Introduction to Game Audio - Gear
Everything heard inside a video game falls into the realm of game audio, which is made by composers, sound designers, voice artists and audio producers. It all started with coin-op arcade machines and led to the current console generation. Now we have everything from mobile to console games. Esports is eclipsing traditional sports and games are being developed at breakneck speeds. They all need sound effects, music and voice to make the sound pop. Game Audio professionals tend to work within one of the following software programs: Pro Tools, Logic Pro & Cubase. Reaper is also a popular choice due to its low cost and high functionality. A successful game audio career requires networking, technical skills and quality gear. There is an overwhelming amount of audio gear today but if you are new to this and on an extreme budget, the following items are unbeatable. This is how you 'go pro' at the absolute lowest cost possible.
So you want to be a sound designer? You'll need the tools to do the job. It all starts with a field recorder and this is how sound designers, audio artists and musicians capture audio in the world. Portability is key when collect interesting content in the middle of nowhere. The iRig Field is the easiest and most affordale way to start with professional field recording. It's a perfect entry level tool for anyone trying to capture a sonic environment and use the files in a #gameaudio project. iK Multimedia includes a free app for iOS which brings basic editing to your captured audio files. The iRig Field turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a handheld field recorder. The quality of the stereo mics, preamps and functionality is impressive for such a tiny mic. The iRig Field comes with a detachable wind filter and the mic has a volume controll knob.
Aside from a computer, a professional must have great audio equipment. A cheap speaker like the Beats Pill is helpful for final testing of your audio but pro studio monitors are a must for working in this competitive industry. In the most simple terms, you want to hear exactly what you are doing and get the full sonic picture. The iLoud Portable Speaker has received heavy praise from some of the best in the industry. Nothing comes close to these in the ultra-compact studio monitor market at this price. Their portable size and neutral character make them perfect for audio artists, musicians and engineers. These work brilliantly in small rooms with a compact size and accuracy that translates incredibly well to the real-world.
Studio headphones have improved to the point of being a studio staple. Cheap earbuds are fine for testing your final mixes but pro headphones are a must for those wanting an accurate sonic picture during the production process. Audio must be heard with the highest possible accuracy and with little to no added coloration. After plowing through the most celebrated budget headphones, the Status CB-1 has emerged as a top choice. The internet seems to be going bonkers over these, due in part to their comfort and modern voicing. Keep in mind that all headphones are colored to some extent and can be calibrated to neutral. For those wanting to go deeper, head over to the mixing on headphones page
A quality condenser microphone is a staple of any studio, capturing vocals, instruments and sounds in the most natural way possible. High end mics can be expensive and cheap ones can sound harsh. Both require a seperate audio interface but USB mics bypass that need. The Beyerdynamic FOX USB mic sounds amazing right out of the box with a natural sound perfect for voice, instruments, gaming, music production and podcasting. There is a volume and mix knob for subtle monitoring tweaks, a mute button as well as a headphone mini port. This makes the FOX doing double duty as an audio interface. The 24bit/96kHz audio capability puts it well ahead of most USB mics with inferior specs. Overall, the FOX leads the USB mic race and does an amazing job simplifying the recording process while retaining the character of high end LDC mics. Beyerdynamic has been building quality pro audio gear since 1924 and seems to have taken the lead in the USB mic race. There is currently nothing on the market competing with this thing. If you are on a tight budget but need professional results, look no further.