Should Audio Reels/Portfolios Only Contain SFX I've Personally Recorded From Scratch?

calebfaith

Active Member
Thanks for creating this subforum!

I've had this question for a long time: Basically the title - Should Audio Reels/Portfolios Only Contain SFX I've Personally Recorded From Scratch?

If I'm applying to Sound Design jobs should I only include sounds I've recorded from their source or could I also use some SFX packs and combine/process/edit/layer them to create a coherent soundscape?

Thanks,
Caleb
 
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I'm sure somebody a lot more knowledgeable and established in this industry could answer better than me this will just be another plodder's opinion but I guess it would depend on how transformative what you're doing is to the source, me personally I don't have a very big library of custom recorded sources (how would I even get certain ones...I can't easily go out and record gunshots in a valley in the middle of an australian city as yo know) so I don't think anyone would begrudge you for using a lot of 3rd party sources for certain things like that.

But stuff like, the computer sounds or the spaceship in your example? if they're not from scratch that'd be a problem to me because it's very easy to do that stuff yourself and if it's supposed to be a showcase of what you can do then I believe you're selling yourself short but not having as much of it be you as possible. If you have a demo of great sounds and can say that EVERYTHING in it was recorded and processed by you and it's a product 100% of your own skill that's more impressive to me.

(also keep in mind I am a lot weirder about this than most, for example I won't ever use presets and I'll never own something like omnisphere because I like having as much of what I do directly attributable to me, I won't even use premade risers or woosh/hits)
 
OP
calebfaith

calebfaith

Active Member
I'm sure somebody a lot more knowledgeable and established in this industry could answer better than me this will just be another plodder's opinion but I guess it would depend on how transformative what you're doing is to the source, me personally I don't have a very big library of custom recorded sources (how would I even get certain ones...I can't easily go out and record gunshots in a valley in the middle of an australian city as yo know) so I don't think anyone would begrudge you for using a lot of 3rd party sources for certain things like that.

But stuff like, the computer sounds or the spaceship in your example? if they're not from scratch that'd be a problem to me because it's very easy to do that stuff yourself and if it's supposed to be a showcase of what you can do then I believe you're selling yourself short but not having as much of it be you as possible. If you have a demo of great sounds and can say that EVERYTHING in it was recorded and processed by you and it's a product 100% of your own skill that's more impressive to me.

(also keep in mind I am a lot weirder about this than most, for example I won't ever use presets and I'll never own something like omnisphere because I like having as much of what I do directly attributable to me, I won't even use premade risers or woosh/hits)
Yeah, so in the end it depends on how much you're changing the source as well as if it is possible/easy to create yourself you should?
 

wst3

Lunatic - it's really that simple
Moderator
From what I've been told the thing that matters is the originality of the production. If the person reviewing the demo reel recognizes the sounds then you aren't going to get high marks. But if you have manipulated commercial sounds such that they are not recognizable then you've left your thumbprint on them, and that's kind of the point.

it's always good to demonstrate that you can create things from scratch, but in the real world it doesn't hurt to be able to take an existing set of sounds and make something new - and yours!
 

ghobii

Active Member
This is a once a week livestream, where two game audio veterans critique up-and-coming sound designers reels and portfolio sites.
 

gsilbers

Part of Pulsesetter-Sounds.com
I don’t know much about the video game industry but for audio post not really.
In the small world of post in Los Angeles it’s pretty much about personal connections and also if your credits already have the type of work the new gigs needs.
That goes for almost any job. Disney will hire you as an accountant if you work as an accountant at fox and so on.

But for sample libraries I guess showing a before and after would be good. The value added from scratch sample to sfx.

I would think audio plugin companies like videos from Robert ducik showing some cool shot of recording an odd thing and then showing the transformation in the daw and that way use it for marketing purposes.
 

Daniel Petras

Active Member
I think they key is to sound unique, make sure your audio material relates well to the visual and have a good mix. If you nail that, it doesn't matter how you get there. You can process and layer sound libraries in unique and interesting ways and no one will notice. If you drag and drop, people will notice.