I have recently became interested in sound design and wanted to get started practicing it. I have a small home studio where I run pro tools. I am looking for advice on how to get started. For field recording what equipment do I need? And for editing the sound in pro tools how show I practice it? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • These answers help a lot. I am waiting for two books on sound design metioned here in the mail. I am interested in sound for film and games if that helps. I have pro tools m-powered, m audio fast track ultra, some mics, and other stuff, I originally wanted to do recording engineer but then found out about sound design and its all I can think about!
    – ShaunKelly
    Oct 26, 2010 at 0:19

4 Answers 4


Have a read on this site first.

You could try picking a field next. Take for instance computer games - that's non-linear and quite interactive audio, as opposed to, say, film - linear and well controlled. There's also radio where people generally don't pay attention and programming has very fast turnaround; or theatre where sound is heavily relied on for anything the actors can't do. And there's product design, where you might get involved in things such as how crunchy potato crisps sound and/or how much you can hear a car engine (if you can hear it at all, and if not, what you use to substitute it).

Sound design taps into a variety of other fields from physics to psychology and perception so a general interest in those should give you some headway.

In any case, equipment and software won't come first. Actually, I'd assign priority to a number of important books on areas of the subject (search this site), and a myriad videos that mostly try to explain that sound design is about creative choices rather than microphones, DAWs, and mixing desks. There are a good number of sites tracking the subject and you can find their URLs here too.

Hope this helps.


Research research and more research. Have in mind what you want to record (georgi.m hit it on the head). Go through this site, designingsound.org and look through peoples profiles here and follow their website links and read more.

Protools is the industry standard so you sound like you already have this covered (depending on what version and stuff you have). Equipment etc to support this depend on what you want to record again, once you know we can help you a little more.

For books I'd start with the three below, great books well worth a read.

Ament, V.T (2009) The Foley Grail: the art of performing sound for film, games and animation. Oxford: Focal Press

Marks, A (2009) The Complete Guide to Game Audio for Composers, Musicians, Sound Designers, and Game Developers. 2nd ed. Oxford: Elsevier (Focal Press)

Viers, R (2008) The Sound Effects Bible. California: Michael Wiese Productions


Surprised no one has mentioned David Yewdall's invaluable text, The Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound. David has worked on some of the most influential films ever to be cranked out of Hollywood, so you can be assured that his stories and advice are backed by experience. I still enjoy reading it and can usually find some nugget that I had previously overlooked.


hi there ;) For field recording tips for beginers you should definitely check this http://tinyurl.com/2un3lph article from designingsound.org - it's great and helped me a lot. Also get your hands on a good book about sound design - I would recommend: David Sonnenschein's "Sound Design - Expressive Power of Music, Voice, and Sound Effects in Cinema" and Ric Viers's "The Sound Effects Bible"


  • I'd agree with both the book recommendations, both great reads.
    – JTC
    Oct 25, 2010 at 17:11

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