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Sound and Music in Games: Skillsets and OE staff?


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Hello everyone! First post but I'm a longtime lurker and fan.


This thread poses a couple of questions:


1. What kind of skills do game companies (and OE in particular) look for when it comes to the audio side of things? Do they (you) have the traditional creative (composer, orchestration, performer) and technical (recording, mixing, mastering) divisions or do you look for more hybridized candidates? Do you subcontract to other companies and if so are you aware of the profiles they look for in potential employees?


2. Given my skillset could you advise on things I ought to work on to make myself more desirable in this field?


I'm a doctoral student in music who will finish his coursework this spring and complete his degree (inquisitions, papers, projects, recitals, etc.) roughly a year after that.


On the creative side I have a good pedigree of compositional teachers, a small portfolio of compositions some of which include recordings, sounds orchestrational technique, and top notch performance chops on one instrument (most of my extremely modest income is from freelance performance in the LA area).


On the technical side I use Pro Tools LE on a regular basis for recording and mixing of both live and digital instruments. One of my elective fields is in recording arts so I have 'the textbook approaches' to fall back on when my quirky recording and editing styles don't work.


Presently I'm taking coursework in Audio Mastering and looking into appropriate software (mastering in Pro Tools is possible, but very inefficient) and moving to a locale where it is quiet enough for mastering work.


So... Should I be working on expanding my portfolio? Perhaps putting up a website with examples? Finding a demo team (a la Jesper Kyd)? Find a mod team? Learn basic programming skills?


I have a lot of interesting new ideas I think I can bring to the industry and I'd like to thank everyone who replies in advance for bumping me in the right developmental direction. Thanks!

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I know nothing.


However, just as a general comment, you can put your portfolio onto a webpage (even if it's MySpace or similar); you can secure it or even use the networking facility to gain some promotion, which can be quite successful.


A mod team would allow you to gain some real-world experience (I have no idea but I would expect that this would be well regarded by a prospective employer), working to specifications (we need some dark music here, celebrational stuff here, etc) and to deadlines, so that would certainly not be a waste of your time.


Good luck. ;)




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In terms of Audio for sound FX I know very little in regards to what is the industry standard, as for musical composition it's usually pro-tools based.


Obsidian usually outsource, for musical composition.


If you're interested in composing music for computer games then I suggest you try and contact Jeremy Soule ( http://www.jeremysoule.com/ )


Regardless of if you actually like his compositions he's got a wealth of industry experience, and has answered questions i had many years ago, so I assume he's still very friendly and forthcoming with information.


Good luck.:shifty:



"I'm a programmer at a games company... REET GOOD!" - Me

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Thanks folks. Any further insights are, of course, welcome so don't take this as a 'I know everything I set out to know with this question so I'm audi post' but instead as a thanks post. From this and my other inquiries it's looking more and more like the mod/web thing is the way to go.


NightandtheShape, Jeremy is sort of the gold standard for game scoring at the moment and that's largely why I'm trying to find out who does their sound and music in house. The outsourcing model for game music pretty much ensures that scoring for games remains static. I had caught a thread earlier that said KOTOR2 was outsourced to him and I was hoping that since then OE had acquired in house sound/music guys both for future product quality and so I could pick their brians since this is a notoriously wannabe friendly forum. :bat:) Things like true dynamic scoring (where the music adapts to the action in the game) as seen in other art forms like opera and movies is pretty impossible to implement in games without being integrated into the development from day 1. I'm probably one of the MOST enthusastic people about what Jeremy Soule has done for gaming music up to this point but I feel that the business model he subscribes to limits gaming composition to being just quality movie cues put into games.

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