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View Full Version : Help! To take the job or not to take the job...



Symbiotic
09-21-2005, 05:03 PM
I just received a call from a 'headhunter' who is interested in having me interview for a contract position with a local game developer. The contract is for sound design (not my forte, but I'm interested in doing more) and lasts for 9 months.

My concerns are that I just started a regular 'day job' recently, and it is a permanent position. Good pay, good benefits, and without saying too much, a good chance of making a lot of cash in the not too distant future. But it isn't games and it isn't audio.

If I were to be offered this game gig I would get actual industry experience, but it would only last 9 months. At that point I may end up out of a job...In addition, my actual experience thus far is quite limited, so I'm not certain that I'm actually qualified for the position, or if I have the relevant skills for a pure sound-design gig.

This isn't my 'dream job' by any means, but it puts me squarely IN the industry. But it is a gamble, as I don't know where I'll be 9 months from now...What would you do in my situation?

DJohn
09-21-2005, 05:32 PM
Go to the interview, see if they make a job offer. If they do, then start to worry about it!

Cheers,
Dave

Rich D
09-21-2005, 05:52 PM
You have to start somewhere man, it will take alot of us a while to reach our dream jobs. I have a day job too, granted it is in the game industry, but far from my dream job as Im doing audio and level design.. .while doing music contract work on the side. Definately go to the interview, see what happens, it may be worth it to drop your current job to follow your dreams.

Rich

groovyone
09-21-2005, 06:50 PM
you idiot..

Just apply.. have a talk to the company. You may not even get offered the job.. but aren't you just going to kick yourself if you don't see what happens.

Between now and then start playing with some sound design. Listen to some sounds in games and think how you would create them.

Really sound design just composition of sound.

Can you mix? Do you know how to edit audio? If so then you have the basics for sound design, the rest is up to your own creativity.

I can attest to this as my background was always in composition, but I started getting small contracts asking if I could do sound design, so I said yes and bought myself some libraries : The SFX Kit, and General 6000 library from Sound Ideas. Good starting material. SFX Kit can be used as is or as elements for other sound design. It gives you a good idea of how sounds can be created.

Needless to say now I am about 30 projects later on my own company and working in-house somewhere as a lead sound designer.

Once you have some work in the game industry it's not as hard to get another job. Trying to apply from nothing is bloody hard unless you're amazing, or you have contacts or they're desperate.

So go for it, you have nothing to lose.

Good luck!

His Frogness
09-21-2005, 08:50 PM
I agree with what everyone says. You have to start somewhere. I'm also a lead sound designer and once you're in, the contacts and relationships you can build are priceless, if you're after the game music contracts anyway.

Of course, you do have to be good to get those contracts ;)

Anyway, If you know Sound Forge and are familiar with Waves plug-ins, that's probably the most vital skill to have. Beyond that, being able to get good quality Foley with whatever equipment they have (or you have), having an imagination about sound and the technical ability to produce it, and also being familiar with Xact or, now Act, or Isact are all things that would benefit you greatly.

This all depends on what they require for this game. I wish you knew something about it.

dwdonehoo
09-21-2005, 09:25 PM
Sometimes "nine months" is employer-speak for "probation". Gives them an "out" after nine months. Go and interview. Ask if the possibilities include a longer stay. If they say yes, well, ya got yourself a decision to make standing at the crossroad...
;)

Symbiotic
09-21-2005, 10:44 PM
Thanks for all the prompt feedback. This is a great community and I really appreciate being able to have a sounding board from folks actively working in the industry.

Honestly, the biggest question mark for me is this: the company I work for right now is pre-IPO and I stand to gain a substantial amount of money if we go public. Enough to potentially be financially independent while I get the rest of my game audio career going.

But, I've always told myself that it was never about the money. So long as I was doing what I loved and making a living I'd be more than happy...

