Video Game Sound Design One of Five CRAS Program Focuses that Have Helped Students Launch Careers with Acclaimed Gaming Companies
The “Make the Sound that Makes the Game” program includes topics and proficiencies in digital studio system configuration, digital audio workstation control surfaces, advanced digital processing, audio production techniques and complete integration using Wwise.
Gilbert, Ariz., Sept. 5, 2017 – Gaming companies looking for audio engineers/Integrators, and gamers looking to enter the world of video game production take note…The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS; www.cras.edu), the premier institution for audio engineering education, has an impressive list of graduates with sound design credits on numerous AAA title video game productions.
“A CRAS education is not just for music, live sound, Film & TV, and broadcast engineering anymore,” said Kirt Hamm, CRAS administrator. “In the world of modern video games, audio is just as important as video. Music, dialogue, environments, explosions, soundscapes, and more play an intricate part of the game, going hand-in-hand with the video aspect of the overall experience. CRAS partnered with Audiokinetic in 2006 and developed the “Make the Sound that Makes the Game” curriculum. For over a decade CRAS has offered its students an education in video game audio design and Integration. As a result, we have many graduates who have made a significant impact on the industry and have been part of some of the biggest game title ever released.”
Sound design and audio integration for video games is part of the CRAS Master Recording Program II. The “Make the Sound that Makes the Game” program includes topics and proficiencies in digital studio system configuration, digital audio workstation control surfaces, advanced digital processing, audio production techniques and complete integration using Wwise. Students learn how to integrate and mix in CRAS’ Surround Sound Studio. Video game audio is taught in CRAS Studio D, a production environment centered in and around integrating music, effects, and sounds into video games. Studio D features the same audio monitoring system as studios such as Skywalker Sound and Chase Productions. In total, CRAS has 13 control rooms that students train in.
CRAS is the first and longest running school to teach the audio middleware Wwise which is the most popular integration solution for video game production. “We worked with AudioKinetic to develop the Wwise online Certification curriculum that thousands have taken to date,” added Hamm. Our students learn from certified Wwise instructors, whom are the best the industry has to offer.”
CRAS grads who have worked on audio for many acclaimed video games include Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Eliot Connors; Sound Designer); Rocket League (Mike Ault; Sound Designer); SMITE (Noah Sandifer; Sound Designer); Halo 5: Guardians;Batman: Arkham City; and Killzone 3 (Kyle Rochlin; Foley Mixer); Dishonored 2 (Dustin Buford; Dialogue Recordist); Uncharted III and Sly Copper IV (Alexandria Terry; Symphony Recording); Fall Out New Vegas (Bawo Ijirigho; Dialog Editor); Resident Evil 7 (Elliot Conners; Sound Designer); Imfamous Second Son (Tyler Graves; Foley Artist); and many more.
“We have many graduate success stories in the gaming industry here at CRAS,” said Dave Kalberg, CRAS Game Audio – Mastering Instructor. “The gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar international market…and growing every year. As a result, there are many career opportunities out there for our graduates. Their CRAS education and drive for success gives them a head start on most others out there competing for these jobs.”
Said CRAS grad Noah Sandifer (SMITE; sound designer), “I’ve been working as one of the lead sound designers for SMITE the last few months and it’s been absolutely incredible. I’ve been designing and implementing sounds into the game engine nearly every day which is a dream come true. I wanted to say thanks (to Dave Kalberg) for encouraging me to pursue video games because if it wasn’t for (his) support, I probably would have fallen back to post production or music which doesn’t have the same hold over my heart. Truly, (Dave’s) involvement in my education really did unlock a whole world I had only dreamed of seeing through gaming news sites. (Dave’s encouragement) was the moment I had decided I couldn’t work in another branch of entertainment with the same passion I have for games.”
Added CRAS grad Dustin Buford (Dishonored 2; dialogue recordist), “You definitely get back what you put into your time at CRAS. The excellent education I received, coupled with tenacity and patience, was vital to my success.”
The 11-month program is designed to allow every student access to learn and train in all of the Conservatory’s studios which are comprised with state-of-the-art audio recording and mixing gear, the same equipment used in today’s finest studios and remote broadcast facilities, including Pro Tools 12, API Legacy consoles, SSL AWS consoles, Studer Vista consoles, and much more. All students must complete a 280-hour industry internship to graduate from the Master Recording Program II that may ultimately lead to industry employment.