Question for a Sound Designer!!! PLEASE HELP!!!

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Baconhammer

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08-19-2011

Hello, I am looking to goto college here soon for Sound Design, actually aiming to work for Riot! I am not 100% sure about some things and the schools will tell me whatever sounds best... I was wondering if I could talk to a Sound Design that works at Riot! PLEASE HELP!!!!!


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Baconhammer

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08-19-2011

bump


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Baconhammer

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08-20-2011

bumping again


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GameZombie

Senior Member

08-20-2011

i might be able to help a bit where you from and are you willing to travel to go to college?


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Baconhammer

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08-20-2011

Yeah im willing to travel. I just dont know which school to choose. I was told to either check out Full Sail or University of Southern California. Both of them are expensive as hell, but I figure atleast with USC ill already be in Cali and could possibly Intern with Riot.


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GameZombie

Senior Member

08-20-2011

well from what i can see in their programs full sail will set you on a good path but so would going for usc. I am going to the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and getting my broadcast journalism degree. Though not directly related to our award winning magd department i learn more about sound through the broadcast journalism degree. We are taught how to use adobe, vegas, pro tools, etc... video programs like final cut. The biggest decision for you to make is what exactly do you want to do. The jobs in audio gaming range from producing, implementing, syching, mixing, putting together, projects. The biggest thing for you to do is get your feet wet, see what you love and go running with it. Right now i work as an production intern for a radio station and am loving it. I hope to intern at riot sometime soon but got to get closer to the west coast. Hope this helps.

-Sumking


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BelligerentSwan

Sr. Sound Designer

08-21-2011
1 of 1 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baconhammer View Post
Hello, I am looking to goto college here soon for Sound Design, actually aiming to work for Riot! I am not 100% sure about some things and the schools will tell me whatever sounds best... I was wondering if I could talk to a Sound Design that works at Riot! PLEASE HELP!!!!!
Cue long epic post...

Hey Bacon,

Glad to hear you are interested in Sound Design as a career. As for us here at Riot we've all taken a bit different path. Personally I went to school for Music Industry Studies with a focus on Technology. Which is just a fancy way of saying recording production with some performance and business classes thrown into the mix.

However about halfway into my degree I realized I wanted to focus on getting into games and started to fine tune my classes to things related to this field. So I took classes on Audio sweetening, surround sound, etc. And for both my junior and senior projects spoke with the professors about focusing them toward sound design for games and thankfully they were both open to the idea. In fact I did this for a few other classes where I explored things like Max/MSP, field recording and other things.

While there are many different schools that focus on a variety of aspects relating to music, sound, and film. I personally think it's really about how you take advantage of these opportunities and try to gear them toward what you really want to do.

A few things that you can do to become engaged in the sound design field in order to get the most out of your education are:

- Actively listening to games, movies, tv, etc. Don't just play the game to play it, play it and start asking yourself, I wonder why they did this sound here. What were they trying to do? Was it feedback for the player? Was it to try and provide an emotional response to the audience? Was it to build tension and put the user on edge?

- Stay up to date and engaged in the community. There are some great websites out there like designingsound.org, socialsounddesign.com, sonicterrain.com and more that provide a great insight into how many sound designers think and go about creating the sounds you hear.

- Practice. Get involved in as many student or low-budget projects as you can. You can look in the creative section of craigslist, or mandy. A lot of these places are always looking for help in low-budget films or projects. By offering up your services for free you can get a huge amount of experience and learn new techniques along the way without feeling a lot of pressure. You can also learn things like location sound recording, or field recording to go along with the sound design. If you can't get into any projects, just go to gametrailers.com or ign.com and download a game trailer you like. Then practice by putting sound to it. This is also a great way to try out new techniques.

- On the fly field recording. One of the best purchases I ever made was a Zoom H4 I bought on ebay while in school. It was perfect for my very limited budget, but it still gave me great results. I would play around and record stuff all the time with that thing (and still do when traveling) It's not going to be the most amazingly awesome recordings but they are still really good. And its perfect for while in school. Record stuff around the apartment/house, record stuff in the city, record stuff in the country. Just record a bunch of stuff take it back home and play around with it. Add effects, reverse it, cut it up, just have fun with it. You'll be surprised in what you can do. Also it doesn't have to be a Zoom H4, there are tons of other ones with just as good results you can try.

-Socialize. Find some good people that are interested in the same things you are. Talk about new games, or movies and the things that really stood out in the sound design to you. Talk about techniques you use to do your own work. You shouldn't view college as learning only from professors. You should try to learn from your classmates as well. Get a group of people together grab/rent some mics and field recorders and plan a day of field recording, then share the results with each other.

But, to get back to your main question about which school is best. There seem to be two main trends for schools relating to audio/sound fields. There is the traditional 2-4 year programs at medium-large schools where you get an education in not only audio but you also take gen ed classes like economics, sciences, math, history. And then there is the more focused finely tuned schools where the classes only really relate to the audio field of things. There may be some semi-related classes, but for the most part they don't require the gen ed classes as much. These tend to be shorter length, usually around 2 years.

There is no answer to which is the better. As I've known and worked with people from both that are as equally qualified. Personally I see it as which is a better fit for your particular situation. And sometimes only you can answer that.

One thing that has helped me out many different times in the past in making tough decisions is to make a list of the schools and write out the pros and cons of each. You should consider things like budget, types of classes, campus size (is too big of a campus going to be a distraction), school facilities and gear, willingness of the school to work with you to do what you want, knowledgeable professors that are willing to help you reach your goal. Good active community, area internships (even if not directly related to sound design), cost of living, etc. And the big one is how is this going to help you learn and thrive in order to do what you want to do. At the end of the day only you can answer these questions.

