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DiRT Rally 2.0 Road Book - recording co-driver calls

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Original post here: http://blog.codemasters.com/community/10/dr20-co-drivercalls/

Co-driver calls are one of the most critical components of a rally game. With no mini-map, no sat nav, and no other way of knowing what lies behind the next corner, accurate and timely co-driver calls are crucial to making sure you and your car make it through a stage in one piece.

They’re also very important to immersion, too – not only do they perform the function of navigation, but when done well, they make you feel much more a part of the world you’re rallying within. With DiRT Rally 2.0, we’ve worked very hard to make it feel as authentic to the real-life experience as possible.

At the helm of putting calls together for you is Codemasters Dialogue Producer Olly Johnson, who took some time out of his hectic schedule of recording co-driver calls to talk to me about DiRT Rally 2.0. I caught up with him about the method behind recording co-driver calls, what additions and refinements DiRT Rally 2.0 will introduce, and what sort of equipment we use to get the full effect.

Talking about the original DiRT Rally, Olly was keen to drive home how that set the foundations for how we recorded our calls. ‘Because DiRT Rally was experimental in so many ways, it allowed us to be more experimental with our co-driver calls too. Historically we always wanted to do what we have done for DiRT Rally, and we came up with all sorts of daft ideas for trying to capture vibrations in our co-driver voices – but with DiRT Rally, our Lead Audio Designer Stuart Ross was able to get Paul Coleman into the d-box to see how well the calls would work with an authentic level of stress.’

They recorded his lines just once, at first – but it soon became apparent that more nuance was needed for calls. ‘The wobbliness of his voice sounded a bit funny if you were just starting off, or if your car had been reset. We realised pretty immediately that we would need to record the calls a few times to make sure we had the right level of stress for different situations.’

This led to Paul recording the calls for DiRT Rally three times: once with no stress or impact on the diaphragm, a second run with a medium impact (the one most commonly heard in game), and finally, a third super-fast run with the d-box ‘turned up to 11’, to really capture the stress and heightened tones of a co-driver voice in the throes of a blisteringly quick run.

Because of DiRT 4’s track-generation technology, we had to take a slightly different approach to recording co-driver calls – but with DiRT Rally 2.0, the aim was to capture the same level of authenticity as we did in the original but with added refinements and detail. To build on something which was widely regarded as the most authentic pace-notes experience out there a difficult challenge, Olly explains: ‘We knew we were ahead of the game with DiRT Rally’s co-driver calls, and we didn’t want to completely change everything and undo the good work we’d done in the first game. However what we did want to do is expand on that, and make subtle changes here and there to make it feel more authentic.’

One of the ways we’ve done this is at the very start of a stage: ‘Co-drivers aren’t voice actors – so in previous games, when we’d ask them to record some “good luck” lines before a stage started, it sometimes felt a bit stilted. With DiRT Rally 2.0 we’ve actually got our co-drivers introducing the first couple of corners before you start, which feels much more natural – both to the co-driver and you, the driver.

When we spoke to Phil (Phil Mills, the English language co-driver for DiRT Rally 2.0) about doing this, he actually said that’s what he would do with Petter (Petter Solberg, 2003 World Champion) on a stage – and Jon (Jon Armstrong, Codemasters rally consultant) also said this is what he does with his co-driver before the stage kicks off.  So in terms of the experience and how real it sounds, it’s definitely legit and a lot more realistic than our previous stage intros.’

As we did in the first DiRT Rally, we recorded Phil’s runs three times – one with no stress, one with medium stress, and one with high stress – so for whatever your scenario or driving style, we have something that keeps you fully immersed in the scenario you’re in. If you’re wondering what that looks like, here’s a quick video demonstrating the how much we rattled him around in the d-box for each variation:

https://youtu.be/COcVLlygtjM

It’s also really important to note that while we were only able to do this for English language co-drivers in DiRT Rally, we’re expanding the roster of languages who have native language co-driver calls. ‘Ryan Champion’s been amazing not just in the handling department, but with the people he’s been able to connect us to,’ said Olly. ‘We’re super proud to have more actual co-drivers making calls for DiRT Rally 2.0, and at launch we’ll have German and French language calls made by real-life co-pilots.’

In fact, our German co-driver voice is that of Tanja Geilhausen, who has co-driving experience in the WRC – and she’s been in this week to record her calls.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoybKKZg4fl/

 ‘Tanja and Phil have been in so far to record their calls and to watch them in the zone is amazing. They make it look easy, but realistically they have so much to juggle at the same time – they’re trying to read from a piece of paper while being thrown around in the motion simulator, while trying to look at the stage, and their bodies are undergoing a very similar amount of stress as they would during an actual rally.’

The process of making pace notes is an interesting one too, as of course, they don’t get to go on the usual kind of recce. They do get to see the stages as ran by Jon Armstrong, so they are able to formulate pace notes – but particularly with the tracks that aren’t necessarily finished while those calls are being recorded, things can change throughout the level design/building process.

