As part of this year’s online San Diego Comic-Con event, Turtle Beach helped produce The State of Sound Panel, inviting five famous video game composers to discuss the importance of audio in our favorite hobby. As part of the talk, the panel answered questions from viewers, discussed topics such as how newcomers can get into sound design or composition, and shared the weirdest ways they create the noises we hear time and time again in our favorite video games.
Naturally, we’d encourage you to listen through the full, hour-long panel (we’ve even embedded it below for you!) as it’s filled with fascinating insights from experts in the industry. But in case you’re running short on time, we’ve picked out some of the best moments from the conversation for our recap of The State of Sound Panel, presented by Turtle Beach.
Hosted by Erin Ashley Simon, The State of Sound invited five excellent video game composers to share their knowledge. First up was Cris Velasco, founder of The Audio Hive and one of the most experienced composers in the business, having worked on Bloodborne, Fortnite, Overwatch, Resident Evil, and many, many more beloved series. Velasco was joined by his coworker and CEO of The Audio Hive, Jose Varon, known for games like Darksiders 3 and many films as well.
Next up on the Panel was composer, writer, and vocalist, Megan McDuffee, who recently won awards for her score to River City Girls. The next slot was taken by Adam Gubman, an experienced video game composer of over 15 years who’s worked extensively on Hearthstone and even produces tracks for rides at Disney Parks. Finally, Mortal Kombat 11 scorer, Wilbert Roget, II, took the final slot. Along with MK11, Roget, II, has produced the score to titles such as Call of Duty: WW2 and the upcoming indie title Anew: The Distant Light.
With the panel out of the way, let’s get to the highlights!
Recommended: STEALTH 600 & 700 GEN 2
The best-selling wireless headsets just got even better; the Stealth™ 600 & 700 Gen 2 feature massive upgrades to ensure that Turtle Beach gamers always have the definitive audio advantage.
So what is sound design?
While music steals our hearts and emotions, there’s a lot more to video game audio than just melodies. The panel kicked off by explaining different aspects of sound design and composition, and how they all interact in the world of video games.
You don’t need to spend big to get started in sound
Video game composers are becoming more and more recognizable and famous as the years go by, and a direct result of that is more people looking to get involved with the world of video game music and sound design. The technology and software involved can prove daunting and, perhaps even more prohibitively, expensive. However, as the panel discusses, you don’t necessarily need to buy the highest-grade kit on the market in order to get started in-game audio.
It’s hard work, but you can make it
You won’t find many people more enthusiastic about video game audio and sound design than The State of Sound panel, but even they acknowledge that it’s a seriously competitive place to enter. Fortunately, they also have some advice for those looking to get started. Mostly? It boils down to having passions, making friends, and not being a dick.
A good headset makes the difference
As a Turtle Beach fan, we know that you know just how much of a difference a gaming headset can make. But just in case you needed a little reassurance, even expert composers are singing the praises of a high-quality gaming headset to bring out the best of their work.
Sounds can come from the strangest places
Inspiration can hit you at the strangest times, and so can the perfect audio clip. A good composer and sound designer always have an ear out for anything that might make for a great bit of game audio. To round out the show, the panel shared some of the strangest sound sources they’ve made use of including treadmills, kale, actual slime, and an, er, a death whistle. Yes, really.
Again, if you’ve got the time then we’d highly recommend listening to the full panel over on the Turtle Beach YouTube channel. Are you interested in trying your hand at sound design or game music composition? Let us know in the comments section down below!
From the music to the subtle sound cues heard throughout this journey, Ghost of Tsushima is a layered experience that will make every audiophile drool.
Henry Stenhouse was formerly a Ph.D. physicist before being born anew in the fires of game journalism. An unashamed Super Smash Bros. fanatic, he’s still waiting for the rest of the editorial team to accept his daily challenges for an Ultimate showdown. Other genres of interest include FPS, RTS, and western RPGs. You can follow him on Twitter at @Fernoface