That said, I'll be calling them back and expressing my interest. I'll let you all know where it goes from there!

cmrick
09-21-2005, 11:05 PM
Here are some options:

1. Keep job, get contract, farm out most of the work acting as a sound company, not a sound designer. They're not retaining you, right. (You get a credit, you help employ another person, you keep "stable" job.)

2. Hook up someone better qualified for the job by referring it to them. (Helps a friend out, you get good karma, friend might even let you do some of the sound work, you keep "stable" job.)

3. Quit job and don't look back. (It's so much more fun this way)

I personally choose 3, but only you know your circumstances.

Tower
09-23-2005, 06:35 AM
I would gladly quit my current "day job" in a heartbeat for the kind of opportunity you're being offered. I realize everyone has different interests and needs, but I personally am jealous of your 9 month offer. Best of luck with your choice!

lukpcn
09-23-2005, 06:59 AM
If I got the oportunity to work as a Sund Designer for a REAL gaming company then I would leave my PHP programming day job at once... :rolleyes:

His Frogness
09-23-2005, 11:04 AM
Yeah, but the sweet sweet call of a big PO payoff is hard to ignore, and Ind makes a good point. Money in the bank directly equates to more time to focus on audio. Honestly, I'd rather be looking for a game job with a cool million in the bank than resort to taking another non-audio job because the 9-month contract didn't payoff.

I don't think a single game credit has enough weight to justify it. If you had 2 candidates, one with a kick-~~~ demoreel but no exp, and one that has one game credit with a so-so demoreel, and they both do equally well in the interview, I'm gonna go with the talent.

There's a lot of extenuating circumstances though. Whatever you do, don't listen to me ;)

Symbiotic
09-23-2005, 02:46 PM
No - I appreciate your thoughts, Michael. (Still wish we could have done that Jade Empire interview!). I'm doing the interview and will see what they have to offer - including possibilities of a longer stay, other projects, etc.

I'll have to weigh it carefully, but I did read a great quote today:

"Luck is when the universe knocks and you answer."

I'd be a fool if I didn't at least see who's at the door... :)

IOComposer
09-23-2005, 04:30 PM
If this is the same gig I saw posted yesterday...a racing game connected to MS....I can't remember where I saw it, then you will of course not get the gig. Not to be negative, but this is a lead gig and requires not only a certain amount of titles shipped, but extensive sound design experience. You'll get as far with them as "so, can we hear your sound design reel?"...

The thing is, and I'm going to get on a soapbox here, some of you folks think that just because you own DAWs and you can edit dialog or maybe you have a few sound fx libraries, that you're automatically a sound designer. The blunt truth is that sound design is a CRAFT. It is not something you just discover one day and decide...hey! I'm a sound designer! It takes training, skill, talent and EXPERIENCE...lots of it. I frankly get rather insulted when I read some of your posts that assume that sound design is just another hat that you can wear to make some extra cash. I'm sure you trained composers get insulted too when you read posts from computer owners who pick up a copy of Logic and start calling themselves composers, even though the extent of their musical training is jamming out to tunes on their iPods.

If you want to learn about sound design and what it's really about, take an internship at an audio post facility and learn from some people who know what they're doing. I've been doing sound design for 12 years now and still feel like I'm hacking my way through a good part of the time. Though, I'm the lead guy on one of the most significant titles in production right now which I got solely on the merits of my craft, so that means that I'm at least hacking through it better than most.

It's one of those things where the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know. If you knew what you didn't know about sound design, you'd put your tail through your legs and turn around and latch yourself onto that money opportunity. Then, once you're rich...move to LA and take on an intership at Soundelux if you want to REALLY become a sound designer.
-Jamey

Symbiotic
09-23-2005, 06:51 PM
Jamey -

I appreciate your thoughts and concerns and can respect where you are coming from. You've worked long and hard to get where you are, and I know well enough to know that that commands respect from your peers. Unfortunately, I think there is a lot of elitism in the game audio industry, and while most folks are willing to offer bits of advice here and there, when it comes time to actually offer a helping hand to someone looking for work, a lot of folks keeps their cards close to their chest.

