Berkleemusic student Michael Nielsen in his game audio recording and production studio.Boston, MA (January 3, 2008)–Berkleemusic.com, the online division of the Berklee College of Music, has announced Introduction to Game Audio, a new course designed to address the job opportunities in today’s $14 billion game industry.
In Game Audio, students learn the basics of sound effects libraries and working with animation, overcoming technical hurdles, and explore the business side of the video game industry. By the end of the course, students will be able to create videogame soundtracks incorporating dialogue, sound design, and their own original music, says the school.
According to Berkleemusic student and composer Michael Nielsen, success in the game audio industry takes an open mind, a collaborative spirit, and audacity. Nielsen was asked to score Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell V: Conviction, the Xbox 360 game produced by award-winning game developer Ubisoft Montreal. “I always thought my first video game would be like Pac-Man Jr.–MIDI blips and beeps with a simple melody counterpoint thing,” says the 33-year-old. “As it turned out, my first video game was one of the top franchises out there.”
That’s when he began looking for learning opportunities. But the prospect of balancing work, commuting, and classroom time seemed discouraging. “I would’ve had to stop my life, go to school again, and then come back out,” he says. The online Berkleemusic offering, he says, “was a lot like getting a personal trainer.
“On a busy week,” he adds, “we’re doing five to 10 minutes of fully produced, finished video game music. No one ever thinks to ask, ‘Can you do this?’ They just say, ‘This is what I want.’ And you have to deliver it very quickly.” Enrollment is now open for the Winter Term, beginning January 7.