2019 GameSoundCon Advisory Board

Chip Beaman: Co-chair Dialogue & Performance Track

The Halp Network

William “Chip” Beaman is founder and CEO of The Halp Network, a company created to match trusted creative entertainment professionals and vendors with the best opportunities within the ever-changing world of entertainment.  An entertainment veteran with nearly 30 years of experience, Chip was destined for this business.  His innate ability to find just the right person for just the right position coupled with his extensive list of contacts made launching The Halp Network a natural.

Most recently, Chip served as the VP for Formosa Group’s Interactive Division for five years, overseeing the audio and VO production of some of the interactive industry’s most well-known titles.  Prior to his time at Formosa, he spent nearly a decade as a manager of the voiceover and talent services department which included negotiating celebrity talent deals at Soundelux Design Music Group, an award-winning post production facility in Hollywood.  

While building strong internal teams and sourcing quality external resources, as well as identifying and promoting ground-breaking leading edge content, he has also produced multi-million dollar interactive video games for Disney Interactive, THQ, and many others for over 10 years.  Since then, he has amassed years of management and negotiating experience coupled with deep entertainment industry relationships.  Some notable recent projects include Uncharted 4, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Metal Gear Solid series, the God of War series, Final Fantasy XIV, Call of Duty series, Halo 2 Anniversary, Star Wars: The Old Republic and The Last of Us. 

Chip is a regular contributor at the SAG-AFTRA Interactive Media negotiations representing management. He has been a panelist at GameSoundCon and GDC in San Francisco as well as a guest speaker at various recording studios and workshops in Los Angeles.  He is a member of the International Game Developers Association & The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.  Chip serves as co-chairman of GVAC (G.A.N.G. Voice Actor Coalition), a professional branch of the Game Audio Network Guild, where, for nearly a decade, he has aided in developing policy and evangelizing the unique needs and issues surrounding professional dialog production.   He was awarded the GANG Distinguished Service Award at the 2009 GANG Awards.

He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 18 years, Denise and his dog, Ragoo.
 

Linda Gedemer: Co-chair Virtual Reality Audio Track

Technical Director/VR Audio Evangelist, Source Sound VR

Linda Gedemer serves as the Technical Director and VR Audio Evangelist for Source Sound VR, which provides in VR sound services for cinematic, game-based, and live broadcast virtual reality experiences. Linda holds an undergraduate degree in Music Engineering / Electrical Engineering (Univ. of Miami), graduate degree in Acoustics (Rensselaer) and a PhD in Audio and Acoustical Engineering (Univ. of Salford, UK). 

Linda began her career as an AV systems designer and acoustic consultant, working for companies such as Walt Disney Imagineering. As part of her PhD research, she worked for Harman International in their acoustic research department. Linda has been actively involved in audio production work for many years and is an MPSE Golden Reel Award winning sound editor. In addition, she was an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University teaching studio acoustics, recording technology and digital audio as part of LMU’s School of Film and Television for 12 years. She has presented at conferences worldwide and  developed and co-chaired the first AES International Conference on Audio for VR/AR.

Linda plays bassoon (but never in public), will randomly quote lines from ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, and makes a wicked margarita. 

Sally Kellaway: Co-chair Virtual Reality

Senior Audio Designer, Microsoft Mixed Reality at Work

Sally Kellaway is the Senior Audio Designer at Microsoft Mixed Reality at Work, where she is exploring the future of Spatial Audio in Mixed Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Enterprise applications.  This intersection of technologies allows Sal to build new workflows and technology pipelines that leverage interactive and immersive audio technologies from audio post production, psychoacoustics and game audio with the mission to discover how humans hear, experience and use audio as signals in Mixed Reality.  Sal has a deep passion for communicating about the power of audio, and has spoken at conferences across the globe about her experience working across Game Audio, VR and Audio Hardware Development.

