Berklee Video Game Music Club leaders Chris Burgess, Renzo Heredia, Alex Ripple, and Jesse Hartov provided an entertaining and informative look at the history of video game music while covering the ins and outs of game audio and what it's like working in the industry. Discussing topics such as interactivity in games, sound design, and composition skills, they shared what it takes to get started in the field of audio for games. Keep in touch with them on Facebook and be sure to stop by their weekly meetings!
Learning Center trainers Blair Pershyn and Eric Levine were on hand in the Media Lab to provide a crash course in DIY recording techniques using a variety of inexpensive gear. With the help of Helen De La Rosa on drums and Learning Center work-studies Judy Shin on keyboard, Oliver Bernstein on guitar, Blenda Lau on pipa, and Grace Jessop on vocals, they recorded The Fugee's version of Charles Fox's song "Killing Me Softly" and demonstrated the capabilities of the industry standard DAW Pro Tools.
To kick off our fall event series, the Sound Design Network stopped by the Media Lab this evening and gave an introduction to sound design. Club leaders David Lin, Lucas Alexiades, and Austin DeVries laid out what sound design is (and isn’t), discussed various jobs in the field, gave a real-time demonstration of putting sound to picture, and offered some ideas for how to break into the field. Celery was snapped, shouts echoed, and fun was had — all in the name of sound design.
Chris Burgess of the Berklee Video Game Music Club was on hand in the Media Lab tonight for a presentation on the essentials of video game audio. After discussing what games are and the purpose of game audio, Chris gave a run down of audio roles in the game industry, what it's like working on games, and the skills needed to succeed. Included in his presentation was a breakdown of interactivity techniques that used examples from both personal projects and major releases.
To kick off the start of the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance program, Learning Center trainers Blair Pershyn and Kat Taub were on hand in the Media Lab to discuss creating demos using Apple’s popular digital audio workstation GarageBand. Among the topics covered were MIDI sequencing, audio recording and mixing, gear and session setup, and exporting audio. The session concluded with a demonstration of live recording techniques, featuring Learning Center lab monitor Vlade Guigni on drums.
Learning Center trainers Blair Pershyn and Kat Taub took to the Media Lab tonight to demonstrate how to record samples and create your very own sampler instrument. After discussing the history of sampling, the advantages samplers have over synthesizers, and some considerations you should have in mind when collecting samples, Blair and Kat took to recording a world-class kazoo performance and explaining how to build a sample instrument in Reason and Kontakt, shape its sound, and add effects.
Berklee Electronic Production & Design student Dan Moore took to the Media Lab tonight to explain the process of building iOS music apps for iPhone and iPad. After encouraging audience members to follow along by downloading Apple’s app development software Xcode, Moore discussed the differences between iOS and Android, how to get started with Xcode, the skills and knowledge necessary to develop iOS apps, and the many different things you can do with the iOS operating system. Afterwards, Moore concluded by giving a short demo of how to build a simple oscillator app.
The Berklee Contemporary Production Club joined us in the Media Lab tonight to host a Skype call with audio engineer Carlos Freitas. With over 30 years of experience, Freitas discussed a variety of topics including producing and mastering for different genres, how emotion is incorperated into the mastering process, past and current projects, and advice for aspiring audio engineers and producers.
The Women’s Film Initiative was back in the Media Lab this evening hosting a Skype Interview with film editor Debra Neil Fisher. Having worked on a number of films including The Hangover, Austin Powers, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and Fried Green Tomatoes, Fisher discussed how she got started in the industry, films she’s currently working on, the advancement of technology over the years, and tips for people looking to break into the industry.
Berklee EPD student, multimedia artist, and creative coder Chelsea Southard stopped by the Media Lab along with MassArt student Charline Xu for an introduction to sound installations. After introducing herself and discussing some of her own work, Southard presented a history of sound installations and covered several works by a variety of artists, explaining the story behind each one.
Alex Cote, Chris Burgess, and Rachel Dziezynski of the Berklee Video Game Music Club stopped by the Media Lab this evening to talk about music interactivity in video games. Covering a variety of topics, the three of them discussed different techniques used for creating interactive scores and also showed several examples of music interactivity in recent games. They finished off their presentation by demonstrating how to implement music and sound using Wwise in the game Limbo.
After receiving 40 submissions for our second annual Scoring & Sound Design contest, we managed to narrow the competition down to 9 finalists whose entries really stood out to us. Each finalist had their submission priemered in front of an audience of peers, faculty, and staff and was given an opportunity to explain their creative process and any collaborative efforts. In the end, Jeffrey Gaiser and Lucas Alexiades took home the grand prize while Dante Obi Ibe claimed second place and freshman Hyun Kim won our Rookie of the Year award.
Berklee Music Production & Engineering faculty member and three-time Grammy award winner Prince Charles Alexander returned to the Media Lab to discuss why hip hop technology matters to musicians. Speaking to a full house, Prince Charles explained how new technologies have often been looked down upon by the music industry when first introduced, only to gain widespread popularity after an individual or group had demonstrated their uniqueness and potential.
Alison Plante, Assistant Chair of the Film Scoring department, stopped by the Media Lab to introduce the techniques of film scoring. Using the clip from the Learning Center Scoring & Sound Design contest as an example, Plante discussed scoring considerations such as setting the appropriate mood, tempo, and orchestration. She also discussed the film scoring process, specifically spotting, sketches, composing, creating mockups, and delivering the final product.
Michael Sweet, artistic director of the Video Game Scoring program at Berklee and an accomplished composer and sound designer for games, presented to a full house about the various tools and techniques used by sound designers in the industry. Covering everything from the fundamentals of sound design to building your own instruments through synthesis and sampling, Sweet provided many tips and resources for students looking to get into designing their own sounds.
Erik Privert of the Career Development Center and Richard Ludlow of the Sound Design Network stopped by the Media Lab to discuss strategies for networking, building contacts, and preparing demo reels. Privert, a Berklee alumnus and former Music Business major, started off by explaining the importance of networking and offered a variety of tips for getting to know the people who will help you succeed in your field of choice.
Berklee EPD student Connor Riley stopped by the Media Lab to demonstrate how to make music using a Nintendo Game Boy. Utilizing the ROM LittlesoundDJ to turn the Game Boy into a full-fledged music tracker along with Game Boy emulator software Gambatte QT, Riley discussed the Game Boy’s sound chip layout and channels as well as how to alter the parameters of each channel’s sound to create a wide variety of instruments.
Berklee Sound Design Network students Richard Ludlow, Austin DeVries, and David Lin stopped by the Media Lab to present an introduction to the concepts of sound design for film and games. Using examples from both classic and current works, they demonstrated how to use sound as a storytelling device and analyzed various types of sounds. They also covered the way we perceive sound, some of its psychological ramifications, and the differences between linear sound for film and interactive sound for video games.