4 Reasons to Work in Video Games after Sound Design School

Posted on January 29th, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Video Games after Sound Design School

Video Games after Sound Design School

If you’ve got a knack for expressing yourself through music or an ear for recognizing quality sound, the right training can open doors to dozens of successful careers for you. You could become an audio mixer for television and film, a professional DJ, or you could make like Jaclyn Shumate and become a videogame sound designer.

You’ve likely heard Jaclyn’s work before: she created the audio used in such games as Fable Journey, Plants vs. Zombies, Kinect Star Wars, and many more. It’s an exciting field, and right here in Canada, industry leaders are looking to hire those like Jaclyn with state-of-the-art sound production training. Read on to learn why video game audio design is a stable and worthwhile job path for people like you.

1. Gaming Offers a Range of Opportunities for Sound Design School Grads

You might not expect the videogame industry to be brimming with viable job prospects, but it takes real workers with state-of-the-art training to produce even the simplest of games.

“I think most people who don’t already know about game development are surprised at how technical the job is,” explains Jaclyn. “You have to learn a wide variety of hardware, software, and different techniques to create the audio and get it into the game.”

With these kinds of skills, those with sound production and audio recording training can find work as videogame sound mixers, sound designers, and composers. And as the industry expands, more and more of these specialized technical roles are projected to become available.

2. Canada’s Videogame Production Industry is Thriving

Thanks to the massive popularity of mobile video gaming, which now accounts for 31 per cent of all gaming industry revenues, the video game industry in Canada is growing by what CTV refers to as “leaps and bounds.”

In the past two years alone, the amount of active game studios in Canada has grown from 143 to over 475, with steady job expansion experienced by longstanding companies like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard.

The popularity of gaming in Canada shows no sign of slowing down.

The popularity of gaming in Canada shows no sign of slowing down.

This is great news for students pursuing audio production careers, who now have their pickings from dozens of gaming industry jobs at established studios and newer start-ups.

3. Careers in Videogame Sound Design Pay Well

If you earn a career in videogame sound design and production, you’ll find yourself creating audio content and crafting them to match particular animations and environments in games. You’ll need to not only record or design the sound, but to implement it via audio middleware and test it in gameplay.

Because this work is so creative, intensive, and specialized, jobs in gaming sound design pay well. Graduates of audio design training who work in this field can expect to earn a salary ranging from $18,000-$150,000 depending on their experience. These salaries are also reported to rise quickly, according to Forbes Magazine, because of the fast-paced nature of the gaming business.

4. Sound Design School Grads Find Fulfillment From This Creative Work

Working in videogames isn’t your average career path. It’s colourful, exciting, engaging, and challenging—needing strong aesthetics, technical chops, and even great communication skills. Being able to use so many skills and flex so many creative muscles leads most gaming sound pros to achieve a great sense of personal and professional fulfillment.

Following your career calling to videogame sound design can give you pride and satisfaction you can’t find elsewhere. In Jaclyn Shumate’s words:

“Getting to do a final mix for a game, and realizing it sounds like what you’ve been imagining in your head for months – or years, in some cases – is one of my happiest work and artistic moments.”

Are you interested in pursuing a gaming career?

Enroll in a top sound design school and get started today!

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Proud of Our Graduates: Haniya Aslam

Posted on January 22nd, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

music producing college

Trebas graduate Haniya Aslam.

This week, as part of our Proud of Our Graduates series, we’re introducing readers to Haniya Aslam. Through Trebas’ Audio Engineering, Production, and DJ Arts program, Haniya has earned herself an exciting and creative career as a freelance score composer, sound designer, and mix engineer. Read on to learn how Haniya achieved her place in the sound engineering world.

Starting at the Top

Three years ago, Haniya moved to Toronto from Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Paktunkhwa province, where she was in a band for six years. The band, Zeb and Haniya, recorded two studio albums and toured extensively, attracting listeners from all over the world and a social media following of over 350,000 fans.

While her cousin and long-time music partner Zeb provided the main vocals, Haniya was responsible for the group’s instrumentals—which critics noted as “forging a new space in Pakistan’s contemporary music scene.” Her music drew from across musical cultural boundaries, pulling influences from jazz, blues, and folk songs, infused with notes from Tajikistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

While most of their songs are in Urdu, some also feature Pashto, Dari, and Turkish lyrics. Their global tour and international appeal saw the band perform for NPR, record the soundtrack for a Pakistani TV show, and take the stage for an official Coke Studio Session. Zeb and Haniya were a critical and commercial hit.