I can understand this from the perspective of someone who is actively NOT working and looking for gigs, but when it a composer or sound designer who is actively working in the industry tells me that I'll never make it, well, that's the kind of thing that brings the profession down IMHO. This is an industry which does actually have job OPENINGS, and so it becomes a bit more difficult for me to understand when you sit there working on a AAA title and say to me, "You'll never get it." Gee...thanks for the encouragement. It isn't like you have the time or want or need the gig, so how about a, "Best of luck!" instead?

Whether or not I am qualified for the position is ultimately up to the hiring manager to decide. Whether or not I have enough practical experience for the position is up to the hiring manager to decide. I am very thankful for that, because it seems to me that the problem with this industry - at present - is that you can't get experience without being 'in'. And you can't get 'in' without experience. And to make matters worse, there are certainly a number of folks in the industry who are NOT willing to give those of us with less experience a 'break' to actually prove (or not) our skills and abilities. So what happens? Guys like me offer to work for cheap or free for developers because that's the only way we'll get experience. In turn, as Aaron Marks said in his book, it cheapens the profession, pisses guys like you off because it makes it harder for you to get paying work, and overall lowers the quality of audio in the industry. In that sense, I find it hypocritical, and the 'Pros' are every bit as much to blame for it as the 'Amateurs'.

Now, I do realize that you were speaking generally, but you really don't have much of an idea of my background or experience. Not that it is relevant, because ultimately that will be up to the hiring manager to decide if I'm suited for the position or not. So while I appreciate that there ARE a lot of folks who want to walk the walk without doing 'the work', I'm also confident that I'm talented, have the dedication and the ability to 'do the work' and be successful at it. Of course I can't go around saying that, "I'm the lead guy on one of the most significant titles in production", and that is okay by me. I am realistic about my aspirations and wish only to make a living doing what I love.

But I'm also tuned in well enough to know that the industry is changing faster than any of us are willing to admit. As much as your "move to LA and take an internship" might have been applicable 5 years ago, I don't think it is anymore. There are a host of opportunities available, and it doesn't take a "I gotta be in Hollywood" attitude to find them. And thank the Gods of Gaming for that. Not all of us need to work on AAA titles, and thankfully cities like Seattle, Dallas, Nashville, Vancouver, Toronto, etc. have picked up enough that not all of us are forced to move.

I think there is validity to doing an internship though. Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury of working at a full time gig without being paid. So we hold day jobs or night jobs, continue to undercut the big boys by working for free in the off-hours, gaining that much needed "Experience" by which we are all measured...until one day the universe hopefully knocks at the door...To which I say, "Who's there?"

I'm not putting all my eggs in this basket...I don't have my hopes too high, as I realize I may not be qualified for this position. But next time, how about a, "Good luck." instead?

IOComposer
09-23-2005, 07:17 PM
Good luck.

I said I didn't mean to be negative, I was just trying to give you a dose of reality. Some people appreciate that, others don't. You obviously see it as elitism. I guess that's good for you. But let's take a closer look at the very public job offering in question, shall we? Here it is:



Are you an experienced Audio Designer who has an enormous passion for racing? The team that brought you one of the most technically advanced games on Xbox - Forza Motorsport - has a contract opening for an experienced Audio Designer in the Forza Studio in Redmond to head up ambient and track audio. We are looking for an Audio Designer who has experience with in-house audio design on at least 3 shipped game titles to work onsite for a 9 month contract. The ideal candidate must have existing knowledge of PC Sound Editing tools and processes. Previous experience as an Audio Designer on a shipping title in the past is a must. Candidates must understand the general process involved with implementing a sound into a game through general scripting procedures. This includes system troubleshooting and general debugging procedures.

o Proven ability to implement and create sounds quickly and with excellent quality: Required
o Experienced Audio Designer with shipped products: Required
o Strong Communication skills across functional disciplines: Required
o Proven understanding of audio's impact on gameplay and system performance: Required
o Experienced Ambient Audio Designer: Required
o Experienced game console Audio Designer: Big Plus
o Experienced racing game Audio Designer: Big Plus
o Passion for Racing and Cars: Big Plus
o Pro Tools experience: Big Plus


