how to do it better. I can't just tell her "it sucks and it's too high-pitched". Like I said before, can you think of any better way to portray what's on the screen?

Putting in dozens of hours of work, and then getting little feedback other than "this and this sucks" without any actual contructive criticism is very frustrating, so you'll just have to forgive a little shortness on my part.
 

SkankinMonkey

Established Member
Originally posted by Justus@Fri, 2005-10-28 @ 12:21 PM

Alright, now just calm down there. The internet's already got more than enough people seeing insults where there aren't any, and I didn't mean it that way. I feel like I'm more than open to suggestion about things here. You're certainly right about the robot's voice being illegible. But all you've told me so far about Reana's voice is

- it sucks

- it shouldn't be high-pitched

None of this is terribly useful, and there really aren't any suggestions here that I can take. The actress playing the part (an amateur doing this for free who is also a full-time student with two part-time jobs), MIGHT be convinced to return to the studio for another session, if and ONLY if I have a solid idea how to do it better. I can't just tell her "it sucks and it's too high-pitched". Like I said before, can you think of any better way to portray what's on the screen?

Putting in dozens of hours of work, and then getting little feedback other than "this and this sucks" without any actual contructive criticism is very frustrating, so you'll just have to forgive a little shortness on my part.

[post=141192]Quoted post[/post]​


I said everything but two things sounded good. What kind of feedback can I give about a voice other than 'it doesn't sound realistic'? Would you like me to sit down and specify a frequency range she should speak at? Don't take it so personally, I think your project is an interesting idea, I was just trying to give some feedback. Would you prefer everyone to lie and say 'yes this is perfect' and then you come out with something that rakes everyones ears and is laughed at?

You claim to be the sound director, I imagine that you have an imagination, try different things if you agree with me. Don't simply settle for 'well it's the closest representation to the original I can think of.'
 
Originally posted by SkankinMonkey@Fri, 2005-10-28 @ 09:52 PM

I said everything but two things sounded good. What kind of feedback can I give about a voice other than 'it doesn't sound realistic'? Would you like me to sit down and specify a frequency range she should speak at?

Basically, high-pitched and terrified doesn't work very well. I agree with you on this. The question is: what does? I've thought and thought and thought about it, and I just can't think of anything. Nobody else I've talked to can either, yourself included apparently. Fact is, I only had two hours with this lady, and that's probably all I'm going to get. She couldn't think of anything either, and she's even training to be a professional actress. Believe it or not, she's really quite good when she isn't portraying greenhaired bug-eyed waifs with antannae on their heads.

Don't take it so personally, I think your project is an interesting idea, I was just trying to give some feedback. Would you prefer everyone to lie and say 'yes this is perfect' and then you come out with something that rakes everyones ears and is laughed at?

That will probably happen anyways. Nothing creative will ever please everybody, and is bound to even piss off a good number of people, especially when it's something as silly as a dub. Really, I don't imagine very many people will applaud my work here, if only by virtue of it not being in Japanese.

You're right, I shouldn't get so into it. It's just the internet after all. Thought I'd already grown up enough to learn that lesson. Apparently not. Nontheless, I guess it wasn't actually feedback I was looking for, either positive or negative, but ideas rather. Well actually, I was REALLY just looking for a hacker, but the thread kind of grew into a news outlet I suppose. But yeah, I guess feedback's alright, but ideas > feedback, definately.

You claim to be the sound director, I imagine that you have an imagination, try different things if you agree with me.

[post=141201]Quoted post[/post]​


To be up-front about it: no, I don't claim to be a sound director (as in a voice director). Roles I can claim professionally are: sound engineer, music producer, music composer, foley artist, musician (violin, trombone, piano, drums, guitar, in about that order), MIDI specialist, and professor of recording arts. So as you can see, with the exception of Foley, all of my professional work is in music, and I'm actually still pretty green when it comes to Foley for that matter. Other than singers, this is my first time to ever attempt working with voice. While my musical experience is definately a boon, this entire project has been a massive learning experience for me, and I definately won't claim to have it together like a pro working for Disney. I WAS hoping (and expecting) to get something at least marginally better than the typical anime dub though.