Norbert Herber: Chair - Research Track

Sr. Lecturer & Unity Director of Media Arts & Production: Indiana University

Norbert Herber is a musician and sound artist. His work explores the relationship between people and sound within mediated environments—spaces created by software, sensors, speakers, and other mediating technologies. In his early career, Norbert worked as a jazz saxophonist and arranger, playing and writing for groups of all sizes in a variety of styles. Years later, with the introduction of so-called multimedia technology and individual interactive media experiences on CD-ROM, Norbert’s focus shifted to composition. He worked as a composer and sound designer, and contributed to a number of award-winning educational games. His background as an improvising musician made work as a games and interaction composer a natural and compelling musical challenge. But as his engagement with this work grew so did his curiosity about its theoretical implications. Once again his focus shifted; this time to research. Under the supervision of Roy Ascott and Brian Eno Norbert developed Amergent Music, a systems-oriented approach to music and mediated interaction that combines the emergent dynamics of complex systems with generative and experimental music, sound design, scoring, sound art, and techniques of game audio. Currently Norbert composes musical systems that leverage the processing capabilities of contemporary technology and make music specific to a place and time. His works have been performed and exhibited in Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, and the United States. He is also a Senior Lecturer and Unit Director of Media Arts & Production in the Media School at Indiana University.

Dana Plank: Co-chair Game Audio Studies

The Ohio State University

Rich

Dana Plank (@Musicologess) earned her Ph.D in Historical Musicology from The Ohio State University in December 2018, with a dissertation on representations of disability in early video game soundscapes. She earned her BA in violin performance, music history, and Japanese from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2009, and her MM in violin performance from Cleveland State University in 2011. Her research interests include the sacred music of Carlo Gesualdo, minimalist and post-minimalist opera, Egyptology, ludomusicology, disability studies, and music and identity. 

Her publications include an article for The Soundtrack entitled “’From Russia with Fun!’ Tetris, Korobeiniki, and the Ludic Soviet,” and “Mario Paint Composer and Musical (Re)Play on YouTube,” a chapter in Michael Austin’s Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play. She has three forthcoming publications: an article on the uses of the Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor in 8-bit video games for BACH: Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute; a chapter on musical exoticism in Cleopatra no Ma Takara for the Famicom, for Music in the Role-Playing Game: Heroes and Harmonies (edited by William Gibbons and Steven Reale); and a chapter on the cognitive and physiological effects of game sound for the Cambridge Companion to Video Game Music (edited by Melanie Frisch and Tim Summers). In addition to her scholarship, she remains active as a violinist and chamber musician

Matthew Thompson: Chair, Game Audio Studies Track

Assistant Professor of Music, University of Michigan

Matthew Thompson, DMA— collaborative piano, is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Michigan.  There he works as a vocal coach and diction teacher for Voice department in addition to teaching large interdisciplinary classes.  As a pianist, Dr. Thompson has played with operatic celebrities like Thomas Hampson, Golden Mask winner, Vince Yi, and musical theatre gurus like Tony Award winner, Gavin Creel.  Equally comfortable collaborating with large ensembles and instrumentalists, Thompson is Artistic Director for the Carolyn Mawby Chorale, recently featured in the Netflix series Flint Town and released a disc of Japanese composed oboe/piano duets, Japonica, with U-M alumnus and WMU oboe faculty, Dr. Alex Hayashi.  

 

In addition to his work as a pianist, Dr. Thompson’s interests in game audio have become a major component of his teaching and research profile.  In 2013, Thompson became one of the first collegiate pedagogues to use video game music as a teaching tool when he created his infamous Video Game Music class, which will surpass 1000 graduates next semester.  Thompson has presented multiple times at the North American Conference on Video Game Music (NACVGM), the only scholarly conference on video game music in North America, and was lead organizer and host for the 2018 NACVGM, held at the University of Michigan.  During the 2018-2019 school year, Thompson won a grant allowing him to create and teach the first ever collegiate studio of pianists studying video game piano transcriptions.  He has performed video game duets with Video Game Pianist, Dr. Martin Leung, and in late 2019 will release the world premiere recording of “For the Piano,” a solo piano work composed by Marty O’Donnell.  He maintains a blog about game audio at videogamemusicnerd.blogspot.com and has written proactively commissioned book reviews published in the American Journal of Play.  Thompson is delighted to have been invited to serve in his second year on the advisory board for GameSoundCon.  

Julia Bianco Schoeffling: Co-chair Dialogue & Performance Track

The Halp Network

Julia Bianco Schoeffling is the Chief Operating Officer of The Halp Network, a company created to match trusted creative entertainment professionals and vendors with the best opportunities within the ever-changing world of entertainment.  From gaming through traditional production, Julia has built a network of incredibly talented industry professionals, who have assisted companies in achieving their creative goals.  Over the past 15 years, Julia has had a hand in some of the most influential interactive franchises in history including Gears of War, God of War, Call of Duty, Skylanders, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Legend of Zelda, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and many more. 

