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For all of those working in film audio and design -- what would you say are the niche areas of sound design, is there something you wish there were more of or that you have found lacking in the sound design community? Something you need more of --? Or is it all covered(good luck)in your estimation?

I'm new to posting questions here, although I've been lurking about for awhile now -- I'm 40 years old(urgh), I've worked in audio for nearly 20 years, most spent as staff at Conservatories -- although I've been satisfied to maintain work in the audio industry these years it had just become plain boring, set mic hangs and just unsatisfying work when I did get a session that required more than 2 microphones -- great artists in their own right, but I've just never been into Bass Clarinet Sextets and flute trios ...

I've always wanted to work in post and sound design, so my wife agreed that I could quit my job and pursue my dream(er, that was a year a half ago:/ We agreed upon a time line of three years to establish myself on a path to a new career -- so I figure I better get busy now, I only have a little over a year left... I could just have some type of mental block about how easy it would be for me to break into sound design at my age, but I feel like I'm too old to try to get on someones crew or to be mentored by an established sound designer -- although if the right opportunity arose I would totally be into giving it a go -- I've got very little to lose in trying except time(of course)-- I'm feeling the weight of time big time these days, not just the three years to try to make a shift within this industry, but just plain age, not much experience although I should have all the bits to catch up quickly and of course ear health --

In any case, I was thinking maybe as I try to find my place, I should try something on my own -- so this is why I pose the question above? Making money is not the priority at the moment, although as a professional I appreciate being compensated for my efforts - working on lo/no budget stuff that lands me back in the arena of unsatisfying work with projects that I have no passion for is not my goal.

What I already have is -- a project studio, setup for 5.1 surround, all the necessary stuff to work with audio(and video) -- I've just purchased a field recorder and mics, boom, etc... I think I'm ready to give something a try -- I've bought all the stuff, should be easy now? right?

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not sure I would classify them as niche but there are different areas that don't necessarily overlap with each other and depending on where you are in the world (and your unique skills) there will be more or less opportunities for each. Theater, film and tv post, commercials post, hardware UI, software UI, auto, games, VR, art installation - some of those overlap with each other slightly, some not at all. I would say there is always room for talented people but its not always a quick road.

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Niche areas are those that are difficult enough for not everyone to enter/produce. That take more effort and/or ingenuity to produce.

Non-niche is what most are doing, which is often that which is most easily available (reason: people are lazy).

E.g. these could be sci-fi sounds and hard to record sound sources such as weapons or large vehicles (e.g. aeroplanes).

But it also takes a great deal of skill to create original sound design, because most often you're tight on time and some projects merely ask for a very generic treatment (which is why you get many commercials, films even sounding about the same style-wise). The niche would then be to be able to produce originality even on tight dead-lines.

Game sound design is a fairly hot area, but it's getting filled up pretty quickly and the competition is there. It's easier to get work as a game programmer than a sound designer, because there are not many sound positions.

If you can come up with a personal sound brand, then I think you can succeed. Because it's a minority who sound "who they are", too many sound the same like everyone else. If you sound like everyone else, then you're competing with everyone else.

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