January’s featured sound designer Richard Devine has answered all the questions made by the readers on his special. He had been a little busy these days and don’t have much time to answer them. But, here they are! Check:
Designing Sound Reader: First off, you are an inspiration to all that are pushing the boundaries of sound! I’m always eager to read about and listen to your new exploits especially coming from a fellow Southerner. ;) I enjoyed your talk at the Propellerhead LA producers talk in 2005/6.. any chance you will teach or give seminars in the future? My main question for you is: if you could give me advice about starting a career in video game sound design, what would it be? I’m fairly well connected but I wonder if you had any thoughts or insight off the top of your head? Many thanks man!!
Richard Devine: Thank you very much for the kind comments. My advice would be to research a little bit about what kind of sound design you want to do, and whether you want to work in house with a company or work freelance. My experience with sound design for video games has all been freelance licensed music tracks and interface design. I would network as much as possible. I would also recommend reading/researching trade magazines, like Game Developer, Audio Media etc. to gain insight into what other people in the industry are working on, and also take note where they are located. You may have to move or relocate to another city to find better opportunities. I would also create some sort of demo reel that highlights your skills. My last bit of advice is don’t be afraid to try something new and stand apart from the rest of the other sound designers. I think one of the most important aspects is finding your own voice, and finding a signature sound that you can call your own.
DSR: Here is my 20 cents: “How do you approach new compositions and arrangements when you come up with a new track, what are your usual creative processes? Are they the same for your own music and contracted works? First sounds and then composition or the reverse?” and an other question “From the top of your head, what percentage of the sounds in your tracks is recorded and processed or synthesized?” Let’s see when your weird electrocustic ambient experiment comes to light! We want more of your music ;)
RD: It usually depends on the project. For my own musical creations, it really goes all over the place. Sometimes I like to sketch out my ideas on a sheet of paper. Drawing the basic structure of my tracks (intros, breaks, transitions etc). I usually have a general idea of where I want the composition to go, or what mood it will be. The next step is to assemble or create the sounds for the track. I sometimes go out and capture sounds with my portable digital recorder, or create them internally within the computer. I would say that a good 50% of my sounds are acoustically recorded and the other 50% is created digitally. I first decide what type of sounds I want to use in the track, percussion, ambiences, drones, stingers, and granular effects, etc. I try to be conscious of the way each part will work together as a whole. I always start with making the sounds first, then sequencing them in my arrangement later. I find the more interesting the sounds I have to work with the more inspired I will be to do something with them. I usually start out by importing my samples into Apple’s Logic Audio and then prepare them for editing or processing. Once I am finished I create sample kits with Native Instruments “Battery” or “Kontakt” samplers. From there I play around with triggering/sequencing samples and build these elements into a song. In the situation with contracted works I usually work to a brief in which the client requests specific sound assets. With client work each project is totally unique and requires different sounds.Read More