[It's time for the second 3x5 interview at creatingsound.com by George Hufnagl. This time Ariel Gross is the victim of George's synchronized questions. Ariel has worked as a Senior Audio Designer on the two latest Saints Row series and is currently audio director for three unnanounced titles.]
1) In exactly five sentences, give us what you feel is important biographical information about your sonic background.
I started in the demoscene making tunes with all kinds of trackers, finally ending up with Impulse Tracker. Then I was a contract sound designer and composer for Webfoot Games, which eventually turned into an in-house gig, working primarily on casual games before “casual games” was a thing.
Then I got an education at The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Arizona, learning how to be a studio engineer and getting my vocabulary down pat. Then I got hired at Volition as an in-house audio designer on Saints Row 2 and Red Faction: Guerrilla, ending up most recently as audio lead on Saints Row: The Third. Sounds are delicious, I bake them in my DAW and eat them with my ears.
2) Please state, in exactly five words, your interest in sound.
Tasty sounds for my earmouth.
3) Now please state, in exactly five syllables, how you might describe your process of work.
Aural blacke magycke.
1) Using the rhythm of the famous four-note opening to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (i.e. short, short, short, looong), please tell us a fact about you that we may not know.
I ate your lunch.
2) Who are four people that have influenced your work?
Brandon Bray, Byron Evora, Kyle Vande Slunt, Stephen Hodde.
3) Name your preference for starting work: Sound Library, Field Recording, Vocal Imitation, Writing it Down?
Chew a fistful of nicorette gum. Is that cheating? Should I pick from the list? I’d like an option for “depends on the sound,” but I guess I’d say sound libraries, at least to get things started. Or tinkering around with synths.
My son’s laughter, my wife saying my name, and farts.
2) Name three sounds that cause you physical discomfort.
Phlegmy coughs, lip smacks, and farts.
3) Address one way to change three of those sounds or three ways to change one of those sounds.
Don’t eat near me in a quiet setting, and if you do, please keep your mouth a safe distance from my ears, and for the love of all that is sacred, chew with your mouth closed, you slob.
1) List and describe two projects on which you're currently working.
Taking internet videos of people doing the robot, layering in servos, pneumatic pumps, motors, etc. Composing a children’s album.
2) And how are they both going?
3) How do you feel they are challenging your current skill set?
They remind me that time outside of work is scarce, so, time management skills are being challenged. Also learning some kick ass new tools. Virtual Machine by Xoxos, anyone?
2) What is one area in which you hope to improve your work?
I’d like to use more original field recordings in my sound design. I need to ditch this notion that field recordings don’t jive with tight deadlines.
3) What is one thing you would like people to know when listening to your work?
There are infinite ways to design these sounds, so what you’re hearing is just a reflection of how I was feeling and what I was thinking during a tiny window of time.