I have come across a wealth of resources during my audio journey, here I link to many of the gems which I have discovered.
This page is periodically updated as I write blogs, conduct research, and dive deeper. Enjoy!
Books & Readables!
Sub Group - Sound Design Centric
- - Dance music manual (4th edition is most recent)
This book is among my favorites about synthesis & sound design. It’s truly a gem. It discusses ‘all the things’ of synthesis and digital sound design with detailed information about frequencies, FM wavetables, envelopes, effects, compression, it goes on and on. There is a lot of wild information thrown around on the forums, and this book is a breath of fresh air to read with thought out explanations from a reputable source who discusses the history, components, settings, and uses for many tools of the trade. (full review, in production).
Snoman, Rick. Dance Music Manual: Tools, Toys, and Techniques. 4th ed. Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, 2019. ISBN: 9781138319622 (hardcover); 9781138319646 (paperback); electronic book; kindle edition. Accessed 2021; https://catalog.loc.gov/vwebv/holdingsInfo?searchId=20985&recCount=25&recPointer=0&bibId=21545985.
- - THE GAME AUDIO FAQ (free, online doc)
"A Strategy Guide for a Totally Audacious Career in Games". This is a one-stop shop of free and open resources to help support the global game audio community.
Brendan Wolf. 2022. THE GAME AUDIO FAQ: A Strategy Guide for a Totally Audacious Career in Games. Accessed 2022 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bE_xuSedxHWBpF9cE7C8hGNWdXjOFdiWXtFGYbqP_30.
- - Bible of getting a job in game audio (free, online doc)
Ditto as above, A compiled list of information from people in the business - “avoid paying the price of learning from needless mistakes, and get the job quicker.”
Florian Titus Ardelean. 2020. The Bible of Getting a Job in Game Audio, 2020 Edition. Accessed 2022 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sAd8xOdngsdLJqKfcOnyL8xRhPi3Uitys6fEXU9O2X0.
- - The Fat Man on game audio: tasty morsels of sonic goodness
Meandering advice about traversing the landscape of sound design - like a 'desert full of mirages'. It provides a reflective snapshot of the history of the game industry from an audio pov for better and worse. It provides a unique insight into the early days of game audio, and was eye opening in many ways. I have a bit to say about this book and will leave it at that for now. George Sanger also has a blog.
Sanger George Alistair. 2004. The Fat Man on Game Audio : Tasty Morsels of Sonic Goodness. Indianapolis Ind: New Riders.
Sub Group - Foley & Recording
- - The Foley Grail
An indepth look at sonic acting and the Foley process. It is not a recipe book.
Ament Vanessa and Safari an O'Reilly Media Company. 2021. The Foley Grail. 3rd ed. Routledge. Accessed 2022; https://www.worldcat.org/title/1288628713.
- - The Sound Effects Bible
This book provides heaps of Sound Design recipes. Very fun to read through.
Viers Ric. 2008. The Sound Effects Bible : How to Create and Record Hollywood Style Sound Effects. Studio City CA: Michael Wiese Productions. Accessed 2023; https://www.worldcat.org/title/221141534.
Sub Group - Maths & Sciences! /b>
- - Fundamentals of musical acoustics
This book presents a mathematical understanding and description for audio principles; it's a deep dive into oscillation, vibrations, acoustics, loudness, and much much more. A blog-review of this book is coming... Get the 2nd, revised edition!
- - Physics of Music (free, online book)
A trove of great info; for example, making sense of cents and composer scientists.
Suits, B. H. "Physics Department, Michigan Technological University." Copyright 1998-2023. Accessed 2022. https://pages.mtu.edu/~suits/PofMCopyRight.html
- - Harmonies of the World (Harmonices mundi libri V)
Johannes Kepler measured and compiled the movements of the celestial bodies in this magnum opus which was published in 1609! It overlays math, music, and planetary orbits in search of a harmonious understanding for the universe. It has some great ratios which have been especially fun to use with modular synth systems.
Kepler, Johannes. Ioannis Keppleri Harmonices mundi libri V. sumptibus Godofredi Tampachii ..., excudebat Ioannes Plancus, 1619. doi: https://doi.org/10.5479/sil.135810.39088002800316. Accessed 2020; https://library.si.edu/digital-library/book/ioanniskepplerih00kepl Secondary book link - readable here thanks to Global Grey Books.
Sub Group - Music
- - Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People
Nice concise music theory cheat sheets (62 of them!), freely available CC: 4.0 thanks to Toby Rush. Braille Music & Advanced Music Theory resources here.
Rush, Toby, W. Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People. tobyrush.com Accessed 2023. https://tobyrush.com/theorypages/index.html.
- - Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony
The internet is great, but wouldn’t it be nice if all that music theory was compiled in a single location and authored by trustworthy sources? This book, albeit dense, has got it all going on.
Burstein L. Poundie and Joseph Straus. 2015. Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony Preview ed. New York: W.W. Norton 7 Company.
- - Harmony & Voice Leading
Also a bit dense, but wonderfully so if you are looking for foundations to analyze harmony. Pair it with 8-bit music theory and you’re golden.
Aldwell Edward Carl Schachter and Allen Clayton Cadwallader. 2011. Harmony & Voice Leading. 4th ed. Boston MA: Schirmer/Cengage Learning. Review from classical.net.
