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Game Sound Design Strategies

GSD Strategies

Check out the strategies when you are feeling creatively uninspired. Each random strategy will present you with a new avenue to pursue. Give them a try!

Game Sound Design Glossary

GSD Glossary

Our game audio glossary has all the sound terms you have been wondering about. Game audio can be confusing enough without having to deal with a new technical language. We are constantly updating the database with new terms that relate to not only game audio but game developer terms as well.

Breaking Into The Game Industry

Article by George Spanos

The Education

Becoming properly educated in the basic principles of sound design and audio production is a definite asset to your career and to your first opportunity with a new employer. While not absolutely necessary, an education with a recognized sound design, audio recording, film school, or related arts school is a definite asset. Why? Firstly, you will meet other like-minded people who are headed in the same direction as yourself and who can become lifelong colleagues. These same people will enable you to forge strong partnerships based on a common interest. This is a very small industry and meeting new people is crucial to your success. Secondly, many employers want to see that you have the required background in the fundamentals of audio recording with which you can grow and become a valuable asset to their company. The more knowledge you have about recording techniques, fundamentals of sound, microphone technique, foley, and the business in general is an asset to both you and your potential employer.

The Tenacity

Your drive to break into the industry must be great. Only in the most unusual of circumstances will an aspiring sound designer be able to drop off a couple of resumes and be hired for that dream job. It will require web searches for companies in your area that are actively involved in sound, phone calls, emails, demo reels, and many interviews. You have to really want this or you won't be given the chance. The reality is that there are a large number of aspiring sound designers and not as many vacancies in the industry. But, if you really want to make sound for a living you can definitely find a way to do it. So here are a couple of tips:

Finding Prospective Employers

This is definitely one of the hardest parts of the career search. In order to be effective at it, decide what part of the industry you want to be involved in. Is it games? Film? Television? Whatever it is, seek out that niche. It will be a lot easier for you to pin-point employers this way. Start reading the trade magazines like Mix, Game Developer, etc. to gain insight into what people in the industry are working on and where they are working on it. You may have to move and relocate to a bigger city. If you are currently living in a small town without much of a sound industry then be prepared to move to a city where there is more opportunity for you. Knock on many doors, send out emails and make follow-up calls once you have landed an interview. I'm not going to get into too much detail regarding the basics of job searching here, as there are a plethora of websites devoted to this on the internet.

Your Demo Reel

The demo reel is one of the most important aspects of the total package that you should have prepared before knocking on doors. This little gem should be exactly that: a nugget of sound and visuals that are compelling and speak of your talents. Only put your best work on your demo reel. Seriously. Do not "fill it out" with less than perfect material. It is FAR better to have three one-minute pieces that are captivating than 10 one-minute pieces that are mediocre. Keep it simple and to the point. Think of the demo reel like your face. You always want it to look the best it can because that's what people will remember the most about you (although attitude is a definite close second!).

The Talent

This is one of those areas that is not so obviously quantifiable. How does one judge talent? Your ability to come up with new and interesting ways to mould sound for a given purpose is one of the hallmarks of a great sound designer. There is definitely a bag of tricks that you will learn to use once you have gained more experience in the industry, but experimentation will keep your ideas new and fresh. Talent is greatly augmented by the desire and willingness to learn. You must be flexible enough to try new ideas and recognize when a sound is working and when it isn't. Don't be afraid to start over. In fact, make a point of it. Often we have to throw as much paint on the canvas as possible while new ideas are germinating and then start stripping away the unnecessary layers to reveal the finished piece.

I hope you have found some helpful take away points in this article about breaking into the industry. A career in sound design can be very rewarding and full of new challenges!

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