2020 Sessions are currently being added. Partial list below
 

How to Get Hired a Second Time

Jesse Harlin

I've been in the game industry for 20+ years. Every single time I try to bring on an assistant, they have the same deficiencies, the same blind spots that music school didn't prepare them for correctly. I end up having to teach them the correct procedures for a slew of basic Game Audio 101 stuff that they should know already. This talk will load attendees up on these same important details that have been neglected from their college educations and that cause them to have to be taught on the job by Audio Pros. There will be small details that we address where they don't even know they're wrong.

VO Demo 101

Sarah Blandy, Gerard Marino

One of the most important tools in getting an audition as a voice over actor in any project is having a great voice over demo!....but what goes into getting that great demo? What are the things the actor would need to prepare for? Who will help in making the demo? Where do they even start??

Join voice over actors and demo producers Sarah Blandy and Gerard Marino in learning the basics of getting that great demo. Learn what the actor needs to prepare, what the director needs to know, and what the engineer does in order to make a demo that makes your talent shine.

Game Jamming with Wwise + FMOD

Leonard Paul, School of Video Game Audio

Presented by the School of Video Game Audio.

Learn how to quickly integrate audio middleware for your next great game jam project! Let's have a review of the existing tools out there as well as some feedback from previous game audio jammers on the best ways to set things up for your game.

Designing ambiances for Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville

Viviana Caro, Electronic Arts

Studio Deep Dive: League of Legends Chapter I: A 360° view of League of Legends Audio Development

Matteo Stronati (Audio Director), Kole Hicks (Senior Composer)

League Frequencies: A Deep Dive with the League of Legends Audio Team in the development of sound, music, and voice over for one of the most competitive esports titles

In this 1st chapter, we will give the audience an overview of what it means to create audio for League of Legends across different crafts: Sound Design, Music Composition, Voice Over. It'll be a high level presentation of the different product types that need audio on League of Legends and how their differences impact the way we approach those product types differently throughout the design process.

Studio Deep Dive: League of Legends Chapter II: Building Blocks: Creating Audio Source Material for League of Legends

Brandon Reader (Audio Lead), Craig Deskins (Audio Lead)

League Frequencies: A Deep Dive with the League of Legends Audio Team in the development of sound, music, and voice over for one of the most competitive esports titles

In this 2nd chapter, we will be diving into the sound design process of generating audio source material to develop new sound palettes for new champions & skins. With 145 different Champions and over 1000 skins, one of the many challenges presented to League of Legends Audio Designers is constantly developing new sonic palettes that will be instantly recognizable to players and that are part of each champion or skin identity in its inner core.

Studio Deep Dive: League of Legends The Voices of League of Legends

David Lyerly (Voice Over Director), Julian Samal (Voice Over Design Lead)

League Frequencies: A Deep Dive with the League of Legends Audio Team in the development of sound, music, and voice over for one of the most competitive esports titles

This is the voice over part of our event. We're going to talk about all things Voice Over. From the challenges faced in the casting process, to recording sessions, editing & mastering, voice over design & implementation and the unique aspects of developing voice over for such a global title that has so many languages.

Studio Deep Dive: League of Legends Chapter IV: The Challenges of Designing Audio for a Competitive & Global Esport

Alison Ho (Sound Designer), Julian Samal (Voice Over Design Lead), Jayvon Rymer (Sound Designer)

League Frequencies: A Deep Dive with the League of Legends Audio Team in the development of sound, music, and voice over for one of the most competitive esports titles

In this chapter, we will cover the challenges presented by the fact that working on League of Legends means more than designing audio for a game. It means designing audio for an actual sport, an e-sport, and that comes with some very unique challenges that normally aren't encountered when working in games.

DAW Templates and Workflows for Interactive Music

Edouard Brenneisen

How do you take advantage of modern DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) to easily deliver the wide variety and large volume of assets required of game composers?

Composer Edouard Brenneisen offers insights and strategies into setting up DAW templates and other audio tools in order to deliver music assets for interactive media in a way that is reliable, repeatable and, whenever possible, automatable. The session will shed a light on producing stems for horizontal branching, layers for vertical remixing, as well as looping assets and stingers. Particular emphasis is placed on workflows that require minimum human input and yield predictable results, thereby reducing the cost of iteration and the time spent preparing assets.

