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Jay Taylor

Sound (fx) design books?

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Original post by Jay Taylor
Hi.

Are there any good books on sound design out there anybody could recommend? For the beginner.
Have you tried the ones in the book section? There's over 20 of them on various audio topics.

http://www.gamedev.net/columns/books/books.asp?CategoryID=5

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No I havn't tried them.

Looking there, I might check out The Complete Guide to Game Audio
by Aaron Marks - that could be useful. I have some experience with some sound manipulation tools, but only from a musical perspective.

Thanks :)

Jay

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I have the first edition of the Aaron Marks book, and it covers a lot of ground, even if it is somewhat lacking in specific techniques to create sounds. It's more of an overall introduction to sound and music for games and spends a lot of pages covering the process of networking, making bids, hardware lists, composer interviews, etc.

I know it was a little dated by the time I got it, but hopefully the second edition is better aligned with the technical changes to the field.

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Quote:
It's more of an overall introduction to sound and music for games and spends a lot of pages covering the process of networking, making bids, hardware lists, composer interviews, etc.

Meaning, it's full of [mostly] useless BS.
Where are the technique books?

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Quote:
Originally posted by Kryzon
Meaning, it's full of [mostly] useless BS.
Where are the technique books?


Kryzon- What a moronic statement to make! The book is generic in the sense of certain very specific areas to game audio design for several reasons:

1) It would make the length of the book much, much longer than needed if the author choose to write a "how to" for every DAW application out there. Many times there are limitations set in place by the publisher and besides, many consumers get intimidated if they see a 800+ paged book.

2) It would leave out some users if he only supported a few applications. "Aw man, he only covers Logic Pro and I use Sonar! I guess I can't buy this book!" So instead of isolating some readers from the onset, he has chosen to make it more generalized and applicable to a wider range of readers.

3) A "how to" guide to sound design isn't the function or end goal of the book. It is an introduction and is meant to cover all kinds of disciplines and topics.

I'll have you know that this was the first book I read before starting my push towards making this dream job a reality. Many of the skills and lessons I learned from this book helped me reach this goal. Have you even read the book?

To everyone else: If you're wanting books that cover sound design then I suggest:

Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema
by David Sonnenschein

Exploring Sound Design for Interactive Media
by Joseph Cancellaro


A side note: reading a book on sound design isn't going to give you as much as if you just spend some time working with audio and plug-ins. Sure it is good to know the theory behind certain acoustic principles or what kinds of plug-ins to what do an audio file, but unless you can hear the difference.... then you're not really advancing your skills as an audio designer.

I would spend time taking sounds and applying an FX (or several) to it. See how many different sounds you can get out of it. Then try blending various sounds together. Have fun with it! Experiment or try to create a certain sound out of source files completely unrelated! Take out the audio of a trailer or scene of a video game or film and put in your own sound design. Then share it with the forum for feedback and ideas. These methods will help you grow so much faster than just reading a book alone. You have to be hands one to really learn and develop with audio- at least that is my take on things.

Thanks,

Nate

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Nathan is right. The better of the two being, Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema by David Sonnenschein.

I would also suggest you hit up Youtube and watch Ben Burtt. While he is not teaching how to do Sound Design he explains how he does certain effects for Star Wars and WALL-E.

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Glad you thought so Nate. Another one to seek out is Walter Murch. Ben Burtt and Walter Murch are considered the "Gods" if you will of Sound Design.

Jay if you listen to them, you'll notice just how much they stress the use of your imagination and experimentation. You can read and read about all the technical aspects of sound but what will carry you the most in it is your ears, mind and what unique things you can come up with using those as far as actually designing the sounds goes.

Nate suggested "Take out the audio of a trailer or scene of a video game or film and put in your own sound design." I'll take that one step further. BEFORE you remove all the sound from that trailer, listen and I mean really LISTEN to what was done originally to the sound, every step, every movement, every snap, crackle and pop. This does a couple of things, it gets you thinking of how they made that sound and it is a great exercise in listening. You may even start doing that while watching T.V. or Movies.

Steve

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