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GameSoundCon Adds Virtual Reality Day for 2016 Conference

GameSoundCon features an impressive line-up of presenters and covers new topics in 2016

GameSoundCon, the premier conference for video game music and sound design, has expanded its 2016 offer with a full day dedicated to Audio for Virtual Reality and another full day on academic and research topics. Sound designers of all levels will come together on Sept 27-28 in Los Angeles for two days packed with sessions, networking opportunities, and hands-on workshops focused on all aspects of game audio, including Virtual Reality in video games. 

Brian Schmidt, Executive Director of GameSoundCon, sees exciting opportunities for game composers and sound designers in the new field of Virtual Reality and its close cousin Augmented Reality. “Virtual Reality is not only taking the game industry by storm, but most other forms of media and entertainment as well. Along with Augmented Reality, VR presents a whole new set of challenges and opportunities for composers and sound designers,” says Schmidt. “Due to the inherently interactive nature of VR and AR, those who are familiar with interactive audio tools such as game composers and sound designers will definitely have a leg-up over those who have only worked in traditional media.”

Because they work in the field, Schmidt and the impressive line-up of speakers at GameSoundCon pride themselves of being up-to-date on current trends as well as new developments in the industry. To that end, one of the speakers at this year’s GameSoundCon will be Scott Gershin, Technicolor’s Director of Sound Editorial. Gershin has worked on over 100 films and received 26 industry award nominations, including a BAFTA Award for his work on American Beauty, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim and Dan Gilroy’sNightcrawler. He brings theatrical sound quality standards to bear on a wide range of consumer experiences - from apps and software to blockbuster game titles like Resident Evil, Plants vs. Zombies, Gears of War, Fable, and most recently id Sofware’s Doom. At GameSoundCon, he and Technicolor Sound Supervisor, Viktor Phoenix, will cover advanced techniques and best practices for implementing 3D audio for Virtual Reality

On day two of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to hear MTV VMA nominated composerTom Salta, one of the most versatile and prolific music artists/producers working in film, television, advertising and video games. He and collaborator, Klayton (Celldweller) will speak about the highly interactive Wwise score for Killer Instinct 3. Renowned for crafting emotionally engaging soundtracks for multimedia, Salta has received widespread industry acclaim for his world-class produced scores featured in films and video games such as several titles of the HALO series, Lawbreakers, the Ghost Recon andHAWX series, the Just Dance series, From Dust, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Red Steel (IGN Award for Best Original Score), and many others.

Additionally, Formosa Interactive’s Vice President of Creative Services, Paul Lipson will share his expertise in composing interactive game scores. Paul is a fixture in the industry, having won numerous awards for his scores and audio work on an extensive list of AAA games such as the Halo series, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Motorsport 5, Iron Man 2, Crimson Dragon, and many more. Paul and his team have been nominated for numerous awards, and recently won Best Original Instrumental at the 2015 GANG Awards.

GameSoundCon’s 2016 line-up also features notable sound design pioneers, such as Chanel Summers, who was Microsoft's first audio technical evangelist and a member of the original Xbox team, a widely recognized figure in leading industry organizations, as well as an educator and the published author of a number of articles and technical white papers. Summers is the co-founder of Syndicate 17, an audio production house that specializes in sound design and music for location-based attractions and virtual/mixed reality products including 5D Global's "Leviathan" which was featured at Sundance New Frontiers Festival 2016 and VRstudios' "Barking Irons" which debuted at CVR 2016, and serves as a technical consultant to a number of organizations and innovative technology companies. She’ll be talking about creating immersive auditory spaces for virtual and augmented reality.

Others speakers will teach and talk about how to compose music for games, including Adam Gubman, who scored and composed for more than 550 video game titles of major interactive industry leaders, Caron Weidner, a highly skilled sound designer who has recently worked on games such LawBreakers, Quantum Break, Evolve, Dead Space 3, and Diablo III, and the audio lead at Pop Cap games, Jaclyn Shumate.

GameSoundCon is a resource for sound designers and composers from Film, TV, music or other traditional media who are looking to widen their skills when it comes to composing music for games, and to game audio professionals who want to learn more about Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and other new areas of growth. The conference is held on September 27-28 in the Milliennium Biltmore Hote in Los Angeles, CA. To register, please go to


Composer Chance Thomas to

Give GameSoundCon 2015 Keynote


Seattle, WA - GameSoundCon, the leading conference on video game music and sound design, has opened early bird registration for their 2015 conference to be held November 3 and 4 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The popular conference features two days of sessions, panel discussions and hands-on workshops from over twenty of the game industry's leading composers, sound designers and audio directors and is the perfect foray into the fast-growing videogame audio industry. Register during early-bird registration before October 2 and save nearly 40% off the onsite admission price.


