GameSound Con, an annual conference focused on videogame music and sound design, has expanded its offerings for 2016 with a full day dedicated to Audio for Virtual Reality and another full day on academic and research topics. Sound designers of all levels will come together on September 27 and 28 in Los Angeles for two days packed with sessions, networking opportunities, and hands-on workshops focused on all aspects of game audio, including Virtual Reality in videogames.
Brian Schmidt, Executive Director of GameSoundCon, says that he sees exciting opportunities for game composers and sound designers in the new field of Virtual Reality and its close cousin Augmented Reality.
"Virtual Reality is not only taking the game industry by storm, but most other forms of media and entertainment as well," says Schmidt. "Along with Augmented Reality, VR presents a whole new set of challenges and opportunities for composers and sound designers. Due to the inherently interactive nature of VR and AR, those who are familiar with interactive audio tools—such as game composers and sound designers—will definitely have a leg-up over those who have only worked in traditional media."
Because they work in the field, Schmidt and the line-up of speakers at GameSoundCon pride themselves of being up-to-date on current trends as well as new developments in the industry.
To that end, one of the speakers at this year's GameSoundCon will be Scott Gershin, Technicolor's Director of Sound Editorial. Gershin has worked on more than 100 films and received 26 industry award nominations, including a BAFTA Award for his work on American Beauty, Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim and Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler. He brings theatrical sound quality standards to bear on a wide range of consumer experiences, from apps and software to blockbuster game titles including Resident Evil, Plants vs. Zombies, Gears of War, Fable, and most recently id Sofware's Doom. At GameSoundCon, Gershin and Technicolor Sound Supervisor Viktor Phoenix will cover advanced techniques and best practices for implementing 3-D audio for Virtual Reality.
On day two of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to hear MTV VMA nominated composer Tom Salta, one of the most versatile and prolific music artists/producers working in film, television, advertising and videogames. He and collaborator Klayton (Celldweller) will speak about the highly interactive Wwise score for Killer Instinct 3. Renowned for crafting emotionally engaging soundtracks for multimedia, Salta has received widespread industry acclaim for his world-class produced scores featured in films and videogames such as several titles of the HALO, LawBreakers, Ghost Recon, HAWX, and Just Dance series, as well as From Dust, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Red Steel (for which Salta won an IGN Award for Best Original Score), and many others.
Additionally, Formosa Interactive's Vice President of Creative Services, Paul Lipson, will share his expertise in composing interactive game scores. Lipson is a fixture in the industry, having won numerous awards for his scores and audio work on an extensive list of AAA games such as the HALO series, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Motorsport 5, Iron Man 2, Crimson Dragon, and more. Lipson and his team have been nominated for numerous awards, and recently won Best Original Instrumental at the 2015 GANG Awards.
GameSoundCon's 2016 line-up also features notable sound design pioneers, such as Chanel Summers, who was Microsoft's first audio technical evangelist and a member of the original Xbox team, a widely recognized figure in leading industry organizations, as well as an educator and the published author of a number of articles and technical white papers. Summers is the co-founder of Syndicate 17, an audio production house that specializes in sound design and music for location-based attractions and virtual/mixed reality products, including 5D Global's Leviathan, which was featured at Sundance New Frontiers Festival 2016, and VRstudios' Barking Irons, which debuted at CVR 2016, and serves as a technical consultant to a number of organizations and innovative technology companies. She'll be talking about creating immersive auditory spaces for virtual and augmented reality.
Others speakers will teach and talk about how to compose music for games, including Adam Gubman, who scored and composed for more than 550 videogame titles of major interactive industry leaders; Caron Weidner, a highly skilled sound designer who has recently worked on games such LawBreakers, Quantum Break, Evolve, Dead Space 3, and Diablo III; and the audio lead at Pop Cap games, Jaclyn Shumate.
GameSoundCon is a resource for sound designers and composers from Film, TV, music or other traditional media who are looking to widen their skills when it comes to composing music for games, and to game audio professionals who want to learn more about Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and other new areas of growth.
The conference is held on September 27-28 in the Milliennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
To register, go to www.gamesoundcon.com.