This blog was originally posted on Creating Sound. Additional information about the website can be found at CreatingSound.com
INTRODUCTIONS IN FIVES
- Sounds like he plays too many video games, because it’s all he ever talks about.
- Is pretty sound in the kitchen.
- Decided at the age of five that he wanted to work in the gaming industry, his parents thought he sounded crazy.
- Uses his wife as a sounding board when coming up with answers to weird questions.
- Thinks wings and beer sound great for lunch.
- I’ve worked on some incredibly successful video games, including one or two cult hits.
- I’ve recorded and released some of my own music.
- OMG I HAVE 2500 VIDEO GAMES, AND I MARRIED A GIRL THAT LIKES THEM TOO.
FOIBLES IN FOURS
- Good ears. Most of the strong sound designers I know, especially those better than me, are amazing critics of sound.
- Thick skin. You must be able to accept criticism in stride and always do what’s best for the game.
- Creative. You have to think outside of literal sound and do things that impact your listeners in the right way.
- Positive attitude. We’re at the end of the pipeline, $&#@ always rolls downhill, so you have to be able to roll with the punches and keep a good attitude.
- Personality. If things sound too literal, I get bored. Even realistic games can (and should) sound unique and interesting. Mix some elephant farts into your grenade explosions. And don’t ever, ever, ever ever ever just yank a sound from a library and put it into your game.
- Power. The days of flat-sounding video games are over. I want to hear dynamic range. I want some contrast. I want your rocket impact sound to burn my eyebrows off.
- Detail. Don’t just kick off a linear asset for a big scene, or a background loop for an environment. I want to hear all the moving parts flying around. If I turn my camera around, I want to hear the depth of the world around me.
- Clarity. I want to hear thousands of moving pieces, but I want to always hear what’s important at any given time. I want a clean and elegant mix that keeps me focused without frequency masking, obvious ducking (ducking is not mixing!), lost sounds, etc.
- Tight implementation. I’m a guy who’s not afraid to dig into code if necessary to implement sound very tightly with the game. Honestly, if I’m doing this well, people SHOULDN’T really hear it.
- Strong mix. I believe run-time mixing is the next major frontier in game audio, and I try to achieve as much as possible with the tools at my disposal. I hope the scenes I mix leave people feeling exhilarated.
- Focus. I’m always trying to make sure the player is hearing whatever she needs to hear at any given moment. I hope people never feel like they don’t know what they should be hearing.
- Love. I love what I do, I put a lot of effort into it, and I hope that comes through.
WORKING ON THE RAILROAD IN THREES
2) In three months’ time, you hope to have finished: Our next milestone, a new vehicle sound system, wrapping Christmas gifts.
3) In three decades’ time, you wish you would have: Inspired others to do great things, raised our little boy to be an amazing gentleman, bought a flying car.
PEOPLE SKILLS IN TWOS
1) Who are two people playing in sound that you admire?
- Jamie Watts (aka Kilowatts)
- Richard King
2) What two projects of theirs do you admire?
- The Dark Knight
3) How might you sonically show your appreciation for them? Show up at their homes at 3AM, hold a candle and sing “Wind Beneath My Wings”? I know I’d feel appreciated if I woke up to that :) Also, cheating a bit, but Alan Splet is without question my biggest sound design hero. But sadly he passed away years ago, therefore he’s not currently playing in sound.
SCRUMDIDDLIES IN ONES
Mark Kilborn - "XxxooO"
2) After hearing yourself, how might you expect this sound to be used? Probably as a bullet whizby layer in a slow motion sequence, though I’d have to pitch shift it a bit.
3) How might you use the sound in an unexpected way? I could call you in the middle of the night and play it over the phone to you. Creepy, but unexpected.