‘When we recorded the New Zealand calls, the stage wasn’t 100% finished – so when level design started adding more furniture like rocks and trees, a few “cuts” became “don’t cut”!’ In this instance, the pace notes are more collaborative – as Jon Armstrong will then work with Phil on refining the pace notes further to make it more accurate to the final stage. 

Once that is done, the pace note audio files are cut up into small chunks and invisible triggers are set on stages to ensure the right notes, with the right amount of stress, go to the driver at the right time. ‘When you’re going through a stage, we want what you hear to perfectly correspond to what you’re playing – so using different versions and triggers is our way of understanding your driving and making sure the co-driver audio is tailored to your experience.’

You might’ve noticed from the video that we also use all of the proper equipment to record co-driver calls. ‘We try to record it as authentically as possible – so take with Phil, it’s his voice, and he’s wearing his helmet, and we’re recording his calls by taking the audio from his mic. Similarly with Neil Cole, for the first time we’ve recorded his spotter through the headsets the real life WorldRX spotters wear in real life, just to give that added level of authenticity.’

And what of the co-drivers make of the experience themselves? ‘Phil absolutely loves it. At the end of every stage we’ve recorded, he’s paused and just gone “Brilliant!” afterwards. It’s a sight to behold when he’s in the zone too; bearing in mind that we’re asking him to do 18-20 rally stages in a week and he makes no mistakes, it just shows you how at the top of his game he is.

‘We also mentioned to him that we drove Nicky (Nicky Grist, former co-driver and DiRT 4 co-driver voice) into a few trees and off cliffs a few times to get the ‘reaction’ noises, and he couldn’t wait to have a go. We actually got Jon to sit next to him with a helmet on to do these – so Jon would drive him off the cliff and Phil would react to every bump and roll. Because Jon was there, after the car had stopped tumbling, he’d actually look over to Jon and say “are you OK?” – and it’s that level of realism that makes DiRT Rally 2.0 stand out so much.

‘As as a driver, when you’re in the zone, you’re in the zone, and we want it to feel real. Not robotic, not acted, but real - and with this, it is real. We use their equipment, we shake them around in the d-box, and the amount of stress we put upon them makes it real.’

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Great roadbook :)                                                                                                                      

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Roadbook about Sound next?
I'd like to know about all the improvements you guys did to DR2.0. In original DR, Sounds were / are top-notch, but looking at the DR2.0 annoucement vid, and the leaked vid with the Audi Quattro at Argentina, the sound of that Quattro is at another level. Sounds like the real deal *thumbs up*

Keep up the good work, guys!!

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Alf72 said:
Roadbook about Sound next?
I'd like to know about all the improvements you guys did to DR2.0. In original DR, Sounds were / are top-notch, but looking at the DR2.0 annoucement vid, and the leaked vid with the Audi Quattro at Argentina, the sound of that Quattro is at another level. Sounds like the real deal *thumbs up*

Keep up the good work, guys!!
Will see what we can do. :)

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Alf72 said:
Roadbook about Sound next?
I'd like to know about all the improvements you guys did to DR2.0. In original DR, Sounds were / are top-notch, but looking at the DR2.0 annoucement vid, and the leaked vid with the Audi Quattro at Argentina, the sound of that Quattro is at another level. Sounds like the real deal *thumbs up*

Keep up the good work, guys!!
Will see what we can do. :)
Excellent! I am also keen for some insight into the sound side of DR2.0.

I really hope the CM sound guys have had some time with PSRXVW Polo. It's got such a distinctive sound, I have my fingers crossed that will be in the game. 

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This might be a dumb question...but when will DiRT Rally 2.0 be available for pre-order at retails stores? OR, is there an option to pre-order a physical copy from Codemasters directly? Thanks, in advance.

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Guest
There must also be Turkish voices. Turkey is a country with a population of 85 million and has a very young population. Your games are very hard without Co-drivers. Symbols showing co-driver notes cannot be tracked in short bends in subsequent bends. An instant carelessness causes an accident and these symbols are distracting. Turkish, Turkey can provide a good sales figure.

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Perhaps, by separating the sounds from the program, it may be even better to allow players to make Co-driver calls in their own language. Even if it doesn't provide the necessary atmosphere, it can help the game play better.

