Hey guys! So I’ve been looking closely at League of Legend’s sounds and playing a lot of League recently to understand what exactly is their signature sound and how they work in game.
I wanted to try practicing my sound design with their seemingly endless roster of champions and skins, and what better way to start with a really cool looking assassin Akali, who I really wish I can play better?!
First, I start by going through Akali’s skins. Which skin looks really cool and has a unique trait that is worthy of a sound buff, but has a base sound at the moment?
I chose Stinger Akali for this one, because I happened to own the skin, and it also had a cool ‘wasp’ theme going on that I wanted to explore. I also noticed that out of all of her skins, Stinger Akali had sharp claws on her Kama, which would definitely yield different sounding auto attacks than her slick, normal Kama.
I went ahead and created an audio one sheet for Akali. Riot creates building blocks where they put together sounds that will cover what they need for the kit.
Stinger Akali’s Audio One Sheet:
Akali's Audio Pillars: (The main 3 points that I'll always allude back to):
Swift and precise movements, sharp and cunning, precise and every move purposeful
High Ticket Areas: (This is where I write down the goals for what I want her to sound like)
Usage of smoke stealth, even trails of smoke in other abilities
absolute precision on Q, E and R
Making Akali unique from other blade yielding champions
Sound Pallete for this specific skin:
Ionia's magic and balance
Sharp and spinning blades
Smoke and Dust
Flips and Twirls, ninja movements
Whips, Sound of fast wooshes
Use of clean, High Frequencies
Kennen taught her Speed and agility over Strength. (Avoid too long, low frequencies that sound blunt.)
Kama - Handheld Sickle
Kunai - throwing dagger
What sound language does Akali have? Listen to other Ionian sound designs.
Each ability consists of: Ability sound, Character Grunt, and if it hits a target, a target's hit sound. In my case, it's a scaley crab thing.
Does my projectile consist of a specific texture or color? Is it emitting any particle effects?
Transient. The more imapctful and heavier the ability is, the more lower frequency it'll have.
Wooshes tend to make it so that the ability sounds less unique. Having some kind of harmonic signature helps the smoke cloud a lot.
Once I had my audio one sheet written down, it was time to go record some sounds!
I grabbed some kitchen knives and started recording the sounds.
Then, I imported the foley recording into iZotope RX and cleaned up the noise.
I went into a custom game of League, farmed until I hit level 6, and recorded a footage of me attacking the poor Scuttle crab.
I had to take around 10 retakes because the scuttle was not walking in the direction I wanted it to.
I went into Reaper and started dropping in my own recorded sounds, as well as sounds in my library!
It’s important to use some of your own recorded sounds in order to make it unique and yours. If you’re only relying on a library, eventually your sounds can get very stale.
Small decision choices that I’ve made:
I decided to add more gore-y effect to all of her attacks because of the way her Kama looks. I added a little Wasp buzz sound to her ultimate as well. And lastly, since the smoke bomb was very bassy, I added a shimmering chime to add a little contrast and ninja- feel to the ability.
I like how it turned out! Here’s the final result:
That explains my process for redesigning Akali’s sound. I skipped out on small details but if you’d like me to further explain certain things like how I made certain SFX, please feel free to reach out to me on facebook or my email at email@example.com!
That’s it for today. Thanks! See you next time. :)