You're right that I don't know anything about your history, but I do know that you don't have any real game experience because you've posted that here just recently. This post specifically requests 3 shipped titles. Is that elitism? I interpreted as a minimum of qualifications. Maybe they'll settle for enthusiasm, of which you're just jam packed fulla. Never worked for me, but maybe they will. In any case, I was trying to be nice and offer some advice which you asked for. If I didn't sugar coat it just like you like it, well then I'm sorry. Just calling it as I see it.
-Jamey

Symbiotic
09-23-2005, 07:54 PM
Good luck.

I said I didn't mean to be negative, I was just trying to give you a dose of reality. Some people appreciate that, others don't. You obviously see it as elitism. I guess that's good for you.


No, I just said there is elitism. Which there is. You probably don't see it much yourself anymore, because you work with the big boys. But trust me when I say that it does exist. I'm sure you remember the days when you were just starting out, so I'm sure you can appreciate my perspective if you try hard enough.



You're right that I don't know anything about your history, but I do know that you don't have any real game experience because you've posted that here just recently. This post specifically requests 3 shipped titles. Is that elitism? I interpreted as a minimum of qualifications. Maybe they'll settle for enthusiasm, of which you're just jam packed fulla. Never worked for me, but maybe they will. In any case, I was trying to be nice and offer some advice which you asked for. If I didn't sugar coat it just like you like it, well then I'm sorry. Just calling it as I see it. Take it for what it's worth. YMMV. My $.02. Take it with a grain of salt. Don't listen to me. etc. etc.
-Jamey

You're right. I am only working on two titles right now, neither has shipped. So what used to be my "no real experience" is now "some experience" because I've been working hard (for free) to CREATE experience for myself. Whether or not you would call that relevant isn't really the point, because obviously they thought enough of my first phone interview and resume to pass it along to stage 2. And, heck, maybe they're not 'settling' for enthusiasm, but rather looking past some of the more 'arbitrary' requirements that the industry places on job titles such as "titles shipped", because, heck I could have shipped 20 titles and have every one of them been trash. Quantity doesn't equal quality nor does it equal ability, talent, or applicable skills. That was my point.

Jamey, my response to you wasn't intended to offend. I do value your input and you've made some great posts here. What I'm asking is that you consider or remember what it was like when you started out and view this from my perspective. This could be a good opportunity for me, and if not it is a good learning experience. There is no harm in me making an effort, and if I don't make the cut, then that is one more gig for you, and one more reason for me to work harder to make sure you don't get the next one! ;)

Derek
09-23-2005, 08:51 PM
bleep bloop bleep bloop VROOOOOOM

If I could just figure out how to make cheezy guitar rock... I could someday be an ELITE SOUND DESIGN GENIUS!

DJDM
09-24-2005, 11:31 AM
Best of luck!
Worst case senario (as we discussed the other day) is that you'll leave the interview with a great connection. http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
Cheers
- Lance

fabricioz
09-24-2005, 04:06 PM
It takes training, skill, talent and EXPERIENCE...lots of it.

So tell us, Jamey, if it takes lots of EXPERIENCE, how do you start being a sound designer, if you had no experience at all?

It's wasn't Indicator who was begging for a job, it was a headhunter who contacted him... so, I think he would have some good work to offer, otherwise the HH wouldn't waste his time.

IOComposer
09-24-2005, 05:39 PM
I have no answers for you on that one, Fabrício. Maybe I'd make an effort with you if I didn't feel as though you were coming at me so condescendingly. Figure it out for yourself.
-Jamey

Derek
09-25-2005, 01:57 AM
I think he is only reacting to your condescending posts...

fabricioz
09-25-2005, 09:42 AM
I have no answers for you on that one, Fabrício. Maybe I'd make an effort with you if I didn't feel as though you were coming at me so condescendingly. Figure it out for yourself.
-Jamey

So was I condenscendingly? That's funny. I thought everyone here wasjust trying to help Indicator with the best choices he could make, except you. Apparently, even you calling you were just giving your advice to him, it looks to me you're just afraid of someone with less experience, without a elite studio, to get a gig you could get.