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I noticed also that he'll say '4 left long', whereas the previous guy would say 'left 4 long'? A small but significant difference! I think I prefer the structure from the DR2 guy

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@ChristinaMc

can we have  a  video or recording of the italian co-pilot please??????

in dirt rally italian voice  was  like a sleepy man,terrible :(
  • Agree 1

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teknoid85 said:
@ChristinaMc

can we have  a  video or recording of the italian co-pilot please??????

in dirt rally italian voice  was  like a sleepy man,terrible :(
There's some gameplay footage in Italian here:
https://youtu.be/koRQlU6-Z3U
They're talking over it though... But you can hear he's not the same codriver as DR1
(che tra parentesi era David Greco :D) 

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carpa said:
teknoid85 said:
@ChristinaMc

can we have  a  video or recording of the italian co-pilot please??????

in dirt rally italian voice  was  like a sleepy man,terrible :(
There's some gameplay footage in Italian here:
https://youtu.be/koRQlU6-Z3U
They're talking over it though... But you can hear he's not the same codriver as DR1
(che tra parentesi era David Greco :D) 
can't hear the codriver, they're talking too loud :S

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even in this dirt rally, the navigator in Italian is very bad. No Italian codriver states in the notes first the number then the curve. then the intention is really, but really of a person sitting on the couch reading a book ....... you will be sad.
I do not understand why in English, German and French you have used very codriver rally,
while for all Italian dirt rally versions not used real codrivers, which give charge, adrenaline to the pilot, we are not following a funeral procession. some examples where to take an example would be these, but it is my personal taste.
I hope for a corrective patch from the codemaster section of Italy, but not as the first dirt rally please.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCHvJ9IYnj4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqoMazMb47c&t=60s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-eNWlCPZPk&t=33s
regards 

Edited by bitto69
  • Disagree 1

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al minuto 3.55 "piatto destra" "piatto sinistra" hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

non ho parole

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On 2/27/2019 at 9:24 PM, bitto69 said:

even in this dirt rally, the navigator in Italian is very bad. No Italian codriver states in the notes first the number then the curve. then the intention is really, but really of a person sitting on the couch reading a book ....... you will be sad.
I do not understand why in English, German and French you have used very codriver rally,
while for all Italian dirt rally versions not used real codrivers, which give charge, adrenaline to the pilot, we are not following a funeral procession. some examples where to take an example would be these, but it is my personal taste.
I hope for a corrective patch from the codemaster section of Italy, but not as the first dirt rally please.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCHvJ9IYnj4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqoMazMb47c&t=60s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-eNWlCPZPk&t=33s
regards 

compared to the first copilot   this is HEAVEN :°D

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@bitto69

 

for me as long as i have a codriver who speaks clearly and with right timing i'm happy, no matter  if they are some weird translations from the english.

immagine if they hire the guy who did the first dr1 voices....  i will hang myself  😂

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, teknoid85 said:

@ bitto69

 

per me fintanto che ho un codriver che parla chiaro e con il giusto tempismo sono felice, non importa se sono delle strane traduzioni dall'inglese.

immagine se assumono il ragazzo che ha fatto le prime voci di dr1 .... mi  impiccherò 😂

from the codemaster site

"The calls of the navigator are one of the most critical components of a rally game, without a mini-map, without a navigator and no other way to know what's behind the next corner, accurate and timely calls to the second drivers are crucial to make sure that you and your car will be able to pass a stage in one piece. They are also very important for the dive - they not only perform the navigation function, but when they are done well, they make you feel very most of the world you're gathering in. With DiRT Rally 2.0, we worked very hard to make it as authentic as possible in the real-life experience. "

I accept your opinion, but settle when you pay and when I can choose.

We Italians always content us, you imagine if you go out a scandalous English codriver !!!! not even the game went out, instead they chose the top as codriver:

"Philip Mills" British rally copilot, world title winner with Petter Solberg in 2003.
"Tanja Geilhausen" German codriver WRC
 "Stéphane Prévot" world rally navigator with Bruno Thiry
we must complain, until a new patch.
And it's clear that I do not buy "dirt rally" until the problem is solved

 

however, I congratulate the codemaster team for the effort and excellent work done in the English, French and German codriver recordings.

Edited by bitto69

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Posted (edited)

aaaaa here !!

will a paid dlc come out with the codriver in Italian?:classic_biggrin:

p.s per gli italiani in ascolto:

da un video su yt le mie orecchie hanno appreso dal copilot italiano 

"tornante precoce non visto" :classic_ohmy::classic_ohmy::classic_ohmy::classic_ohmy:

stendiamo un velo pietoso👽

Edited by bitto69

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Let me play the Co-Driver through the DualShock4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was the best in DiRT RALLY so why remove it?

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2 hours ago, bitto69 said:

aaaaa qui !!

un dlc pagato uscirà con il codriver in italiano?: Classic_biggrin:

ps per gli italiani in ascolto:

da un video su di te le orecchie sono appreso dal copilot italiano 

" tornante precoce non visto" : Classic_ohmy:: Classic_ohmy:: Classic_ohmy:: Classic_ohmy:

stendiamo un velo pietoso 👽

noi italiani sempre a dovere sopportare questo schifo . mai sentito pacenotes cosi brutte in game di rally. contiamo meno di zero per codemaster, l'importante per loro fare bene la parte in inglese. Nessun navigatore italiano famoso contattato per fare le nostre pacenotes? le peggiori pacenotes mai sentite in 20 anni abbiamo su questo dirt raly 2.0

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