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Sound Design with Nicolas Gueguen

Nicolas is never out of ideas when recording sound effects for video games. His know-how and his endless imagination allow him to use turn his environment into all the sounds he wants on Fmod.

What part of your job do you like the most?

Playing the game! And tweaking audio at the same time. Sometimes it’s hard to not get hooked and to stay focused on the audio.

Which sound effect was the craziest to record?

I recorded a sound that didn’t make it in the game. There’s a room called Kitchen and at the beginning, we were testing some audio ambiances to fit in each room. I had to record myself cooking stuff, water boiling, pan-frying, cutting vegetables… Not very crazy but fun anyways.

Was it the first time you worked with voice actors? What did you learn from them and this experience?

I do a lot of vocal recording in my studio. So, this wasn’t my first time. But this time was a bit special because they didn’t have to say a word, just making onomatopeias. I learned that the key was to make them understand the context and the feeling of the character. My explanations had to be clear so they could perform this task with the game’s intentions.

Little story: for blenophobia sound effect, Nicolas used actual slime.

How hard is it to make sure that the sound effect you produce is the sound you want? How do you make your choices?

I start with a mental image of the sound, then I start experimenting. Sometimes, I just know where to search and things are coming quickly together. But sometimes, I just realize that it won’t work, so just I start over. And when I know that I have great sounds in the right range in sound libraries, I go for them. It’s the more efficient method with often great results. If I cannot find a sound quickly, I go for recording, and I have to find a good-sounding prop. If it still sucks, I just look for another good-sounding object, I change the mic positioning or go back to library searching!

Is there a phobia or a card that reminds you of a special event in your life?

Nails Chew! that’s me. As far as I remember, I’ve always bitten my nails. I tried a few times to stop, but it’s still there. People say it occurs when you’re stressed, maybe I am, but I don’t feel like it.