Previously, Julia was Director of Voice Over Services and Head of Casting at Formosa Group where she helped form the interactive division which grew into a division of 20 full-time employees in only five years.  More recently in her role there, she focused on casting for interactive and new media including performance and voice capture. Recent casting credits include the VR title, hit throwback Crash Bandicoot: Insane Trilogy, Lucky’s Tale 2 and Square’s Secret of Mana.  Prior to Formosa, Julia worked for top developers and audio vendors in Los Angeles including the award-winning Soundelux Design Music Group and world-renowned game developer, Treyarch.

A New York native, she currently lives in Los Angeles with her beautiful daughter Nina, husband and two dogs.
 

Brian Schmidt - Founder and Executive Director

GameSoundCon Founder and Executive Director

Brian Schmidt is the founder and creator of GameSoundCon. The 2008 recipient of the Game Audio Network Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Brian has been creating game music, sounds and cutting edge game sound technology since 1987. With a credit list of over 130 games and a client list including Zynga, Sony, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Sega, Microsoft, Data East, Namco, SounDelux and many others. Brian has used his combined expertise and experience in music composition, sound design and his deep technical knowledge to change the landscape of the game audio industry. Brian is a frequent and in-demand speaker on the creative, technical and business aspects of game audio, having given literally hundreds of educational and inspirational talks at conferences all over the world. Events such as the Game Developers Conference, Microsoft’s Gamefest, Sega Devcon, the Audio Engineering Society Conference and esteemed institutions such as Yale University, Northwestern University, and Digipen have invited Brian to share his knowledge and insight into the industry.

 

Brian began his career in game audio in 1987 as a composer, sound effects designer and music programmer for Williams Electronic Games in Chicago writing music and creating sound effects for pinball machines and coin-operated video games. While there, he was the primary composer of the video game NARC. His main Theme from NARC was later recorded and released by The Pixies; his other work has been featured in the CD set, “Legends of Game Music.” In 1989, Brian left Williams and became one of the industry’s first independent game audio composers and sound designers, where he worked on such games as John Madden Football, the Desert Strike Series, and the award winning Crueball. Other credits include Guns and Roses Pinball, where he worked closely with Slash to create a truly interactive Rock and Roll game experience.

 

In 1998, Brian was recruited by Microsoft to lead the direction of game audio technologies. While there, he joined the then-fledgling Xbox organization as the primary architect for its audio and music system. Brian has been credited with bringing Interactive Dolby Digital Surround Sound to interactive gaming through his efforts at Xbox where he also created the original Xbox startup sound. During his 10-year tenure at Microsoft, Brian continued to drive and advance game audio technologies through tools such as the award-winning “XACT” (Xbox Audio Creation Tool); the first-of-its kind tool to provide interactive mixing for video games. Brian was also responsible for the overall audio system of the Xbox 360 game system, including the XMA audio compression format, winner of the G.A.N.G “Best New Technology award” and finalist in IGDA’s “Best new technology” category. Brian is currently a consultant to the video game industry working with companies large and small.

 

Brian received undergraduate degrees in music and computer science from Northwestern University in1985,where he created the first dual degree program between the School of Music and the Technological Institute. He went on to complete his Masters degree in Computer Applications in Music in 1987, where portions of his thesis work was published in the prestigious Computer Music Journal and presented by invitation to the AES specials conference on Audio Technology. While in school, Brian worked as an apprentice to film and jingle composer John Tatgenhorst, where he learned to appreciate the art and science of putting sound to picture. Brian currently sits on the advisory board of the Game Developer Conference, is a founding board member of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.) is a former steering committee member of the Interactive Audio Special Interest Group (ia-sig) of the MMA, and has been a featured keynote speaker at The Game Developers Conference and Project BBQ. Brian was also a member of a select group of ten game audio professionals who successfully lobbied NARAS into making video game soundtracks eligible for the Grammy Award in 1999. In 2012, Brian was elected President of the Game Audio Network Guild and currently serves in that role.

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