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I realize that you need to go where the jobs are in order to make it as a sound designer. I know New York and L.A. are up there, but what about Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Honolulu?

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I'd argue that it seems like the best city to start your career in is the city in which you're best connected - or can become best connected - to the audio post scene. That's not to say that once you're in the door that this particular city may provide a lifetimes' worth of career opportunities, but it'd certainly be enough to get you started and get you enough of a background to make a move to a bigger, or different, geographical market.

The other factor, I'd think, is what industry you want to enter into. Games is different than film, which is different than advertising, which is different than software/rich media, and some industries are far more distributed than others.

Sorry these aren't solid answers, but all markets are different, and it depends on what you're looking for, and what stage in your life you're at. Wanting to get a killer ground-floor opp in a city that you want to settle down in and start a family in is totally different than being right out of school and wanting to relocate a few times while chasing the right upwardly-mobile opportunities.

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  • what if I'm the latter, and I want to work in games or film? – Mercy Jul 18 '10 at 18:57
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    Everyone will have their opinion, I say LA, Vancouver, and London for both film and games. The SF Bay Area, Boston, and the Seattle area have a lot of game studios, NYC has a tad more film. Never forget advertising as a source for doing SfX for commercials, which puts NYC and Chicago on the list. Heck, Kansas City has major post-production now (cool, although not sure I grok why). – NoiseJockey Jul 18 '10 at 22:19
  • Agree with you, NJ - and don't forget about Boston, which has a bustling advertising scene. – Jay Jennings Jul 19 '10 at 14:43
  • Yes, but a lot of those areas with a happening advertising scene, like Boston, Chicago etc. still do their post-production in LA or NYC. I used to do sound design for ads in LA and most of our clients were from NYC, Chicago, or Boston. They all wanted to post their spots in LA...where they could stay in swanky Santa Monica hotels and avoid the cold. – Justin P Jul 19 '10 at 16:50
  • That's a good point, Justin! – NoiseJockey Jul 19 '10 at 21:19
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On the one hand you are best to go to where the work is, on the other I'd totally agree that you'd do well somewhere with your best connections.

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