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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 3, 2016 | 0 comments

Playing with the Boundary: An Interview with Eduardo Ortiz Frau

Eduardo Ortiz Frau is a freelance game audio designer based in Austin, TX. He has worked in audio and music production for over ten years and has been working in sound design for games since 2011. He’s worked on titles like The Stanley ParableApotheon, and Neverending Nightmares. Eduardo Oritz Frau was kind enough to answer some of our questions about his work including his experiment in representing himself as a company as opposed to an individual sound artist.

Eduardo-Ortiz-Frau-Portrait-21 (1)

Eduardo Ortiz Frau





















Designing Sound: How did you get into sound?

Eduardo Ortiz Frau: Like many other sound designers, I came into this profession because of my love for music. Music was all I used to think about when I was younger. I was in bands, I studied audio engineering and classical composition, worked in recording studios, etc. Eventually, I got burned out on the music industry. I wasn’t feeling inspired by it anymore and I was also struggling to make a living within it. So I ditched it, moved to Austin, TX and started exploring other ways I could employ my audio skills. That led me to discover the video game industry and, specifically, the world of indie games. I had no idea what was going on with indie games before this time, but needless to say, I was completely enthralled by what seemed to me like THE up and coming medium to work with. So I focused all my energy and resources into breaking into the industry.

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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 Mar 11, 2016 | 2 comments

Dive Into Code – Part 3 of 3

Super Breakout for the Atari 2600 with the Atari Paddle Controller

Photo: Leonard Paul

This article is a guest contribution by Leonard Paul, president of the School of Video Game Audio. He has worked on over twenty AAA and indie games such as ‘Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2,’ ‘NHL11,’ ‘Vessel’ and ‘Retro City Rampage’ as a technical sound designer and composer, and he has also composed for documentaries like ‘The Corporation’ and the upcoming ‘Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound.’ You can visit his School of Video Game Audio website or can follow him at @SchoolGameAudio.


In the previous two installments, we looked at how C++ code works by triggering simple events in FMOD Studio for Mac. In this final installment, we’ll look at how you can add FMOD Studio to a clone of the classic video game ‘Breakout’ using Xcode on OS X. If you’re on Windows and looking for a similar tutorial, feel free to leave a comment and if there is enough interest I’ll add a bonus installment in the future. Also, feel free to download the source code and the FMOD Studio project as well as the completed application, if you just feel like playing around.

Since we want to work with games, it would be nice to test our coding skills on an actual game instead of use the basic code from the previous parts. Unfortunately, we can’t add our FMOD Studio code to just any game, since they aren’t often open source. Another issue is that games are quite complex, which makes it very difficult to correctly combine all of the elements together without any issues. I’ve opted to utilize SDL2 (Simple DirectMedia Layer 2), a free open source engine, which has been used on commercial titles including Team Fortress 2, Left for Dead 2 and DOTA 2. One advantage is that it allows us to run the code relatively unchanged on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS and Android, which are all supported by FMOD Studio as well. If you use the SDL2 audio system instead of FMOD Studio, then you can also compile to JavaScript using Emscripten and run on nearly any system with JavaScript support.

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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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