Who wants to work in game audio? Well, I do.
Game audio (every sound and musical element in a video game) has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings just a couple of short decades ago. It has become the area of the audio industry that is most driving technological innovation, consumer electronics development and attracting some of the most talented people working in audio today.
There are several reasons that I am drawn to game audio, but one of the biggest is the chance to work with talented, passionate people; and these people are very passionate about what they do. I also really like video games (I used to say that I love them, but I just met Paul Lipson…. that guy LOVES gaming). And finally, it’s relatively piracy free, so you can still earn some money doing music for gaming. Perhaps most importantly for myself, I live on the line between technology and creativity, and game audio is the embodiment of just that.
So how does one get started in interactive (game) audio? I’m no expert, but I suggest the following: know the industry, do research, play games, join G.A.N.G., and above all, attend GameSoundCon.
GameSoundCon Executive Director, Brian Schmidt, has been there and done that. He has composed music and sound design for over 130 games, and was lead director of game audio technologies at Microsoft for 10 years (learn more about Brian at brianschmidtstudios.com). I attended GSC San Francisco this past week and found it to be well run, interesting, and intensely informative.
Schmidt’s own tech presentations covered the anatomy of a game’s sound, how sounds are influenced by game play, techniques for game audio creation and an overview of game specific software tools. Other presenters included accomplished composers Chance Thomas, Tom Salta and Paul Lipson, programmer and educator Leonard Paul, and business discussions by SomaTone’s Kane Minkus, AFM’s Savina Ciaramella and PRO expert Brooke Wentz among others. Between them the presenters have an unbelievable list of credits in the music, film and game audio industries, and every presentation was well organized, engaging and almost overwhelmingly informative.
There was actually a great deal of interest in the composer support services we offer above and beyond production and recording; pairing composers with award winning orchestrators, copyists, librarians and handling contracting, casting and contracts will soon be augmented further by game audio specific integration services for those who don’t want to wander too far into the tech labyrinth.
Educators interested in GSC should contact Brian Schmidt directly, but anyone wanting to know more about my own experience attending GSC and why it made such a deep impact on me should feel free to comment or reach out by email.