Krotos is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and creates unique audio software products for AAA game studios, film studios, and top-notch post-production companies worldwide. Their first product, Dehumaniser Pro, was launched November 2013 to rave reviews and since, the company has quickly grown in size whilst releasing numerous exciting products. As the brainchild of sound designer Orfeas Boteas, Krotos is always looking for ways to improve the post-production process while simultaneously making it fun for sound engineers.
Multiple award-winning Sound Designer Angelo Palazzo‘s career spans 25 years, and has seen him work on huge titles such as Star Trek, From Dusk Til Dawn, Alita: Battle Angel, and many more.
2019 has been a busy year for him, and we’ve just heard of his nomination for MPSE Golden Reels for his recent work on Stranger Things 3 and Frozen II.
We caught up with Angelo to hear about his year, and to find out more about what role his Krotos software played in some of 2019’s biggest features and TV shows!Hi Angelo, thanks for taking the time to talk to us again! Since we last spoke, you’ve worked on two major projects: Stranger Things 3 and Frozen 2. How did you land the Stranger Things gig, and what was it like joining the Sound Department on the third season?
Hey guys! Thanks for reaching out again for an interview. It’s always a pleasure. Yes, it’s been a busy year, for sure.. Stranger Things 3 was definitely one of the highlights and a blast to work on. It’s been quite a ride working on such a popular show and for a successful platform like Netflix.
The show came about for me through my relationship with Craig Henighan who I’ve known and worked with for many years. We were working on Alita: Battle Angel earlier in the year and he asked me if I’d like to take on the SFX Editorial for ST3. Of course, I said yes. I’m also a fan of the show so I was excited to be a part of it and I was definitely inspired about getting to add my style and choices to the show.
Our Sound Department is really a talented group of committed sound professionals. We function more like collaborators rather than a formal department as all of us have the mutual goal of wanting to produce excellent sound work. I’m definitely proud to be a part of this team. It includes re-recording mixers Will Files and Mark Paterson, Craig Henighan as our Sound Supervisor and lead Sound Designer, Ryan Cole is our Dialogue Supervisor, Katie Halliday is our Assistant Editor, and David Klotz is our Music Editor. Craig and David have been on since the first season and the rest of us are all new to the show. For me in terms of sound fx, this was exciting because it meant I had a lot of opportunities to get creative and bring my perspective and style to the show. Most of us actually worked remotely from our own studios which is fairly common these days and I think the first time we as a team were all in the same room together was during playback of the final episode.What was your role on Stranger Things 3? Is there a particular scene / moment you’re the most proud of, and how did you achieve it?
I was the lead SFX Editor in that I was responsible for editing, sourcing, and recording the sound fx and backgrounds for each episode. We had decided early on that we weren’t going to use any of the fx or backgrounds from the first two season so I built up the FX and backgrounds for season three entirely from the ground up, so to speak. Occasionally, Craig and I collaborated on some sound design elements but overall I handled the sound fx. Our workflow was once I completed an episode, I would send it to Craig and he’d combine his design, add any additional elements and then ship it to the mix stage for the final. During the mix, Katie would help with any fx updates or adds and Craig and I would be on to the next episode in order to stay ahead of the schedule.
It’s hard to pick a particular scene I’m most proud of but I definitely enjoyed building out all the rich layers for the Carnival and Fourth of July scenes which included lots of fireworks, rides, screaming crowds, fights, and stylized slow motion. Also the big season finale of the Battle of Starcourt was a particularly fun and challenging episode as it involved it brought together all the big elements of the show. It involved a lot of fast-paced action, hefty fights, guns, fireworks, gore and stylized cutting between the battle in the Starcourt Mall and Hopper and Joyce infiltrating the Russian base on a mission to destroy the huge laser beam drill.
One thing I got a chance to do a lot of during ST3 is recording new material. I was on the show early enough and had plenty of lead up time to come up with ideas and record new material. Also during the post schedule, there were many opportunities to get out and record.
Since there were so many new locations this season, I got a chance to really explore some new backgrounds and sounds. For me, this was great. It was an opportunity to record new sounds and create very focused and custom sound tracks. I was constantly looking for chances to record. Even small, incidental things like in the Byers house, for example, all the doors, the dropping magnets, the microwave, refrigerator, and anything else I could think of is from my home.
