Tim Rurkowski: Sound Design & Music

Orchestral Mixing (and feedback comparison)

Hey guys,

I thought I’d really drive home how important objective feedback is in the creative industry, especially early on in your career. (this may be a little bit directed towards myself too ;p ) 

You can find the set comparing all of my mixes here:


and you can find all of the feedback I’ve recieved here:


In the first mix:

you’ll notice that I tried to keep all of the instruments very obvious, this took away from the lead instrument (piano) and essentially made everything too “in your face”. Not only did I make this mistake, but I put very little reverb on my instrumentation, and my panning didn’t allow for enough space between each instrument. This made everything feel like it was in a tight room, which is boring as can be!

I wasn’t satisfied with it, which is why I posted it on the TIGForums in hope of getting some feedback. (I did this with another one of my scores too, which will be remixed as soon as I’m done with my current project)

In the second mix:

Everything is there to supplement the piano rather than to compete with it, I spent much more time on my string accents, and swells to get them just right. I used more traditional panning for orchestral music. Also, to quote one very small portion of the reply by Chris Polus “mooaaar reverb”. (I also changed the notation of the horns and added a flute)

Third mix:

Changed panning around and messed with the horns to make them more apparent by taking away some of the reverb on them. I also split the piano into bass and treble via duplicating the track and setting up low pass and high pass filters on each then soft panning to create more space for the piano without.

Fourth (and final) mix: 

Made the horns even drier and added layers to make them stick out more (also very slight changes to the notation). I also took the cello down in the mix so it was less apparent. 

I’m satisfied with this mix, but I may expand the song later, it was also suggested (by Steven O’Brien) that after the Piano/Harpsichord duet it opens up to full orchestra. Which means: percussion, and woodwinds, and moar horns, choruses and ALL of the strings (thats right, count em)… maybe even a celeste for good measure.

Thanks for reading/listening/tortoises


Finishing a Game


As I work towards completing my own game, I’ve been thinking a lot about finishing projects in general. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of really talented developers out there that have trouble finishing games. Truthfully, I’ve left a long trail of unfinished games in my wake… I think everyone has. Not every project is going to pan out, for whatever reason. But if you find yourself consistently backing out of game projects that have a lot of potential, it could be worth taking a step back and examining why this happens.

Read More

New Album!

X-OR is now available with artwork from Chris Arredondo!!!

(go follow him!)  https://twitter.com/CArredondo1987

You can buy it if you wanna support me, but if you’re strapped for cash just click “Buy Now” and put $0 in, you can download and enjoy it for free!!!


Goupé and Sugar Rush

If you haven’t played them yet WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!! I wrote music in them :D



Sugar Rush


Have fun! 

New Music

I’ve got a few new things on my soundcloud if any of you are interested at all!

If you like game music I recommend it ;D





These next two are for a Super Meatboy-esque game Called Goupé



Enjoy :D

Stealth Jam

Just finished up a Stealth Jam weekend! Had fun and learned a bit more about working in a team.

The Game: Tagged

The goal is to graffiti every allocated spot in a city landscape without getting caught by robotic enemies (one flying and one ground based). When when spotted, you need to do some quick parkour and hide in various places (doorways, dumpsters, etc.) and avoid detection for a certain amount of time. 

Unfortunately the aspects of the game that really made it stealth had to be stripped due to programming issues. Which means no hiding and no ground based enemy. 


While there wasn’t much we needed to do for audio, what we did need was important. Jesse Williams and I went out and recorded new foley for jumping, and sliding along with some spray paint sounds which we would use for both the Main Menu and gameplay.

We also recorded some one liners for when the player gets detected and when he escapes detection.

For enemies, I created a mixture of industrial motors, belts for the land based (tank treaded) enemy and used a synthesizer layered and processed for the flying enemy!


I created two funky Drum and Bass tracks for both the menu and while the player is undetected. Jesse used my bass line and scale to create a high speed Dubstep track which would transition in the second the player was spotted, creating a sense of urgency.

Unfortunately I had to leave early because I had made previous plans so I haven’t seen the final product yet. Either way I had fun doing it and look forward to the next game jam!

Demo Reel! 

These are the Full Sail Projects I’ve worked on.

you can download the games here:

Pirates vs Pirates:


Rite of Passage:


Ballistic Fist:


Ballistic Fist Release

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

The fighting game “Ballistic Fist” has been completed and is available for download and play (or you can just watch the video).


I hope you enjoy the game!

I turned in this composition for a ColorLED Competition (its one of their commercials).

Check it out!

(Source: timrurkowski.com)

Yesterday Tony Porter, Casey Coffman and I went to view the destruction of the Amway Arena.

Needless to say we were prepared with a stereo mic and two shotguns. 

