Welcome Japanese readers. The Japanese version of the interview is below the English version.
As I mentioned in my interview with Tomoya Kishi: Japanese video game composers and musicians get a good bit of coverage and acclaim over in the West, but the people making the booms and whoosh sounds don’t seem to get much visibility. This time I am talking with Yuki Ichiki who was the Sound Director on Child of Eden and Lumines Electronic Symphony.
Designing Sound: How did you get started in sound design? What inspired you to do audio for games?
Yuki Ichiki: I used to be a violinist. I was performing on stage for artists on TV and commercial after graduating a college of music, and I started composing music at the same time.
One day, a friend of mine sent my demo to a game company. And I was promoted to work as a sound creator in the company. I was making various sound related works in the beginning, and I was fascinated by creating sound effects and started the sound design that capture the whole picture of the game. I was not influenced by the particular thing to get involved in the game music industry. I don’t actually think the game music is different from other music. I only understand the technique and limit to express music in games. Of course there are specific techniques for movie music and stage music itself. This is something like the difference between Rugby and American Football. It looks similar for the people who don’t know but these are two different games that have different rules. The technique required for each type of music is different, but the knowledge and ability to express music does not have any difference.
What software do you use for sound design? Any favorite plugins and workflows?
As DAW I use Pro Tools in most of the projects. Sometimes I use Cubase.
When I do detailed wave editing works such as voice editing and finishing sound effects, I use Sound Forge. For plugins,mainly I use Platinum Bundle of WAVES.
For you what is the most important process in the creation of sound for video games?
What I always focus is to build the atmosphere and sense of presence in the world of game. Great game music takes player into the screen and world of the game completely. Some game design can make the players feel sick because they cannot balance the feeling of sight, hearing and other senses. As you already know, music is one of the important elements to establish the atmosphere of the game world. Music can also control players’ emotion as well as the production of the game world. The game that has great sense of presence in music has effective environment sound effect and music allocated on the right situation and mixed in the right balance. Especially the game that has great BGM blends into to the game which does not make players recognizes the music but to control players’ emotion as producer aims. And sometimes, it destroys the atmosphere of well-designed world at the best timing. We need impressive music for that. Some people might think the music has started all of a sudden. If the music used in the scene captures players mind, the game itself gives the strong impression on them. As just described, the game which has a good balance of building and destroy is a successful work piece in terms of producing the world of game. I always focus on this point in any category of games.