My electric garage door was recorded to add character Mr Clarke’s garage door since it’s squeaky and jittery and helped add to the comedy of the scene when Winona Ryder (Joyce) goes to visit him. Los Angeles was hit with some heavy rainy days last November so I built up a new rain library that ended up in the show particularly in Ep 03 “The Case of the Missing Lifeguard” which mostly takes place during a deluge of rain.
Also, a carnival showed up one weekend near Burbank where I live and I was able to get lots of new crowd recordings, motors, rollercoaster tracks clacking, hammer hits, bells, gallery call outs, and scream bys and cheers etc. The carnival even had an exact Gravitron ride like the one in the show. I couldn’t believe it. I remember taking a photo and sending it to Craig saying something like, “Dude, look what I just recorded.” Haha.
Finally, for The Starcourt Mall, I went to The Burbank Town Center Mall and recorded various perspectives of all the different levels to create the ambience and feel of Starcourt. I recorded various POV’s as well as the food court, doors, wallas, crowds, parking lot, etc. Katie also did some of her own mall recordings as well as some public pool recordings for the early episodes which help round out a nice collection of new sounds.You’ve been using Krotos software for quite some time now (I believe you were amongst the first Krotos users right from the beginning!). How have you incorporated them, and have they contributed to your workflow?
Reformer Pro and Dehumaniser 2 have definitely become part of my workflow. Overall I’d say Reformer Pro is my go-to-tool for quickly creating new fx layers and unique combinations and sweetener. I really like how it allows me to try out new ideas and achieve usable results without losing my creative flow or getting bogged down in technicalities and setup time. The most amount of time I ever need to spend with Reformer is when I’m building new libraries, which in fact doesn’t take much time at all and once that’s done, it’s off to the races and that’s when the fun starts.
In regards to creature vocal design, in the early days for me, I used to approach it by first creating a guide track using my own voice. This would simply allow me to have a road map of some of the expressions and directions I wanted to explore. More often than not though my voice would rarely end up in my final tracks since it wasn’t very usable. Now with Dehumaniser, I can still create my roadmaps the same way but now I can processes my voice and get much closer to the final result. It’s also way more fun and inspiring using Dehumansier 2 and it often gives me new ideas. Best of all, even though I will also end up layering in other other elements, Dehumaniser allows me to create very usable tracks that will typically end up in my final build.Have you created your own libraries in Reformer Pro, and what kind of results have you achieved, any cool tricks you could share?
Oh yeah, I’ve created loads of custom libraries with Reformer Pro and I’ve come to learn which type of sounds work best too. It’s a lot of fun to go out and record new material and then build out libraries in Rerformer to use for a project.
A good example is in Ep 06: E Pluribus Unum. During this episode, El uses her abilities to find Billy and see into his past. We find ourselves in an idyllic dreamy beach sequence with waves softly crashing as Billy and his mother enjoy happy times. This scene slowly turns dark and sinister as his father shows up and the sky goes dark and electrical elements can be seen in the waves crashing and in the sky.
One of the ideas I came up with while I was looking at the waves crashing in the scene was how this dreamy scene gave the waves an almost ethereal quality. To me it look kind of like elegant thin papers slowly tearing with each wave crash. Paper tears have an almost ethereal, electrical quality to them so I thought it would be interesting to try to combine each wave crash with these tears to give them an otherworldly quality. I set about creating libraries in Reformer of soft beach waves crashing and paper tears and began experimenting and layering to find the right blends and combinations. Along with traditional editorial, I was able to create a scene that worked out really well and I was very happy with the results.
Another example that was all the guttural and gross gore material that needed to be cut and created. I knew that I would be dealing with lots of gore, slime, bones and blood this season so I set out early making new recordings of thick goopy mud and yogurt as well as fibrous vegetables crunching, twisting and breaking for cartilage and bone. I would then use these to create separate custom libraries in Reformer and play around until I got combinations, layers, or sweeteners I liked. When combined with my editorial tracks, I was able to get some very nice results. Fortunatley, I also already have a formidable library of gore from years of working with Robert Rodriquez on many of his movies like Grindhouse, Machete, Sin City 2, Predators, and Alita: Battle Angel so I didn’t need to create too much new stuff but anytime I got extra time to record new gore ST3, I was sure to do it. You can hear some good examples throughout the season but two of my favorites are in the hospital scenes in Ep.5 “The Flayed” and Ep. 8 The Battle of Starcourt.You worked on Frozen, and have recently completed Frozen 2, what was it like going back to the Frozen Universe, had much changed?