- - The study of fugue
Here is a link for a listen. Kids these days listen to such
musicnoize. This book pulls references to fuga from 1330 and academic writings about fugue in the 1500s and onward to examine developments in musical trends throughout Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods.
The style upset people who felt music should adhere to a specific set of rules. It introduced imitative and spaced entrances with strong counterpoints and a free writing style. While dense with musical language, there are distinct sections of the book which sound as if they could be lifted from conversations today about how music isn't as good nor 'the way it used to be'.
Mann, Alfred. The Study of Fugue. New York: Dover Publications, 1987. Originally published in 1965. ISBN: 0486254399.
Sub Group - Implementation, Voice Acting, Other
- - Audiokinetic Wwise Blog
A rich repository of applied implementation using Wwise. This blog is invaluable.
Audiokinetic Inc. et al. Audiokinetic Blog. 2020. https://blog.audiokinetic.com/en/.
- - Voice Acting Blog of Resources
Incredible collection of audio resources by Fryda Wolff focused on helping voice actors, especially helpful for VO Direction. And she references the Toast!
Fryda Wolff. How to Become a Voice Actor.” 2023. https://frydawolff.com/how-to-become-a-voice-actor/.
Kinsler, L. E., and A. R. Frey. Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics. Key ed. New York: Dover Publications, 1962. Originally published in 1950. Accessed April 3, 2022. https://openlibrary.org/works/OL4297842W/Fundamentals_of_musical_acoustics?edition=key%3A/books/OL5201260M Secondary book link.
- - GameAudioLearning.com
An incredible trove of audio resources compiled by Greg Lester and Jonny Sands
- - A google doc full of of resources
Links to Free Plugins, Sfx, Learning, Blogs, and Design Tutorials compiled by Presley Hynes and the sound design discord.
- - Building a sound library using freebies
Andrew Scott put together a list of companies which provide sample freebie library packs. These can help designers get started and when you need additional source that you just can't record, you'll know where to go to buy full libraries!
One more! - Here is a similar list from Skyes media.
- - Additional Google Sheets with links to Free VSTs.
I found this list linked from other resources and Twitter posts. If anyone knows of the author for these, please let me know!
- - A google sheet of Free VSTs & Audio Plugins
This is from 2019
- AirWiggles An active community of sound designers!
- Battle of The Bits (BotB) A vestige of unique internet culture from the mid-2000s in the form of a music & sound battleground with frequent semi-public competitions and a trove of accumulated audio knowledge. Such as this review of subtractive synthesis.
- Slack & FB Communities There are a couple wonderful slack communities around which are really fun and helpful. Similarly, there are facebook groups that are still running strong; for example, that's where the hydrasynth community hangs out and swaps patches, and I know of a great business skills for composers group which is nice for freelance questions. There are communities all over the place.
There are literally more than I can list, just ask chat gpt. Below are a few centered around teams/individuals, competitions, and general learning. They all bring something to the audio table.
Itch.io - Jam discords
If you're into game jams; many on itch.io/ have their own server as well. These can be great places to meet talented startup devs!
stillalive Game Labs
Some of my favorite sets of Sound Design competitions are held here.
Sound Design competitions and broad support & chat.
Audio Fiction Network
Mega Community of voice actors and audio people centered around audio dramas and podcasts
A community of learners looking to get into the games industry, it's a great space to connect with other devs.
Colin Benders – Modular Mayhem
This is a community centered around Colin Benders (a fantastic modular synthesist); there are a few channels with some good gear and patch talk.
There are tons of sound design centered discord servers, more than I can list. What I have found is that the community across sound design and synthesizer servers is very similar in their kindness to newcomers. I would encourage people to jump in wherever they are at.
Podcasts, YouTube, and Other Media
- School's In - GameDev YouTube playlist A running playlist of informational and inspirational GDC Talks, Implementation Techniques, and Synthesizer Experiments.
- Talks from the GDC vault Links directly to the GDC 'Tunic' Audio Talk by Kevin Regamey with Power Up Audio.
- The Audio Podcast Alliance The Audio Podcast Alliance is my go-to set of audio podcasts. I have been blown away by every podcast which I have listened to. My entry into this set was Soundbytes, Sound Business with Akash Thakkar, Twenty Thousand Hertz, The Game Audio Journey, and Tonebenders. I have been listening through backlogs of golden episodes during my day to day, and they have really expanded my design abilities.
- PowerUpAudio's Reel Talk on Twitch Older episodes on Youtube. This resource has been invaluable for me as a means to train my listening and intention with sound design.
- Game Audio Analysis This channel is tied to the Game Audio Analysis resources (above); reel reviews, breakdowns, Wwise implementation. There is a lot here.
- Omri Cohen - VCV & Modular Omri is a musician and composer who specializes in modular; his videos helped me learn VCV Rack and modular synthesis. These are incredible videos; I would highly recommend these videos and the VCV manual if you are uncertain about DSP or synthesis techniques.
- Other channels There are too many really good audio channels to list here. Akash Thakkar's and Cujo Sound by Bjorn Jacobsen come to mind as do other great tutorial creators. If you don't want to search, you can always ask chat gpt.