Helping you to get your first rung on the Games Audio Ladder
Choose a different career
Composing music, creating sound effects, recording vocals and general audio production are all extremely time consuming.
When you look at the real combined time involved to create production ready assets and compare this to the remuneration you receive, for most audio people, you will be working for less than the minimum wage.
The time involved to learn your craft is extensive. And having made progress the daily commitment and focus is relentless.
However, the satisfaction from being able to create audio is also very rewarding on many levels. If for any reason you are unable to give total commitment to creating audio, then I would urge you to reconsider your career choice.
You’ll need raw talent.
Unwavering commitment and determination.
And a huge amount of good luck.
How to become a composer
Requirements: Compose, arrange, mis and master.
How to become a sound designer
Tools: WWise and FMod
More Skills: More Opportunities
Consider learning to code.
If 100 audio creators go for a job, at that time, probably around 5% might be considered suitable for that job. You may be an awesome composer, you may be able to create dynamic sound design and have the necessary production skills to bring this all together.
That might not be enough.
If you also have some coding experience, preferably C++, this could be considered as a very desirable extra.
You’ll need some coding regardless, as creating macros and scripts in your audio tools and DAW ‘will’ be required.
You’re going to need some examples.
Create a Kontakt Instrument with your own custom script. Or a HALion instrument with variables and pre-built assets.
Also, consider creating your own VST instrument.
If audio and coding are your thing, there’s a job known as Audio Architect. Where you’re the middle man between the game and the Audio-Engine – adding calls to the audio in the game code.
Create your Showreel
Plan! – You’ll need a plan!
Create a process – then follow your process.
Ultimately, you want to get hired. Therefore, you need to show the world your excellent audio skills. Which is why you need a show-reel. An impressive compact demo reel of your creative and technical abilities.
Your demo-reel can take many forms. A link on-line to your web site or sound cloud would suffice. Probably won’t get you noticed though. There are many inventive ways to stand out, including cassette tapes which are really a USB stick. Or business cards which have micro SDs embedded.
Video Editing: If you can use a DAW and create audio assets for a game, you’ll have the technical aptitude to use video editing software. Plenty of options and loads of Youtube Videos to help with this.
If you’ve already worked on some media products, providing suitable media is a little more straight forward. But what if you have no examples of previous experience to show prospective clients?
My advice would be to pick 4 different genres of game. Then, remove all of the audio. And replace with your own.
As a composer, you now have a blank canvas to work with.
As a sound designer, you can probably find the music on-line and then create your sound design to complement the music.
Your examples probably don’t need to be more than 2 minutes each. Preferably at least a minute to show progression.
Your audio is to enhance the story. You’ll need an intro to set the scene. A build into the main theme before finishing with a structured ending. Never a fade out.
You need to impress whilst being sympathetic to the material you’re presenting. Dynamics are essential.
Shameless self promotion
Learn how to sell yourself – often difficult for games developers
probably the most difficult part of the process