1st Edition

Working with Sound The Future of Audio Work in Interactive Entertainment

By Rob Bridgett Copyright 2023
    228 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Focal Press

    228 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Focal Press

    Working with Sound is an exploration of the ever-changing working practices of audio development in the era of hybrid collaboration in the games industry.

    Through learnings from the pre-pandemic remote and isolated worlds of audio work, sound designers, composers, and dialogue designers find themselves equipped uniquely to thrive in the hybrid, remote, and studio-based realms of today’s fast-evolving working landscapes. With unique insights into navigating the worlds of isolation and collaboration, this book explores ways of thinking and working in this world, equipping the reader with inspiration to sustainably tackle the many stages of the development process.

    Working with Sound is an essential guide for professionals working in dynamic audio teams of all sizes, as well as the designers, producers, artists, animators, and programmers who collaborate closely with their colleagues working on game audio and sound.

    Part I: Introduction  1. Continual Change  2. Forever Changes  Part II: Remote Revolutions  3. Working with Sound: The (Present) Future of Development  4. L-Levels  5. Live Reviews: Time to Listen  6. Diversity of Work  7. Integrated Audio and The Double Edged Sword of Audio Quality  8. Guerilla-Style Remote  9. The Pendulum Shift  10. The Evolving Role of Audio Leadership  Part III: Understanding Sound Work: Cinematization  11. First-Principles: Genre and Style  12. Three Factors: Game Genre, Entertainment Genre, and Style  13. The Long Shadows of Cinema  14. Hollywood Sound  Part IV: Understanding Creative Work  15. Sound Images: Ambiguity and Clarity  16. Sound Motifs  17. Ambiguity: Language in Collaboration  18. Designing a Game for Sound  19. Creative Techniques  20. Audio Tools  21. Quality  22. Emotional Parameters  23. Why we Might be Doing 66% Too Much Work  24. Long-Term Pillars for Audio Quality  25. Working with Future-Aware Structures  26. Working in a Post-Silo Era  27. Breaking Down the Walls: New Terrains  28. Social Sound Design  29. Haptic Design  Part V: Spatial Work  30. Surround and Spatial Sound  31. First Wave Consumer Integration into Surround  32. IMAX  33. Ride Film: Shock and Awe  34. Pushing the Consumer Sound Envelope  35. Spatial Music  36. A Positive Future for Spatial Audio in Games  37. Off-Screen Sound in Games  38. Diegetic Devices: Music and Voice in Third-Person Listener Perspectives  Part VI: Planning Sound Work  39. Time  40. Money  41. In The Loop  Part VII: The Mix  42. Working with the Mix  43. Creative Principles  44. Techniques  45. Standards  46. Planning  47. Roles and Responsibilities  48. Outreach and Communication  49. Thinking Beyond the Technical  50. Plan to Mix  51. Tools, Techniques and Pipelines  52. Fresh Ears  53. Consistency  54. Dynamic Range  Part VIII: The Continual Work of Sound  55. Good Enough - Isn’t  56. The Ubiquity of Entertainment


    Rob Bridgett is a British-Canadian Audio Director, Mix Supervisor, Sound Designer and Recordist based in Newfoundland. In 1993, Rob attended Derby University to study cinema and media and was one of the first to graduate from the ‘Sound Design for the Moving Image’ Master’s degree programme at Bournemouth University in 1999. Having worked as a director in the games industry since 2001 (Vivendi Games, Activision Blizzard, Square Enix, PlayStation), Rob has become a committed advocate for ‘leading with sound’ and ‘sound as design’.

    'This is a much needed book and I can think of no one better or more appropriate than Rob Bridgett to have written it. Working with Sound is essential reading in its field for students, audio professionals and anyone with an interest in how sound creates narrative and emotional pictures in the mind. After all, as Bridgett reminds us, "sound is the invisible art department".'

    Seán Street, Emeritus Professor of Radio, Bournemouth University

    'Rob Bridgett’s book paints an amazingly detailed, broadly informed and inspiring vision of the future for anyone working with sound in the interactive world of entertainment…This outstanding book is an invaluable resource for both seasoned professionals and emerging sound designers and directors.'

    Wieslaw Woszczyk, Distinguished James McGill Professor, McGill University

    'While providing a wealth of practical tips and tricks, Bridgett looks beyond the day-to-day tasks and envisions a paradigm shift where audio becomes integral to game design and development. Acknowledging that this fundamental change needs to come from the inside, Bridgett suggests a plethora of strategies in Working with Sound that game audio practitioners can adopt to inspire and cultivate collaboration with other disciplines, leading to a future with more meaningful game audio.'

    Martin Stig Andersen, Composer, Audio Director (LIMBO, INSIDE, Control)