It was so fun getting to come back into the Disney world of Frozen. It was such a blast working on the first Frozen so getting asked to return to contribute my sound design and join the team again for Frozen 2 was such an honor. The post production sound was handled by the awesome folks at The Formosa Group. Formosa is such a great group of professionals and talent and some of favorite people in the sound industry are here. On Frozen 2, we had Sound Supervisor and lead Sound Designer, Odin Benitez, Pernell Salinas our Sound Assistant, Sound Designers Jeff Sawyer, Eliot Connors and Stephen Robinson, Harrison Meyle our Dialogue/ADR Supervisor, and our excellent mixers David Fluhr and Gabriel Guy. Also, new to the Frozen 2 team are a couple of young up and coming and talented editors Chris Bonis who handled Foley and Russel Topal who is a solid editor and rounded out our editorial team.
The Frozen Universe has changed in the sense that all the characters are, of course, older and dealing with more mature issues you might say. It’s sort of a darker Frozen with heavier issues to tackle and unpredictable characters to design. Elsa is presented as sort of a warrior at times and she isn’t afraid of confrontation or conflict so it all makes for a fun sound challenge.It must be a lot of fun working in this Universe! How different is it designing for animation, does it mean you can put more creativity in to bringing your visions to life, and are there any major challenges that come with it?
I’ve always felt that animation is deceivingly challenging and often follows a very different set of “rules” than real-life action movies. The main thing is it looks all fun and playful because you’re in this world of colorful, cute and fun characters but when the action gets going you notice that they don’t move in a way that follows the laws of physics. They might jump or swirl or run or quickly appear or disappear in a way that isn’t possible in real life so, in terms of sound design and editorial, you need to be super-precise and tight and your sound choices must be focused and purposeful. You really can’t have any extra-fat so to speak when building your tracks.
Yes, I feel like I bring a level of creatively to animation that that’s different than typical live action. Real-life action is dictated much by what you see on screen but with animation who can play with perception. I find myself trying all sorts of sound experiments and thinking far outside the box when I need to create magic, or elemental characters or spirt sounds. Frozen 2 has a whole host of “spirit” characters that Elsa and the gang have to contend with. One of my main designs I was asked to create was Gale, the Wind Spirit.Could you tell us some more about how you used your Krotos software on Frozen 2?
Yeah. When I designed Gale, I needed to create various expressions for her. For example, when we first meet her, she’s very playful and fluttery and is teasing and toying with Olaf. Later she becomes super angry and turns into this raging gale-force wind tornado. Each of these expressions needed organic natural elements like leaves and winds, of course, but more importantly needed “vocal” expressions to match her moves so that we could identify her voice and what she’s “saying” or “feeling”. I experimented with different recipes of plug ins to get what I wanted for this and Reformer Pro was instrumental when I needed to create unique combinations of winds, leaves, and other fluttery expressive tonalities and “vocal” elements.
I ended up creating Gale’s voice in a way that presents her as very ethereal, and expressive but it’s not actually a voice and yet it’s very identifiable that it’s her character and expressions. I created her movements to be organic with winds and leaves and whooshes etc but her actual “voice” was not wind at all. I first experimented with my voice and with female voices but non of that worked. Eventually what I designed was surprisingly unique and delicate. It was something I experimented with early on that caught Jennifer Lee’s attention so I knew I was on to something and going in the right direction. By the end I had developed a full “vocabulary” for Gale and she loved and was very happy. She kept wanting to know how I created Gale’s “voice” and expressions but I playfully told her that if I can’t tell her because it would lift the veil of “movie magic” and potentially ruin her movie experience.
It wasn’t that I was trying to be mysterious, or protective or precious about it. It’s more of a phenomenon that every sound designer encounters eventually in their career. That is, the minute you tell your director how you did something, it kind of messes up their experience of the movie. It can potentially ruin the movie magic so I even jokingly told Jennifer that I’m doing this to protect her. Haha. Seriously though, I’ve come to believe that it doesn’t matter how I achieve a sound in a movie.. All that matters is that it moves you and you respond to it. If I can achieve that, I’ve done my job. Over the years, I’ve simply become respectful of this phenomenon so I don’t want to make it about my quirky clever ideas but rather about whether you enjoy the movie.And finally… what’s it like actually watching the full end-result of a film / TV show you’ve worked on, are you able to detach from your sound design work and enjoy it as a spectator?
