Articles

Articles


Outspoken Audio Delivers Better Dialogue, Faster


 

It is incredibly rare to see new dialogue recording software emerge into the audio world, especially into such a tight niche as gameaudio where proprietary pipelines are the norm; but this might just be the first of a kind commercially available software toolset aimed directly at benefitting gameaudio processes, and slowly smouldering away on some of the largest franchises you can think of.

 

The desire to create a bespoke, industry-standard tool led to the formation of Outspoken Audio. The company was born from a need to streamline game dialogue processes from script proofing through recording, asset management, and delivery. Back in 2010 Outspoken Audio had the Eureka! moment and created XenoVox.

 

Dialogue production for game is generally reliant on disjointed proprietary processes, traditional linear production techniques, DAW’s, and macros, XenoVox brings those processes into a single tool presenting an asset-based workflow designed specifically for game dialogue. Reading directly from your Excel™ script, XenoVox automates the recording session, prioritises assets through mastering and post-production and makes file delivery quick and easy.

 

The Outspoken Audio team has a lot of experience designing pipelines for some of the largest line-count games ever made so understood the hunger for a product like XenoVox in the wider industry. Moreover they identified the need for an ‘over the counter’ solution that could benefit dialogue production for everyone from smaller sound houses to AAA studios making this compatible with as many proprietary pipelines as possible.

 

So what does XenoVox actually do? XenoVox facilitates the entire game dialogue production process, recording, asset management during postproduction, prioritised file delivery and numerous automations, bespoke features and opportunities leveraged by having everything in one tool. All you need is an Excel script document, it works with a completely open line ID format and you can simply import your existing assets mid-project to benefit for the features.

 

The actor views the script in dark mode screenplay format, adapted to include additional direction information such as ‘intensity’or  ‘projection’ with additional notifications improving non-verbal communication between engineer and actor and speeding session flow. The XenoVox ‘Conversation Capture’ feature set is designed to work with unlimited numbers of actors in ensemble sessions, while also helping isolated sessions. Actors in the session are interchangeable with previously recorded characters, ‘Actual Dialogue Prompting’ enables automated prompting of actors with available recordings, offering actors and directors instant reference, reducing the time taken to get the right performance. This looks like a really strong selling point in the new normal for VO.

 

The transport controls have been redesigned enabling multiple actions in a single click, with options familiar to voice over session flow such as ‘move on’, next take’ or next line’, progressing the session with automated file naming and storing. Once a take is recorded, the engineer assigns statuses without interrupting session flow replacing the need for paper notes and prioritising ongoing workflows.

 

Conversations are ready for review immediately after recording and this review feature is also being used by game designers to confirm the dialogue before integration. Files can be exported instantly at the end of any session collectively or with selected prioritisation ready  editing, mastering, or to send globally for use as prompt lines in other XenoVox sessions.

 

XenoVox has a lot of original concepts and thankfully Outspoken Audio have gone to great lengths to provide comprehensive tutorials. They know that game studios don’t change their dialogue pipelines without careful consideration, and rarely mid-project so it’s a slow burn to establish XenoVox, but with multi award-winning AAA studios leading the user-base and a positive reception from actors, directors and engineers, this tool really does seem to benefit both quality and efficiency making ‘better dialogue faster’.

 

XenoVox v1.4 is due imminently with various feature tweaks and ASIO compatibility additions. For the future there are a lot of new design features coming down the track, but Outspoken Audio know they need to provide the exact features and options requested by their customers so they continue to welcome feature requests either directly to sales or via the support / contact forms via the website.

 

www.outspokenaudio.com