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About bschmidt1962

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  1. Hi All! GameSoundCon is accepting submissions for its 2019 conference in Los Angeles. Talks and panels can be on just about any topic in game audio from, in any of the 5 "session tracks" below: "GDC" style talks Audio for VR/AR/MR Game Dialogue and Performance Game Audio Research Game Audio Studies Last year, GameSoundCon featured over 100 speakers across 75+ panels and sessions For details, www.GameSoundCon.com/submissions
  2. bschmidt1962

    GameSounds.xyz reference

    In general, you need to be very wary of any sounds (or any other kind of creative files such are art, etc.) you download from the internet. It is very common for sites to take material that they don't own and post it "free to use." For example, I see "BBC Sound Effects library" listed on that site, with files posted from a couple years ago. The listing looks suspiciously like the "BBC Sound Effects Library" which Sound Ideas currently sells for $395 https://www.sound-ideas.com/Product/152/BBC-Sound-Effects-Library-Original-Series (note; The BBC just a released a lot of sound effects literally 2 days ago, but they are not for commercial use).
  3. bschmidt1962

    GameSoundCon Submissions Open

    Hi GameDev Music folks! Submissions are now open to speak at GameSoundCon 2018 (Oct 9-10, Los Angeles). Any topic of timely interest in game music, sound design will be considered. Potential topics include: Audio for VR/AR/MR Game Audio post-morta Tools Interactive composition techniques Business/career/legal Cutting edge research in game music/sound topics Or any cool topic of interest for professional and aspiring game composers, sound designer, programmers, audio directors For details please visit www.GameSoundCon.com/submissions
  4. While middleware is great, it doesn't make game audio integration a code-free experience. There's still a lot to do even if you're using something like Unity or UE with "play FMOD event on collision" style UI. Sometimes you need fairly subtle logic to prioritize and call FMOD or Wwise events, which requires coding. To answer the original question, I have both music and CS degrees, and I've found that having good programming chops has made more valuable as a game composer/sound designer. It helps to 'speak the language'. I've written up audio specs for programmers, and by putting them into very 'programmer-istic' format, it was easy for the game programmer to understand how I wanted the sounds/music created specifically implemented. And in a couple cases, I've dug into a games code to make sure that the music/sound I was hired to make was being implemented in the game correctly. Although it isn't really so applicable these days, when I started, I had my own "sound engine" for various arcade, Genesis, SNES, PS1 games I did audio for. If I wanted the engine to have a new feature, I could just add it to my engine. That all said, although I enjoy the logic, etc of programming, if it's not audio programming (which is fascinating), then I find programming to be really uninteresting.
  5. bschmidt1962

    How to protect yourself and your game?

    I know this is an unsatisfying answer, but it's: "Hire professionals with a track record." That will cost you more than if you took the cheapest bid from "a few freelancers from several different countries" but it will also cut the odds your game will be stolen to close to 0. People who do this for a living aren't going to steal your code/art/sound.
  6. bschmidt1962

    Game Audio Survey Results

    The GameSoundCon Industry Survey results for 2017 have been posted. https://www.gamesoundcon.com/game-audio-survey-2017 Among the findings: Average Salary (employee): $69,848 Women game composers and sound designers are up to 12.7% of the industry Up from 10.4% in 2016 and 7% in 2015 1 in 6 salaried employees also earn freelance income on the side Average 'side' income: $15,604 72% of game composers also deliver SFX Freelancers have lower average incomes, but also have the highest incomes The most common "per minute" rates for composition: $100/minute (indie) $1,250/minute (professional) 74% of game audio professionals have a Bachelor's degree or higher Median game audio first-year salary: $33,276
  7. Since you are a student yourself, why don't you contact a music student to see if they are interested? That way you both will learn? There are no shortage of students who would love to work with you. I'd definitely start with wherever it is you're going to school. The advice on "about the legal and law and copyrights" i'd give is actually goes for anything you put into your game that you didn't personally create: you need official, legal permission (called a 'license') to use anything you didn't create from the person/company who created it. That permission should be in writing. Good luck!
  8. bschmidt1962