It’s awesome and yes, always! Love what I do!Share this article: RELATED PRODUCTS Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now
The post Interview with Angelo Palazzo: Krotos in Stranger Things & Frozen 2 appeared first on Krotos.Read More
From the footsteps crunching on glass to the tension created by the monster’s voice, the full sound design for this promo video was created using only the software and libraries contained in the bundle. Sound Design Bundle 2 is the flagship bundle from Krotos, combining four specialised plugins with three huge sound effects libraries – bundled together into one essential package at amazing value. Offering flexible, creative and efficient workflows for sound design, audio post-production and game audio, this enables you to design creatures, animals, weapons, vehicles, footsteps, Foley and other unique sound effects – advancing creativity and shortening the critical path from your imagination to the final mix. Interested in learning what the design process for this video was? We’ve broken down the video in to quick walkthroughs demonstrating how the specialised plugins from the bundle were applied to bringing the full sound to life. Watch ‘Sound Design in Under 10 Minutes’ to learn more!Back to all videos Related Videos
Using Weaponiser for Futuristic Sound EffectsRELATED PRODUCTS Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Read More
From the tyre skids, background noises, footsteps crunching on glass to the tension created by the monster’s voice and resulting gun fire – the full sound design for this scene was created using only the software and libraries contained in the bundle.
Interested in learning what the design process for the above scene was? We’ve broken the scene down in to quick walkthroughs demonstrating how the specialised plugins were applied to bringing the full sound to life. Find out how in our new series ‘Sound Design in Under 10 Minutes’.Igniter: Vehicle sliding and door Foley.
Igniter is our all-in-one solution for vehicle sound design, one of the four flagship plugins that comes with the Sound Design Bundle 2. The beginning of the promo video shows a police van sliding in, skidding wheels, the van abruptly braking to a halt, and finally the back doors opening. How did we go about designing all of this using just Igniter… in under 10 minutes? Watch the video to learn how it was done.Reformer Pro: Glass Crunch and Movement Foley
Reformer Pro is our specialised Foley designer that lets you perform, automate and perform any sound effects in real-time using a mic or controller. In this walkthrough you’ll learn how the clothing movement and footsteps on the broken glass were designed with just Reformer Pro.Weaponiser: Gun fire and footsteps
Weaponiser provides powerful and efficient workflows for weapon sound design and layering. This video walks you through how the individual gunfire was designed, as well as showcasing the depth of Weaponiser’s versatility for creating footsteps.Dehumaniser 2: Monster Vocalisation
Dehumaniser 2 is the Sound Design Bundle’s creature and monster vocal processor, already famed for its use in feature films and TV Series like Stranger Things, the Lion King, Avengers, and many more. Watch the next walkthrough to learn how our sound designer handled an off-screen monster by allowing the audio to build all the tension using only Dehumaniser 2.Sound Design Bundle 2 Black Friday Discount
For a limited time throughout November, the Sound Design Bundle 2 is now available at its lowest price yet: usually at 30% off, this bundle is now available with an additional 20% discount, the perfect opportunity to start revolutionising your workflow at fantastic value!Quick View Buy Now
All the individual plugins from the Sound Design Bundle 2 are available for a free 10 day demo. Download a trial to explore the potential and see how they work for you!Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Read More
From dramatic period pieces to horrific alien invasions, Steven Avila has been responsible for creating unique and rich soundscapes for countless feature films and Television shows such as Preacher, Bloodline, Sneaky Pete, the Frozen Ground, and many more.
Steven talked to us about his career, workflow, and how his Krotos software came to the rescue when designing a particularly tricky scene in AMC’s Preacher. Read the interview below to find out what it means to “Weaponise it”!Hi Steven, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! We’re curious to find out more about your background. How did you get started out in sound?
As a kid I was always making home movies and coming up with silly songs. After doing some research on careers in film, I decided that sound was the perfect combination of film and music that I was looking for. I attended Cal State Fullerton and volunteered to do sound on any student film projects I could get my hands on. At the time, there were no sound classes in the film department so it was a lot of trial, error and experimentation. I also took advantage of the sound classes they offered in the theatre department.
After graduating in 1999 I took on a few internships and landed an assistant job at Monkeyland Audio. It wasn’t long before they had me cutting effects on independent features and TV projects. I loved the place so much I spent 15 years there! I am now working at Sony Pictures in the TV department which is also a wonderful place to work and a dream come true!What’s a day in the life of a sound effects editor / sound designer like for you?
