AES Convention: Interactive Music of the LittleBigPlanet Franchise

Winifred Phillips - Audio Engineering Society ConventionI was very proud to speak at three events during the Audio Engineering Society convention last week!  My hour-long presentation last Sunday was entitled “Interactive Music of the LittleBigPlanet Franchise: Dissecting a Complex, Multi-Component System.”

In addition, I spoke as a panelist during a game audio panel presentation on Saturday, and I also participated on Saturday as a game audio mentor in the awesome AES Speed Mentoring session, sponsored by the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services.  Attendees got a chance to ask loads of terrific questions of the assembled professional mentors, and it was great fun to answer game audio questions during the mentoring session!

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AES Convention: What’s New on the Show Floor

This past weekend, the Audio Engineering Society held its annual North American convention in the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. I was participating as an AES speaker, but I also knew that AES includes an exhibit floor packed with the best professional audio equipment from all the top manufacturers, and I didn’t want to miss that! So, in between my game audio panel presentation on Saturday, and the Sunday tutorial talk I gave on the music system of the LittleBigPlanet franchise, I had the pleasure of searching the show floor for what’s new and interesting in audio tech. Here are some of the attractions that seemed most interesting for game audio folks:

Fraunhofer/Cingo - Winifred PhillipsOne of the most interesting technologies on display at AES this year was Fraunhofer Cingo – an audio encoding technology developed specifically to enable mobile devices to deliver immersive sound for movies, games and virtual reality. Cingo was developed by the institute responsible for the MP3 audio coding format.  According to Fraunhofer, the Cingo technology “supports rendering of 3D audio content with formats that add a height dimension to the sound image, such as 9.1, 11.1 or other channel combinations.”  This enables mobile devices to emulate “the enveloping sound of movies, games or any other virtual environment.”   While I was there, Fraunhofer rep Jennifer Utley gave me the chance to demo the Cingo technology using the Gear VR headset, which turns Samsung mobile phones into portable virtual reality systems.  The sound generated by Cingo did have an awesome sense of spatial depth that increased immersion, although I didn’t personally notice the height dimension in the spatial positioning. Nevertheless, it was pretty nifty!

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139th Audio Engineering Society Convention Schedule

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The Audio Engineering Society’s annual convention is next week, and the entire schedule is now available, so I can now share the dates and times for my presentations!

Sunday, Nov. 1st, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (Room 1A22)  Interactive Music of the LittleBigPlanet Franchise: Dissecting a Complex, Multi-Component System.  If you can only come one day, then pick Sunday, because I’ll be presenting an hour-long talk on the music system of six games in the LittleBigPlanet franchise. It should be a fun talk!

Saturday, Oct. 31st, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm (1A22)  Game Audio Education – New Opportunities for Students.  I’ll be a panelist answering questions and participating in discussion of the role of education in a game audio professional’s career. Fellow panelists include Steve Horowitz, Scott Looney, Leonard J. Paul and Michael Sweet.

Saturday, Oct. 31st, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm (Room 1A07)  SPARS Speed Counseling with Experts – Mentoring Answers for Your Career.  I’ll be acting as a mentor and answering career related questions to participants in a speed group mentoring format. Game Audio mentors for this event will include myself, Tom Salta, George Valavanis and Gina Zdanowics.

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139th AES Convention for the Game Music Composer

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I’m happy to share that I’ll be a speaker again this year at the Audio Engineering Society’s annual convention!  Last year, the convention took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center – a familiar stomping ground from my many visits to the famous Electronic Entertainment Expo over the years.  However, this year will take me somewhere entirely new: the Jacob Javits Center in New York City!

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I imagine that most futuristic metropolitan buildings look best when the sky is purple.  Since it’s impossible to capture natural purple skies in the wild, I assume that someone helpfully photoshopped a purple firmament for this promo picture.  The convention center looks very impressive, and I’m looking forward to seeing it in person!

Attending last year’s AES in Los Angeles was a wonderful experience, and I was truly honored to have been chosen as a speaker for the event!  At last year’s AES, I gave an overview presentation about interactive music in video games – the talk was an expansion of the interactive music sections of my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music.  Here’s a video clip from my speech last year, entitled “Effective Interactive Music Systems: The Nuts and Bolts of Dynamic Musical Content.”  The entire speech is available for download from Mobiltape.com.

At this year’s AES, I’ll be speaking more specifically about my role as a member of the music composition team for the LittleBigPlanet franchise.  It will be fun to share my experiences as part of that wonderful music team at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and I’m looking forward to exploring some of the interactive music techniques of the LittleBigPlanet franchise!

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This is a photo from the LittleBigPlanet 3 display in the Sony booth at E3 2014.  My presentation at the Jacob Javits Center will include lots of my music from the LittleBigPlanet franchise, and Sackboy will be making many appearances!

AES-MixBoardI’m also looking forward to seeing what’s new and hot in audio gear on the AES exhibit floor.  Last year’s show floor was crowded with humongous mixing desks like the one above, along with enough glittering gear to make a full-grown audio engineer cry tears of joy.  I’m looking forward to a similar spectacle this year.  In addition to the expo floor, the convention will include a comprehensive program of presentations, panels and workshops, and the popular Live Sound Expo will be returning this year to spread knowledge about audio solutions for live events.

