I have been really interested in sound design, based on how it is a very creative type job and how much impact it has in games and movies. I have always wanted to work in the creative, artistic field ever since i was a kid, went to school at csuf for music, as a singer, got my bachelors in 2011, got a church choir job, auditioned and sung with various local opera companies, but have been feeling very constricted creatively and have been struggling in finding any stable work.

I looked at sound design as potentially something that could really help me land a stable job somewhere, hopefully in the game industry. I don't know if I am being realistic, how possible it is to land that type of job, but I would like it to be true. I feel that I always gravitate towards careers that are not known for stability, unless you are teaching, which a lot of my friends are teachers but that's never been for me, I have always been the performer, creator, not the educator.

So, i have been researching about school, programs that would give me the knowledge to get into the sound design field and help to find me work in the industry. I am not in the position to afford expensive programs at places like full sail, but i found a program from the audio institute of america, which seemed to be a successful program, for 299 dollars, to give me the tools to be an audio engineer and producer, i just wonder if it would be worth taking. I know that people don't necessarily take the school route and kind of learn on their own, but for me, I need structure, one on one time, to be in a place that has the resources to help get me in the working world. What do you guys think I should do? This is all new to me, as someone who has just been performing, singing opera, i don't have any experience yet in this field but I really want it and want to pursue and make it happen and am tired of feeling stuck where I am. This really interests me, I am just not sure what the best plan of attack should be to be successful at it.


4 Answers 4


The best way to learn is to watch someone who already does what you want to do. Of course you can read also and should - but getting an internship or assistant type position will get your foot in the door, show you how the pros go about their work, handle clients, work hours, creativity etc. and maybe let you get your hands on a project or at least do a little foley. Most of that you can't learn from a book. There are many things more important in learning sound design than learning the DAW.


You need to find a audio post production house / sound studio and phone them regarding running vacancies. Its basically making tea, but it pays and gives you one on one training with mixers / sound designers.

I did this after my degree and now work in a award winning audio post team. Best decision I ever made.


To be honest, I don't think you're idea of sound design in video games is completely unrealistic at all. There are tonnes of indie teams out there that need someone to do sound design, and using these small teams is a good way to start building up a port-folio and get 'your foot in the door'. And as for learning sound design, I think there is more than enough on-line in the way of tutorial and such to get you in to it, for any DAW you could imagine.


As mentioned the best way to get your foot in the door is to go work as a runner in a studio, to that I will also add stage crew at your local theater (thats how I got into it). Often times local theaters are looking for crew to help out in shows, you may just be strapping mic's to actors at first or changing batteries but it will get you good face time with the sound designer. On top of that many actors are also musicians and many sound designers also work in studios, basically people know people who know people etc. who you will get a chance to meet and talk to about new opportunities.

I also would not concern your self with learning DAW's at first. For what its worth they are all some what similar (since they are all doing the same thing in the end of the day). Once you learn the fundamentals of what everything in a signal chain will do, why its there, and what the various effects sound like and the results you can get by using them. You will be a better designer than anyone who knows all the shortcut keys in protools.

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