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 beepmovie.com
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.
Image retrieved from IGN. Click to view source.
There’s no doubt the sound design community is one blessed with some fantastic artists who are surprisingly willing to share their experiences and insights. This fact was confirmed recently with Randy Thom’s announcement of a new blog discussing film sound. The blog, found here, already features three brief but insightful posts from Thom, and will no doubt be a source of excellent info in the future as well.
This article was born out of an idea for a GDC audio talk proposal. Another one of my proposals was selected so I thought I’d turn the core idea of this one into a DS post in case it’s of use to the community.
used under creative commons, click for source
Do you use macros in your music/sound production? If the answer is yes, then this article isn’t for you. Given January’s theme is all about time management, I feel duty-bound to say you should make better use of your time and read one of the many other fantastic articles here on this site. If however, any of the following apply, read on!
- “I don’t know what a macro is”
- “Macros are just shortcuts right, like CMD C to copy?”
- “Macros are only used by programmers.”
In an appropriately seasonal blog post over at A Sound Effect, Asbjoern speaks to Saro Sahihi of SoundBits, a boutique SFX library and sound design company. Saro, who has released some excellent gore SFX libraries, goes in-depth on how to achieve some truly squishy, wrenching, and disgusting gore sounds for all your horror needs. He even touches on some other horror mainstays, like how to achieve a good jump-scare sound, or crafting dark ambiences.
Head over to A Sound Effect to check out the whole article!
At least my cats were on top of things.
When I first started up as a freelance sound designer and re-recording mixer, I had never been responsible for running a business. Working for myself seemed to be the ultimate job; I could set my hours, pick my projects, and do things how I wanted to do them. Beyond this freedom, what else was there? As it turns out, I completely glossed over that whole “how to run my own business” thing, charging headlong into freelancing with no real understanding of what that entailed. Had I taken just a few moments to sit down and read a bit about being your own boss and business, I would have saved myself a whole lot of trouble down the road. Here are a few of the bigger things I learned along the way; hopefully, you can learn something from my mistakes.