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The Japan Sound Effects Collection Interview

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 | 1 comment

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 8.58.30 PM

At the time of writing, recent graduate and field recordist Chris Trevino has a Kickstarter campaign called “The Japan Sound Effect Collection” which he plans to be a collection of ambiences, train passes, and walla. Chris was kind enough to answer a few questions about his current campaign.

Designing Sound: Tell us a little bit about your own background in sound and field recording.

Chris Trevino: I was enraptured at a young age by the games that were coming out of Japan in the 90s. The music of Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy Series) and Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger/Cross) gave me both the game and Japan bugs. These games inspired me to take up the tenor saxophone and then later choir when I was younger and made me want to be a game composer.

I first started my undergraduate as an anthropology major, because of my love of cultures, but quickly discovered that I loved the ideas but was not passionate about the work.  At the end of my first year, still dreaming of game music, I took summer music composition classes and my first sound design class. Needless to say, I got hooked.

Since then, I’ve sound designed a handful of theater productions and have done a lot of field recording on my own. In the summers of 2012/13, I trained with Ric Viers at The Detroit Chop Shop.  While there, I helped record and edit four commercial sound effects libraries for BlastwaveFX. I started the Japan collection in Fall of 2013 while I was studying Japanese at a language center in Japan.

 

DS: What made you choose Japan as a subject for field recording?

CT: Choosing Japan as a subject for field recording was a natural choice given how much Japanese games influenced me when I was younger. When I was accepted into the language center in Japan, I knew that I needed to do as much recordings there as I could.

 

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A New Approach to Internships?

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 | 13 comments

Maybe a little less preparing this... [Photo by flickr user chichacha. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.]

Maybe a little less time preparing this… [Photo by flickr user chichacha. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.]

Guest Contribution by Timothy Muirhead

Although we all like to talk about sound work as a very creative discipline it is also a technical one.  Universities and other post secondary institutions really have their hands full trying to teach both sides of the craft – the hows and the whys.  Most come up short on one side or the other and that is why the industry has come to rely so heavily on the concept of the internship to complete the educations of those just entering the work force. I know the work placement I did at the conclusion of my time in film school taught me more in 4 months then I was able to absorb in the previous three and a half years I spent in classrooms. The schools narrow it down to the individuals who are dedicated, and give them time to focus on the craft and decide if it is indeed right for them. It teaches perseverance – but the internship is where you really learn the trade.

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Forget the 1s and 0s…

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 | 0 comments

Photo by flickr user .tungl. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Photo by flickr user .tungl. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

We may be firmly in the digital age, but analog signals are always going to be a major part of our work. After all, unless you’re using a digital microphone using the AES42 spec, we’re at least going to be dealing with the signal path from the mic to preamp to AD…not to mention the reproduction path of DA to power amp to speaker. Analog will never truly go away, nor do people want it to. The resurgence of modular synthesis and the growth of vinyl sales are both evidence of that. We also still have techniques that we can apply to our digital workflow that were practically a necessity in the days of analog. [ed. …something I’ve posted about in the past.]

This month we’re turning our focus to analog to remind ourselves of how relevant the “older” technology still is, and the many ways people are still using it today.

As always, we encourage guest contributions here on Designing Sound. We’ve got something a little different planned for next month, which we’re keeping under wraps for now. April’s topic will be Comedy. If you have something you’d like to contribute to this month’s topic, April’s, or something off-topic…please don’t hesitate to reach out through our contact form or directly to shaun {at} this website.

Deep or Shallow?

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 | 0 comments

Image by Nick Page. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Image by Nick Page. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Guest Contribution by René Coronado

To a large degree, the purpose of learning is less to purely gain knowledge for the sake of it, and more to gain knowledge in order to use that knowledge to do something.

I propose that there are two basic types of learning: shallow and deep. Both types are useful, and both have positives and negatives.


 

Shallow learning is learning that comes by reading or watching instructions and following those instruction to the letter. Examples would include getting driving directions from your home to some place in town you haven’t been to yet, watching a youtube video on how to create a Skrillex styled wobble using Massive step by step, or building an IKEA bookshelf.

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Dynamics In Education – Interview With Michael Sweet, Professor of Game Audio at Berklee College of Music

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 | 2 comments

 

Michael Sweet presenting at GDC

Michael Sweet presenting at GDC

As the Artistic Director of Video Game Scoring at Berklee College of Music, Michael Sweet leads the development of the game scoring curriculum.  Michael is an accomplished video game composer and has been the audio director of more than 100 award winning video games.  His work can be heard on the X-Box 360 logo and on award winning games from Cartoon Network, Sesame Workshop, PlayFirst, iWin, Gamelab, Shockwave, RealArcade, Pogo, Microsoft, Lego, AOL, and MTV, among others. He has won the Best Audio Award at the Independent Games Festival, the BDA Promax Gold Award for Best Sound Design, and has been nominated for four Game Audio Network Guild (GANG) awards. In 2014, Michael authored the book “Writing Interactive Music for Video Games” which is now available from Pearson Publishing.