Composing Music for In-Game Islands, Subterranean Areas and Beyond

Chase Bethea

Approaching a three million player base 2D Pixel Art style game and going against the musical status quo. Honing in to compose something that is completely unique and incomparable to any other video game soundtracks that has existed before. This talk will be a deep dive into how Aground’s musical style was drafted, conceived and polished.

The talk will also include a transparent analysis on the technical sound design and artistic creative process. It will include design journal entries, practical examples and anecdotes that outline the journey of sustaining creativity during a 2.5 year low budget Indie development cycle. Attendees will also understand the constant challenges, discipline and initiative it takes to iterate and test your own work before seeking final approval on a small indie team.

Approaching the 3D Audio Ideal - The Necessary Adoption of Object-Based Rendering

Damian Kastbauer/Simon Ashby, Audiokinetic

For the longest time, the best vehicle to carry spatial information was to mix the audio content using more than one channel. To achieve better spatial precision, the industry has proposed new formats almost every decade that increased the channel count from stereo, to 5.1, to 7.1.4 more recently. While standard channel configurations continue to maintain their value in preservation of a certain level of fidelity, especially for linear content, the precision necessary for interactive audio is better served by higher order Ambisonics and the use of audio objects. 

The latest improvements in 3D spatial audio is embodied by personalized HRTF when properly informed by Ambisonics and object-based audio delivered to headphones. This new method also provides better spatial precision over standard speaker configurations.

This talk outlines:

  • The ideal intersection of mixing considerations between channels and objects

  • The forthcoming authoring & profiling workflow in Wwise

  • New creative considerations and methodology involved with leveraging object-based audio

Solace: Remote VO Recording in the time of COVID-19

Michael Roache, Blizzard Entertainment

In February of this year, we were asked to model scenarios for working from home. For much of Blizzard, the transition was relatively painless, logistically – move your computer and some peripherals home or simply VPN into your work PC from an existing home computer.

However, for those of us in voiceover, we were faced with a looming challenge. How would we continue recording actors if the venues where we recorded them were closed by a government order for the safety of the general public? We were planning to temporarily suspend all VO recording just days before the Stay at Home Order was issued – but the team had already collectively decided that shipping our next game without VO was not an option. That was our mindset as we suddenly found ourselves without a way to record actors for our games – or at least, not in the manner we had been accustomed to for years and years.

What ensued was a massive effort to develop a method to keep recording with actors – from their homes – and maintain a workflow that was familiar to the participants in those sessions. How would we connect everyone? Would we be able to maintain the Blizzard quality that our colleagues and community have come to expect? Would we be able to hit our deadlines?

We’ll talk about what we did, how we did it, and, perhaps most importantly, why we did it. Through a combination of ingenuity and sheer will, we kept recording, we hit deadlines and we delivered on quality – all while living through a global pandemic.

A Post Mortem on My 2nd Industry Job: Pandemic Dialogue

Monet Gardiner, 343 Studios

In this session, I will share my day-to-day challenges as I worked on dialogue from home during the pandemic, including tracking my work and dealing with deadlines, communicating with colleagues, leads and managers, and figuring out work/life balance during Alpha and Beta crunch times. I will also cover how I am preparing for my next role during this crisis that may change the industry, including useful tools from updating my resume & reel, interviewing, and continual networking and mentoring.

Video Game Voice Acting: Understanding the Vocal Health of Voice Actors

Patrick Aiken, Dr. Reena Gupta, Cissy Jones

Presented by the Halp Network
Video game voice actors represent a new professional voice user population who may be at greater risk of voice difficulty and disorder due to the nature of their work. Join award-winning actress Cissy Jones, laryngologist Dr. Reena Gupta, and speech pathologist and researcher Patrick Aiken for this session on the science and practicalities of voice and voice acting for video games!

This session will include a presentation by Patrick Aiken on his team’s research in the area of video game voice acting from The University of Queensland, followed by joint panel discussion with Cissy Jones and Dr. Reena Gupta on voice acting; vocal health; detecting and protecting against vocal injury; and the voices of voice actors.

