1) In exactly five sentences, give us what you feel is important biographical information about your sonic background.
As a child I was fascinated with scoring the moving images in my head by verbalizing the sound effects that went with them – and then I just never stopped.
In 2000 I went to the University of WI-Oshkosh to pursue a degree in music with an emphasis in recording technology and sound design.
In 2006 I created standingwave – my moniker for freelance sound design projects.
In 2009 I started working at Volition as an audio designer working on massive open world sandbox games – a dream job come true.
In 2013 I started my “Sound Design a Day” project to continue to improve and refine my skills while learning lots of new ones.
2) Please state, in exactly five words, your interest in sound.
Texture, Immersion, Surprise, Emotion, Music
3) Now please state, in exactly five syllables, how you might describe your process of work.
Trying to not suck
1) Using the rhythm of the famous four-note opening to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (i.e. short, short, short, looong), please tell us a fact about you that we may not know.
i want fifty dooooooooogs.
i want fifty doooooooooogs.
2) Who are four people that have influenced your work?
Nine Inch Nails (Trent Reznor)
The audio team at Volition – past and present.
3) What are four possible means to help you start a new project?
1. Become inspired by someone’s amazing work
2. Making my awesome sparkling water with green tea and fresh squeezed citrus drink
3. Bulletproof Coffee
4.The ever lingering fear that my skills and abilities will deplete if I’m not creatively productive with my time
1) Name three sounds that make you glad to have ears.
2. Underneath an overpass
3. My wife’s voice
2) Name three sounds that cause you physical discomfort.
1. Nails on chalkboard
2. Diesel motor pass bys at close range
3. Balloons popping – while it no longer brings me physical discomfort, i was terrified of this sound as a child. I would always have to leave the room at the end of birthday parties when everyone popped the balloons. Such immense fear and anxiety for that sound back then.
3) Address one way to change three of those sounds or three ways to change one of those sounds.
Diesel motors changes:
1. Nano/bio tech ear implants have have built in compressors, gates, and limiters. It could sense the approaching noise and duck it as soon as it hit a certain threshold.
2. 3D Printing and Locally grown food – eliminate their need entirely.
3. Never drive or walk anywhere ever again!
1) List and describe two projects on which you’re currently working.
At Volition I’m currently working on an awesome project for next gen which I can in no way, shape, or form describe or talk about 😛
In May 2013 I started my “sound design a day” project in order improve some of my sound design skills. Each day I record a brand new sound and then use that sound to create a short sound design and/or music piece from it.
2) And how are they both going?
The new Volition project is going really well. We’re making immense progress. It’s always awesome to see a brand new game come to life after it started merely as an idea stated in a couple of sentences.
The everyday project continues to march on. Some days it’s incredibly rewarding and I’m really happy with what I’ve come up with – other days I roll my eyes at the crap I managed to poop out..
3) How do you feel they are challenging your current skill set?
We’re going to be using a brand new set of development tools at Volition on the new game. So very soon I will be diving into a brand new world of making games. It’s always incredibly exciting, and also slightly terrifying. But one thing is for sure – I’ll be coming out the other end with tons of new skills
The everyday project is continuing to improve my speed and ear as a sound designer. I’m able to do things in a matter of minutes/hours that would have taken many hours or even days just six months ago. The skill set improvements are immeasurable. It’s a perfect platform to experiment and try new things: new workflow, new technique, new plugins, new tools…everyday is a blank slate ready to be filled with whatever you want.
1) Name one environmental element of the creative process that you find essential.
Lighting. I find it’s much easier and soothing to work under multiple, dim, colored lights. I personally can’t stand fluorescent and bright white incandescent lighting. In my home office I have blue, green, and pink lighting and at my office at Volition I have blue, green, and yellow lighting.
2) What is one area in which you hope to improve your work?
There are a lot of different things I’m trying to do to improve my work – but if i had to pick one – it would be continuing to improve and refine my abilities to look at something completely abstract, perhaps a moving graphic design, or a piece of artwork, and be able to look at it and say: what can i record in the real world and how can I manipulate it to sound like this abstract thing that has no basis or reference in reality.
3) What is one thing you would like people to know when listening to your work?
I always try to create emotional and immersive experiences with my sound design.
About the 3×5 Interview
The “3×5” is a non-traditional interview series that encourages creative and personal responses from its participants. While the core structure remains intact, I occasionally update the sets of questions to keep interviewees and readers engaged. Although the resultant replies of the participating audiophiles may be informative or instructive, my hope is that the interview will encourage conversation and a sense of camaraderie within the sound design community.