Sound designers thread

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Moderator: Moderators

Sound designers thread

Post by Guest »

Hi everyone, I'm a newbie here. I hope I'll find here what I'm looking for and become part of this community!
I'm 22. Half of a year ago I started composing beats on my DAW (fl studio). I'd never been trying to do something like this before. I really liked composing and bought my first studio headphones, and I was just shocked by how cool do they sound. After that purchase, I became completely absorbed into the world of sounds.
After that, I discovered sound design, and here is the starting point of my question. Since there is very little info about sound design in Russian(I'm from Russia, sorry for my bad English, btw) the only way for me to get knowledge and to reach my goals is to search info on such English-speaking resources. Please help me to clarify the next:

1. What skills must-have for sound-designer?
What should I learn to become a sound-designer? What does sound-designers do in their work time? What soft(including DAW) should I learn? What tasks should I be able to carry out in my future work? What to start with?
2. Which branch of sound design is better to start with? (Movie/games/animation clips/tv/e.t.c.)
3. What literature(youtube channels or any other sources) can you recommend?
I've started reading Ric Viers' "the sound effects bible". It's quite difficult to read in English, but it's not an insurmountable obstacle. Also, I found Hans Zimmer's video lessons and I'm going to start learning them.
4. How can I practice my skills?
What tasks should I carry out to feel confident about my progress? What're the easiest tasks of sound designer?

I know that these questions look silly, but I'm just trying to understand how long is my way. How long it'll take for me to become a sound-designer. I'm trying to understand is it possible to become a self-taught sound-designer. I appreciate any piece of advice, so feel free to drop a line in this thread. Thanks!
User avatar
Guest

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by CS70 »

Hi and welcome!

I know very little of sound design so will let others reply, but be assured your questions aren't silly at all.

As for reading English, it's invaluable as most proper sources are in that language. By personal experience, it's hard at start if it's not your mother tongue, but practice helps and soon becomes a breeze.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7799 Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Arpangel »

There are a lot of questions there, but all I can say is that the roles and functions of a "sound designer" aren’t as well defined as you think they are, those words cover many areas, music, theatre, art installations, TV, radio, and many more.
We are all "sound designers" in a way, when you make your beats you are designing sound, also, the roles terms and definitions within sound and music making these days are very blurred, and they will cross over sometimes.
As for a pathway, just continue to learn your DAW, learn different types of synthesis, experiment with microphones and the recording of acoustic sounds and instruments, eventually you will gravitate to what you find the most interesting.
I can recommend Reaktor, it’s a great program, but there are many others to choose from, also there is a very interesting guy on YouTube that has a great portfolio of videos about his work, and his commissions, you may find him interesting,

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeovElJP0n0i8ADaPsRSd8g

Hope this is helpful.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8618 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by James Perrett »

Nonpqlolzx wrote:What soft(including DAW) should I learn?


I'm not a sound designer but I just wanted to pick up on this. I'd suggest learning the principles rather than which buttons to press in a particular program. I've always found that having a thorough knowledge of the basic ideas has helped be learn to use any software.

Another thing I'd suggest is maybe teaming up with someone who is interested in the visual side of things and producing some short videos that show off both your skill as a sound designer and their skill as a visual designer.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 11135 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Guest »

Arpangel wrote:There are a lot of questions there, but all I can say is that the roles and functions of a "sound designer" aren’t as well defined as you think they are, those words cover many areas, music, theatre, art installations, TV, radio, and many more.
We are all "sound designers" in a way, when you make your beats you are designing sound, also, the roles terms and definitions within sound and music making these days are very blurred, and they will cross over sometimes.
As for a pathway, just continue to learn your DAW, learn different types of synthesis, experiment with microphones and the recording of acoustic sounds and instruments, eventually you will gravitate to what you find the most interesting.
I can recommend Reaktor, it’s a great program, but there are many others to choose from, also there is a very interesting guy on YouTube that has a great portfolio of videos about his work, and his commissions, you may find him interesting,

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeovElJP0n0i8ADaPsRSd8g

Hope this is helpful.


Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check this channel. I understand that there is no strict definition of sound-designer. I think the most preferable sphere for me is making sound design for animation clips/movies/games. I'd like to read your thoughts on this, thanks

James Perrett wrote:
Nonpqlolzx wrote:What soft(including DAW) should I learn?


Another thing I'd suggest is maybe teaming up with someone who is interested in the visual side of things and producing some short videos that show off both your skill as a sound designer and their skill as a visual designer.


That's a nice idea, thank you! I think it's a very good option for practicing skills.
User avatar
Guest

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Martin Walker »

Hi Nonpqlolzx, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

I'm a sound designer, and the best advice I can give is just to explore anything that interests you, since this in turn will expand your knowledge and experience.

With that in mind, here's an SOS Forum thread that I started years ago to keep sound designers interested:

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 23&t=19152

Hope you enjoy it - there's LOADS of interesting links in there to explore.

Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 18023 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Guest »

Martin Walker wrote:Hi Nonpqlolzx, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

I'm a sound designer, and the best advice I can give is just to explore anything that interests you, since this in turn will expand your knowledge and experience.

With that in mind, here's an SOS Forum thread that I started years ago to keep sound designers interested:

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 23&t=19152

Hope you enjoy it - there's LOADS of interesting links in there to explore.

Martin


Hi Martin! Thanks for the welcome and for sharing the thread. I hope I'll find many interesting there. Subscribed, of course!
User avatar
Guest

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Luke W »

James Perrett wrote:
Nonpqlolzx wrote:What soft(including DAW) should I learn?


I'm not a sound designer but I just wanted to pick up on this. I'd suggest learning the principles rather than which buttons to press in a particular program. I've always found that having a thorough knowledge of the basic ideas has helped me learn to use any software.


I think this is really important. If you concentrate on learning the fundamentals of the process itself rather than the tool being used to work on it then things make sense a lot quicker, and you'll be better placed to pick the best tool for the job. If you end up having to use some software you're not familiar with then it'll be much easier to work your way around it as well.
User avatar
Luke W
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1025 Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:00 am Location: Northamptonshire, UK
Studio - Techical Services - Bespoke Construction

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Flank Audio »

Hi Nonpqlolzx,

I saw this post so I thought I'd reply with my opinion on the topics!

1. What skills must-have for sound-designer?
The most important skill would be to be to critically listen. This applies to everything, from listening to your favorite music mixes to the sound a bottle makes when you drop into a bath with bubbles compared to a bath without bubbles. What I mean is that you need to be able to listen to sounds and break them apart. Why does a particularly sound different when stimulated in a certain way, what does a particular sound sound like within various spaces with different reverberation qualities etc. Once you're able to listen critically you'll be able to apply that to your work. A large part of sound design is layering - a good practicing task is to take a sound or atmosphere, like a forest ambience or something, and try designing that soundscape using your own recordings and synthesis techniques. Always think in layers, perspective and movement.

What should I learn to become a sound-designer?

Practice, practice, practice. Redo audio for videos you like. Do the best you can. You might hate it after a while but the more effort you put in the more you'll get out. If you really want to get good at something you'll put the time in. Being quick an efficient at pretty much any door will put you in a good position to get cracking. Using a DAW will become second nature pretty quickly once you get a couple of videos under your belt.

What does sound-designers do in their work time?

Working on projects, ranging from films, to tv to art projects etc. A big part is putting the leg work in before the creative process. For example capturing useful recordings. Designing synth patches. Spending time designing BEFORE you get onto a project so that you're not playing catch up when given a deadline. Obviously a lot of the time there are specific sounds that you can't prepare for but that's part of the creative process and why we love the job!

What soft(including DAW) should I learn? Logic/Pro Tools etc. Industry standard is Pro Tools for film etc. However Logic is fantastic for the price and leans towards the more musician based crowd. Pro Tools integrates seamlessly with video and has certain features that Logic doesn't have but really anything you can do in Pro Tools you can do in Logic. It's not about the DAW it's about your ears and taste.