"The video game industry has been on a steady growth curve for years," said Brian Schmidt, Executive Director of GameSoundCon. "There are many ways for talented music composers and sound designers to carve out a great living making music and sound for games. GameSoundCon is designed to introduce newcomers to the industry as well as the latest technology, trends, and ideas for seasoned game audio pros." 


GameSoundCon comprises four concurrent session tracks. Game Audio Essentialsfeatures presentations and panels on essential topics in game audio, specifically designed for professional composers and sound designers who want to expand into games. Game Audio Pro features talks and roundtables for seasoned game audio professionals, while separate sessions providing Hands-on FMOD Studio training and Hands-on WWise training allow attendees to bring their laptops and receive training on creating interactive music and sound effects using the industry's leading game audio design tools.


The featured keynote speaker for the 2015 conference is Chance Thomas. Chance is a well-known fixture in game audio.  He led the movement which brought game music into the Grammy™ awards and helped found the Game Audio Network Guild.  As a composer, he's scored blockbuster game titles like DOTA2, James Cameron's Avatar and Lord of the Rings Online. These scores have been honored with dozens of industry awards and nominations, including 6 times for Music of the Year. Outside of gaming, his music has underscored commercial success and critical acclaim at the highest levels, including an Oscar™, an Emmy™, and billions of dollars in film and TV sales worldwide.  His business interests range across studios, publishing and audio services, successfully supporting a music career spanning more than 30 years.


"GameSoundCon is a portal to the future," says Thomas. "There are so many opportunities for creativity, inventiveness and career progression composing music for video games and video game sound design.  Great chops, tech savvy and business acumen are the price of admission and GameSoundCon pushes all those buttons.  Attendees are exposed to real-world insights, training, networking and inspiration on all fronts and come away with significantly more value than they entered with."


Thomas is the author of a new university textbook Composing Music For Games: The Art, Technology and Business of Video Game Scoring, published by Focal Press (Oxford).  



Where and when: GameSoundCon 2015 Los Angeles will be held on November 3-4 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. 




How Much Do Game Audio Professionals Really Make?

Current state of income levels among video game composers and sound designers revealed in the recent GameSoundCon report


Los Angeles, September 8, 2014 – With the assistance of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.), Brian Schmidt, Executive Director of GameSoundCon, the premier conference for video game music and sound design, conducted a comprehensive survey among composers, sound designers, audio directors, and others involved in writing music and/or sound content for video games. The goal of the survey was to establish an updated and realistic picture of the income possibilities and parameters for video game composers and sound designers, including the freelancer segment. 


GameSoundCon received over 500 responses to questions related to compensation, work and environment, additional compensation, use of live musicians & middleware, and contract terms within the categories “large budget games”, “casual games” (smaller budget but professionally produced and marketed), and “independent games” (self-financed, such as Kickstarter projects, etc). 


“The changes in the overall game industry are certainly reflected in the game audio industry,” said Brian Schmidt, Executive Director of GameSoundCon.  “Especially in smaller scale games, composers are also creating sound effects and doing integration or other technical work. One thing that surprised us was that compensation had two definite peaks, one at around $55,000 and one around $110,000. We believe this reflects the premium that top composers and sound designers with the right skills can demand, even in a very competitive market.”


The results of the GameSoundCon report reveal important findings for working professionals in the game industry:

• Game Music and Sound is predominantly a freelance gig (60%)

• Game Music is overwhelmingly “work for hire” (95%) and “per unit” royalties are rare (<2%) While a salaried employee makes $70,532 per year on average, a single project in the large-budget-game category averages $76,822.

• The project fee for indy/casual games averages $9,830.

• Most game composers, particularly for smaller games, also deliver sound effects and/or do integration or other technical work

• Even in large-budget games, most of the music is produced virtually as opposed to predominantly by live musicians(54%).

• Women are underrepresented in the industry, at less than 5%


“It’s hard to define our industry”, says Brian Schmidt of GameSoundCon, “It is impossible to draw a sharp line between the categories. Nevertheless, we believe it serves as a useful distinction so that we’re not comparing the compensation from a blockbuster like Call of Duty with that of a, 2‐person development company making an iPhone game in their basement.”