I'm not being condenscendingly. All I asked you is if you're like LaMarck or Darwin. Did you just appeared as a sound designer, in a spontaneous generation? Or, at first, you were nothing and you began to evolve?

I also really appreciated your advices. I think they're all valid. I really would love to take an internship in a post audio facility, but that IS a luxury very few can enjoy of. Your advices, obviously, doesn't apply to him. How can he take an internship if he NEEDS to work? If he needs to feed a family?

I think his situation is already bad enough. I'm not saying that he's starving or he's not happy, but he is pretty distant from what he wants to do for living! And he's doing what I would do, he's doing more than people would expect someone to do, because he's sailing agains the waves. I know people in the industry that couldn't move a simple rock if he hasn't everything in the hands, if his mom couldn't pay him the best university, buy him a state-of-art equipment to start, so all he would need to do is study. But I don't expect people who didn't passed for it to understand.

As I said above, I appreciated your comments. I'm not here to flame this or offend some one. So, the question I ask is: If you were in his situation, what would you do? Would you just conform yourself that you're not good enough for the gig or, would you try to make whatever you could to surprise the contractor and convince him that you would do the job, and do well?

Opportunities like this doesn't show to anyone and many people in this list would "kill" for this. They would work so hard and make a great piece of work. Maybe you don't care about it, but I think you should be wary of people coming. Maybe a few of the people you wrote about doesn't just have a DAW and think they're composers, maybe they can write good music and grow in the industry. But as I said, you should not care, cause after all, you already have a big name in the industry.

IOComposer
09-25-2005, 12:44 PM
Hi Fabrício.
I'm starting to understand where you're coming from. I think I may have misinterpreted your post. Sorry about that.

Here's my take on it: Just one opinion, mind you.

I'm not threatened at all by people coming in to the market. We need fresh talent and new approaches to keep the art thriving and evolving. I embrace young talent and I also offer people who are truly going for it, opportunities to work with me. But!...as you say, you don't just materialize into a sound designer...it takes experience and evolution. This is why internship are vital. Sound design is largely a folk art (ironic that it's so tech dependant!). Learning the craft is not really something that can be self-taught because there are so many concepts that need to be learned. Take for example, if you were told to create the sound of a large structure collapsing down off in the distance. Where do you start? Do you search through your library for "collapsing building falling off in distance"? Well, if you have a large enough library, you might find something pretty close. But then, what if the client responds with "we've already used that sound in our last 5 games"? Well, you gotta figure something out. How do you get the source material? How do you mix it in a way that achieves the desired results? How do you process it so that it sounds off in the distance? etc. etc. etc. These are things that are "tricks of the trade" that maybe you could figure out if you were a brilliant "experimentalist", but what if it were a case of "we need it in an hour"? Well, there's an entire dynamic here of needing to know how to do things well, in a short amount of time. Nobody is going to pay you by the hour to "figure it out". Maybe you could fake it and take a day to make something good, but then you'd still have to charge for one sound, and how long would you be able to survive doing that? $50/day doesn't go very far when you've got thousands of dollars in gear to pay for.

So, this is why having access to minds that know and can teach are invaluable. Why in LA? Because that's where the people are who do this stuff everyday. There are a few out there who do good work but there is no question that the best are in LA and SF.

As I stated in my first post in this thread, I did not just become a sound designer. I've been working at it every day for 12 years, and I still feel inadequate. And, I've studied and learned from some of the absolute best in the business. I wouldn't be anywhere NEAR where I am today if I didn't have those opportunities. This is why I recommend an internship. Work for free in exchange for the chance to learn the craft. It WILL pay off.