Attendees with gain knowledge into research in the area of voice, the nature of voice difficulty and disorder relating to video game performance, the need for research focusing on video game performance, and the ability to speak directly with professionals the field of voice as part of a panel discussion with industry stakeholders and representatives.

Game Audio Education Summit

Multiple

This half day summit is for teachers, administrators, program directors and anyone involved with game music or sound education to both share ideas and information and foster sense of community for those who teach game music, sound design or audio technology at the post secondary level.

Composing Interactive Music I

Tom Salta

This session will walk attendees through the foundations and various stages of scoring music for video games. Tom Salta will share his composing workflow from start to finish covering everything from working with the game designer, concept development, interactive composition considerations, testing and more. This talk will offer valuable insights for beginners as well as seasoned pros.

Getting the Most out of Your Live Session: The Music of DISINTEGRATION

Jon Everist

In this hour long talk I’d like the audience to see behind the curtain in developing and executing a complex hybrid interactive score for the first person shooter DISINTEGRATION by Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto, slated for release this summer. I plan to emphasize the importance of hiring a team and delegating tasks to bring the musical vision to reality. From leitmotif writing, digital mock-up all the way to live recording, mixing and Wwise implementation, I plan on showing the steps taken to develop a complex score into reality. Using video recordings from our session as well as score following - the audience will get to see how we used special melody “FX” cues at our live sessions to capture critical leitmotif material that could be used and reused through the score and in cinematics. I’ll cover the process of writing and revising major themes for the game and what steps were taken to bring those ideas to reality. I’ll highlight the trials of mixing a hybrid score while still maintaining realism of the live recorded elements - and give useful hints when stemming and busing your music for mixing and interactivity. I plan on opening the Wwise project to view how a live cue works in context as the game moves from ambient into combat and back again, and how live elements can elevate the effectiveness of interactivity in games.

Make a Killer Demo

Rob Pearsall & Others

The key to getting a game audio job is to prove that you have what it takes to do the job. There are many steps in the process, but a great demo is often the 'foot' in the door. How good does it have to be? How good is good? What form should it take?

How to Survive the Media Music Industry: A Primer for Young Professionals

Kenny Wood, Nadia Wheaton, Kent Kercher

The original ‘Assisting the Composer’ guidebook originated as a reaction to a series of blogposts and anonymous stories, concerning the working conditions faced by assistants of many Hollywood composers, in the midst of the #metoo and #payuphollywood movements.

Now, with the second edition nearing completion, three of its main authors and editors would like to take a moment to address early and hopeful media music professionals. We will focus our discussion on the various assistant roles within an established music team, how to work as an independent composer without an established team, and resources for navigating the often-murky fields of legality and ethics in the media music industry.

Game Audio Network Guild – Breakout Series: Redefining Career Building Stigmas

Laryssa Okada, Emmanuel Lagumbay, Cody Matthew Johnson

Join Emmanuel Lagumbay (Riot Games Audio Coordinator) Laryssa Okada (343 Industries Associate Audio Producer) and Cody Matthew Johnson (Game Audio Network Guild Communications Manager and Emperia Sound and Music Audio Director) in identifying popular stigmas and pitfalls of industry and peer pressure.

Topics of discussion include identifying existing stigmas (such as the often opportunistic "networking"), redefining these stigmas to have positive connotations to encourage community and altruism over opportunistic and individualism, approaching a career with a "Go-Giver" mentality, and changing the narrative on building a successful career (for example away from "hustle" culture)

The panel presentation will equip both aspiring game audio professionals and veterans to redefine their individual approaches to career building and will position the audience to grow, both personally and professional, in balance.

Game Audio Education Summit: From Institute to Industry:

A panel of college alumni will discuss their transition from college student to full-time game audio professional. We’ll learn about the components of their education that the alumni found valuable, what they believe helped them stand out in a very competitive field and also learn about the knowledge and skills they wish they would have acquired before they entered the workforce.

