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I have been listening to the soundbytes podcast lately and I was incredibly inspired during episode 51 by something Barney had talked about when it comes to learning a new skill. To summarize, try doing the thing you want to learn in small chunks of time but every time try doing it differently. In my case, I have been wanting to get better at synthesizing laser sounds and to add to the challenge I only used 1 plugin to do it. Thankfully, I have also been wanting to learn phaseplant so it worked out.

Over the course of 2 or so weeks, I decided that every morning when I got to my desk, I would challenge myself to create a laser using Phaseplant by the time I finish my coffee (give or take 10 minutes). These short sprints allowed me to accept it won't be perfect and to try a new idea each time without getting too caught up in perfecting the sound. Surprisingly, some of these have already made their way onto a project so I suppose it worked out.

Here is a link to listen to some of the sonic explorations I came up with:

I am now working to get better at designing general synth textures and impacts so I could have more unique sources to use when designing sounds.

I hope this inspires you to explore new ways to create sounds!

For the work, I have been doing for the projects Super Auto Pets and Joon, a common challenge in the sound design for each of these projects is creating sounds that are exciting to listen to but have a calm feeling to them. While both of these games are vastly different in their design, they have this shared audio philosophy that I wanted to share and how I have been able to work through that challenge. The way it's done will be different depending on what you are designing but trying out some of these ideas may just do the trick.


This one took a while for me to understand - to briefly explain the audio design for Super Auto Pets, the game is what the team would call a "Chill Auto-Battler", the player assembles a team of pets and then they battle it out. These pets have unique calls whenever they are picked and their sounds can range from anything abstract to something more threatening. The challenging part of this is designing sounds for a creature that is calm, but also unique.

A common way I realized to make a creature sound calm and less aggressive was to use transient designers like the free Kilohearts transient designer. Using a slower setting like below, it's fairly simple to take a more aggressive-sounding monster and make it a little more soothing for the listener.

Frequency Control

To briefly explain Joon, it's a task list game for kids where tasks they complete in real life allow them to progress in the game and take care of their pets (otherwise known as Doters). It's a really cool way to help keep a child focused while allowing them to have fun and play the game.

Because of the nature of the project, I have to be incredibly careful about frequency control, anything that is too harsh or too much body could cause a child to lose interest so it was crucial to maintain frequency control. There are 3 main ways that I worked through this that are all kind of the same thing but working in different ways: EQ, dynamic EQ, then multiband compression.

Using EQ to generally roll off the ultra high end and most of the low end, allowing for the sounds to not distort when being played back on mobile devices - this was one of those things I ended up leaving on the main out and I designed everything to this. Alongside this was Dynamic EQ, which was done using the plugin Soothe. Soothe is essentially a hypersensitive dynamic eq that targets resonant frequencies and this allowed me to easily target certain frequency bands and tame any harsh frequencies within the sound I was designing. Finally, I used multiband compression as a general "even it out" tool so that there weren't any general frequency ranges that poked out and everything felt very similar.

Below are some example settings that I used across the project.

I hope this inspires you or helps!

This one isn't really a cool tip or showing a recording but instead a little monologue on keeping organized and tracking things that must be done. Everyone these days has a katrillion tasks being assigned to them in both their work and personal life. Tools like Jira are great for team collaboration and general "this should be worked on" but what about managing what you will be doing that day? Or even how long it actually takes for you to complete your tasks?

An option that I found that has been working wonders for me is TickTick. This is not at all endorsed and is me sharing how I've been able to keep focussed and better time manage myself. This app is basically an overhauled To-Do list that lets you assign tasks to specific days/times, sync with an existing calendar and turn events into tasks, quickly assign tasks to various lists, pomo timers, or even at a quick glance move a task to the next day or week.

The Pomo timer is something that as a contractor has been crucial for tracking how long it takes to complete a task while also remaining me every 25 or so minutes to take a break. This info could later be used for future pitches to accurately provide a time estimation. It's a fantastic tool that has been helping me keep organized in both my work and personal life and I highly recommend it to others as something that can be used to help better manage everything that has to be done.

I hope others find this useful or semi-inspiring in getting yourself organized.

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