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Posted by on May 28, 2015 | 11 comments

One Is Not Enough: Understanding Bias in the Audio Community

image by wgbieber, click limage to view source

image by wgbieber, click limage to view source

Guest Post by Kate Finan

The studio owner skimmed my resume and nodded several times. He glanced up at me, back down at the resume, and then carefully set it back on his desk.

“Your credentials are great. The chair of the Sound Recording Department recommended you very highly, and we have a close relationship with him. So, we will hire you… We will hire you, but you won’t last. We will make sure of that.”

He paused, and I waited for an explanation.

“We don’t hire women. Studio policy,” he stated matter-of-factly.

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Posted by on May 26, 2015 | 6 comments

“On Thin Ice”: A Sampling Session Retrospective

Guest Contribution by Chris Burgess

There are two points to this article.  The first is, if you see something you want to do, get out there and make it happen.  The second, being that when an opportunity presents itself to you, be aware enough of your surroundings to scoop it up (and then record some awesome sounds).  What follows is an account of my attempt to record dry ice on various metals.  What I learned and the mistakes I made in case others wish to repeat this session for their own use.


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Posted by on May 18, 2015 | 1 comment

DESTROY! …with Caution

Photo by Flickr user Kit, used under Creative Commons License

Photo by Flickr user Kit, used under Creative Commons License

I love building things. I spent a great deal of my childhood building all kinds of creations out of LEGO and K’NEX (and I still do). Of course, one of my favorite parts of the building process was the necessary destruction of the older things to make the new. Working with sound, especially taking apart the normal, everyday sounds to build new and interesting sounds, has always struck me as an extension of this. Though I’ve gleefully annihilated countless LEGO creations over the years, the scars on my fingers from sharp plastic bricks are there to remind me that while it can be a great deal of fun to destroy all the things, a tiny bit of caution can go a long way.

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Posted by on May 13, 2015 | 28 comments

Brighten the Corners of Game Audio


Brighten the Corners of Game Audio

This article is a guest contribution by Damian Kastbauer and does not reflect the views of or its Contributing Editors

I wondered how my life post-freelance would change my experience at GDC. Worried that I might not have the drive to meet and connect with people, without the dependency on hustling for opportunities. Ultimately the opposite proved to be true: this year was even more socially pronounced than ever. I met so many new and caught up with so many old friends. People and conversations continue to be my absolute favorite part of GDC; skimming the cream of inspiration from peoples experiences helps drive my excitement for this industry. Coming out of this year’s #GameAudioGDC there’s an overwhelming swell of emotion which can be felt rippling outward across the community with each passing day. It’s through these proclamations of passion and seeing people right-back to working on initiatives surrounding game audio that has helped me pull out of a post-GDC depression. After riding a week of enthusiastic positivity, its hard coming to grips with the hard work that needs to be done to follow up some of the difficult epiphanies about our culture that have surfaced within our industry through the gracious sharing of perception and experience of people in the community.

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Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 | 1 comment

Modern Editing Style on

We here at Designing Sound know that any creative endeavor is about more than just the audio. In order for any piece of media to be successful, it needs a unified creative direction, and the support of numerous skilled people in many different disciplines. In the interest of learning more about other disciplines that run parallel to audio in media, we’re teaming up with to bring you interesting and enlightening articles from other disciplines, including editing and creative direction. Our first cross-site offering is Modern Editing Style, which takes a look at both the wide variety of editing styles in modern cinema, as well as a closer examination of some unique editing choices made in modern films.

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Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 | 43 comments

3D Audio: Weighing The Options

Guest Contribution by: Anastasia Devana


With the recent rise of virtual reality (VR), there is a growing interest in fully spatialized 3D audio. Several plugins are available for implementing 3D audio, and choosing between them can be difficult, especially if you’re tackling this technology for the first time.

While it may seem that all 3D audio plugins do the same thing, there are several factors to consider when choosing the right tool for your project, such as ease of use, performance, sound quality, and level of customisation.

The goal of this article is to perform an objective and thorough overview of five leading 3D audio plugins: 3Dception from Two Big Ears, AstoundSound RTI from GenAudio, Phonon 3D from Impulsonic, RealSpace 3D from VisiSonics, and Oculus Audio SDK. I’ll cover their features, compatibility, and pricing, as well as any unique aspects of each plugin. I’ll also report on my personal experience of integrating them into a Unity project, and provide a downloadable interactive demo app that will allow you to audition the plugins, along with video walkthroughs, and performance test results.

This resource is targeted towards sound designers, audio implementation specialists, developers, and anyone interested in using 3D audio in their project, and I hope that people find it helpful!

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Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 | 0 comments

Two Cents…Following Up on Last Month’s Theme

Image by flickr user Jen Light, and used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to veiw source.

Image by flickr user Jen Light, and used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to veiw source.

March is over, and you may have noticed that we’re returning to our usual mode of: “Here’s a theme. Here are a few articles on this theme. Do you want to contribute to the theme?” I think it’s important that we take a moment to talk about the community we have here.

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Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 | 8 comments

Game Audio in Spain : What I Saw and What I Did

mirella article img

Guest contribution by Mirella Diez Moran

My name is Mirella, I’m a video game sound designer and I’m Spanish too. I guess that in any other country none of these things would be particularly relevant, but given that there are very few people working in video game sound over here-not many more than twenty people-I guess I’m like some sort of unicorn.

When I decided I wanted to work as a video game sound designer, I had already worked in a few audiovisual projects. The problem with the Spanish film industry is that most companies are pretty crowded, so I was aware that it would be almost impossible to make a living out of working in it. It was then, when I played a game called “Sword & Sworcery”, that I realized that I could try entering the video game industry. I’m also a gamer since I was little, so I thought it was a brilliant idea.

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Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 | 0 comments

Hard Patching: Modular Synths

Tim Prebble's modular

Tim Prebble’s modular

The first time I saw a modular synth, I was taken aback by the massive nest of patching cables, seemingly flying off in all directions and connecting various devices with countless knobs and flashing lights, somehow creating all kinds of strange sounds. Coming up in a mostly digital world, such a mass of wiring was somewhat foreign to me. Sure, I had put together studios before, but those kinds of wiring setups were far more linear, at least as far as I was concerned. While I had spent a lot of time with Propellerhead’s Reason, virtually patching together all kinds of sound modules, I couldn’t even begin to compare it to the sight of a rack of analog modular hardware. However, I finally got to sit behind a modular at the NAMM show in Anaheim, California last year, and after just a few moments of fiddling, I was hooked.

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 | 1 comment

“ADC, it’s easy as 1 10 11″ – A Retrospective from the Pros

Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

I was born in England in 1988. Some of my earliest memories involve old BBC and Mac computers. I grew up listening to CDs, MiniDisks, playing “Duck Hunt” on my sister’s NES. The dial-up modem sounds are imprinted on my memory. I recall my father ordering books from back when that’s all Amazon sold. In my teen years I assembled my own computer to save money and grew to appreciate the inner workings of a computer. What I’m trying to say is, I’m an early product of the digital age, it’s all I’ve known.

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