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Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 | 0 comments

“How did you get your start in the industry?”

This is a guest contribution by Ashley Coull. Ashley is the Audio Coordinator at Anki, a robotics and tech company dedicated to making artificial intelligence accessible to the everyday consumer. Fueled by passion and sometimes beer, she loves interesting research, good conversation, and new friends.

Ashley Coull

Ashley Coull


“How did you get your start in the industry?”

There is no one way to get a job in the audio industry. That much is fairly obvious. But just because everyone has their own unique story, doesn’t mean we can’t distill the essence of how one can break in. My goal with this article is to help give people the tools they need for the best chance of success. To do this, I’m going to talk about common themes derived from audio professionals’ answers to the question, “How did you get your start in the industry?” These common themes form the pillars that provide the foundation upon which a career in audio can be built.

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Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 | 1 comment

Monthly Theme: Pushing The Boundary

Photo by: monkeywing

Photo by: monkeywing

It is June.  When the renewing rains of spring turn to the unquenchable heat of summer. At least for some of us, anyway.

This month’s theme is Pushing The Boundary.

There are many boundaries that can be pushed. Creative, technical, social, and so on. What boundaries are you pushing?  Which do you wish would be pushed further than they have? Any that have been pushed too far?

Send us your thoughts, or post them below/to Facebook, or start up a conversation on Twitter!


Please email richard [at] this site to contribute an article for this month’s topic. And as always, please feel free to go “off-topic” if there’s something else you’re burning to share with the community.

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Posted by on May 30, 2016 | 0 comments

Sound Design: Affects on Physiological Performance

This piece is a guest contribution by Darrin P. Jolly. Darrin is a recent Valedictorian from the Bachelor of Science in Recording Arts program at Full Sail University. Currently completing a Masters of Science degree in Game Design, Darrin is conducting research on the applied influences audio has in saccadic time performance.


Darrin Jolly


This experiment was designed to measure the influence audio has on the saccadic response time of users viewing a two-dimensional plane. With potential applications for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) platforms, it must be understood that neurophysiologic processes can be difficult to grasp, and designing studies to assess these can be complicated to construct.  This pilot test was conducted to see if primed audio impulses improve saccadic responses as opposed to no impulse. Once the data was coded and results analyzed, the significance was not only relevant but also quite intriguing.

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Posted by on May 26, 2016 | 5 comments

Music Cognition and Psychoacoustic Research: An Interview with Dr. Susan Rogers

For this month’s theme of “Research”, Dr. Susan Rogers was kind enough to answer our questions about her work and research in music cognition and psychoacoustics. Susan Rogers holds a doctorate in cognitive psychology from McGill University (2010). Prior to her science career, Susan was a multiplatinum-earning record producer, recording engineer, mixer and audio technician. She is currently an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music, Boston, teaching music cognition, psychoacoustics, and record production. She is the director of the Berklee Music Perception & Cognition Laboratory where she studies auditory processing in musicians.

Dr. Susan Rogers

Dr. Susan Rogers – credit Jandro Cisneros









Designing Sound: What drew you towards the subject of psychoacoustics and music cognition?

Dr. Susan Rogers: I have an engineer’s mind. I like understanding mechanisms and processes. I also have a scientist’s mind because I am curious about natural phenomena. Auditory science and brain science attract similar kinds of thinkers — those who are ok with imagining the mechanism and process. We typically don’t view air pressure variations, electrons or nerve spikes in action; we must often infer the process from the resulting behavior or event. Short answer is that it’s just fun.

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Posted by on May 2, 2016 | 0 comments

What is Sound “Research”?

