Audio design! It’s so simple, yet so important. While most designers are visual designers, there are many, many more aspects to consider with design. After all, we have 5 senses, and we have art forms in all categories too. Most things rely upon the sense of vision, however, we have things that rely upon hearing. This is where audio design comes into play.
Audio design would be the wide term for this concept, however, it will include things like capturing said audios, editing the sounds, overlaying them into other things, etc. There’s a lot can be done! Considering the fact that everywhere we go in this world has noises and ambiance, audio is integral to all things from television to game design. You may not realize it, but every single noise made in absolutely anything pertains to this. That’s where our audio designers come in!
Say you have a project for a video game. You’ve got everything done. Graphics, coding, physics- whatever! But you don’t have any audio at all. What? Are your players playing in the void?! Or is it just the ridiculous lack of audio and ambiance. This is where creating and editing comes in. Are you going to hire an audio designer or are you going to go run out into the world and stand around with mics to capture the ambiance needed?
Well? What do you even need for audio production?
To start out with an easy basis, Adobe luckily has a tool for this, just as it has a tool for about everything you can need. Adobe Audition would be helpful for audio design if you own Creative Cloud. However, a lot of sound designers may use other programs and tools depending upon what part of design they are in. For example, people who do things for live performances would use QLab, or people who are making electronica music would use Soundhack.
All in all, Adobe Audition is the main contender and it is the market standard, so mostly everyone uses it. Of course, it’s also the most generic one out of the ones I’ve listed, which isn’t a bad thing of course! It’s just the most used all around and by everyone because of it’s simplicity and handiness.
Along with this many people who create and edit sounds use many different kinds of real life tools- there are tons and tons of different microphones! For example, if I were to go on Freesound.org and listen to different audio clips, I’ll hear tons and tons of different audio, sometimes by different microphones. You’ll find slews and slews of random microphones, but one of the most prominent brands is Zoom. Zoom carries everything from field-recording tools to studio recording tools.
Now what’s the difference here you ask? Field-recording’s definition is right in it’s title. You go outside, into the field, essentially anything outside the studio. Most of these microphones are handhelds, nothing much bigger than a cellphone! These people go out and about, record ambiance and audio from the real world, and then they proceed to return home to their studio, clean it up and do whatever it is they do. They commonly come with an SD card slot, so that you can remove the data and upload it to your devices.
On the other hand, we have studio microphones! Studio microphones tend to be large and bulky, and of course, made for being stationary! Studio microphones aren’t even just the only components here. Some may have digital mixers and recorders, mostly for live audio, however, most things in the studios become much more complex! Within studios, we get things like mixers and digital instruments, and other things for recording, mixing, and creating. There’s a lot to it, and a lot of things get rather complex.
Studios are capable of using their programs and tools for either live audio or synthesizing audio or whatever it is that the audio designer wants to do. Of course, this is in unison with audio programs on computers, such as Adobe Audition. I sadly cannot get into too many details with the complex things, as I am not well-versed in complex audio design. But, I can keep running through the basics.
There are tons of jobs under audio design. We have people that work with sounds, with music, with voices, any kind of sound! There are people who record things for free, such as freesound.org, or we have people who do things for videos, movies, and video games. A lot of audio can walk hand in hand with other design elements! If you have a brand, maybe you’ll need a little jingle or noise-cue, or maybe if you’re a video game developer, you’ll need to hire someone to construct music or record sounds! There’s so much that can be done, so much to see, or better yet- so much to listen to.