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Some advice to start off...please.

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I've studied music for a long time. Done some minor scoring (short films, theatre, a few simple title music for online games). I'm relatively good at my DAW (Cubase) and also decent with virtual instruments, mixing, mastering etc. I have realized that knowing about sound design would be a great asset in addition to being a composer. I've also realized that knowing about the APIs (Wwise, Fmod) would be good. Now, what is the best way to learn these middleware apps? Just fool around? And what is the best way to build a showreel around sound design?

I read the sticky thread and again it pointed me to the same direction: composer trying to get a job in game company -> know sound design & implementation.

Thanks.

btw do open source games exist in which you could try out your skills with APIs?

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[quote]
I read the sticky thread and again it pointed me to the same direction: composer trying to get a job in game company -> know sound design & implementation.
[/quote]

Well perhaps you felt pointed in the same direction but my point behind this was to show finding a full time gig solely as a composer - especially an in-house gig - is rare. Every in-house gig I've held required me to do much more than just write music. It can be possible to land gigs solely as a composer but you need to realize you're narrowing your options.

[quote]
Now, what is the best way to learn these middleware apps?
[/quote]

Download them and start creating "scenes" where you can create various behaviors within their audition tools. Without an actual game creating 3D soundscapes can be harder... but you seem to be focused on music so that is an advantage.

[quote]
And what is the best way to build a showreel around sound design?
[/quote]

I would do two things: create movies that showcase what your static (on linear) sound design skills are then look for an open source or mod game where you can replace their audio content with your own. Something like UDK. Check out mod sites and see if there is a project you can join to get your stuff out there in an interactive setting. You need to be careful though when using copyrighted material - especially with all of the SOPA and PIPA mess going on.

[quote]
btw do open source games exist in which you could try out your skills with APIs?
[/quote]

Try Googling this and seeing what you can come up with. If you're working on a PC/Mac game you might be able to swap out sound assets with your own. Granted this may not show how you'd handle roll off curves, randomizations and such but it would give you something to work with. Of course the best way to show what you'd do is to produce audio for an actual game that people can download/purchase and play. With iOS and Android platforms it should be MUCH easier than it use to be.

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Ok thanks for all this. Where can I find instructions on how to import open source/mod game content (ie graphics, scenes etc. at least something visual) into Fmod or Wwise or UDK? Btw which of these APIs would be the most beneficial to learn? Or all of them?

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[quote name='mwarsell' timestamp='1330071496' post='4916135']
Where can I find instructions on how to import open source/mod game content (ie graphics, scenes etc. at least something visual) into Fmod or Wwise or UDK?
[/quote]

You don't import the game into Fmod - you import Fmod into the game. There's quite a bit of "connecting" code that enables the game engine to speak with the Fmod engine. But this isn't what I meant by using open source/mod games and swapping out the audio content with your own. For example - I have a copy of Left 4 Dead on my computer and I've been able to locate the sound files directories. Let's say I wanted to replace a sound file named Pistol_Fire. First thing I did was renamed the original file to Pistol_Fire_Old then created my own my version of that sound named Pistol_Fire. Then loaded up the game and BAM! my sound was now called each time I fired the pistol.

Tip: To make sure it works first use a very specific sound. In this case I used a cartoony "boing" sound then tested it in game. Each time I fired the pistol a goofy "boing" sound played - meaning it worked. It was also quite humorous! Once you've tested that it all works - begin making you own sounds and replacing them. It's important to save the naming convention of the assets otherwise the sound hooks won't work anymore.

This is what I mean by using an open source/mod project to swap out sounds and see how everything fits and works. There are other methods but it requires a great deal more coding and I'm not really a programmer so I cannot advise you on them.

[quote name='mwarsell' timestamp='1330071496' post='4916135']
Btw which of these APIs would be the most beneficial to learn? Or all of them?
[/quote]

The three I would hit would be Fmod, Wwise and Miles. Perhaps Xact as well if you're wanting to do any Xbox/XBLA stuff. The nice thing is many of them share the same core features so once you learn one you're better equipped to be able to learn the others. For me Fmod is my personal favorite.

As I said before however - if you're focusing on mostly music creation and implementation you can do ALL of that via just the API and don't have to incorporate them into a video game. Using Fmod for example, I can write a bunch of music then using the designer tool (which is free) I set up the behaviors and then test it out in the audition window.

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Nathan has some great comments (as always!)...

There are also some pretty good resources on-line. FMOD has a series of Youtube videos which are very good at [url="http://www.youtube.com/user/FMODTV/featured"]http://www.youtube.c...FMODTV/featured[/url]. WWise also has a lot of good tutorials online.
There's also a very good book, though pretty nitty-gritty called "The Game Audio Tutorial" and it's companion website. That has a lot of hands-on examples of using tools for writing music for games, videogame sound design, etc. (note: I haven't worked through the examples myself, so can't speak directly to how easy/hard it is to get things running). If you're more of a 'learn by being shown' kind of person, [url="http://www.GameSoundCon.com"]GameSoundCon[/url], is a seminar/conference that's held 2 or 3 times a year. You can see one of the sessions on [url="http://soundworkscollection.com/gamesoundcon"]soundworks[/url]. (Disclaimer: I'm the executive Director of GameSoundCon so am probably biased...). The XNA Game Studio package also has a sample game, along with an XACT project (XACT is an FMOD-like tool for game audio development) for a very simple sample game. You can swap out the game music with your own, change the sound effects, etc.

Brian
www.BrianSchmidtStudios.com

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Thanks guys, priceless.

So I can just download open source games and replace the audio assets? Can I do the same thing with music? I probably sounds quite newbiesh here, but I'm quite new to game audio.

Madsen, regarding Fmod, what do you mean by "setting up the baheviors" and how do you test it on the audition window without any game engine/graphics etc.?

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For example, if I wanted to create custom music to this open source game

[url="http://wildfiregames.com/0ad/"]http://wildfiregames.com/0ad/[/url]

how would I proceed?

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