Interviews

Sound Design and Accessibility Interviews

I’ve conducted interviews with professionals in audio and accessibility for Designing Sound and A Sound Effect since late 2016. I can’t overstate how much I’ve learned from these wonderful individuals.

You can also read my shorter news stories, SFX recaps, and edited work on Designing Sound, as well as my SFX recaps and content roundups on A Sound Effect.


A heart beat monitor has a heart-shaped frequency.

The Stanford Virtual Heart is a VR experience that helps medical students and parents understand the most common congenital heart defects. In this interview, hear from Ana Monte, Co-founder of DELTA Soundworks, about how she and her fellow co-founder, Daniel Deboy, got involved with such an interesting project and met its needs for immersion and accuracy.

 

A man interacts with his audio mix via VR.

Working with sound for VR poses a new set of challenges in terms of positioning, levels and virtual acoustics – and to address those, Dear Reality’s dearVR and Spatial Connect let you work with your sounds and mix, directly in VR and in your DAW. Here’s the story behind these fascinating tools, as told by co-founder Christian Sander.

 

A man and woman smile at each via Skype windows.

Leonard Paul, MSc (Director of the School of Video Game Audio) and Rachel Dziezynski (Audio Coordinator at Riot Games) were matched as mentor and mentee through the Audio Mentoring Project last year. They had such a great time with the mentorship that they wanted to share their experiences – so without further ado, here’s Leonard and Rachel:

 

A split image of a woman in a suit and tie - one side serious, the other side goofy.

Daria Novoliantceva is a classical singer, composer, and sound designer at nerdtracks. She earned her master’s degree at the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory where she composed and arranged 80 choir pieces, and she has worked on music for film, television, and puppet theaters. With such strong roots in classical music, what drew her to sound design and convinced her to travel to San Francisco to pursue it? Let’s find out!

 

Trees and roots grow from the words A Shell in the Pit

As an audio studio owner, you are in charge of not of only the schedules and budgets, but also the trust and personal happiness of your team members. Gord McGladdery, owner of A Shell in the Pit, shares how he began his studio and what he looks for in prospective projects. From appreciating the Vancouver community to meditating on Excel sheets, Gord gives us insight into why his studio can work on the projects they are most passionate about.

 

Pit People by The Behemoth "We Make Games"

Cuphead has been receiving a lot of attention for its uncanny visual replication of ’30s cartoons, but it is the sound design in Cuphead that has really sealed the deal in making players feel like they’re experiencing something straight out of Talkertoons – all thanks to the Sweet Justice audio studio! Hear from co-founder Samuel Justice about creating and mixing the sound effects for this unique indie project and how the team gave Cuphead a true Golden Age cartoon sound.

 

Pit People by The Behemoth "We Make Games"

Recently I interviewed Ian Moreno from The Behemoth about the sound design in their newest game Pit People. For longtime fans (like myself), Pit People has what we’ve come to expect: quotable performances, enticing music, and absurd sound effects—all which make their games so endearing and addictive. Hear from Ian about the fun, collaborative process of creating game audio at The Behemoth.

 

Gears formed into the shape of a brain

The Audio Mentoring Project is a fantastic new initiative, aimed at sharing knowledge within the game audio community. And here, Ariel Gross shares the story and thoughts behind this great project, how you can become a mentor or mentee – and why it’s so important that you take part.

 

Criware Audio Middleware

When considering an audio middleware solution, it’s no secret there are many options out there; and CRI Middleware is here to make that choice even tougher. I spoke to Adam Levenson, CRI Middleware’s General Manager for Europe and North America, about their champion product with impressive tools and workflows for implementing audio and video.

 

Dishonored 2 artwork by Petur Arnorsson

They blew us away with their open-world stealth game Dishonored in 2012, and with a second installment that boasted a larger world, brain-twisting maps, and two playable characters, we couldn’t wait to hear from Arkane Studio’s sound team about the detailed soundscapes of Dishonored 2.

 

Game Audio Book Covers

Knowledge is power, and the insight offered in these three compilations will help you become a more well-rounded sound designer no matter where you are in your career.

 

Aragami peers from roof with katana at the ready

Aragami is a beautifully cel-shaded ninja stealth game, and I was lucky enough to have a chance to talk to Two Feathers Studio’s Nicklas Hjertberg and Elvira Björkman, the team behind the game’s peaceful yet brutal sound design and music.

 

A lone survivor on an abandoned spaceship

Event[0] is an exploration adventure game crafted with puzzles, personality and lots of artful, detailed audio. I spoke to sound designers Matt Bonneau and Swann Menage about the game’s audio and learn how they sowed character into a ship who’s accepted its speckled solitude.

 

The sign from A Hero's Call

Drew is the sound designer for the upcoming blind-accessible turn-based strategy game A Hero’s Call by Out of Sight Games. In this interview Drew shares his experience creating characters without visual references and what inspires him to work on such out-of-the-box projects.

 

Kedar and his team

Kedar Shashidhar and his team are developing their first blind-accessible horror game, Sight Unseen. Kedar was kind enough to share stories about developing this immersive ear-lead experience and taking a fresh approach to design for diverse audiences.

 

Ana Monte stands with a boom mic in the Erbil refugee camp

Ana Monte shares her experience as recordist for Picturing War, following journalist and war photographer Benjamin Hiller as he captures images of a YPJ all-female fighter unit, a refugee camp in Erbil, the Murambi Genocide Memorial in Rwanda, and Kurdish soldiers fighting in Northern Iraq.

 

Per Anders on the coast of Skvöde, Sweden

Per Anders Östblad—a Lecturer in Media Arts, Aesthetics and Narration at his alma-mater, The University of Skövde—shares about his new game Frequency Missing, a point-and-click adventure that can be enjoyed by blind and sighted players alike.

 

A boom and digital recorder face the European cityscape

When creating sound effects, how have you pushed the boundary? I asked this question to the SFX and synth creators in our community, and 36 (!) people responded with stories about how they’ve innovated in their areas of expertise of field recording, sound manipulation, virtual instrument design, and more.

 

James Kyle smiles with the AudioJam logo nearby

James Kyle is a Scottish game artist and volunteer with the Royal National Institute of Blind People who is running Audiogame Jam, an international game jam focused on blind-accessible games. Here’s the story behind the project – and how you can support it.