It’s a job I love but it is also very demanding. My days are quite long and intense. I spend about 10 or 11 hours a day cutting sound effects on various TV shows. I would say on average we get about 5 or 6 days to cut hard FX and backgrounds on an hour-long TV show. Depending on how busy the show is, this can be a pretty daunting task. There’s no time to be sick, sleepy or slow and you must stay focused the entire shift. After a day of cutting I am mentally exhausted. I go home, get some rest and do it again. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more rewarding than listening to your work on TV and getting compliments about how good it sounds. It makes it all worth it!You’ve been using Weaponiser in your set-up, what are your impressions, and has it contributed to your workflow?
I was fortunate enough to be the lucky winner of a raffle at the MPSE Golf Tournament about a year ago. Orfeas attended the event in LA and donated the Krotos Sound Design Bundle 2 that I won! I had spoken to him earlier that day about the software and how I wanted to use it for sound on the show “Preacher”. Funny how that worked out! I must say that Weaponiser is my favorite tool in the bundle. It has so many great features and uses but for me it is most useful for getting things done quickly without giving up creativity and quality. If you ever find yourself struggling over a tedious and repetitive sound editing task….. just “Weaponise It!”Can you tell us more about your approach, and the assets you use?
Whenever I have a tedious task at hand I pull up Weaponiser. “Preacher” is an action packed show and sometimes the amount of fighting, shooting and all out madness can be overwhelming. When I see a five-minute fist fight between large groups of people, I find it faster and easier to take all my favorite punches, kicks and whooshes, prep them quickly for Weaponiser and drop them into the software. I put certain groups of sounds in the various banks of each category (Onset, Body, Thump, Tail). Next, I randomize each bank so that every punch, kick or whoosh is randomly selected. I also like to randomize the volume and speed of each sound in turn creating endless combinations for ultimate variation. The synth modulator under the Thump tab is also super handy for beefing up anything that needs more impact. Once I’m all set up, I either mark my session where impacts are needed or try to hit each impact on the fly. I usually record the Onset, Body, Thump and Tail separately to allow more flexibility in the mix.There’s an interesting scene in Preacher that you used Weaponiser for… we want to know more about this! What were your visions for the sound effects, and how did you achieve them?
Sex! Yes, I used Weaponiser for a sex scene! It was a super long dialogue scene that seemed like a piece of cake until the director explained that an angel and a demon were supposed to be having crazy, floor pounding sex in the room upstairs. To create a realistic, non-repetitive, bed pounding sound with a free flowing rhythm would have been super tedious and time consuming. I decided to “Weaponise It”! I gathered my elements (wood hits, ceiling thuds, bed squeaks, springs). I prepped my sounds, dropped them in, randomized and then performed the sex scene with my mouse. It was great! It sounded realistic due to the variation and organic rhythm of my performance.And how would you have approached these scenes before you discovered Krotos and Weaponiser?
Before Krotos Weaponiser this would have taken some time. I would have started by finding a good series of wood hits to use as my base headboard sound. I would have started laying the wood hits across the scene one by one in random order. I would have also tried to vary the speed between hits via nudge and vary the pitch of each hit via pitch shift. Once I had my base down, I would have started adding more elements (wood hits, ceiling booms, bed squeaks, bed springs) making sure each element was in sync with the previous sound. Let’s just say Weaponiser saved me some timeFinally, do you have any advice for the Sound Effects Editors and Sound Designers of the future?
I see lots of young sound graduates who are so hung up on the idea of working at the biggest studio, with the most famous supervisors on the hugest blockbuster films. Try to concentrate on learning the craft in those first years instead. Learn everything you can and get those mistakes out of the way. Your first job is usually where you’ll learn the most. It’s ok to work at a tiny post house doing sound for a cheesy web series. Any place that lets you get in there and get your hands dirty is a perfect place to hone your skills and get good enough to impress people. Don’t forget to network! Knowing people is half the battle!Share this article: RELATED PRODUCTS Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Read More
We’re pleased to introduce two new specialised SFX bundles: the Trailers Library for Weaponiser and the Elements Bundle for Reformer Pro. To celebrate the release, both libraries come free with our Sound Design Bundles for a very limited time.Trailers Library
Trailers brings you cinematic transitions, massive impacts, synth swells, and dramatic risers – a perfect selection of sounds to boost your project. Bring your visions to life with immense flexibility via Weaponiser’s powerful and efficient workflow, and start creating responsive, dramatic sounds with precision and total ease.Elements Bundle Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now
To celebrate the release, we’re offering both these bundles free with our Sound Design Bundles – but only for a limited time!Sound Design Bundle Sound Design Bundle 2
The Sound Design Bundle 2 is our best value package available at 30% off. This bundle combines our flagship plug-ins and three huge libraries – offering fast and creative workflows for designing creatures, footsteps, extreme voice overs, weapons, Foley, vehicles and a whole lot more.