The survey confirms what many working sound designers have experienced when landing a gig, both with a large production or a small indy company. Competition is fierce, and in order to make an income with music creation alone means working on many smaller projects until your reputation, skills and experience generate demand from large budget companies. The good news is: a composer or  sound designer can make a decent or even a considerable income working in games, large or small


In addition to compensation information, the survey reported on


• Work and Environment

• Additional Compensation (Royalties, Bonuses)

• Use of Live Musicians in video game music

• Use of Middleware in games

• Contract terms, Soundtracks & Performance Rights clauses



The complete report with details, graphs, and remarks on the statistical validity of the GameSoundCon survey can be found in the complete downloadable PDF at





Early Registration for GameSoundCon Ends Soon

Register for the 10th Conference on Video Game Music and Sound Design in Los Angeles by September 1 at early bird discounted price




Seattle, WA (August 14, 2014) - GameSoundCon 2014, the leading conference on video game music and sound design, has announced early bird discounts on all registrations until September 1, 2014. The organization's 10th conference will be held October 7-8 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles and feature two days of sessions, panel discussions and hands-on workshops from over twenty of the game industry's leading composers, sound designers and audio directors.


"The video game industry has been changing rapidly," said Brian Schmidt, Executive Director of GameSoundCon. "New consoles have been launched, casual and social games have exploded onto the scene. We've put together speakers and sessions this year that reflect the changing challenges of working in videogames for both aspiring and professional composers and sound designers. GameSoundCon continues to be the premier audio event for people who want to understand the creative, technical and business challenges of working in sound for games."


GameSoundCon comprises four concurrent session tracks. Game Audio Essentials features presentations and panels on essential topics in game audio, specifically designed for professional composers and sound designers who want to expand into games. Game Audio Pro features talks and roundtables for seasoned game audio professionals, while separate sessions providing Hands-on FMOD Studio training and Hands-on WWise training allow attendees to bring their laptops and receive training on creating interactive music and sound effects using the industry's leading game audio design tools.

This year's featured keynote speaker will be Marty O'Donnell, creator of perhaps the most iconic game soundtrack of the recent era with his work on HALO. O'Donnell, formerly audio director at Bungie, now with his own studio, will talk about stimulating creativity, the video game business, and what it was like to collaborate with Sir Paul McCartney on the upcoming game Destiny.


GameSoundCon 2014 Los Angeles will be held on October 7-8 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

For a complete list of speakers, sessions and more information or to register for GameSoundCon, visit







Bungie, PopCap Games, 343 Industries’ Audio Directors Share Secrets

To Landing Dream Job at GameSoundCon 2014



LOS ANGELES – Aug. 4, 2014 – Seasoned audio professionals as well as aspiring composers interested in a career creating music or sound for the videogame industry can hear tips on landing a job as well as what it’s like working with music luminaries from Marty O’Donnell, Marty O’Donnell Music; Guy Whitmore, PopCap Games; Paul Lipson, 343 Industries, and more than two dozen other composer and sound designers  whose resumes include Grammy nominations and AAA titles, speaking at GameSoundCon 2014 Tuesday - Wednesday, Oct. 7 - 8, 2014 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

·         O'Donnell, formerly audio director, Bungie, and the composer of Halo, now with his own studio, will talk about stimulating creativity, the games business and what it was like to collaborate with Sir Paul McCartney on the upcoming game, Destiny


·         Whitmore will discuss the state of the art in real-world interactive music for games and how he has incorporated these techniques into his current workflow


·         Lipson will explain the interaction between what's technically possible and the composer's vision for the game, through the planning, recording and production phases


In addition to taking away insights from some of the most critically-acclaimed audio directors in the video game industry, GameSoundCon attendees will also receive a free expo pass or 10% off a standard pass to GDCNext Monday - Tuesday, Nov. 3 - 4, 2014 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

GameSoundCon attendees will also be able to take part in hands-on training sessions with game audio tools led by the foremost experts on WWise and FMOD and join small group speed mentoring sessions with industry veterans.

“Now in its fifth year and tenth event, GameSoundCon has established itself as the preeminent event in the audio industry,” Brian Schmidt, founder and executive director, SoundCon, explains. “Whether you are interested in getting in the game space or have been in the game industry for years, GameSoundCon 2014 speakers will provide actionable insights you can use to advance your career.”

Registration is now open through the GameSoundCon website. Early bird registration tickets are available through Sept 1.

All attendees will be automatically entered into a contest in which one lucky individual will be selected to have a minute of their work recorded by a live orchestra.


About SoundCon:

SoundCon LLC organizes GameSoundCon, an intimate event that provides sessions dedicated to game audio tools and technology, business, creative and other challenges.



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