    GameSoundCon Submissions Open

    Submission are open for GameSoundCon 2017 We are accepting talk submissions for any of our 4 session tracks: Audio for Virtual Reality: This year, we are having a "Conference within a Conference" with a full 2 days dedicated to audio for Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality Game Audio Professional: These are "GDC-style" talks, aimed at seasoned game composers and sound designers Game Audio Essentials: These talks are targeted at those new to games, or with more limited direct experience in sound and music for games Research Track: This is for high-end research (Academic, Industry or other) in interactive audio systems, synthesis technologies, automated music composition, environmental modelling, or any other "cool audio tech" that might, someday in the future, be applicable to games. Speakers receive a complimentary pass to GameSoundCon! For submission instructions and details, please visit www.GameSoundCon.com/submissions      
  9. bschmidt1962

    Music Rights

    I'll definitely be passing around Mona's videos! Such great stuff. Regarding your original question: It is very common for indie games (low-budget) to license the music rather than buy it outright (commission it as a work for hire) in order to keep the price low. That is, if you are going to completely own the work created (Work For Hire), that will cost a lot more than letting the composer retain ownership through either an exclusive or non-exclusive license. Obviously, the more the composer keeps, the lower a fee they will generally be willing to charge. Note that for professionally produced games, almost all work is done as a "Work for Hire." But the composing fees there are commensurately higher (generally starting at $1000/minute of finished music and going up from there). For example, in the Game Audio Industry Survey from 2016, Indy game composers frequently charge $100/minute for music, but are also far more likely to deliver music on a licensed basis. (97% of AAA games are done as Work for Hire, while only 45% of indie game composers reported that they delivered music as Work for Hire (55% licensing instead).
  10. bschmidt1962

    PlayAudio Script

    You can set the AudioSource's .pitch value to get randomization.  A value of 1.0 means "default" pitch; a value of 0.5 will lower it by one octave; a value of 2.0 will increase the pitch by 1 octave. So just select a random number for your pitch (setting the low and high range according to how much variation you want) and set the do pitchval = Random.Range(low,high); Audiosource.pitch = pitchval; Also..on a side note, using GetComponent every time you want to access the component's AudioSource is very inefficient. Instead, in the Start() routine, call GetComponent<AudioSource> and save it to a private variable inside your class. Then use that variable to access the AudioSource.
  11. bschmidt1962

    Legality of using a soundalike sound effect

      Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, though have had to deal with this particular issue.   Short answer is No. The law of "soundalike music" does not apply to sound effects. Music has 2 copyrights: the music itself (abstract notes on a page) and the actual recording.  The IP protection for a sound effect is usually limited to the actual recording of the sound. There are a few cases where sounds have also been Trademarked. (one example is Lucas trademarked Vader's breathing sound:    If the sound hasn't been trademarked, then you are free to re-create it from scratch. Note, that if it were fairly iconic, I would make sure that you had a full accounting for the assets and process used to create it, to show that the actual sound recording was not used.    As long as your sound designer truly created the sound from scratch, you should be ok from a copyright perspective. For this sound, I'd mention the concern and ask the sound designer to provide a list of the raw assets used to create the sound in case the issue ever comes up.   (Note that on an aesthetic level, I'd be worried that a sound from your game evokes a memory/emotion from a different game, and would ask for the sound to be redone for that reason, but that's a whole different issue).     Important note: if the sound effect itself can be represented in musical notation (for example, a 5-note fanfare plays when you pick up a gem), then music copyright may come into play, in which case you may NOT re-create the sfx (because it's actually music).
  12. Not crazy at all!  Over the past few years,many people have entered games whose previous experience was mainly more 'traditional' music/sound design.   For better or worse, most game audio gigs are through networking or referrals. Residing in South Carolina is going to make that a bit tougher.   There are some in-person events (unfortunately, on the other side of the country) for getting your name/face known. The biggest is coming up next month: "GDC" (Game Developer's Conference-- Feb 27-Mar 3) is the huge (25,000+ attendees) annual conference for game developers held in San Francisco each year. There really is no substitute for getting to know--face to face-- both game developers and other game composers/sound designers.   Locally, you can search for things like "game jams" (smush programmers, artists, game designers and sound designers in a room for a long weekend and at the end of the w-end, they've made a finished game). Local universities are also good places to look-- many times there are student game projects who have no composer/sound designer.     You should definitely make sure you have a good web presence, including demos of your work.  One thing people sometimes do is make a video capture of some gameplay and then rescore and/or re-do the sound design. It sounds like you have a lot of traditional media work-- definitely use your best material from that for your demo.   The more savvy start to become familiar with some of the game audio tools that are out there, including Wwise and FMOD ("Middleware"). And the even more savvy become literate or fluent in basic game audio programming using engines like Unity (C#) or Unreal ("Blueprints"). You can try to learn these all online, but you have to be a pretty motivated self-starter.  Also, the middleware tools themselves are designed to solve fairly unique problems we have in game audio-- if you're unfamiliar with game audio in general, those will probably be pretty confusing.    There are also some organizations you might want to get involved with, both online and in the real world. Facebook groups include Game Audio Denizens, Game Audio Network Guild, "Video game: Composers and sound designers" are good places to learn/ask questions (but don't spam with "listen to my stuff" demos--you'll get kicked out quickly).  follow "@lostchocolatelab" on twitter, as well as GameSound.  Some other resources. There is also a gameAudio slack channel.   Here are some other resources: GameSoundCon (www.GameSoundCon.com) Annual conference in the fall for game composers/sound designers (Generally in LA) Game Developers Conference (www.gdconf.com) Gamasutra (www.gamasutra.com) Most popular web site for game developers. A lot of good info here. Game Audio Network Guild: www.audiogang.org Organization that puts on the Game Music & Sound awards, provides scholarships, promotes and evangalizes game audio Reddit/GameAudio (https://www.reddit.com/r/GameAudio/) Designing Music Now: http://www.designingmusicnow.com/   Here's a video with an overview of game music/sound (how it differs from film/tv, etc.) http://soundworkscollection.com/videos/gamesoundcon You also might find this industry survey interesting: http://www.gamesoundcon.com/single-post/2016/08/17/Game-Audio-Industry-Survey-2016     -Brian Disclaimers: I'm on the board of GDC, am Exec Director of GameSoundCon, am President of the Game Audio Network Guild and that's me in the soundworks collection video.
  13. bschmidt1962