Now for a limited time, you’ll receive both Trailers & Elements free when you purchase Sound Design Bundle 1 or 2 – the perfect opportunity to add even more powerful sound assets to your collection.Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Read More
The Krotos team are excited to be exhibiting at this year’s AES trade show in New York City. The AES International Pro Audio Convention takes place October 16th – 19th at the Javits Center.
At our booth we’ll be demonstrating the Krotos sound design software, answering questions, and generally talking about audio, so come along and say hello. And plus… we may even give you a special sneak preview of things to come from Krotos in the future…
Register for your free complimentary Krotos Exhibits-Plus Badge through AES.
If you’re interested in setting up a meeting anytime during the conference, or while we’re visiting New York, please contact us.Free registration Contact Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Read More
We strongly recommend that all Mac-based users of Krotos products wait to upgrade to this new OS for the time-being. On release, Krotos products will not support this version of OS X.We recommend you turn off automatic updates on your Mac to stay in control of your software as these changes are rolled out by Apple, to avoid disruption to your workflow. We will be in touch once we have updated our software to meet the new OS X guidelines. If you have any other technical questions or enquiries, please feel free to contact us. Contact Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Read More
Andy took some time to talk to us about working with Igniter for driving games, his background, his advice to those starting out in game audio, and his favorite games! Watch his in-depth Igniter tutorial, and find out more in the interview below!Tutorial: Modern Vehicle Sound Design Techniques using Igniter
Andy Gibson talks you through how he uses Igniter for game audio sound design for driving games.
Download a free 10 day demo to try it yourselfInterview: Hi Andy, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. We’re curious to find out bit more about your background! How did you get into sound design and how did working in the games industry come about?
I originally got into sound design from being a musician, I went to Brighton University and studied music and visual art, I learnt sound engineering by working at a recording studio and then I did a Master’s Degree in Sound and Post production at Bournemouth University.
I got a lucky break with Monumental Games in Nottingham who needed a sound designer, video editor and musician and I could do all 3 so it was a good fit and I got my first break into the industry 13 years ago.Are you much of a gamer yourself, and if so what have been your favourite games?
My all-time favourite game is probably Bayonetta. I’m currently playing Bayonetta 2 on Nintendo Switch mainly because it’s absolutely bonkers in every way and there isn’t anything else quite like it. The music is fantastically weird too.
Inside by Playdead is an amazing example of game audio and a brilliant game as well, I can’t recommend it enough. The Uncharted series, but in particular Lost Legacy – I love the dialogue between the two main female characters.
For my sins, I played World of Warcraft for 4 years. I don’t play it anymore but I still get a bit excited every time they release an update.
I guess because I make games, the end product isn’t always what interests me now. I’m much more interested in the technology related to manipulating audio in games than the actual final resultsYou’ve been the Audio Lead at Electric Square, what projects have you been working on there recently?
I’m currently working on Hot Wheels ID – a mobile application that works alongside Mattel’s physical toys.
I also work on Forza Street – a free to play play mobile and Windows racer, Electric Square are working on with Turn 10. Prior to that I worked on the Grand Tour, an episodic game based on the successful TV show and before that I worked on For Honor at Studio Gobo.And what’s a typical day in the life as an Audio Director like for you, is it still very much hands-on?
A typical day in the life of an Audio Director, hmm… there are a lot of meetings, organising and delegating work out to the sound designers, talking with the leads of other departments, spending a lot of time in spreadsheets, Jira and other project management tools but ultimately overseeing and steering the audio vision of the game and keeping your team happy and busy.
