UI sound design tips and tricks [ For Beginners ]
Hi guys, we have decided to write this blog post to share our tips and tricks on designing cute UI sound effects for video games! Games such as Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing have adorable and pleasant sounding UI! Nintendo Switch menu’s UI sound effects are fantastic too!
So far, we have been using synthesizer (Arturia) to create UIs. Here are the fundamental processes on how we designed cute UI sounds using synthesizers!
As always referencing is essential! It is good to have a rough idea of what characteristics you want in your UI. Below is a list that I use to guide me when generating sounds. Use descriptions that you can understand!
UI Characteristic examples:
1. Confirm buttons
- soft, warm
- shiny, bright
- somewhat a little piercing
- bell-like, crystal
2. Back Buttons
- whoosh sounding
- descending tone
3. Error Buttons
- descending tone
Generating UI sounds with Arturia.
Typically, I would first go through keys presets in Analog Lab and go through many presets. I will listen to each sound, and if any of the presets sound great to me, I’ll record a series of melodic and random notes from the low to the high range. Do take note if you are designing UI sounds for mobile, it might be a good idea to have your sounds in the mid to high-frequency range. It should help to cut through the music and ambient sounds of the game.
I prefer to record it as dry as possible without any delay or reverb because I will continue to edit them afterward. I will then bounce the audio file and give it a name that makes sense to me. After collecting an adequate amount of sounds, I will start the editing them!
I would also go through many presets in synthesizers such as Jup-8 V or CS-80 V and turn down faders for ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) to get that short percussive sound. Tweak around the different faders and experiment! As usual, bounce and edit them later.
Editing the sounds
I import all the audio files into Pro Tools, edit and single out those that I fancy. Usually, there will be some EQ-ing to remove harsh sounding frequencies. Frequently, I EQ away the high and sharp frequencies and only add subtle reverb and delay, nothing too crazy. Keep it simple and sweet. Do test the sounds on different speakers, especially on a mobile phone to make sure it sounds good!
Audio examples of cute UI sounds created using Arturia!
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