Sound community power Asbjoern Andersen


With lots of society closing down and many of us social distancing and working from home, these are strange and uncertain times. What's the best you can do in this situation? Here are some ideas that can hopefully help you as it unfolds - and help you to emerge as strong as possible once we're finally through this:
Please share:

 

Two wishes from us:
1) Please share this page, so we can reach more people, and 2) please leave a comment with suggestions for resources you think would be helpful for the community during this time:

 

Get a working sound setup:

If you’re working from home, setting up your workspace so you’re comfortable and ready for remote audio work is essential – here are some guides to help with that:

• In this guide for remote working in sound, mixer/Editor/Producer Steve Campagna from Philadelphia Post shares insights on how to get up and running

• Ian Vargo also has some great tips for working remotely here

• Want more tips and ideas for keeping your studio running and ready for remote work and collaboration? Mike Thornton has a great list of tools and services to help with that here

• If you need to study from home, check out this guide on effectively taking classes from home

• For those of you who do teaching, much of that has now moved online, and here’s a great overview of resources that’ll help you run virtual classes. There’s also an excellent guide by Willy McCarter on how to run classes with the Zoom video conferencing platform here


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Stay connected & help yourself and others:

As social distancing requirements kicking in in many places, the isolation can naturally follows can really get to you (though, as some have pointed out, for lots of us in sound, that particular bit is business as usual) – and to counter that, be sure to stay in touch with your friends and colleagues in the community.

• George Vlad is offering chats on topics related to field recording, game audio, and more – contact him here for planning and participation. Maybe it’d be an idea for you to set up similar virtual meetups and initiatives within your network to keep the social interactions going, even while you may not be able to meet in person?

• If you have a social virtual meetup, masterclass or another event to announce – or have new video tutorials & guides to share – please leave a comment or contact us here, and we’ll compile a list.

• If you work in game audio, there are numerous game audio community groups around the world. There’s an overview here, and it may be worth reaching out to some of those near you to arrange or take part in virtual social meetups.

• Soundlister features thousands of audio pros from all over the world, and if you need to find someone near you, try the search options here

(Two great suggestions from Women In Sound’s resource list):

• If you are seeking emergency funding, this comprehensive list could be a great starting point

• If you are not experiencing loss of income right now, please support your favorite artists + audioworkers through purchasing their sounds and merch or donating to relief funds in your area.


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Look for new work and opportunities:

With uncertainty on how long this is going to last and the effect it’ll have on upcoming projects, it could be a good idea to keep your eyes open to what’s out there in terms of new opportunities:

• If you’re seeing fewer projects than usual, you may be tempted to work for free on what would previously have been paying projects. But before you do, be sure to read this guide to 7 Sound Alternatives to Outright Working For Free.

• The Audio Jobs newsletter typically features 10-15 new sound-related opportunities around the world every week, and you can get this delivered straight to your inbox here. There’s also the Audio Jobs group on Facebook which features quite a lot of sound-related jobs posts on an ongoing basis here.

• For discoverability, Soundlister allows you to set up a profile to highlight your work and skills – it’s absolutely free, and you can set up a profile right here.

• If you’re affected by a layoff, Brian Schmidt has written a guide on how to get through it here – Damian Kastbauer has written a great guide here as well.


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Bolster your sonic arsenal:

• To help you get through this, we’ve compiled a free Audio Community Power Pack for you here. It features 14 days of full access to Soundly PRO, free sound effects and more.

• If you need to work from home, get a temporary license for REAPER here

• Avid is also offering temporary licenses here

• The Tonebenders Podcast is keeping an eye on companies providing additional help and support during this time here

• Need specific sounds for your projects? Indie SFX allow you to get affordable, highly-targeted sound packs as you need them. The best way to support indie SFX creators is to simply get their libraries. If you’re looking for bargains, see everything that’s on sale here – or try a search to find specific libraries here.


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Restructure and rethink:

If you’re less busy than usual, this could be the chance to improve your creative surroundings.

• Perhaps your home studio needs rebuilding or restructuring? Alex Gregson has been through that, and he’s sharing insights and lessons learned on rebuilding your studio here.

• It might also be a good time to try out new tools or workflows: For example, here are 6 timesavers when working in Pro Tools, tips on making the most of REAPER as a sound design tool, an in-depth guide to using NUENDO for sound design, and essential tips for a healthy sound effects library collection.

• Maybe it’s time to team up with others who have a different skillset than you? Check out these stories on how – and why – Li & Ortega did that here, and how The Audio Hive did it as well.

• This situation could also be a good opportunity to look at how your sound business is running. Are you happy with your results, creatively and financially – and are there particular areas that’d make more sense to focus on, to grow your business – or types of work that you need to trim away? We’d recommend exploring the Sound Success section of the blog for sound business insights on everything from pricing, project types, collaboration and more.