On a more personal note – prior to attending my first AES, I read an article from the ONION (the world’s top news satire publication) which lead me to believe that, as an audio engineer attending such a convention, I would be able to gather with my fellow audio professionals and enjoy an in-depth discussion of our ponytails (warning: adult language).  I can report that this did not happen last year… which was a shame, because I made sure I wore a ponytail for the occasion.  😉

I submit the following photo as proof:

AES-AESDespite this minor disappointment, I had an awesome time at last year’s AES, and I’m very excited about this year’s event!  The convention will take place from Oct. 29th to Nov. 1st at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.  Hope to see you there!

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Studio1_GreenWinifred Phillips is an award-winning video game music composer whose most recent project is the triple-A first person shooter Homefront: The Revolution. Her credits include five of the most famous and popular franchises in video gaming: Assassin’s Creed, LittleBigPlanet, Total War, God of War, and The Sims. She is the author of the award-winning bestseller A COMPOSER’S GUIDE TO GAME MUSIC, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. As a VR game music expert, she writes frequently on the future of music in virtual reality video games. Follow her on Twitter @winphillips.

Audio Engineering Society Convention 2014

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I was honored to serve as a speaker this year at the Audio Engineering Society Convention!  The event took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from October 9th to the 12th — here are a few photos from the event:

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My speech was titled “Effective Interactive Music Systems: The Nuts and Bolts of Dynamic Musical Content.”  My speech expanded on some ideas that were explored in my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music.  The great audience were really kind and appreciative, and they asked lots of interesting questions!

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I had to take a photo of the sign that was outside the door to the presentation room where I gave my speech.

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This was my AES convention badge.  It had an AES presenter ribbon!  I was so proud.  🙂

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Stopped to take a quick photo in the lobby outside of the convention expo floor before going in.

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Since the Alto Music store has met my needs many times, I had to pay their booth a visit.

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This massive black balloon hung over the exhibit floor, urging AES attendees to “Mix the Masters.”  Seems like a sensible request for a crowd full of audio engineers.

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The amiable guy giving the thumbs-up sign is Noland Anderson of PostProduction.com.  He and his production partner did a video interview with me for their web site (the interview will be posted to the site soon).  Thanks, guys!  It was great fun.

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I could not call myself a true Pro Tools user without stopping at the Avid booth to gawk at the new Pro Tools toys.

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The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences had a nice booth, including information about their Grammy U initiative designed to help young aspiring audio professionals make their way into the recording industry.

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On display – some microphone solutions for drum kits.

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Big honking mixing consoles were absolutely everywhere on the exhibit floor.

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I could not neglect to say hello to the RCA dog.

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Emerging from the exhibit floor again, I took a walk down the AES red carpet.

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Finally, I couldn’t leave without a souvenir!  I’ll wear my AES hat with pride!  Thanks very much, Audio Engineering Society.  It was tremendous fun, and I look forward to next year, when AES will hold its convention in New York City.

Game Convention Speaking Engagements 2014

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This fall is going to be a busy one for me!  In addition to the release of one of my projects – a very big video game that I’m quite excited about (more info coming soon) – I’ll also be doing three speaking engagements.  I thought I’d share info about those here, in case any of you might be attending.  It would be great to see you there, and if you bring along a copy of my book (A Composer’s Guide to Game Music), I’d be happy to sign it for you!

GameSoundCon 2014

October 7th & 8th
Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles

 

It’s my pleasure to speak at GameSoundCon again this year!  Last year was tremendous fun, and I’m looking forward to giving another lecture to the wonderfully creative and enthusiastic game audio folks who attend GameSoundCon!  My presentation, entitled “Advanced Composition Techniques for Adaptive Systems,” will take place on October 8th.  Here are a couple of photos from my presentation last year.

A portion of the audience for my presentation at GameSoundCon 2013

A portion of the audience for my presentation at GameSoundCon 2013

Speaking at GameSoundCon 2013

Speaking at GameSoundCon 2013

Audio Engineering Society Convention (AES 137), 2014

Thursday, October 9th – Sunday, October 12th
Los Angeles Convention Center

Audio Engineering Society Convention 2014

I’m looking forward to speaking at this year’s AES convention.  My presentation, entitled “Effective Interactive Music Systems: The Nuts and Bolts of Dynamic Musical Content,” will take place on October 9th.  I’ll also be speaking on October 10th as a part of a panel entitled “Game Biz 101: How to Jump Start Your Career.”  The panelists also include Guy Whitmore (Studio Audio Director at PopCap Games), Stephan Schütze (Audio Director of the Sound Librarian), Richard Warp (Audio Lead at Leapfrog Enterprises), and our moderator Steve Horowitz (Audio Director, Nickelodeon Digital).

Montreal International Games Summit, 2014

Monday, November 10th – Tuesday, November 11th
PALAIS DES CONGRÈS DE MONTRÉAL

 

It will be a tremendous pleasure to speak again at the Montreal International Games Summit.  Last year was a fantastic experience, and I’m looking forward to returning to Montreal!  My presentation will be entitled “Music, the Brain, and the Three Levels of Immersion.”  Here’s a video of my presentation at last year’s Montreal International Games Summit.