Oh, and just so you don't think I'm some silver spooned brat, I started out with nothing when I started working. Well, that's not entirely true...I had $20K in student loans to pay back...which I'm still paying for!
-Jamey

IOComposer
09-25-2005, 04:48 PM
Opportunities like this doesn't show to anyone and many people in this list would "kill" for this. They would work so hard and make a great piece of work. Maybe you don't care about it, but I think you should be wary of people coming. Maybe a few of the people you wrote about doesn't just have a DAW and think they're composers, maybe they can write good music and grow in the industry. But as I said, you should not care, cause after all, you already have a big name in the industry.

One more thing, while I'm here wasting my time. :)

One of the major points of my posts to this thread were that this wasn't some sort of opportunity that was exclusive to Indicator. It was a VERY public opportunity that this "headhunter" saw with at least 2000 other sound designers. I saw it posted on 2 different user groups, so in essence it was a cattle call. My advice to Indicator was not to bother with this kind of thing because the kind of competition that one experiences with this kind of opportunity is extreme. He's competing with guys like me, who have 50+ shipped products under their belts...not that I would consider something like this, I'm too busy but there are a ton of sound designers out there with my qualifications and more who will be going for this opportunity. It is with concern for his well being that I offered my advice to follow the other opportunity which was as he described, a sure-thing, good financial move. It seems to me, given the info that I've imparted on this situation, only a fool would choose otherwise.

Cheers,
Jamey

Symbiotic
09-25-2005, 07:29 PM
One more thing, while I'm here wasting my time. :)

One of the major points of my posts to this thread were that this wasn't some sort of opportunity that was exclusive to Indicator. It was a VERY public opportunity that this "headhunter" saw with at least 2000 other sound designers. I saw it posted on 2 different user groups, so in essence it was a cattle call. My advice to Indicator was not to bother with this kind of thing because the kind of competition that one experiences with this kind of opportunity is extreme. He's competing with guys like me, who have 50+ shipped products under their belts...not that I would consider something like this, I'm too busy but there are a ton of sound designers out there with my qualifications and more who will be going for this opportunity.

Ultimately, Jamey, you may be right. I certainly can't compete on paper with the majority of folks who may be applying. But given what I know of this particular situation:

1) there are, in fact, three Audio Design openings, of which you only saw one
2) there are, in fact, only 4 companies that recruit for Microsoft, so to be picked out by one of them ensures that my resume will at the very least be LOOKED AT by someone (a real human) at Microsoft, whereas by simply submitting it via the MS Career tool or similar would certainly lead to its untimely filing in the round bin (which is what will happen with the majority of the resumes sent in for this gig, I assure you)
3) it is, in fact, a 9 month contract position, so while 2000 other sound designers who are more qualified than I am may be looking at it, not all 2000 are willing to relocate to Redmond for a 9 month gig with no guarantee of extension
4) I would kick myself in the ~~~ for not trying and always wonder why if I didn't say 'yes' to the interview and the opportunity to at least get some networking and some experience interviewing.

So whether or not I get the gig is really only part of the picture. If I don't, no sweat - I have a good experience, some more contacts in the industry, someone at the recruiter who I know will go to bat for me when the time comes to apply again once I've filled out my resume a bit more, etc. etc.

And while the financial appeal of the IPO is enticing, it isn't a sure thing (what is a sure thing these days?) so I thought it better to follow my heart than my wallet. If I continue to do that, I can look forward to a happy life of creativity, which is, ultimately, why I want to get into this industry in the first place. :)

IOComposer
09-25-2005, 07:46 PM
Well, there ya go!
Good luck, bro. I really do hope that you get it. If I had any connections there, I'd put in a good word for you. Unfotunately, I don't.
Cheers,
Jamey

groovyone
09-25-2005, 09:27 PM
You know.

Regardless if he's qualified or not and however many other people there are applying for it. I still say apply.

He may well not be applicable due to qualify due to experience, or other candidated being more experienced.