This is a guest contribution by Karen Collins. Karen is the Canada Research Chair in Interactive Audio at the Games Institute, University of Waterloo, Canada, and the director of Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound. She’s been researching game audio for the past fifteen years, and in the process, published four books and nearly 100 research papers on sound. As Albert Einstein said, “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” Karen proudly admits she has no idea what she is doing. @GameSoundDoc


Don’t we already know what sound is? What do we need research for? I’m often met by surprise or confusion when I tell people I do research in sound. It may help to explain a few research projects that I’ve worked on in recent years to share the types of research that can be done in sound. These were for the most part done in a university setting, although some of the projects received some funding or support from private partners (e.g. Google, Microsoft)—I’ll talk about the academic-industry research crossover below.

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Posted by on May 1, 2016 | 0 comments

Monthly Theme: Research



1. the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
“This month on we’re going to be looking into the subject of research”

1. investigate systematically.
“What have you been researching? Would you like to share it with the community?”

The current state of audio technology is fascinating. A single person from home on a laptop can create their own DAW, plugins, use them to make music, mix a film, and author playable media. Physical modeling allows us to recreate believable sounding instruments from pure math. We can create convincing spacial audio in 3D game engines. We clean up audio removing extraneous noises with the precision of a surgeon who leaves no scars. We can capture the acoustic properties of a space, apply it to any sound, then remove the reverb we just added as if by magic. We can even morph and change the acoustic properties of a live environment in real-time. We can control sound with the press of a key, a slide on a touch-screen or a gesture in the air. But how did we get here, and where are we going?

For this month, DesigningSound is going to be looking at the subject of research and how it applies to audio. How does one conduct audio/sound research? What landmark studies contributed to where we are today in the audio-verse. What studies are currently being carried out and where might they take us?

Please email doron [at] this site to contribute an article for this month’s topic. And as always, please feel free to go “off-topic” if there’s something else you’re burning to share with the community.

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Posted by on Apr 30, 2016 | 0 comments

Thanks To This Month’s Contributors

As April’s topic closes out, we want to extend a thanks to this month’s contributors.

Our Inspirations / Distractions theme brought in an incredible amount of content from the community–and we hope their words have given you something to think about.

Here’s a chance to re-read them all. See you next month!

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Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 | 0 comments

Monthly Theme: Inspirations and Distractions

A little girl sits atop her father's shoulders, staring off into the clouds.

The mind wanders, the mind returns. [Credit: The Atlantic.]

April already! Time flies when you aren’t watching.

Maybe you’ve been buried deep in a project–maybe you’ve been spacing out.

This month’s theme at Designing Sound is Inspirations and Distractions.

How do you lash the reins to inspiration? Where have you found it in the first place? And once you’ve started, how do you stay on course? Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve felt inspired. We’d like to hear about that, too.

Send us your stories and join the conversation around these two daily players in the universal journey to create great sound.

Please email doron [at] this site to contribute an article for this month’s topic. And as always, please feel free to go “off-topic” as well.

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Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 | 0 comments

Designing Sound GDC Game Audio Crawl



*** UPDATES ***

03.11.16: With over 260 RSVPs we’ve had to change the venue to not one, but four awesome bars / cafes, all within two blocks on Market Street. DS contributing editor Richard Gould will be at Brewcade from shortly before 4:00pm to hand out stickers which will signifiy you’re part of this event so you’ll know who and who not to randomly strike up a conversation with! Once you have a sticker, pick the venue that best fits your personality.

Brewcade (Retro Game Bar): 2200 Market St

Blackbird (Rustic-Modern Bar): 2124 Market St

Lucky 13 (Rock / Punk Bar): 2140 Market St

Café Flore (Relaxed Cafe, Food): 2298 Market St


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Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 | 2 comments

The Programmed Music of “Mini Metro” – Interview with Rich Vreeland (Disasterpeace)

As art of the Audio Programming theme this month, I thought it would be interesting to learn about the interactive/reactive score to Mini Metro, a game which was released late last year by developer Dinosaur Polo Club to broad critical acclaim.

YouTube Preview Image

I sat down recently with Rich Vreeland (aka ‘Disasterpeace’) to discuss the project. Rich was the composer and designed the music system in Mini Metro. Pretty much everything you hear in the game consists of samples that are trigged in real-time as a result of player actions.

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