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3x5 Game Audio Interview with Leonard J Paul

Read about how Leonard likes to create sounds from scratch and what a "Wilhelm Poot" sounds like in the latest 3x5 Interview.

This blog was originally posted on Creating Sound. Additional information about the website can be found at

3x5 Interview with Leonard J Paul

Leonard J Paul's Website | Leonard on Twitter  


1) Using the word “sound” in each description (in any tense or plurality), list five points that describe yourself.
  • Sounding board.
  • Soundly positive.
  • Sound mind.
  • Sounded funny.
  • Sounds good.
2) What are three accomplishments of which your five-year-old self would be proud?
  • I make video games that people play and have fun with.
  • I get interviewed by people for stuff.
  • I can mountain bike on teeter-totters and ramps.
3) What are five words that you hope will describe your future?
  • Healthy.
  • Inspired.
  • Positive.
  • Inspiring.
  • Humble.


1) In your opinion, what are four characteristics that an audiophile should have?
  • A respect for the emotions that sound can stir.
  • A need to share one’s undying passion for audio that grows with time.
  • A love of the balance between silence with sound.
  • Open ears and an ability to listen and learn above everything.
2) What are four aspects you’re listening for in other people’s work?
  • If I find myself feeling their artwork rather than thinking about it then it has drawn me in to believing in their constructed world
  • A clear consideration of how the medium influences the audio, such as vinyl, mp3 encoding, surround or otherwise
  • Making sure not to crush the life and spontaneity from their work by being too precious or academic about it
  • I like it when the style and personality of the artist shines through in the work to make something inspiring to others rather than derivative
3) What are four aspects of your work that you hope people can hear?
  • I hope people can hear the care that I’ve put into not jamming everything into a piece. I feel that as I’ve continued to refine my craft in audio that I look more for a balance of sound and silence and I look less for a density in trying to impress people. I want to create something that I enjoy listening to.
  • I try to put a certain amount of levity in my work as I think life’s too short to be taken too seriously.
  • I tend to try to do things “from scratch” such as recording all of my own sounds instead of using library sounds for Vessel and synthesizing the patches for nearly all of the sounds for Retro City Rampage individually instead of using any preset synth patches or samples.
  • Soul.


1) In three days’ time, you will have finished:

Launch week for Retro City Rampage - a game that I started working on four years ago.  

2) In three months’ time, you hope to have finished:

Hiding from the cold and dark northern winter.

3) In three decades’ time, you wish you would have:

No wishes and simply be.


1) Who are two people playing in sound that you admire?

  • Walter Murch
  • Ben Burtt

2) What two projects of theirs do you admire?

  • THX 1138
  • Star Wars: A New Hope (yep.)

3) How might you sonically show your appreciation for them?

I’d enjoy working with some analogue synthesis, combine them with some personally recorded sounds and arrive at a thoughtful result.


1) Create a recording of yourself doing a sonic interpretation of this word: "SPLURMMMPT"

Leonard J Paul - SPLURMMMPT

2) After hearing yourself, how might you expect this sound to be used?

For an insect in the “mmm” part.

3) How might you use the sound in an unexpected way?

As the “Wilhelm Poot” at the end.

About the 3x5 Interview

The "3x5” is a non-traditional interview series that encourages creative and personal responses from its participants. While the core structure remains intact, I occasionally update the sets of questions to keep interviewees and readers engaged. Although the resultant replies of the participating audiophiles may be informative or instructive, my hope is that the interview will encourage conversation and a sense of camaraderie within the sound design community.

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