Don't simply settle for 'well it's the closest representation to the original I can think of.'

I assure you this is NOT my intention. There's almost nothing I can't stand more about most anime dubs. I'm not trying to be true to the Japanese language. I mean, that would just be stupid to do in English. What I'm trying to do is be true to what's on the screen. When Reana opens her big mouth, it just doesn't work if a soccer mom voice or a contralto comes out. Like I said, females simply aren't portrayed like that in Western entertainment, so there's really no basis for what WOULD sound realistic. I'm serious, I've thought a LOT about it. Everything else we tried just sounded jarringly apathetic for those frames. Also, a big problem with the line is that it's just too drawn-out "are weeee gonna diiiiiiie?". In order to make the voice work with the lip movements AND not draw it out like this, I'd have to write either longer line or an additional line to fill in the empty space. There are already people complaining about the "looseness" of the translation as it is without stretching things that much further (see? I do listen to feedback). Believe it or not, there are a few other takes we did that are way more horrifying than that one...not that it justifies it. Still, I'm afraid I'm going to have to go with the cop-out "that's the best we could do, and that's what's on track". You can't win 'em all; I'll just have to try to do better next time. Also, you might find the rest of her acting more satisfactory than that scene. That was one of the tougher lines.

EDIT:

Forgot to mention...

update: Principal tracking is now complete for all voice acting except for Igarashi's lines at the end of stage 2. The guy doing the voice for Igarashi is a seasoned radio professional, and is also the only person in this project getting paid for it (a pittance, admittedly). It definately shows in the quality of his voice (he has one of those awesome rumbly "movie announcer" type voices). The main problem I've had with him is getting him to emote the way I would like, so it's been kind of slow going. Hopefully it'll turn out OK. I'm a bit worried. That scene at the end of stage 2 is sort of emotional. He's going to have to work hard to match the person playing Guy (who is naturally a VERY emotional actor, almost too much).
 
Stupid question time: what is "foley"? You keep saying it, and I get images of a fat bearded bloke in a pub and wind blowing through grass in my head.
 
Originally posted by Quick Man@Sat, 2005-10-29 @ 06:09 PM

Stupid question time: what is "foley"? You keep saying it, and I get images of a fat bearded bloke in a pub and wind blowing through grass in my head.

[post=141214]Quoted post[/post]​


I forget that this isn't a credit that is commonly known.

Basically, Foley is adding sound to a motion picture in post-production, ie. - sound not recorded during filming. Specifically in the case of animated features like this one, Foley means every sound that isn't the voice acting or the music. It can be obvious things like characters getting hit, and ships whooshing by, and there are a lot of much less-noticed things, like chairs squeaking, ambient noises, wind, clothing rustling, and all those neat transition sound effects. Most people never even really notice these sounds...unless they're gone, then they REALLY notice them. So, it's mostly a very thankless job. But despite all my griping about it, I wouldn't mind doing it for a living full time.

Other random tidbits:

- People who do Foley are called "Foley Artists"

- The process was named after one of the first people to ever try coming up with extra sounds for post-production, Jack Foley

- If you watch the credits for most movies and pretty much ANY animation, the Foley Artist or Artists are usually credited, believe it or not. Who looks at credits anyways?

- Foley is probably taking more time for me than any other aspect of this project, which doesn't make any of it any less necessary. I can't use the sound effects that are already there, because the characters are speaking on top of it.

There's a Wiki about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foley_artist
 

lordofduct

Established Member
I like how the first sound effect listed is the "coconuts" for horse hooves.

It makes me think of when I first saw "Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail" when I was a little kid and getting really ticked off that the sounds of the coconuts didn't match the actor banging them on screen at times.

Yeah, I was anal as a kid...

Still am, I watched "Batman Begins" today and got really pissed off and bitched to my friend Christie because at the beginning of the movie the well he falls into is several hundred yards and an entire stairway away from Wayne Manor, but at the end of the movie it is a mere 10 feet away from the burned structure that was Wayne Manor. Don't tell me that a fire is going to move a wall 100 yards down a hill removing the stairway and have the wall still standing!
 
I really liked the preview. Overall I think the voices are great except for the creator. It reminds me of those droids in the star wars ep1-3.

