“I don’t think I ever thought to myself that it would be cool to get into video games because I never realized how many disciplines are involved in [creating] them,” says Brad Beaumont.
It just so happened that this self proclaimed “gamer” ended up working for Soundelux DMG, a company that does music, voice overs, an in Brad’s case, sound design for, among other things, video games.
While sound design can mean many different things, Brad describes it as creating a sound for something where no sound previously existed. As a senior sound designer, companies like Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, Konami, Capcom and Electronic Arts contract DMG to create original sound effects, as well as produce the sound for the cinematic cut-scenes within games.
Soundelux DMG has produced sound for big named games like Gears of War 2, Resident Evil 5, Prince of Persia, Metal Gear Solid and God of War to name a few. Brad is particularly fond of his sound scapes for the game Alan Wake (Microsoft and Remedy Games).
“A lot of time audio in games goes un-noticed,” says Brad, “but with big projects like these you’re given the opportunity to come up with some iconic sounds that fans will latch onto…like light-sabres in Star Wars…everyone can make that sound with their mouth!”
Brad goes on to explain how each project that Soundelux works on is different, but it usually involves making something out of nothing.
“We’ll get little chunks of animation showing how a particular character, weapon, or creature behaves in the game,” says Brad. “Then, we’ll sit down and talk creative direction with the game’s producer, designer or audio lead. After that, we record original sounds which then get mixed with other sound effects, and finally manipulated in Pro-Tools.”
Brad graduated from the E-Media division in 2003, and he credits Professor Tom Haines’ audio classes with preparing him for his work on these games. Back then Brad wanted to direct music videos, but then switched to an audio focus midway through his junior year.
Apart from receiving a “solid, well rounded” education from the E-Media division, Brad was a part of the National Broadcasters Society (NBS).
“NBS was a great organization because it really provided a social setting for us to discuss and practice the things we were learning in classes,” says Brad. “It was also a great way for underclassmen to get their hands on equipment sooner than they would have otherwise.”
Brad stresses to take all of your classes seriously, saying you never know when something you learned from History of Theatre will come in handy. He says if you are interested in audio, record as much as you can; but the biggest piece of advice he offered has nothing to do with classes, but with your personality.
“Just be nice to people,” says Brad, “I see a lot of people come and go, and it’s usually because of bad attitudes. In Hollywood people seem to have an uncanny ability to spot a Midwesterner, and there’s a stereotype that all Midwesterners are by default, nice people…use that to your advantage!”
Written by Brandon Kisker, posted January 2011