1: OK who are you and what are you known for?
My name is Olivier and I am a French music composer & sound designer. I also work in a recording studio specialized into french dubbing and voice recording, part of the big (and intense) video game localization industry 🙂
There I have worked on numerous titles such as Final Fantasy XV as an artistic coordinator, or as an audio project manager on projects such as Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare (with SFX processing on 9 languages !), Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Guitar Hero Live, Tekken 7 and others…
2: How did you get your break into audio as a career?
My passion for audio started with music that brought me into learning the guitar at the age of 13. After years of playing in bands, I started audio engineering studies where I got more and more interested into music to picture relationship. I had the chance to work in a Melbourne based music recording studio for 6 months before heading back to Paris where I temporarily worked for an audio hardware manufacturer company. I finally found a place in a Parisian recording studio that was specialized into voice recording and FR dubbing, working on numerous AAA video games. Once settled, I started working as a freelance music composer aside from the studio work where I’ve been able to compose for TV, radio, games, documentaries, movies and such.
3: What advice would you give as a mentor looking to break into audio?
Keep the passion alive, as this is the only thing that can make you handle the pressure you can easily encounter with this industry. Be honest with what you have to give and put your heart into every project. Else is only being there at the right place at the right moment. Most important stuff is keeping creating, building your portfolio.
4: Is there any current or past project that you would have loved to be involved with? How would you have changed them if you could?
Well I am a big fan of Nobuo Uematsu (already met !) and Yasunori Mitsuda. Being in touch professionally with any of them would be a proper dream. So any of their projects ^^
Otherwise I would love to get more opportunities to compose for video games, as it seems this industry is already packed with talented music composer!
5: Re Audio – What equipment do you use?
I produce all of my tracks on Reaper and do all the postproduction job using ProTools. Then apart from bass and guitars, I have a wide array of VSTs and virtual instruments that help me achieve the sound I want, whether it is an epic orchestral tune or a minimalist jazzy electro one.
6: What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Time pressure ? 🙂
7: Which title in recent history has really put sound into new realms and why?
I think one of the latest big surprise I had with a video game soundtrack was Mario Kart 8. The rearrangement of classic tunes with that massive live band, brasses and stuff was just amazing. A lot of amazing Japanese musician have been improvising on that project. Congrat to Nintendo for putting out such a perfectly done record. I want to know who the bassist is!
Otherwise our studio had the chance to work on the latest Battlefield where EA put some really innovative recording techniques in place. Shotgun mics and doppler effects for ambient soldiers running in a shooting studio was pretty fun for a creative result.
8: As a composer what is your process?
I usually start with getting in the mood of the project as much as I can. Images, similar projects soundtrack screaming in my living room until i can sit down in the quiet environment of the studio and look for the first notes, instruments and textures. I can either start from a theme, a particular sound, or just an ambient bed. It’s all about finding what makes you feel it.
9: If you weren’t doing this now what would you be up to right now?
Haha drinking in a pub ? Honestly I truly believe that the only way to get there and stay in place is by having nothing else that could ever satisfy you, or that you could do. Otherwise in an other life I could say that I would have loved making my living out of a band.
10: Finally……Any advice for your last boss?
For my next boss maybe ? Well, please do a great project and trust me on entrenching the experience in memories for years of nostalgia thought the music. Aah the benefit of custom-made 🙂
Thanks Olivier, for a great Q&A and your insight into audio in the games industry!
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