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The Complete Guide to Game Audio: For Composers, Musicians, Sound Designers, Game Developers Paperback – Oct 28 2008

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent intro to the world of Game Audio March 9 2010
By Performance Emulation - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book focuses more on the business side of game audio. If you are looking for a 'how to' guide for composing and sound design, this is not the book for you.

However, for anyone interested in making a living by creating game audio content, this is a must read. Everything from networking, pricing your services, to standard contracts are covered. Of particular interest were the interviews throughout the book. Some more famous personalities, such as 'The Fat man' were interviewed, as well as some lesser known composers and sound designers. Some of them list what gear and software they use. I was surprised at both the spartan and the over the top set ups that some of these guys have.

The disc that comes with the book has some very useful content. Perhaps the best was the demos provided. If you are serious about composing, listen to these demos, they will give you an idea of what skill level you will need if you want to get any jobs.

Just a side note, at the end of the book Aaron suggests that you send him an email. I did, and got an encouraging response back from him. So he isn't just pretending to be a nice guy in the book, he really is!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Not a "Complete Guide" June 17 2010
By Lewis R. Strasburg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was not for me. I'm a student for Game and Simulation Programming looking for good a good introduction to the basics of Game Audio. The author has targeted this book directly at audio engineers who already have a good head start and want to market themselves to game developers as contractors. The majority of the material is about making money, and in fact it seems the author can not pass a topic without some reference to getting paid. As I read through most of the book, the material that I would have found useful was lost in a mess of anecdotes and rambling about the plights that composers have.

I rated it 2 stars because the writing was long winded, difficult to read, repetitious, incomplete, and poorly organized. This was not what I was expecting from a "complete guide".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The best guide to video game audio I've read yet Oct. 4 2011
By tjazzington - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is hands down the best book I've read on the subject of video game audio. It covers everything from: the Digital Audio Work Station (DAW), The Demo, Marketing, Contract Negotiations and more. If your an aspiring video game developer, sound designer, or composer get this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding Resource July 3 2010
By christheFER - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Aaron Marks touches on all of the key elements necessary to get started in the Game industry today. He makes a point to talk to you as a friend and guide you through the necessary steps to get you to where you need to be. I'm a novice Sound Designer and I can honestly say, that this book has been a really good guide so far. Thank you, Aaron!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Resource for Game Composers Oct. 23 2009
By Joseph L. Rivers - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is hard to imagine a more complete text on video game music scoring. Not only was I struck by the book's comprehensive treatment of topics on composing music for video games, but I was also impressed with its visual appeal and the clarity of the author's explanations. The author begins with an overview of the issues involved in a career producing game music and then discusses the important skill sets and tools for composing game music, along with setting up a personal music studio (including surround sound). Next he considers the business of composing for video games and how to market one's work, create effective demos, and network with others. This leads to negotiating the deals with game developers, including the issue of agreements and contracts, as well as collaborating effectively with developers. The author discusses in great detail game music varieties, compositional approaches to video game music, recording, sound effects and sound design, and editing and mastering musical tracks, as well as all the relevant issues in music production. Next, there is a lot of information about game platforms and the nature of music and audio for these various formats. There is even a chapter addressed to the game developer, which does not lack for substantive information.

Two appendices round off the volume--one on obtaining the help and resources you need to succeed as a video game composer, and the other on the various awards available to game composers. Interspersed throughout the text are insets called "Composer at Work," featuring short but valuable interviews with various game composers, and "Tools of the Trade," which are descriptions by different composers of the specific hardware and software they use in their studio. A DVD is included containing various audio samples and demos that were produced by the author and two dozen other composers, along with contract documents and information on surround sound for games.

The text is presented with great clarity and is written in an approachable and interesting writing style and is highly informative, with excellent and salient illustrations. The author presents a lot of sound advice from one very experienced and conversant in the industry. Occasionally the author describes some very interesting personal experiences, such as a fascinating one where he was involved in a rather surreal contract negotiation--entertaining to read, but certainly not to have to go through. This book may very well become the standard volume for video game music, if it has not already, for I cannot think of any relevant or related topic that has been omitted or unsatisfactorily treated. Indeed it would be hard to imagine a topic related to video game scoring that is not discussed. Of course, one can probe even deeper into such areas as sound design and audio production with additional resources, but the author nevertheless covers the topics quite thoroughly.

The book may be read straight through, or digested a chapter at a time, and it can serve as an excellent reference tool. In any case, it will be a valuable companion for any composer who wishes to pursue a career in video game scoring, or is already working as a game composer. If you want to understand how the world of video game scoring works, this book is the answer. All that remains is for the composer to be willing to exert the effort, develop one's creativity, and pursue it with tenacity, armed with a full understanding of what it takes to become a successful video game composer.