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Discover how "Independence, Failure, Naivety, Labor, Passion" all work together to form the background of Matt Piersall's life as a composer, sound designer and Noby Noby Boy enthusiast.

George Hufnagl, Blogger

September 11, 2012

6 Min Read

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

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Gl33k's Website | Matt on Twitter 1 | Matt on Twitter 2 | Cosmic DJ on Twitter  


1) Please describe five things about yourself that help frame your journey into sound design.

  • I used to swim in middle school and high school, I had a small group that I hung out with where we would play computer games, D&D, and make movies. Being around a small group of creative individuals was very inspiring.

  • My first real girlfriend introduced me to this guy named Brian Beckley who turned me on to a lot of great music. Stuff like early Tom Waits, Velvet Underground, Miles Davis, and early Talking Heads got me thinking outside of the box.

  • I worked for an artist in Amarillo Texas named Stanley Marsh 3, he created the Cadillac Ranch among other installations and found art. Working for him taught me a lot about independence, the fact that you could make a living making art, and what it meant to be on a team of mad men doing crazy mad men activities.

  • My wife asked me what I was going to do for money when I was studying at the University of North Texas. I told her that most likely I would be a “super star DJ” she then asked again but emphasized the “money” part. I was at a mall and ran into a girl that was a voice actress I asked if they had internships. Luckily they did. I enjoyed it so much I completely forgot about being a super star DJ!

  • I hit a pretty rough patch at around 20-21 and I was talking to my mom and she told me that I should try to put some of my “drug music” in a video game. I thought this was weird because as a kid my parents wouldn’t let me have a Nintendo. I thought to myself (“she’s right”). I started gearing myself up for it and a few years later an opportunity came up.

2) Five words to summarize that journey are...

Independence, Failure, Naivety, Labor, Passion

3) Five sounds that represent that journey are...

  • The dopplered swish on a static fire

  • Freq Warped wood hits

  • Kymas FM Synthesis played at a low octave

  • Reversed glass

  • Female speech frozen and scrubbed through


1) What four elements need to be in place in order for you to be productive?

Coffee and a cigarette - my mic needs to be in my room - I need to be on good terms in all my relationships - I need to remember that I’m extremely lucky to be doing what I’m doing.

2) In an ideal work flow, what would you like to accomplish in four hours?

A perfect four hours would be playing an area that I’ve been working on and very quickly making sounds and placing them in the game. Something I have done before when focused and inspired is to design and implement the core components of a creature.

3) If you had four hours to listen to music/sound design, what would you choose?

Right now I’m into minimal techno so probably a Baiyon mix, maybe This American Life when I’m feeling like hearing speech. If I’m in the mood to watch something and I want to be inspired from a sound design perspective I still am in love with Kung-Fu Hustle.


1) What three sound design lessons could your younger self learn from your present self?

  • Less is more

  • don’t psyche yourself out (it’s just a sound in a video game)

  • good source choice is as much design as destroying a sound with plug ins

2) What three library sounds have become cliched for you?

  • the metal impact hit crunch thing in Larger than Life

  • the metal footsteps from the 6000 series

  • spark zap things from Extreme Impacts

3) What three foods or beverages lead to great sound design work?

  • Mexican food

  • double americano

  • afternoon tea (Hibiscus)


1) What two sound design tools do you use on a consistent basis?

  • Ableton

  • Shotgun mic always on and in my room

2) You have a choice of two hardware devices - what would they be?

  • Roland V-Synth

  • Universal Audio Apollo

3) Record two of your favorite sounds that you can make using only your mouth/voice and describe them.

Mouth Sound 1 - UI Select

Mouth Sound 2 - Future Door Open


1) If you could collaborate with any person on a single creative project, with whom would it be and what would be your project?

Keita Takahashi (the creator of Noby Noby boy and Katamari Damacy). I would want to collaborate with him on a musical playground game using a standard game controller.

2) What outstanding quality would that project have?

It would give players a sense of innocent pleasure and have meditative effects without stressing people out with a goal or a time limit. It would sort of be how I picture Heaven to be just maybe not as gold.

3) If you had one opportunity to present it, how would you choose to do so?

I would probably wear a cowboy hat and keep a laser pointer in a fake gun. When I go through my Power-Point I could pull the trigger on the gun to switch slides. I would also have a some music prepared and maybe bring some liquor to loosen people up in the meeting.

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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