Audio - Project Overview, Sound Design and Music Production, Future of Game Audio, Demos
Major projects and productions I have been involved with:
• Shooty Skies – [iOS/Android] - Mighty Games Group
• Disney Crossy Road – [iOS/Android] - Mighty Games Group
• Crossy Road – [iOS/Android] - Hipster Whale
• Slide The Shakes – [iOS/Android] - Prettygreat
• Flipper Fox – [iOS/Android] - Torus Games
• The Orient Express – [iOS/- Android] Torus Games
• Mike the Knight – [3DS/NDS] - Nintendo
• Fireman Sam – [3DS/NDS] - Nintendo
• Land Sliders – [iOS/Android] - Prettygreat
• Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails – [3DS/NDS] - Nintendo
• Barbie & Her Sisters : Puppy Rescue – [WiiU/360/PS3/3DS/WiiU] - Mattel
• Monster High: New Ghoul in School – [WiiU/360/PS3/3DS/WiiU] - Mattel
• Armello - [PS4/PC/iOS/Android] - League of Geeks
• Crystal Crusade – [iOS/Android] Torus Games
• Penguins of Madagascar – [iOS/Android] - Dreamworks
• Falling Skies: The Game – [PC/360/PS3/WiiU] - Little Orbit / TNT
• How To Train Your Dragon 2 – [WiiU/360/PS3/3DS/WiiU] - Little Orbit / Dreamworks
• Falling Skies: Planetary Warfare – [iOS/Android] - Little Orbit / TNT
• Barbie: Dreamhouse Party – [Wii/360/PS3/3DS/WiiU] - Little Orbit / Mattel
• Monster High: 13 Wishes – [iOS/Android] - Little Orbit
• Turbo – [WiiU/3DS/NDS] - D3P / Dreamworks
• The Croods - Prehistoric Party – [WiiU/Wii/3DS/NDS] - D3P / Dreamworks
• Rise Of The Guardians – [WiiU/Wii/3DS/NDS] - D3P / Dreamworks
• Whack-a-Bone – [Web/iOS] - Media Saints / Anatomy Arcade
• Madagascar 3 – [3DS/NDS] - D3P / Dreamworks4
• ABC Play School - Online – [Web] - Media Saints / ABC
• Pokémon Arcade – [Web] - Nintendo
• Stunt Flyer: Hero of the Skies – [Wii] - Just A Game
• Bigfoot – [Wii] - ZOO
• Knowledge Quest – [Web] - Media Saints / Jacaranda
• Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Swamp – [PC/NDS/Wii/PSP/PS2] - Warner Brothers
• Jolly Rover – [PC/Mac] - Film Victoria / Brawsome
• Kid Adventures: Sky Captain – [Wii] - Torus Games/D3
• Scooby-Doo! First Frights – [PC/NDS/Wii/PSP/PS2] - Warner Brothers
• Zoo Hospital – [NDS/Wii] – Majesco
• Puzzle Quest; Galactrix – [NDS] - Infinite Interactive/Film Victoria
• Puzzle Quest; Warlords – [NDS] - Infinite Interactive/D3
• Neopets Puzzle Adventure – [NDS] - Capcom
• Heroes Of The Indianapolis 500 – [NDS/Wii] - Destineer
• Monster Jam 2; Urban Assault – [PC/NDS/Wii/PS2] - Activision
• Indianapolis 500 Legends – [PS2] - Destineer
• Monster Jam; Maximum Destruction – [PC/NDS/Wii/360/PSP/PS2] – Activision
• Pony Friends – [NDS] – Eidos
• Outcast 2 – [PC] – Infogrames
• Black Opal - Lisa Gerrard
• Sacred - Gabriel Sage
• Siege Mentality - Digital Primate
• Absolute - Ozymandias
• Sarac'h - Denez Prigent & Lisa Gerrard
• A Thousand Roads - Lisa Gerrard & Jeff Rona
• Layer Cake - Lisa Gerrard & Patric Cassidy
• Immortal Memory - Lisa Gerrard & Patric Cassidy
• Tears of the Sun - Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard, Klaus Badelt & Steve Jablonsky
• Gladiator - More Music - Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard, Klaus Badelt & Jeff Rona
• Gladiator - Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard, Klaus Badelt & Jeff Rona
• Irvi - Denez Prigent & Lisa Gerrard
• Man on Fire - Harry Gregson-Williams & Lisa Gerrard
• Ali - The Score - Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke
• Ali (Various Artists) - Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke
• Whalerider - Lisa Gerrard
• Insider - Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke Stygian Vista
• Stygian Vistas - Soma
• Toward the Within - Dead Can Dance (live concert filming/recording/editing)
• Duality - Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke
• Azimoth - eXperimenta media arts festival
• The Mirror Pool - Lisa Gerrard
Music is something I love and am incredibly passionate about; it comforts and soothes my everyday existence. In this age of proliferating technology, we are fortunate to be able to engage with music wherever we are. Indeed, I would be lost without my ever-expanding music collection.