At Electric Square im currently in a lead audio role, so it’s much more hands-on, after the stand-up meetings and team meetings and game reviews I will make lots of audio content either from original recordings that we go out and record ourselves, or from libraries and audio tools such as Native Instruments, Whoosh, RX, Krotos tools and Reaper etc. We work in sprints and milestones, so its always busy and deadlines loom.You seem to keep busy and have many other talents from music to video production, animation and filmmaking. What’s the creative community like in Brighton?
Thank you! I love making music and sound for games but in my spare time I make videos for bands that I love such as The Grey Hairs, Power Solo and God Damn.
Brighton is an amazing hub for creativity, especially now for the games industry. The Indie scene is flourishing, and there are many large studios here now: Unity have an office here and it’s just a really good town.
It’s an attractive place for skilled and talented people to come and live and work there’s plenty to do and see, I’ve been here for many years but enjoy it more now as the games industry is growing here.What are some of the most challenging gaming projects you’ve worked on so far? And the most rewarding?
The most challenging games have worked on so far would probably be Drakansang Online and Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. With Drakansang Online I had to convert a five-year-old MMO client-based RPG game from Fmod Designer to Fmod Studio whilst it was a live game. It was complicated and many assets needed to be reworked.
The Grand Tour game is probably the most rewarding game I’ve worked for a while on for so many reasons. We had a short development cycle and we had to pre-plan everything: I had to edit a lot of Jeremy Clarkson’s dialogue which was painful in places.
I enjoyed the way in which the episodic delivery worked and the fact that the game was marketed and made for people that enjoy the TV Show and not necessarily gamers, it was an interesting, challenging and rewarding experience.It’s great to hear that you’ve been using and exploring Igniter for vehicle sound design! What are your impressions so far, and has it improved your workflow?
Totally – Igniter is a great tool for working with sound to picture and manipulating the audio whilst viewing the video. It speeds up my workflow for generating initial ideas, getting stuff in quick, and having a palette of sounds straight away.
Igniter is unconventional and interactive. Instead of editing and manipulating pre-recorded audio, you can can use granular sounds and manipulate them with pitch and modulations etc to get a very believable sound quickly and easily.
Igniter comes with inbuilt synthesisers and loop makers, which are great for experimenting with fictitious or electrical cars. It works well as a way to to prepare assets for Fmod, Rev or Wwise, so it’s definitely worth checking out, and I’ve heard Wwise integration will be available soon. When this happens it will be extremely powerful for game developmentWhat would you say the future of gaming audio technology looks like?
Granular, Wwise and Fmod, and triggering audio with Houdini. What I currently find exciting about game audio is that the restrictions that have always held it back are slowly going away due to faster technology, faster CPUs, more storage or memory, etc, so we can have more sounds, make it more granular, more reactive and smarter!
Dev teams working with Houdini, the art generative tool, are placing audio with art assets simultaneously and reactively based on game data and parameters, is a smart and fast way of working and I think this will become more commonplace in the next year or twoAnd finally, what advice would you pass on to those thinking of entering the game audio world as a career path?
It’s tough, its hard work and it might take a while. Learn the middleware, get your head around Unity or Unreal, record your own stuff and learn how to manipulate it and make it interesting. It probably won’t come straight away, it might take more than several times to get a lucky break but keep persisting!
Check out the Indie scene, maybe work on some titles on a profit share basis, network, listen and meet as many folk as you can. Get to game industry nights – there are loads, we ( Charlie Pateman and I) run a Game Audio night in Brighton – you’re very welcome to come along!Share this article: RELATED PRODUCTS Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now
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The Whooshes Library by Krotos offers a complete collection of whoosh sound effects for creating a variety of movements, pass-bys, transitions, sweeps and impacts. Professionally recorded and designed by Krotos, this high-quality sound library is specially designed for use in Weaponiser – the all-in-one creative solution for weapon sound design and layering.
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This SFX library also comes with 50 presets to get you started right out-of-the-box so you can tweak, layer, design and experiment with Weaponiser.Back to all videos Related Videos
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The Magic Library by Krotos is a specialised sound library filled with otherworldly, supernatural, cinematic sounds – the perfect mix to inspire and create your secret audio potions. Professionally recorded and designed by Krotos, this high-quality sound library is specially designed for use in Weaponiser – the all-in-one creative solution for weapon sound design and layering.
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This SFX library also comes with 50 presets to get you started right out-of-the-box so you can tweak, layer, design and experiment with Weaponiser. Cast a spell, brew your potions, and create sonic wizardry in your sound design!Back to all videos Related Videos
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