Have you tried experimenting with vocoders? They make some free software based vocoders and you can get some very interesting sounds.

I was going to say the voice for the character with the white hair and glasses (the captain ?) sounds like he needed more emotion in his voice, like something more deep and raspy and more yelling. But the more I watch it , the voice really does work.

I can tell you put a lot of work into this. I give it a thumbs up. Do you have any ETA for the completed video?
 
Originally posted by Pinchy@Sun, 2005-10-30 @ 03:52 PM

I really liked the preview. Overall I think the voices are great except for the creator. It reminds me of those droids in the star wars ep1-3.

That's possible. Wasn't my intention, but possible. I think I can see it. But this sort of voice works better for this kind of character than for Star Wars droids in my opinion. The SW droids sounded too...friendly. But I WANT Creator to sound kind of friendly.

Have you tried experimenting with vocoders? They make some free software based vocoders and you can get some very interesting sounds.

Actually, I wouldn't need a software vocoder. I've got an actual MicroKorg here. Hadn't even thought about it, since it's always strictly been a musical thing. Can't say that I imagine it turning out all THAT different, but I suppose anything's worth a try....but I kind of like Creator's voice the way it is already!

I was going to say the voice for the character with the white hair and glasses (the captain ?) sounds like he needed more emotion in his voice, like something more deep and raspy and more yelling. But the more I watch it , the voice really does work.

I thought it did. The guy who did that voice has done narration voice-over work for a number of local independant films. Since Tengai has several narration-like soliloquies, it just seemed like a natural part for him. Oddly enough, while you say you thought he could use a bit more emotion, someone else has told me he thinks the acting sounds forced. He might be right. I don't hear it, but the guy who told me that's a vocal major, so maybe he'd know. Oh well. Same guy told me that every actor I've employed for this is worthless except for Baster's actor (who I personally thought was the weak link).

I can tell you put a lot of work into this. I give it a thumbs up. Do you have any ETA for the completed video?

[post=141233]Quoted post[/post]​


If by "completed video" you mean the intro, then I'm pretty certain by next Friday. I'm waking up early tomorrow to finish all the leveling and foley for it, which means that all that's left will be just a couple of Igarashi's lines. Unfortunately, that actor told me he couldn't possibly come by the studio any sooner than next Thursday evening, so we'll all just have to wait until then.

As for the whole project being finished, I'm really shooting for having it all done by the end of the proceeding weekend. Beyond that, it's just a matter of finding a method of distribution.

If one thing's going to cause delays, it's that I just got a call today letting me know that there's a rock band interested in recording a double album at my studio. If that happens soon, the whole thing might get put on hold for a couple of weeks. Earning a living comes before stuff like this, after all (and double albums are hard freaking work!)
 
OK, so that band ended up wanting to do their double album, and I had to go work for awhile. I won't be able to get back to this full time immediately either, since I'm moving to a new apartment this weekend.

It hasn't been COMPLETELY held off though. I managed to finish the intro video at least.

Complete English intro

I'm definately satisfied with the mix quality and the levels. I could maybe improve some of the sound effects here or there. The Foley part of this is quite solid (check out all those squeaking chairs, footsteps, and clothes rustling). The acting...well, no matter how anyone feels about it, this is what we're stuck with. I personally think it's all quite decent and listenable. For the SFX, I really did try to imitate the original when I could, but that honestly wasn't very often, so I had to get creative here and there for the sounds. Hopefully no one will find the new sound effects too offensive. I think many of them are an improvement over the original even.

One thing though. Might anyone be able to point me in the direction of a tool I can use to recompile the .ISO so I can try this out on my Saturn?

The .CPK file it ended up making is a few MB smaller than the original. I hope that's still workable. It's weird though, I have no idea why the size shrunk. Same resolution and compression for audio and video, same number of samples in the audio and same number of frames in the video...so I have no idea.

Actually, there's still one thing left to do for this video: I've gotta find a way to insert subtitles for when there's text on the screen!

Anyways, the ending video is going to take quite a long time as well. Fortunately, everything else will be a breeze!

I know, I've been optimistic before..but here's to hoping I can get this all done by Christmas.
 
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