Aesthetic audio sense is becoming a lost art. Subtlety, dynamics, coherence and silence are aspects in which few are willing to invest. Not everything can be fixed with processing, or at the mixing or mastering stage. For instance, it's impossible to fix poor microphone placement after the recording has been done. If too many of the finer details are ignored, the whole production might suffer.
I highly recommend visiting www.synthtopia.com or Julian Fraser Standen's Gearslutz.com forums.
For me, they are a invaluable source of inspiration and information.
I was fourteen when I started experimenting with audio. I spent countless hours exploring the sound capabilities of my Commodore 64 (Sid chip) mainly coding in basic or using the Musicalc software. I also grew up with a piano in the house, later expending my interests to: hand percussion, singing and synthesizer programming. Currently I am involved in various organizations and businesses: studios, production houses, bands, creative groups, workshops, theatre and various installations. Great sounding audio is something I go all out for and lucky for me there is no shortage of likeminded projects.
Sound Design and Music Production
Sound production and perfection is something I am extremely passionate about. My aim is to attain the impossible and, lucky for me, audio production will be forever trying to accomplish exactly that. I think sound and music are becoming retrospective; with the aid of modern technologies, we are aiming to recreate that hallmark warm analog sound of the past.
Game audio is an exciting field to work in. Cross-platform middleware like Miles Sound Syste, FMOD, Wwise and a few others, spearhead their way into a feature rich future. Audio interactivity is something that games can uniquely bring about and this ability opens a vast realm of expression. There are endless possibilities that require an entirely new way of structuring the creation and delivery of music, ambiance and sound effects.
Skillful low overhead processing, encoding and resampling are the most precious commodities; from Direct-Stream Digital (DSD) to 4000Hz 4bit and every format and samplerate in between. Sometimes it is very hard to retain a recordings original essence, each algorithm processes and taints frequencies differently. At this moment in time I think that one of the biggest problems is virtual mixing (digital summing), it degrades the sound quality immensely. As it stands there is really only one solution: to do summing in analog. Unfortunately when it comes to realtime digital audio, analog summing is just something that cannot be easily done, so attention has to be paid to the bus mixing structure, frequency overlaps and oversampling.
My equipment list is vast - I work and run two studios. On a personal level, I would have to say that my Kyma & Capybara are the jewels. Steinberg's Wavelab and Nuendo, and Native Instruments Reaktor are also tools I could not do without. I remember when I first beta tested Generator (an early version of Reaktor), it was an inspiring deep modular sythesiser experience (except for the complete OS lockups).
Future of Game Audio
Games are constantly compared to movies. Many say that the film-studio business model is what the game industry needs to adopt. I believe that there are clear similarities between the film and game industries but games can also include and be like; books, music, painting, dancing, communicating or personalised tutoring and are seldom the passive experiences that films are. Actually, the term game is becoming less correct in describing many 'game' or virtual reality titles. I believe we need to update or expand the term computer games, much like Comics expanded into Graphic Novels.
Game audio is far more creative and interactive than audio in other forms of entertainment. Best of all the creativity can come not only from the developer but also from the participator. The fact that the player is also creating an aural experience is almost never scoped into the design. I am hoping that new middleware systems and their features will open new possibilities not only for the developers but also for the players. Bringing a whole new level to the sandbox gaming and VR experience.
Once the “next gen” game audio technology and structures are in place, I can see a live tuning and reacting environment that will leave even the wildest futuristic dreams in the dust. I see special audio and mixing AI systems that will create music and sound effects that even the designer, composer and most of all player could not have imagined.
I also believe that the whole of gaming culture will soon arrive at a few crossroads. For starters journalists will need to mirror the more aesthetic focus of music and art reviews if they hope to write a remotely coherent evaluation of a game or VR experience. Hopefully, at that moment the industry will also initiate a game and interactive audio excellence award structure or at least add the appropriate category to the existing awards. BAFTA and Grammy have already made considerable steps in the right direction. But I also hope that the game industry can disconnect from the established film, music and TV awards and adopt more refined acknowledgements of game excellence.
As most games accrue about five hundred thousand voiceover files, I have worked on millions of voice recordings, managed, mixed and performed countess live concerts. I have worked on every aspect of any kind of audio production; in brum cupboards or cathedrals with the worst and the best equipment. All with one objective in mind: to make it sound great! But as always the proof is in the pudding or as I like to say; results are the true measure.
Please keep in mind that for demo purposes these are just excerpts and at best just pale reflections of what they are when experienced in their entirety or in the given context; be it film, game, album, live production, installation or audiobook.
Voiceover and Narration
The voice is the medium of most stories, their lifeblood, understanding and pulse. A lot if not everything pivots on the voice, it is all-important. On most projects, it starts with a great performance and direction. Followed by a great recording and editing. Then comes mixing and mastering. Usually the final step is (flawless) encoding and implementation. The human voice is noting short of amazing and I do not think that my fascination with the nuances, feelings and powers that voices muster will ever end. I truly enjoy working with voices it is one of my passions.
On most projects experimentation is the best way to arrive at original and interesting sounds. But for me a well-stocked sound library is where the creativity starts. Over the years I have recorded, generated and collected a vast library of sounds. This montage is but a drop in the ocean.