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Learn online and expand your skillset:

There are lots of resources available if you want to improve and expand your skillset – both actual courses and individual tutorials and how-to guides. Here are a few:

• Learn game audio online at The School of Video Game Audio, where you can take courses in Wwise, FMOD Studio, Unity, Pure Data and Unreal.

• Take the Interactive Sound Design with Wwise for Unity course – the team at Unity has kindly made this course available for free in the coming months

• Akash Thakkar offers courses in game audio freelancing, as well as game audio networking here

Looking for some hands-on advice?
Here are a few how-to guides we’ve found for you here on A Sound Effect:

How to design futuristic vehicle sound effects
How to create impressive fire and ice magic sound effects
Video: How to build 1000s of sci-fi weapon sounds – from a single sample
How to record exceptional animal sound effects
How to maintain immersion (+ reduce repetition & listening fatigue) in game audio
How to create outstanding audio for cinematics
How To Design Superb Sci-Fi UI Sound Effects
How to write a (game-changing) audio design document today
How To Design Stellar Spaceship Sound Effects
How to create horror sound effects that are truly scary (and gory!)
How To Design Supreme Sci-Fi Weapon Sound Effects
How To Record Extremely Loud Things
The secrets to creating a magic sound effects library
How to Define Your Creative Goals with Audio Storyboards
12 interesting film sound tutorial videos
Randy Thom: Designing A Movie For Sound
10 Second Technique: Tips to Improve Your Sound Design by Barney Oram
An Introduction to Game Audio Scripting in Unity
The Key to Audio Branding Success
The Essential Guide To Recording Weapon Sound Effects – With Watson Wu
UI Sound Design: Henry Daw, on The Small Sounds That Make A Big Difference
The Essential Primer to Recording Car Sound Effects
The Key to Outstanding Animation Sound Design

– find more how-to guides here
 


 

Expand your skillset with the free Sound Success Guide:

Sound Success GuideLearning new sound skills can open up opportunities for additional revenue – and with the (entirely free) 60+ page Sound Success Guide, you get insights from 20 industry experts on how to get started and succeed in 18 different types of audio jobs.
Click to download (.zip)

Click to download(.PDF)


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Catch up on great reads & books on sound:

You may find that you’ve got more time on your hands than usual, which can allow you to catch up on some reading – and why not read something about your craft?

There are a huge number of sound-related books out there, and Swiss sound designer and recordist Julien Matthey has compiled a great overview of some of the real gems. Lots of sound community members have weighed in with recommendations too, so there are lots of excellent reads to be found in this guide on essential books about sound.

• The A Sound Effect blog is home to 100s of stories and guides about sound, so be sure to browse through those – you can start right here. You can also search for specific posts here.

• The Sound Story Network is an exclusive network of hand-picked sound-related blogs, and they’re sharing some excellent stories. Stay updated on the latest Sound Stories in the Facebook group here, or on Twitter here.


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Get some great content to listen to:

With your ears free to listen to other stuff than work, it could be time to check out some of the incredible podcasts from the community:

• Over the past years we’ve highlighted some of the very best sound-related podcast episodes we’ve come across. Check out all the podcast highlights here, for hours of interesting listening on sound-related stories, talks and guides.

• How about giving your ears a good workout? The Quiztones app offers frequency ear training here (sadly no Android version at the moment)

• If you need a break from topics related to audio, Audible just released 100s of audio books for free during the crisis. You can listen to them right here

• Want some relaxing sounds to listen to? The Aural Escapes playlist on Spotify could come in handy, as could Cities and Memory’s Sounds for Lifting Hearts free album here


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Go out and record – if you can do it safely:

With lots of activities in society closing down, the world around us sounds much differently than it normally does. For someone working in sound, this opens up opportunities to capture some unique ambiences.

IMPORTANT: We can’t stress enough that you should under no circumstances put yourself or others in danger by doing this. Please steer clear of others, stay updated on and stick to what authorities recommend and require in your area at all times.

If – and only if – your current setting, situation and requirements safely allow it, some of the areas to capture could be:

• Nature recordings with much less noise from traffic, planes and other types of man-made activities
• Animal parks / Zoos that do now not have any visitors any more
• Now-deserted indoor and outdoor spaces for IR recordings
• Trains that are nearly empty / empty
• Perhaps even getting into planes that are just standing around anyway
• Restaurant kitchens to record all the gear they have
• Companies / offices that are now deserted, for room ambiences etc.

– Do you have more ideas? Please share them in the comments below.

If you’re unsure whether going out to record is a good idea – even if it’s within what authorities recommend – don’t do it. Once conditions gradually improve, there could still be plenty of opportunities to safely capture some unique soundscapes before society is back in full swing.

If you’re looking for field recording tips, check out George Vlad’s guide to preparing for a successful field recording trip, and Anne-Sophie Mongeau’s 5 Useful Tips for Creative Urban Field Recording.