The recording turned out awesome, you can contact me if you want a cleaned copy (the one in the video is raw) :D 

Ballistic Fist Process (Part 1)

Hello Hello,

I’ve been working on audio for the game Ballistic Fist by Team: Recipe for Disaster.

The game is nearing its final months of production and I thought I’d just throw out an update on how all the audio is going.

As this is considered my own project during the game audio internship at Full Sail, I get to call a majority of the shots.

Thanks Chris for giving me a lot of creative control!



Since Ballistic Fist is a fighting game (like street fighter) Impacts are extremely important. 

The first thing we did was go out and try to record our own, we didn’t quite have the budget to beat half a cow hanging in a freezer, so we tried something smaller. We got a large hunk of Chuck as well as a Rib eye.

It’s not often that the Game Audio Team at Full Sail gets to go out to record something, so that everyone came along.

The Supervisors: Casey Coffman, and Chris Marks,

The Interns: Robert Reilly, Troy Simpson, and I.

While Full Sail has amazing recording facilities, they have no foley pit, and as far as I know, we aren’t even able to get studio time. Simply said, we improvised: a tube of plastic wrap, duct tape, and a (relatively) empty apartment room (Courtesy of Chris Marks).

After arriving at Chris’s apartment We began not with the meat, but hitting various surfaces with things like golf clubs, fists, and tennis rackets. We started with a cloth chair, and then moved to a leather chair getting as many variations as possible out of both.

With that entire recording done, we decided it was time to move on to the real deal: the red and soon to be even more dead MEAT!

Where was the meat though?… After a short look around the kitchen, we had realized we had left it at the school in the refrigerator. Chris graciously said he would go retrieve it. While he was away we began covering the carpet with plastic wrap so we could easily clean up afterward. 

When we got past that feux pas, we unleashed Robert on the helpless ribeye, needless to say after many minutes of punching, tossing and other forms of abuse we needed to move onto a more heavy-duty method. We got the 9 iron out. The meat was unrecognizable; about halfway through our recording it began to splinter into smaller chunks. Spraying onto walls, recordists (Casey), and various other objects.

After all that was finished, I spent the night cutting a cleaning. We got a good 170 effects out of the recording (many of them similar to each other). Overall, a huge success!



Now, the recordings were great, but they lacked the oomph required for my impacts in game. After distorting, compressing, EQing, and pitching; I had something quite usable for my sound. Unfortunately it still lacked the crunch that I heard when analyzing Street Fighter 4. 

After looking through our library for a while, I found the crunchy sound I was looking for was rock getting smashed into tiny pieces. After some EQing and compressing I was able to use the rock smash as a layer with my original impact sounds. To create even more variation I did some pitch automation.

In game, there are three hit zones: head, body and legs; with three different strengths: heavy, medium, and light. Since the body is the most commonly heard, I used that sound as the basis for the other two as well. For the head I added the slapping of Robert well… slapping… the steak. The legs got different filtering all together as the legs are much thinner. I’ll probably end up re-doing the legs entirely after I’ve finished with all of the music and special moves.



We are using Wwise for this project, which is nice because Wwise has a set of plugins specifically for wind and whooshes. The plugin for whooshes has various parameters like speed, pitch, Q (for bandwidth), duration. Each parameter is capable of separate automation on a small timeline, which is determined by your duration.

There are a total of four characters in game: Isabella, Ivan, Isamu and Isaac. Each of these players has different frequency whooshes based on how they look and different timing on each of their moves.

Isamu gets an extra layer of awesome, because he is a robot. I layered his whooshes with my own mixture of servos and electronics, compressed and pitch bent (I made lots of variations). 


To be continued…

Part two of my dota trailer

To see the other part, head over to my website!


Dynamic Audio in games (why not movies?)

All gameaudio developers know that our audio needs to have variations to avoid getting too repetitive for the listener to enjoy them. We do this by having multiple samples, varying pitch, and volume levels for each time an event is played. 

Why not do this in movies as well? We certainly have the technology to do it. 

Why not create an engine that plays back varying audio for specific events on a timeline to be played alongside a video? 

This could make it easier for recurring events as we can load in 4-5 sounds for a specific event/weapon/effect and have the engine call back those sounds for each time it occurs in scene. Of course we would have to place a marker for each event type in a timeline, but this could be as simple as watching for the frame that an event occurs in and copying timecode, or further down the line (when more developed), placing a marker in the session.

It doesn’t have to stop at audio either, we could use this for visual effects added in post as well. For example: on an explosion we could have four or five different variation of visuals that work for that scene.

I think this should be the next step in our film industry.

Dynamic Movies, never see the same thing twice.

The only question is: is it worth the trouble?… I think so.

Website is now released!

Hey guys, great news! My new website has finally been put up You can go there to check out my projects in a more organized fashion. I’ll still be posting on here about as often as I have before but if you want to stay the most up to date head over there!