BUT.. it's better to have applied and be turned down, rather than not applying and regretting it later. At the very least he has absolutely nothing to lose.

And if in the off chance that he happens to get through to a job offer, wel, then it's up to him to show the company how the sun shines out his ~~~ ;)

May it shine brightly! :|:

Symbiotic
09-27-2005, 11:37 AM
Hey, guys. This thread got me thinking...

Thanks to all of you, and a few books I've read, I have a pretty good idea of what is 'typical' on a game-music demo reel. However, what is considered 'standard fare' for a sound design reel? Do they typically contain both 'one-shots' as well as 'scenes'? Is it common practice to combine a sound design reel with a music reel (both on the same disc), or are they typically two separate entities?

With the prospect and prompting of this new gig, I've been compiling and recataloging both my music demos and some of my foley/field recordings and original sound effects and I'm not sure what the best format is to present them (in terms of a 'hard copy')...

Advice or suggestions?

His Frogness
09-27-2005, 01:47 PM
Honestly, my advice is to focus on your website. Since I've had industry experience I haven't sent out a single reel.

I realize that goes against the grain of today's culture a bit, but in reality people hate CDs, just about every single game dev company has broadband and most companies also have an electronic means of applying for positions. If you're sifting through emails to find your next sound designer then it's so much easier to just click on a link in a Word doc (your resume) and have all the material right at your fingertips. Believe me, they will appreciate it. Given that you're trying to "break in", send a reel too, but provide a link to your online material in the email, the cover letter and in the resume.

Also, when it comes to the big companies, your email might go right to the guy that's hiring, whereas a reel goes into a bin and a director or producer tells one of the sound designers to go through the bin and find the good ones. This is a generality but I think it's mostly true for the big companies.

Once you have some professional material that you've done, I go with my gut and just put up the material that I'm most proud of. the format is secondary to the quality of the work I'm displaying. If you have no professional experience at all, I'd still let the material you have to work with dictate the format.

I think that video is impressive. If you can find some video and put your own Foley to it (music too if you feel like it). It's nice to see how a sound designer interprets visuals and what they put to it. I should mention that in my experience, sound designers are completely neutral to music. Just make sure it's mixed well and sounds professional. They're audio guys, they know when it sounds good, even if if they're not particular to the style or simply don't like the music.

Hopefully, they'll send you a test video and have you put all the sounds to it, if you make it through the first round of cuts.

EDIT: I think I should clarify that if you're going after music gigs, definitely send a reel. I was just refering to sound design reels.

proctorzaius
09-27-2005, 01:50 PM
Hi...I hope you applied for the position....in the town I live in, competition is fierce for a position at MCDONALDS....computer/audio programmers??....they still sell NINTENDO 64 here!!!....to listen to an insider's or anyones fireballs be them well intended or not is your choice... ..i think most people forget about the "real world" and how it rolls....usually a bit over minimum wage.....I say put your best reel out there and take it or leave it and move on to new compositions/sound design and just keep evolving. The real fact of the matter is that ANYONE can do this stuff now....thats just honesty....i dont care how many titles shipped, mods, compact discs, trailers, whatever you have ....the price point of programs is in most peoples reach or credit....and some of those folks will have talent also..and thats more competition up and coming....i say be happy with ANY contact you get, job offer, kudo, negative comment, and god forbid a contract or pay check and dont take anything for granted.....there are plenty of hungry composers/sound designers who are ready willing and able to eat up the work that those who have become complacent, refuse to do. ;)

Symbiotic
09-27-2005, 04:10 PM
Honestly, my advice is to focus on your website. Since I've had industry experience I haven't sent out a single reel....


Thanks for the tips, Mike. I hadn't thought about actually embedding URLs to the demos from my resume, but that makes a lot of sense.

My current site isn't great, but I designed it myself and it is (for the most part) standards compliant. Simple and effective. I'd love something with a bit more tasty graphic design (read: not full of Flash animation), but I can't afford to hire a designer just yet.