2. Which branch of sound design is better to start with? Whatever you feel you can do the best! Or whichever you have the passion to get involved with.

3. What literature (youtube channels or any other sources) can you recommend?

Sound Effects bible is great. Loads of stuff on youtube really helps. Also there's lot's of blogs out there on dedicated sound effects website that breakdown certain sound designers work process.

4. How can I practice my skills?

As above - redo the audio for some of your favorite bits of visual media. That's the best practice you can get.

I hope all of the above helps you into finding your way into the world of sound design. It's tough to get started however once you find your groove your creative process will grow and become second nature after a while....almost like playing an instrument.

Cheers,

Dan
User avatar
Flank Audio
Posts: 2 Joined: Wed May 05, 2021 9:05 pm Location: Bristol
Sound Designer at Flank Audio

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Martin Walker »

Hi Dan, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

With helpful and informative posts like that you'll make lots of friends here :clap:

Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 18023 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Zukan »

I think it's important to distinguish between sound design in terms of synthesis, and sound design in terms of recording and reshaping existing sounds. One requires an understanding of the basic concepts and building blocks of sound whereas the other is reliant on understanding and manipulating processors to reshape existing sounds.

If it's the former then I suggest you start, like all sound designers do, exploring the world of subtractive synthesis and then moving onto additive, FM, S+S etc.... I also suggest you explore Synth Secrets written by Gordon Reid right here at SOS: https://www.soundonsound.com/series/synth-secrets. The series will help you greatly.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 9510 Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am
'Shaka. When the walls fell. Zukan...with his arms wide.'
Eddie Bazil
Samplecraze 
The Audio Production Hub

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Arpangel »

Nonpqlolzx wrote:I Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check this channel. I understand that there is no strict definition of sound-designer. the most preferable sphere for me is making sound design for animation clips/movies/games. I'd like to read your thoughts on this, thanks


I’ve never done this myself, but it’s strange, sometimes the music seems like it was made for the game, movie, animation, but it was composed independently as music in its own right, but sometimes it was, composed to a brief, and then, becomes music in its own right!
I’ve never been good at composing to a brief, it’s an art, you either have or you haven’t got.
I can remember when I first watched Salad Fingers, the music seemed so perfect for it, it wasn’t until later that I discovered it was by Boards Of Canada, and that was what made me start to listen to BOC.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8618 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Martin Walker »

Arpangel wrote:I can remember when I first watched Salad Fingers, the music seemed so perfect for it, it wasn’t until later that I discovered it was by Boards Of Canada, and that was what made me start to listen to BOC.


I was also a late starter to Boards Of Canada, but I love their sounds of hauntology 8-)

More info here for anyone who hasn't stumbled across Hauntology before:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauntology_(music)

Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 18023 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by BJG145 »

Just for the record, the OP posted three times last August and is long gone. The thread got bumped by someone plugging their YouTube channel.

Carry on.

:D

Martin Walker wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I can remember when I first watched Salad Fingers, the music seemed so perfect for it, it wasn’t until later that I discovered it was by Boards Of Canada, and that was what made me start to listen to BOC.


I was also a late starter to Boards Of Canada, but I love their sounds of hauntology


One of the bands I've heard of but know nothing about...must check them out. :thumbup:
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5376 Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Sound designers thread

Post by Eddy Deegan »

BJG145 wrote:Just for the record, the OP posted three times last August and is long gone. The thread got bumped by someone plugging their YouTube channel.


Don't forget that the first three posts of all new users are manually approved by one of the moderators before they are visible to anyone publicly.

We occasionally give folks the benefit of the doubt. They either fizzle out quickly or turn out to be useful participants and sometimes if it's the former (especially if they are on a promo-mission) their posts are quietly removed later.

We also encourage the use of the 'report this post' button (the exclamation mark icon at the top right) for posts anyone thinks should be re-evaluated ;-)
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Moderator
Posts: 6358 Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works | The SOS Forum Album projects
 
Post Reply