Michael was a professor of mine during my studies at Berklee College of Music. Given this months’ theme of “education”, I thought it would be enlightening to hear Michael share his perspective as a professor of game audio with the Designing Sound community. So, without further ado…

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Forging New Territory: Audio Design Education, Non-Traditional Disciplines, & Diversity

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 | 0 comments


Chanel Summers & a Huxley[2]

Guest Contribution By Chanel Summers

As a woman who has built her own career on a platform of game audio, game design and game production, I am passionate about programs that teach and empower women to follow a similar path. As there are such few women in the field of video game audio, fewer are even aware of the opportunities. I have been on a mission to try and change that – trying to introduce this field as a career option to young women and show that women can lead in this field and be highly successful — and perhaps even change the complexion of the video game industry. The reason this is so important is that for an industry or a creative medium to achieve its full potential, it must draw strength from diversity — a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, and experiences. Each person approaching opportunity from a different starting point keeps things fresh, vibrant, exciting and new.

That is why I found myself, two years ago, at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, an all-girl’s school in Bellevue, Washington, proposing a summer workshop called, “Artistic Expression in Game Audio Design”. The workshop would give young women an artistic and technical foundation in audio for interactive media and expose them to the career possibilities in video game audio. It would be based on the class that I created and teach at USC’s Interactive Media & Games Division in the School of Cinematic Arts (“Audio Expression”), taking a semester-long course and turning it into an intensive one month long workshop for Forest Ridge. Because we chose not to “adapt” the material for a younger audience, these girls would get the same material I teach to undergrads, grads, and PhD students. In fact, it would be even more intensive, as they would have class every day for four hours each day rather than once a week. By choosing not to “dumb down” the curriculum for students just because they are younger or new to the field, we showed that we respected the young women, which they in turn responded to with vigor. (more…)

Learning Audio Middleware Online: Where to Start?

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 | 4 comments

Where to start?

Knowing your way around audio middleware is quickly becoming a required skill to get a job in the game audio industry. If you are a sound designer and/or a composer that is looking to break into the world of game audio, learning how to work with various audio middleware solutions will not only give you a head start and set you apart from the “competition”, but it will also give you a greater understanding of how the technical side of things works and consequently you will have a greater appreciation of the inner workings of game audio. After Audiokinetic and Firelight Technologies announced their free license options (granted with some limitations), making Wwise and FMOD Studio available at no cost for the indies/small game development companies as of last year, now these programs are being used more than ever. There is no reason for you to not employ these options to create a more interactive and coherent soundscape for the game you are working on while also making life easier for yourself and the game developers.

But on the vast sea of knowledge and misinformation that is called the internet, how would you know where to start learning about these programs? Well, this is a guide to hopefully help you with that by providing you with a general outline of which resources and learning options are available right now for you to find out more about audio middleware as quickly and efficiently as possible. (more…)

The Tonebenders on Education

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 | 1 comment

The fine gentlemen over at The Tonebenders Podcast have once again graciously tied into this month’s theme. Their latest podcast, a conversation with Brenda Jaskulske of the University of North Texas, is now up for your listening pleasure in all of the usual places. I’m embedding the Soundcloud version below, but head over to their site to learn more about Brenda and how to access the podcast in your preferred format.

An Evening with Eddy Joseph (March 9)

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 | 0 comments

Those local to the Brighton area (UK) will have an opportunity to hear the acclaimed Supervising Sound Editor Eddy Joseph (Enemy at the Gates, Quantum of Solace) in conversation. On Monday March 9th, Eddy will be in conversation with Lisa Holloway on a bill that also features an interview with the music recording engineer Hadyn Bendall (The Hounds of Love, The Last Emperor).

Tickets are priced at £10.00 and are available from The Space website, where there are also further details about the event.

http://www.thespace.uk.com/

SoundWorks Collection: The Sound of Unbroken

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 | 0 comments

WWII Prisoner of war drama ‘Unbroken’ will compete in both the ‘Best Sound Editing’ and ‘Best Sound Mixing’ categories at the 87th Academy Awards ceremony on February 22nd. What better time to plug this video from The SoundWorks Collection, featuring an interviews with audio post team who worked on the film.

SoundWorks Collection – The Sound of Unbroken