Sound Designer - Job description
Missions, skills, training
Job Sound Designer
What is the job of a Sound Designer?
Definition of the Sound Designer Job
Within an interactive or linear production, the Sound Designer creates and produces audio content, whether it is musical or not, ensuring the smooth progress of the production and the delivery of the project.
They master production and post-production techniques, from sound recording to mixing, as well as specific techniques for video games.
They work for various media such as video games, movies, commercials, websites, and mobile applications.
The job of a Sound Designer (or Sound Concept Designer) is both creative and technical.
Sound Designer Tasks
- Understand the client's intention
- Understand the vision of the game or film, sound objectives, technical, artistic, and narrative needs
- Plan and budget the sound design in human and material resources (sound purchase, indoor or outdoor recording, equipment rental...)
- Conduct research to propose appropriate soundscapes (depending on the game genre, places, epochs, characters, scenario...)
- List and analyze different musical references and universes that could inspire the musical universe of the game or movie
- Create some short mock-ups of musical intentions
Sound Design Phase
- Select and record sounds from different sources (sound libraries, voice and dialogue recordings, sound recording, musical instruments...)
- Create sound elements such as sound effects, ambient sounds, music, dialogues, interface sounds...
- Prototype sound concepts (mock-up, sample) to give a concrete idea of what the sound design of the game could look like
- Document technical specifications and quality standards (audio file formats, sampling frequencies, audio channels, mixing standards...)
- Ensure the coherence and quality of the sound design throughout the development of the game and the respect of the artistic vision of the game
- Use all the technical, creative, and harmonic tools at their disposal to produce a soundtrack that is coherent with the game universe or accompanies the movie narration intelligently
- Edit and process audio elements (clean up unwanted noises, adjust levels, apply sound effects, synchronize with images...)
- Integrate sound elements into the sound engine (Fmod, Wwise...) in close collaboration with the development team (game designer, producer, programmer, game artist)
- Place sounds in the game (spatialization) and program sound events
- Ensure coherence between the artistic/narrative vision of the game and the sound quality of the final experience
- Realize the final mixing of the sound elements to create optimal sound balance, respecting the technical and artistic standards of the project
- Test, iterate and correct bugs with feedback from the development team, bring improvementss
- Realize the sound localization of the game (i.e., adapting the sound track to a different market (language, culture...)
- Ensure awareness of the latest technological advances
Key Skills of a Sound Designer
To practice their profession, a Sound Designer must master several skills:
- Having a good culture of video games
- Mastering sound creation software such as Reaper, ProTools, Ableton Live, Wwise, FMOD, DAW…
- Knowing game engines (Unreal Engine, Unity)
- Having an in-depth knowledge of audio recording, editing, and mixing techniques
- Understanding the principles of sound design and sound storytelling
- Knowing audio standards and formats for various media such as cinema, video games, virtual reality, etc.
- Composing a relevant and professional soundtrack
- CChoosing relevant orchestration with the artistic direction
- Creating a complete soundtrack with virtual instruments
- Knowing how to find and direct musicians and artists who will bring this soundtrack to life
How to become a Sound Designer?
The profession of Sound Designer combines creativity and technical expertise to create immersive sound experiences.
Qualities of a future Sound Designer
Here are some important qualities to become a good Sound Designer:
- Ability to work in a team and collaborate with other professions
- Respect for deadlines
- Ability to accept client and team feedback
- Passion for sound, music, acoustics
Degree and Training
The Music Sound Design program at ISART allows students to acquire, in three years, the skills of a Sound Designer to create the sound and music universe of films and video games.
The curriculum is aimed at beginners who wish to learn the trade, as well as more experienced profiles who wish to directly enter the second year
During the Bachelor's degree, students will learn all aspects of the profession: understanding artistic direction, mixing, sound design, and recording.
They work in cross-curricular teams, similar to a production in the industry.
- Sound Design : Design by overlay, Sound synthesis
- Music: Music conceptualization, Music production, Quality rendering
- Sound engineering: Recording, Mixing, Sound editing, Computer Science
- Sound interactivity: Integration, Interactivity, Documentation
- Theoretical and practical teaching: lectures, application exercises, practical work, tutorials
- Project production: monitoring and supervision by teachers during project realization (year-long project, final project)
Students benefit from:
- A recording and mixing studio
- A complete software solution (Complete, Reaper, ProTools, Ableton Live...)
- Recording and music creation equipment (microphones, recorders, booms, sound card...)
This Music & Sound Design program prepares for various careers such as Sound Designer, Composer, Sound Editor, and Sound Illustrator.
Music & Sound Design
3-year programMore information
Companies Hiring Sound Designers
Any company with a specific need for sound design can hire a Sound Designer.
Some of the most common industries include:
- Video game studios
- Audiovisual production studios
- Recording and music production studios
- Live performance
- Advertising and marketing companies
- Sound design agencies
After several years of experience, a Sound Designer can advance to the following positions:
Lead Sound Designer: overseeing junior Sound Designers, managing more complex sound design projects, developing sound design strategies for large-scale products or projects
Specialized Sound Designer : becoming a sought-after expert in video games, films, virtual/augmented reality, advertising, music, etc.
Audio Director: overseeing the sound design team of a company, defining sound design strategies, managing budgets and resources.