Game Audio Education Summit: Emerging Game Audio Programs and Curricula

This panel will feature educators that teach game audio as a portion of the curriculum for a broader music degree. Our panelists will discuss how these courses were conceived and integrated into new or existing music programs. We’ll learn about how these teachers approach the study of the broad field of game audio in a limited amount of class time

Game Audio Education Summit: Program Director's Roundtable

The Game Audio Education Summit at GameSoundCon is a forum for teachers, program directors and others involved in teaching game audio at the post secondary level to share, learn from each other and help foster a sense of community. Through roundtables, panel discussions and presentations, this ‘conference within a conference’ is for anyone teaching game audio, whether as part of a formal game audio program, or as a smaller part of a broader music or audio program

Game Audio Education Summit: Collaboration in Game Audio Education: Facilitating & Evaluating Student Team-based Game Projects

Team-based projects are often used as a capstone project for students in game audio programs. 

Given the interdependent nature of game audio, how can we approach such challenges as

  • Collaborating interdepartmentally or across different institutions

  • Evaluating student work in an interdependent medium such as a student game

  • Balancing artistic with technical objectives

  • Balancing pedagogical objectives against the desire to create a great portfolio piece

Metamorphosis: Collaborating on an expressionist score for a Kafkaesque World

Garry Schyman, Mikolai Stroinski

This very unique game, inspired by Franz Kafka’s famous novel, takes place in a bizarre and nightmarish world inhabited by insects and a corrupt bureaucracy. The game gave us an astonishing opportunity to write music inspired by the expressionist era of art and music in the early 20th century. Composers Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg, as well later composers such as Bernard Herrmann were inspirations. We will describe how incorporating techniques of the era such as Sprechgesang (half spoken half sung), 12 tone, aleatoric, tonal and atonal harmonies we invoked a past age that worked perfectly for the world of Metamorphosis.

In addition to these aspects of the composition we will detail our collaboration as composers and with the developer, how it worked, finding and working with a uniquely talented vocalist, preparing our score to be recorded with live orchestra and mixing with one of the great Hollywood score mixers.

Will AI Survive Composers?

Atilla Fodor

Some people dismiss it, some people fear it, but is there a place for AI in our art? What is our role in the creation process and what is that magic that we, and only we can add to our music? We are constantly using tools to create and automate repetitive tasks, that are not dependent on our own personality, knowledge or in other words, profile. We use algorithms and co-workers to help us accomplish tasks faster, due to deadlines or simply because we are trying to stay in the flow as long as we can. It is nothing new, this was always the way for many of the masters, and still they had their unique voice. It would be a luxury to deny it, algorithms are coming and will challenge us, so we need to prepare and focus on those elements of the creation that really needs us. We are facing a paradigm shift so why shouldn't we take advantage of understanding the consequences before it is too late?

Roundtable: Gender Safety and Equality in Game Audio

Nomi Abadi, Louise Godbold

Composing Interactive Music II

Tom Salta

In this session Tom Salta will help attendees gain an understanding of the area of game music integration and why it’s such an important part of the gaming experience. Attendees will gain insights into the various types of implementation along with accompanying examples. Tom will also share various compositional/technical strategies and techniques for composing non-linear music.

Business of Game Music Panel

Richard Ludlow, Sarah Kovacs, Jeffrey Rose, Sebastian Wolfe, Brian Schmidt

Hosted by a group of music industry experts, this panel is made up of some of the most business-knowledgeable individuals in the game music industry. This panel will focus on 3 key topics: 1) Contracts, 2) Agents, and 3) Monetization. We aim to take frequently topics discussed in the online game audio community and bring them into the real world with experts in an engaging dialogue and engaging Q&A.

Introduction to Game Audio: How Games are Different from Anything You've Worked on Before

Brian Schmidt

This session provides an introduction and exploration into the many ways in which video game music and sound design are fundamentally different from linear media such as television or film. It also covers what to expect when working on a game, and how being part of a game team is very different from being hired to score or do sound design for more traditional media.

Essential Game Audio Technology

Brian Schmidt

The technology behind game sound, both its capabilities and limitations can have a profound impact on how game sound is created and put into a video game. Knowing these gives the composer or sound designer the ability to set a high bar, but not promise more than they can deliver. This session will cover the essential issues in game audio technology and how they affect what is and isn’t possible when creating game sound and music. Digital Audio, Game Sound Compression, Inside a Game Console, How Console Technology Affects Game Music & Sound Design are some of the topics covered

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