Music career Jobs

Careers in Music

Getting a Job Creating Sound and Music for Videogames

- Will Morton

Who am I? And why do you care?

My name is Will Morton. Until just over a year ago I was Senior Audio Designer and Dialogue Supervisor for Rockstar North, creators and developers of the Grand Theft Auto games. While I was at college in the 1990s I got involved in creating music for a couple of small commercial games as a freelancer but in early 2002, just after the release of Grand Theft Auto 3 on the PlayStation 2, I started work as an audio designer at Rockstar North. I stayed at Rockstar North for twelve years, mainly working on the Grand Theft Auto games but also helping on other titles published by Rockstar such as Red Dead Redemption and LA Noire. After Grand Theft Auto V was released, I left my in-house job at Rockstar and following a short break working on film sound I formed a video game audio production company, Solid Audioworks, with my friend and fellow ex-Rockstar colleague, Craig Conner (Music Director for the GTA games since the series began in 1997).

In the year since I left Rockstar, a lot of people have contacted us to ask for advice at getting into the game industry, specifically how they can create sound effects or music for games. The sound designers and composers that have asked for advice all come from very different backgrounds. Some are hobbyists, some are students, and others are experienced but from another field such as film or TV. It seems a lot of people are keen to get into a career in video game audio - be it sound design or music composition - but there does seem to be a gaping black hole where advice and guidance about how to achieve this should be. I'm not going to go over the pros and cons of being in video game development - if you are reading this article then I presume you have already made your mind up. I will do my best to explain some of the mystery that seems to surround entry into getting to make noise for games as a career.

For the best part of fifteen years I have had a lot of experience on both sides of the employment fence in the video game industry, so with any luck I will be able to offer aspiring video game audio designers and composers advice that will help them to reach their goals. I have also asked friends and colleagues who are employed in various areas of game audio for their input, so you can be sure that this information isn't just the opinion of one person - it contains snippets of advice from many seasoned professionals.

It's Interesting

  • SoundStation is a website for young people in the UK who are interested in making music. It is operated by Youth Music, a UK-wide charity set up in 1999 to provide high quality and diverse music-making opportunities for 0 – 18 year olds.
    SoundStation aims to help young people learn more about music, share musical experiences, get career advice...

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