But it gets the job done fairly well, I'd say. Thanks again.

His Frogness
09-27-2005, 04:32 PM
I love to help :)

Here's my online resume. It got me into BioWare (http://www.baalrog.com/mike/)

Although I should say not exclusively. The interview is the most important part, I think.

Symbiotic
09-27-2005, 07:25 PM
Thanks, Mike - I've been wanting to check this out for some time, but the link in your signature has an inadvertant 'p' in it, which leads to a 404 error!

This really gives me some solid ideas on where to go with the site in terms of layout and separation of the music/sound design elements. Cheers!

groovyone
09-28-2005, 03:08 AM
I'd suggest 2 ways to show your sound design skills:

1) Tell a story with sound only. If you can do this well with impact then it's a pretty good indication of your capabilities

2) Support an existing story / video with sound. Yes.. wipe out all sound from game play, trailer .. etc. Create new sounds for all the visuals. This will include designing say weapons for weapon fire, explosions, engines, ambience, menu sound effects... etc.

Both of these should be sufficient to demonstrate clearly your prowess as a sound designer and will reflect the sorts of things you will be doing for the company anyway.

BTW choose a video/trailer of something which suits the company you will be working for. No point making Sound for BARBIE.. when the company you want to work for makes HORROR games..

then again, I'd like to see Barbie in a good HOrror.... Yeah, Barbie does.. Silent Hill 4!!

IOComposer
09-28-2005, 09:35 PM
The standard is a DVD presentation these days. I've always considered good sound design to be that which supports visuals on a high level. You can't really show that with an audio only demo. Having good visuals will help you as well. If the visual is compelling then even bad sound design looks good. That can work against you too, if the visuals are cheesy and poorly produced, it's going to bring your sound design down with it.
-Jamey

Scott Cairns
09-28-2005, 10:38 PM
All I can say, is that there's some advice from some VERY GOOD sound-designers in this thread; frogness, groovy, io, et al.

What they said. http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif

groovyone
09-29-2005, 11:26 PM
Yes.. also.. don't forget to have those extra subliminal frames of "HIRE ME!!" thrown in for good measure. Some sound design of "EM ERIH" mixed in subtly out of phase won't go astray either :)

Symbiotic
09-30-2005, 10:12 AM
I've already got a few reversed "I buried Paul" lines in there...I hope they don't find them! :eek:

TLarkin
10-01-2005, 01:39 AM
I would add that creating a demo that reflects what they're looking for is just as important. I've received some great demos that weren't anywhere in the ballpark for the style of game I was working on. Needless to say, it appeared to me that homework wasn't done. I want to send something that they can almost picture (or hear) in their game, and would like to receive the same.
Good luck.
Tim

Symbiotic
04-10-2008, 11:54 AM
At the prodding of an old poster (thanks, Todd) I thought I'd revive this long-dead thread to simply say that about 6 months after my original post I got my first full-time gig in the industry.

Two years in, 3 shipped titles - one of which was in the top 50 best selling games of 2007 - and 3 more titles on the way, I'm still chugging along.

So to all you new guys and gals - don't give up!

groovyone
04-11-2008, 11:36 AM
Great to hear those subliminal lines worked!

)(~

Kinvint
11-06-2008, 12:29 AM
I just read this whole thread from start to finish...

What a damn good read and with a great ending :)

Congrats on getting in. I was rooting for ya when I was reading the posts.

I hope IO still reads these forums so he can see that you made it :)

Thanks for reviving the thread; I would never have seen it otherwise!

Regards,
Paul

dwdonehoo
11-18-2008, 05:33 PM
Two years in, 3 shipped titles - ....- and 3 more titles on the way, I'm still chugging along. So to all you new guys and gals - don't give up!

Congrats and how true. This is an industry where perseverance matters.

Sean Beeson
11-20-2008, 06:32 PM
Congrats and how true. This is an industry where perseverance matters.

Agreed :) !