Not many people outside of the gaming industry appreciate just how much goes into the design and execution of the wonderful audio and sound track elements we all enjoy there. This convention is for those that do. Taking its cues from GDC as a more tightly focused version of that, this is a con for sound folks by sound folks, and you will likely feel entirely lost if you’re not at least a bit of an audiophile!
This year’s con featured some heavy hitters, such as Brian Schmidt, who is well known in the game audio world, as well as the founder of the GameSoundCon itself. He’s won plenty of aways, such as the Game Audio Network Guild’s award for Lifetime Achievement in 2008, and has been a part of over 130 video game audio projects—which is more games than many of us have even played! You’ll find him pretty much anywhere, and is a wonderful composer as well as audio engineer.
He spent much of this year’s con going over how audio will change and grow in the VR and AR space, particularly regarding the degrees of freedom that need to be taken into account for a wonderful experience to occur there. he went into specific, practical, and valuable recording techniques using Ambisonic mics to capture a truly 3d audio experience that will be played out as such for would be players. He even spoke of 6d experiences and the challenges that went on there!
Most prominent platforms for this tech are the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vibe, which made up most of the practical end of the application. Anyone interested at all in developing those platforms were in for a vital earful this year, and will likely be more than a step or two ahead of the competition when it comes to experience next year for projects!
Much like the rest of the industry right now, this year’s GameSoundCon was all about virtual and augmented reality. Featuring practical techniques and tactics from jaded industry veterans at the top of their game, there was no better tutorial or starting point than attending and learning what all went on this year. Anyone that was there enjoyed it quite a bit, and it is certainly one to remember!