|Study level:||bachelor’s degree|
|Recommended high school specialisation:||Artistic|
|Beginner salary:||€ 1,700|
|Salary after experience:||€ 3,300|
The responsibilities of a sound designer
A sound designer is in charge of creating the entire sound environment of a video game. Like in cinema, a sound designer dresses the video game with the audio, which the player will perceive at the end of their experience.
For this, they can integrate real sound effects (foley) or synthetic sounds. Using specific tools, they meet the specific needs of the production.
Their responsibilities are:
- To mix
- To integrate
- Edit the sounds in the video game engine
- To test and validate with game designers, 3D animators and project managers
The skills of a sound designer
« A sound designer is a person who « listens » to the project. They are capable of adapting to an evolving environment to meet needs, and are capable of modelling, recording and integrating all sound for any project », underlines Alexandre Baranger.
A sound technician masters the tools to play with sounds. They must show imagination to set a design to music. They are therefore capable of:
- Knowing the basics of IT
- Using the audiovisual sound production chain
- Use sound editing tools (Reaper, Unreal Engine, Wwise Protools, etc.)
The qualities of a sound designer
Frédéric Devanlay lists the qualities needed to become a sound designer:
- « Creative
- Accepting criticism and make it an asset
- Being autonomous but with a team spirit and an ability to adapt
- Listening to the sounds of life, of their environment, to be able to adapt them, capture them, integrate them into their work
- Daring, trying, not staying in your comfort zone
- Being a force for proposal
- Being a musician is also a positive
- And so many others…. »
The pros and cons
As in all careers, the sound designer’s job is not all positive.
- Passionate profession combining video games and audio
- Freelancing is possible
- Let your creativity run free
- Lower employability
- Salaries are not the highest on average
Studies needed to become a sound designer.
A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree is required for this position. Most technical high school diplomas or literary high school diplomas can lead to training in sound design.
It is also possible to choose an audiovisual training course with a specialisation in sound.
Frédéric Devanlay recounts his atypical career: « I am self-taught. Maybe I was lucky to have been at the right place at the right time. I have always been a video game player. I’m a musician and composer, I set up a recording studio (Big Wheels), and by chance, over the sessions, I was asked if I knew how to make sound effects and sound design. I said no, but you have to see I was given my chance, and everything started: from Adibou to Dishonored, including Splinter cell and Farcry…. »
Like all video game careers that deal with design, becoming a sound designer requires knowledge and skills in the field. G. Art school offers the opportunity to train both in image and sound with a specialisation in sound design with the dedicated MBA Sound designer.
This course is accessible after a high school diploma + 2 years of higher education and teaches the technologies of the different audio sectors in video games, from sound creation in all its forms (japanim, blockbuster, video game), to the integration and spatialisation of 3D audio (VR, video game, etc.) to acoustic renderings (VR, simulation, architecture, etc.) etc.).
During the program, concrete projects are carried out.learn more
There’s nothing like doing an internship to familiarise yourself with your future working environment and applying the knowledge you have acquired during the course. Our school makes it a point of honour. We want each student to complete an internship period each year, ranging from two months to six or more in the last year of the MBA. It is also about adding experiences and references to your CV—nothing like getting a head start in working life.
We publish internship offers throughout the year.
The salary of a sound designer
A sound designer can earn 2,000 euros gross per month at the start of their career. Then after a few years of experience and references (after an MBA / Master in Sound design), their salary can reach nearly 4,000 euros. In Montreal, a sound designer can earn between 40,000 and 65,000 dollars. In the United States, in the Los Angeles area, the salary is very high, between 45,000 and 145,000 dollars.
Where can you work?
This profession can be practised as a freelance, as a studio employee with a sound unit, or for a service provider working for the video game industry. They can also work in another sector such as the web.
As it is an audiovisual profession, a sound designer can move towards other careers – whether related to video games or not (cinema, radio, advertising) – such as technical director or artistic director.
Freelance sound designer
Some sound designers started on the job without any training. However, today, having a good background in music and video games can be crucial. After some experience in a company specialising in audio, it is quite possible to jump into freelance. Hard work, organisation, creativity and network are the four essential pillars.
How can you become a sound designer?
A sound designer creates and integrates the sound content of the video game. They are in charge of dressing the game with audio, error sounds, siren noises, and music, which the player will perceive at the end of their experience. Their place is vital in production since it provides real immersion. There is nothing like taking specialised training in the field to become a sound designer in video games. An MBA in sound design from G. Art school gives all the skills needed for this job. It is a two-year course, accessible with a high school diploma + 2 years of higher education, and it combines both video game design and sound design.