But remember, The most important thing is to always have fun.

Hope this helps. And if you have any more questions feel free to ask away.


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Baconhammer

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Member

08-22-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by BelligerentSwan View Post
Cue long epic post...

Hey Bacon,

Glad to hear you are interested in Sound Design as a career. As for us here at Riot we've all taken a bit different path. Personally I went to school for Music Industry Studies with a focus on Technology. Which is just a fancy way of saying recording production with some performance and business classes thrown into the mix.

However about halfway into my degree I realized I wanted to focus on getting into games and started to fine tune my classes to things related to this field. So I took classes on Audio sweetening, surround sound, etc. And for both my junior and senior projects spoke with the professors about focusing them toward sound design for games and thankfully they were both open to the idea. In fact I did this for a few other classes where I explored things like Max/MSP, field recording and other things.

While there are many different schools that focus on a variety of aspects relating to music, sound, and film. I personally think it's really about how you take advantage of these opportunities and try to gear them toward what you really want to do.

A few things that you can do to become engaged in the sound design field in order to get the most out of your education are:

- Actively listening to games, movies, tv, etc. Don't just play the game to play it, play it and start asking yourself, I wonder why they did this sound here. What were they trying to do? Was it feedback for the player? Was it to try and provide an emotional response to the audience? Was it to build tension and put the user on edge?

- Stay up to date and engaged in the community. There are some great websites out there like designingsound.org, socialsounddesign.com, sonicterrain.com and more that provide a great insight into how many sound designers think and go about creating the sounds you hear.

- Practice. Get involved in as many student or low-budget projects as you can. You can look in the creative section of craigslist, or mandy. A lot of these places are always looking for help in low-budget films or projects. By offering up your services for free you can get a huge amount of experience and learn new techniques along the way without feeling a lot of pressure. You can also learn things like location sound recording, or field recording to go along with the sound design. If you can't get into any projects, just go to gametrailers.com or ign.com and download a game trailer you like. Then practice by putting sound to it. This is also a great way to try out new techniques.

- On the fly field recording. One of the best purchases I ever made was a Zoom H4 I bought on ebay while in school. It was perfect for my very limited budget, but it still gave me great results. I would play around and record stuff all the time with that thing (and still do when traveling) It's not going to be the most amazingly awesome recordings but they are still really good. And its perfect for while in school. Record stuff around the apartment/house, record stuff in the city, record stuff in the country. Just record a bunch of stuff take it back home and play around with it. Add effects, reverse it, cut it up, just have fun with it. You'll be surprised in what you can do. Also it doesn't have to be a Zoom H4, there are tons of other ones with just as good results you can try.

-Socialize. Find some good people that are interested in the same things you are. Talk about new games, or movies and the things that really stood out in the sound design to you. Talk about techniques you use to do your own work. You shouldn't view college as learning only from professors. You should try to learn from your classmates as well. Get a group of people together grab/rent some mics and field recorders and plan a day of field recording, then share the results with each other.

But, to get back to your main question about which school is best. There seem to be two main trends for schools relating to audio/sound fields. There is the traditional 2-4 year programs at medium-large schools where you get an education in not only audio but you also take gen ed classes like economics, sciences, math, history. And then there is the more focused finely tuned schools where the classes only really relate to the audio field of things. There may be some semi-related classes, but for the most part they don't require the gen ed classes as much. These tend to be shorter length, usually around 2 years.

There is no answer to which is the better. As I've known and worked with people from both that are as equally qualified. Personally I see it as which is a better fit for your particular situation. And sometimes only you can answer that.

One thing that has helped me out many different times in the past in making tough decisions is to make a list of the schools and write out the pros and cons of each. You should consider things like budget, types of classes, campus size (is too big of a campus going to be a distraction), school facilities and gear, willingness of the school to work with you to do what you want, knowledgeable professors that are willing to help you reach your goal. Good active community, area internships (even if not directly related to sound design), cost of living, etc. And the big one is how is this going to help you learn and thrive in order to do what you want to do. At the end of the day only you can answer these questions.

But remember, The most important thing is to always have fun.

Hope this helps. And if you have any more questions feel free to ask away.
Thank you so much for the "long epic post", much appreciated! There are lots of questions I have really but I only will ask a few.

What programs are you using? FMOD, Unreal Engine 3D, Logic Pro? Not sure what all programs are out there yet, but I use Logic Pro a lot, for about 3 years or so now, im learning FMOD now.

Thanks for the sites! I am going to be looking into those sites now.

I am thinking of going to Full Sail University and wanted to know if yourself, Riot or anyone might know if that is a good thing when on a resume, id RATHER go to University of Southern California... but I cant afford $232k for Four years! ... So I think I might go to Full Sail, I just dont know if places think its a joke or not, because its a "trade school", I hear good and bad things about it, so im not sure. But I get a Bachelors in two years time, just nervous really on making such a big decision. But I know this is what I want to do. I just want to make sure its not like a G.E.D to a H.S Diploma.

Thanks again for everything!


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Baconhammer

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Member

08-23-2011

Love those sites man! I appreciate it!


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cBadgers

Junior Member

08-27-2011

Quote:
One of the best purchases I ever made was a Zoom H4
I just recorded a friends movie using it and have seen it used to record a whole orchestral concert! Its a great piece of kit all around


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