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Hi. My name is Calum and i'm studying a Ba hons degree in Music production.

As part of my course I have chosen to study sound design for video games,

I'd love the opportunity to conduct a Quick Open Questionnaire to anyone willing as this will be greatly appreciated ,thanks.

1.how long have you been in the video games industry and how did you get started?

2.what equipment do you use in the studio and for foley recordings? and what computer programmes and Middlware used?

3.what is involved with your job role, and how does this differ between companies you have worked for?

4.specifically how much computer programming is involved in your job, and how does this differ between companies you have worked for? and what is expected of you in terms of this?

5.What is your favourite aspect as being a sound designer? and what is the hardest part of the role?

Thanks for your time regardless

thanks a lot, Calum Grant

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5 Answers 5

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1.how long have you been in the video games industry and how did you get started?

started in 2004 designing, programming and doing sounds for Flash games. Currently work as Audio Lead at Remedy Entertainment.

2.what equipment do you use in the studio and for foley recordings? and what computer programmes and Middlware used?

We outsource a lot of the the raw recording work but also do some recording in house, we have a few mics, Rode, Tbone, Sennheiser and Neumann. Our main recorder is the Tascam DR680. Software we use varies on the job at hand we have licenses for Protools, Logic, Sony sound forge, vegas and Acid, and of course Izotope RX which is a must for us, and use all of them on a weekly basis. Middleware depends on the project, we use FMOD API in our main engine but have also used open AL on occasion.

3.what is involved with your job role, and how does this differ between companies you have worked for?

I look after the audio department and the projects needs, this involves a lot of different stuff from scheduling and document writing to audio vison, sound design and publisher liason, I also working closely with outsourcers for dialogue, music, sound effects, and our in house team to make sure everyone is working towards the same vision.

4.specifically how much computer programming is involved in your job, and how does this differ between companies you have worked for? and what is expected of you in terms of this?

Currently I don't program C++ at all but have done often in the past. I am not a good coder btw. it has just been a necessity. Our current engine has a java like scripting language which I do use a lot.

5.What is your favourite aspect as being a sound designer? and what is the hardest part of the role?

Hardest part by far is the tight deadlines and getting everything done on time and on budget. The best part is working with the team towards a common goal and then seeing the whole thing come together at the end.

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thanks for the great answer =] –  Grant Sound Nov 12 '11 at 14:51
  1. I started working on games in 2009. I went to USC Film School and a colleague of mine recommended my partner and I to the developer.
  2. I use ProTools 9 with an Mbox Pro 3 for my DAW. When my partner and I record FX for games, we generally use a Sennheiser 416 running into a Sound Devices 442/Sound Devices 722. Since we've only ever worked for one developer, we implement our audio with their proprietary engine.
  3. My job is sound designer. I'm responsible for all of the audio that goes into the game, apart from music creation (although I handle the implementation).
  4. I don't do any computer programming. However, I work closely with the programmers to ensure that all of the audio cues are functioning properly and help them develop approaches for implementing audio in the most effective manner.
  5. My favorite aspect of being a sound designer is hearing everything playing in the game and being surprised (usually pleasantly) when things sound different in game than I had expected. The hardest part of game design is doing sound design blind - i.e. designing sounds for things that you know will be in the game but haven't been finished or even developed by the art department.
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Thanks for a great answer –  Grant Sound Nov 12 '11 at 14:51

1.how long have you been in the video games industry and how did you get started?

I started hobbying on games in 2009. I am currently finishing a Masters degree in Sound Design for interactive media, started in 2010. I'm in second year but have been employed in a company called Game Audio Factory, specialized in ... Game Audio :) For almost a year now. I currently work and study at the same time !

2.what equipment do you use in the studio and for foley recordings? and what computer programmes and Middlware used?

For voices, we have the classic Neumann U87 + Avalon 737 combo routed to a 192 I/0 with PT9HD. We have also Sennheiser/Rode/lavalier mics for various other type of recordings For Foley, artists bring their own mic which are DPA or Schoeps (most of the time) coupled with a focusrite ISA.

We use various softwares but mostly Adobe Audition, Soundforge and Vegas. A lot of Excel as well :) Middleware depends on the project. I have used wwise and fmod so far, and a bit of UDK's kismet as well.

3.what is involved with your job role, and how does this differ between companies you have worked for?

We are mainly working for companies who seeks to outsource their audio (RedSonic01 you can get in touch if interested ^^) so my tasks are various and covers the whole Video Game Audio pipeline: sound design, integration, Audio QA, localisation ... We are also proposing in-house services. I'm a bit like a freelancer but with a company structure and a professional studio equipment. The other difference with the "regular" sound designer job is that I have to spend time skyping/calling/emailing instead of seeing people around a table :)

4.specifically how much computer programming is involved in your job, and how does this differ between companies you have worked for? and what is expected of you in terms of this?

I don't do programming but some of my team mates have this ability. I mostly do scripting XML/java/flash, depends on the project.

5.What is your favourite aspect as being a sound designer? and what is the hardest part of the role?

The hardest parts are definetly the tight deadlines and the pressure of delivering on time, especially when some people don't learn from their past mistakes ^^

Working as part of multidisciplinary team and interact with graphic designers, programmers & game designers is what makes game audio a fascinating job. I also quite enjoy the necessity of being jack of all trades. The job shapes your ability to adapt and that's what I find interesting.

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  1. Exclusively games... about five years. It started with a hacked internship ;)

  2. Use Cubase for all my sequencing, fmod for implementation and for foley I do anything necessary to get a good sound, meaning it's not always recorded in the studio. Always carry a portable recorder on my waist.

  3. Responsible for anything related to audio. If something breaks I need to address it, if I add a new feature I need to test it.

  4. I don't write code from scratch, but we do have access to the back-end of tools that let me change and add parameters, thus not relying on a programmer every time something is required. So a base in programming allows me to do this comfortably.

  5. Seeing the game grow from prototype to final product. The lack of communication between departments is sometimes frustrating, but is also rewarding when done right.

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1.how long have you been in the video games industry and how did you get started?

I haven't really started yet.

2.what equipment do you use in the studio and for foley recordings? and what computer programmes and Middlware used?

Everything that gets the job in hand done. I've picked as my own favorites: Cubase 5, Reaper, Reason, Pure Data, numerous software synthesizers, all commercial middleware packages (because it depends on what the project uses). An audio interface to get sound in and out of the computer, a field recorder to record outside and mics for different uses.

3.what is involved with your job role, and how does this differ between companies you have worked for?

I'm a student and my work currently involves mostly just school projects.

4.specifically how much computer programming is involved in your job, and how does this differ between companies you have worked for? and what is expected of you in terms of this?

As a part of my growing interest to audio in interactive media, I'm taking up programming on the side, because it's what drives the medium. I don't feel sound is able to work efficiently in the medium without having at least vague understanding of how sound is driven programmatically and being able to discuss about it with a programmer in a programmer way, if you're not programming yourself.

5.What is your favourite aspect as being a sound designer? and what is the hardest part of the role?

I do it just because it fills my life and for the love that I have for the sound medium. The hardest part is using the medium to say what you want to say and convey, because it's not often trivial, even less when it comes to interactive and non-linear media. I also agree on the difficulty of working without seeing the game working, it's comparable to working on a film that you haven't seen. I wouldn't suggest anyone working this way and wouldn't work myself (unless it's really workable), but it seems that it's happening.

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