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Look after yourself:

• Working in sound can be stressful, with tight deadlines and long periods of crunch – and while this situation can certainly be stressful in its own right, the change of pace during this time can also allow you to get some much-needed rest.

• Keep a daily routine and add in some exercise if at all possible. There are 32 tips for building healthy habits when working from home here.

• As mentioned before, stay connected with friends, family and colleagues to combat the effects of social distancing

• Be sure to stay active and use the resources and ideas here to work towards goals that feel meaningful and will help strengthen yourself and your business, now and once all of this is over

• If things are really starting to get to you, the Survival Skills for Creatives Facebook group will allow you to connect with others in the community for help and support

• Chance Thomas has written a great guide on how to foster creativity and protect yourself from burning out here, Andrew Lackey has a post on looking after yourself when working in sound here, and if you’re currently taking any medication, make sure to be aware of any impacts it may have on your hearing


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Have any tips and resources to share? Please leave a comment below:

 

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Succeed in sound:

• How to Set (and Get) the Right Price for Your Audio Work

• 10 Essential Tips for Game Audio Freelancers

• How to be a successful sound designer – with Scott Gershin

• 5 Useful Tips for Upcoming Sound Designers and Sound Editors

• Sound Opinions: How to get game audio pricing right

• Building a successful audio post studio – with Kate Finan and Jeff Shiffman

• Rebuilding your studio: Goals, tips and lessons learned

• Creating audio for games – with Martin Stig Andersen

• A life in sound: How to foster creativity and protect yourself from burning out – with Chance Thomas

• Tips and thoughts on running your own audio post production house – with William McGuigan

• 30+ year audio veteran Andy Greenberg, on building client relationships in the advertising industry

• 7 Sound Alternatives to Working For Free

• Audio Outsourcing Success: Essential Tips, Thoughts and Working Practices from Adele Cutting

 
 
The sound success series:

• How to succeed in UI/UX Sound Design, ADR Recording, & Audio Programming

• How to succeed in sound design for Film, Documentaries, and Trailers

• How to succeed in sound design for Games, Animation, and Television

How to succeed in Field Recording, Foley, and Teaching Sound

• How to succeed in Audio Branding, Music Editing, and sound for VR

• How to succeed in Theater Sound Design, Podcast Sound Design, and Podcast Production

• How to succeed in Sound Editing, Sound for Advertising, and Production Sound

 
Breaking into audio – guides and resources:

• The ‘Quit Aspiring’ book – by Adam Croft

• How to get hired in game audio – thoughts and insights from your potential employer’s perspective

• 4 Effective Ways to Break into Game Audio

• Tips for Creating a Perfect Resume for Audio Industry Jobs

• Yet Another Game Audio Hiring Article – by Ariel Gross

• 5 Tips for Getting a Job in the Audio Industry

• Applying for a job in game audio – by Matthew Florianz

• Freelance Game Audio: Getting Started and finding work – by Ashton Morris

• How to get started (and make it) in game audio – 10+ fundamental questions answered by Akash Thakkar

• Courses: How to network and get paid for your work in the game industry – by Akash Thakkar

• How to Craft a Perfect Cover Letter for Audio Industry Jobs
 
 
Finding those audio jobs:

• Get the weekly Audio Jobs newsletter

• Join the Audio Jobs Facebook group
 
 
Showcasing your work:
 
• Get a free profile on Soundlister

• Upload your demos to Soundcloud

• Upload your demos to ReelCrafter
 
 
Networking:
 
• Find game audio community groups around the world

• Find interesting audio events around the world

• Find other audio pros around the world
 
 
Coping with a layoff - and how to bounce back:

• How to prepare for – and power through – a layoff in the game audio industry, with Brian Schmidt:

• How to Survive a Game Audio Layoff – insights from Damian Kastbauer

• What it’s like to be laid off from your video game studio

• What To Do Before and After Being Laid Off

• Facebook Group: Survival Skills for Creatives
 
 
Education and knowledge:
 
• Get an audio mentor at the Audio Mentoring Project

• How To Learn Game Audio Online – A talk with Game Audio Educator Leonard Paul

• Read the 100s of sound stories and guides on the A Sound Effect blog (search for stories here)

• Browse Industry Data: Game Music and Sound Design Salary Survey Results

• Browse 100+ Sound Design Guides

• Essential books about sound – for film, games and audio post production

• Get tips and ideas for making your own sound effects

• Discover 1000s of sound libraries from the independent sound community

• Take online courses in Wwise, FMOD Studio, Unity, Pure Data & Unreal at the School of Video Game Audio
 
 
Getting into independent sound effects:
 
• DIY SFX libraries - Your guide to your first sound effects library

• Sound effects survey results: Here are 90+ ideas for new SFX libraries

• How to create an indie sound bundle

• The quick-start guide to adding sound FX library metadata

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