    Question for Veterans Who Composed with Trackers

    If you're looking for an 'academic' reference, I presented a paper on creating arcade music (which used the same technology as the Sega Genesis/Megadrive) at the International Computer Music Conference back in 1989..   http://quod.lib.umich.edu/i/icmc/bbp2372.1989.066/1/--designing-sound-tracks-for-coin-op-games-or-computer-music?page=root;size=150;view=image   Game audio researcher Dr. Karen Collins has also published a lot of scholarly articles on a lot of aspects of game music.   I also did some asking around from some fellow 'old school' game composers-non that I talked to used "Trackers" for Genesis/Megadrive music. So although we used systems that were "like trackers" in some ways, we didn't use actual trackers. Hope that all helps!
  14. bschmidt1962

    Question for Veterans Who Composed with Trackers

    Adding on Anthony's comment.. a "Tracker" usually refers to software that bundles into a single file waveforms for custom instruments and sequences of note data to be played on those instruments. Those were rarely (ever?) used in old console games, but were used frequently for older computer games.   I used to use a custom-written sound system for Genesis/Megadrive (as well as arcade and SNES) that used text files containing lists of notes. I'd have a separate list for each instrument, and each track woudl look kind of like this   Song1Track1   patch FMBass2   volume 10   loop 8     note E3,30     // play an E 8th note   endloop   note fs3,30   note g3,30   note b3,120   // b half note   ...etc, etc.   I would generally compose using paper and pencil on music paper, and then enter the notelists in.  I probably did around 30-40 console games using this system, and maybe 50 arcade games with it. Other Genesis composers I knew used similar systems.    There were other MIDI-based systems (such as GEMS, which was tool developed by Sega), which some people used as well.   Genesis/Megadrive had enough channels that most games generally didn't have to rely on the "play one line and make it sound like 2" technique. That was a lot more common in NES or GameGear games, which had far fewer channels.  In that case we would sometimes write the melody and bass using the same "track", using short notes (like a Bach violin partita)  
  15. bschmidt1962

    Game Audio Industry Study

      Ah--got it.  In that case, I would recommend you state explicitly that they should answer in the currency of their home country, etc. For example, I wasn't sure if I should convert my income into Euros, or in USD   I look forward to chatting more and comparing notes!
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