Leading With Sound game audio book Asbjoern Andersen

Game audio veteran Rob Bridgett has recently published Leading With Sound, a new book on game audio - here's Bridgett with the details on what it's all about (+ your chances to win a copy!):

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How did the idea for the book come about?
Leading With Sound was inspired directly by two incredible conferences I was fortunate to participate in, back in 2019. First, Develop in Brighton – I had assembled a lot of high level info for the Audio Track Keynote ‘Game Audio: The Big Picture’ which became very useful structurally for the book

Secondly, the ‘Leading with Sound’ conference in Copenhagen which took place at the National Film School of Denmark, an amazing place of open exchange, connection, and long 90+ minute conversational deep-dives.
The material and thinking generated for by both of these conferences heavily influenced the shape and tone of Leading with Sound, and writing the book gave me an opportunity to get some of those ideas onto paper.

What is the book about?
The book is about how the craft of sound has had to abandon the relatively safe confines of the post-production models that we learned about in film school 20 years ago, and instead migrates us into the earlier, more unpredictable places of concept and pre-production where we find ourselves doing very different kinds of sound work. Fix it in pre!

…[the book] is also a call to arms for audio at every stage of production, exploring early with your teams to answer the ‘why’ of sound design on your projects, rather than allowing your audio visions to be led by the ‘when, what and how’ of production and technology

Game creation has never really had a very comfortable relationship with the notion of ‘post-production’, and so audio has always been trying to find ways to do more work in advance, building in layers as the game develops. All this demands we be more collaborative game developers focused on our audience.

The book hopes to inspire and encourage reflection, but is also a call to arms for audio at every stage of production, exploring early with your teams to answer the ‘why’ of sound design on your projects, rather than allowing your audio visions to be led by the ‘when, what and how’ of production and technology.

Good news – here’s your chance to win Leading With Sound:

Leading With Sound – Your Chance To Win Rob Bridgett’s Game Audio Book

Is there an overarching structure to the book?
Yes. The book is structured around the four major food groups of sound for games, being: sound, music, dialogue and mix. The fourth food group: mix, is a very important topic throughout the book, as it is the one food group that can be applied to all others, and also interconnects them and defines their relationships with each other.

It also looks at audio’s place within this transitional production environment – and why we (as sound people) are uniquely placed to offer so much to the concept and early phases of projects as co-directors and concept creatives.

Establishing direction and vision in one food group also necessitates knowledge and potentially influence over the others.
The book also opens and closes with a framing which considers the industry as a whole and our (sometimes) uncomfortable transition from software development environments to entertainment production environments. It also looks at audio’s place within this transitional production environment – and why we (as sound people) are uniquely placed to offer so much to the concept and early phases of projects as co-directors and concept creatives.

Is there a specific audience you have in mind for the book?
No. It is written from a high-level perspective so that anyone, whether a neophyte to the topic of audio for games, or someone already deeply initiated in its rituals can find inspiration in the content. I think there is probably a lot that is relevant too for those migrating between other branches of sound for picture, such as film sound or theatre sound. The four big food group sections also ensure that those broad groups of sound designers, dialogue designers (and performers), as well as composers, mixers and directors can all find resonant topics close to their hearts. Though, I also hope that the book will inspire creative directors, and anyone wishing to put their visions onscreen by having a clear and healthy approach to, and appreciation of, sound.

A big thanks to Rob Bridgett for this primer on Leading With Sound! You can get a copy of the book here.


More about the book:

Routledge’s description: Leading with Sound is the must-have companion guide to working on video game projects. Focused on the creative, collaborative, philosophical and organizational skills behind game sound and eschewing the technical, this book celebrates the subjects most essential to leading with sound in video game development at any level. Refuting the traditional optics of sound as a service in favour of sound as a pro-active visionary department, , this book examines each of the four food-groups of dialogue, sound design, music and mix, not through the usual technical and production lenses of ‘how’ and ‘when’, but the essential lens of ‘why’ that enables leadership with sound.

Leading with Sound is essential reading for aspiring sound designers, inside and outside of the classroom, as well as experienced professionals in the game industry.

Book Length: ~ 91,000 Words
Dev Time: Writing started May 2020 – Final Draft delivered 30th September 2020 (5 Months)

Get Leading With Sound here


More about Rob Bridgett:

Rob Bridgett is a British-Canadian Audio Director based in Montreal. In 1993 Rob attended Derby University to study cinema and media, and was one of the first to graduate from the ‘Sound Design for the Moving Image’ Master’s degree programme at Bournemouth University in 1999. Having worked as an audio director in the games industry since 2001, Bridgett has become a committed advocate for ‘leading with sound’ and ‘sound as design’.


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