Even with a successful music career under her belt, Haniya sought to improve her skills. She felt that she needed practical training and began searching for a top music producing college.

“I realized that my lack of technical knowledge held me back from achieving my potential as a musician, a composer and a producer,” she explains. “After extensive research on music and audio engineering schools, I decided on Trebas.”

Fine-Tuning Her Career with Trebas

She enrolled in Trebas’ Audio Engineering, Production, and DJ training program to spend some time honing her craft.

“I had joined Trebas in the hopes of improving my composition and performance chops,” says Haniya, “but one year at Trebas helped me achieve so much more, and understand how vast the world of audio engineering actually is.”

From composing to performing, recording, mixing, and editing, Haniya was able to try her hand at state-of-the-art sound technologies and techniques. She became a more well-rounded musician, with a deeper understanding of what the field of professional sound production truly entails.

In a matter of months, she was ready to get to work in this highly-specialized industry. “The 11 months at Trebas were packed with useful information, in addition to the little tips and tricks the instructors shared from their own experiences in the field.”

Enjoying Life After Graduation

Since graduating from Trebas Audio and DJ college, Haniya has worked as a freelance sound professional. Open to and qualified for a range of sound industry jobs, she has earned herself positions with Citrus Audio as a score composer and music supervisor of a feature film, as well as a sound designer and mix engineer on two short films so far.

Her latest projects have yet to be released, but keep an eye on Haniya’s Vimeo account for a peek at what they entail. The future is bright for Haniya with the skills she learned in audio school.

“Every day I find myself in situations that would have been impossible to handle without the knowledge base that Trebas gave me,” she explains.

We are so proud of all that Haniya has achieved, and wish her the best as she continues to make music and shape soundscapes throughout her exciting career.

Inspired by Haniya’s story?

Visit Trebas for more information about starting your very own career in the fast-paced and rewarding audio industry.

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Proud of Our Graduates: James Fensom

Posted on January 15th, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Trebas Institute

This week, as part of our Proud of Our Graduates series, we’re introducing readers to James Fensom. James graduated from Trebas’ Audio Engineering and Production/DJ Arts program in 2015 and earned his own career in the sound production industry. He’s taken risks for his passion, and pursued his dreams of working as a DJ in the highly specialized sound production industry.

How It All Started

In 2010, James found himself fascinated with the world of DJing and DJ culture. His interest was so serious that he invested in his own all-in-one CDJ mixer unit so he could try his hand at sound mixing, himself.

The mixer was “so bad” in quality that James eventually decided to take a new approach to launching his DJ career—moving to London, England, an international club scene hub. It took a lot of saving up but James successfully made the move in 2012, earning himself gigs at industry-leading clubs like London’s Ministry of Sound.

“It was a lot of fun, and I returned to Canada with a matured passion,” says James. That mature passion led him first to a Master’s Degree program, where he chose to research the cultural relationship between DJs and audio-sampling technologies, “but I was excited to leave the academic world and to undertake a more hands-on experience,” James explains.

He found that hands-on DJ training experience at Trebas.

Launching a Career With Trebas Audio + DJ Training

James says Trebas provided him with new skills and knowledge that were essential to his personal career journey. He began with a passion for DJing, but soon expanded his interests to the world of sound effect production.

“The post-production classes at Trebas introduced me to the Sound Ideas database,” says James. “I used their sounds in my school projects. This gave me a good understanding of how sound effects are used in features, commercials, and video games.”

Through Trebas’ music production programs, he also got the hands-on experience he was craving as someone used to the sound-sculpting duties of the DJ. The labs and studio at Trebas taught him how to record sounds and make music at a level of professional quality expected on today’s commercial market.

Life After Audio + DJ School Graduation

Near the end of his studies, James was notified of an interesting opportunity through an email he received from Trebas Career Services.

“The posting was for an unpaid internship, which at first I was hesitant to apply for,” he recalls. After discussions with staff at Trebas about the potential of this unpaid opportunity (at a top sound effects/stock music production company) James decided to apply for the position.

“I have no regrets. It was an amazing experience that has turned into a full-time job!”

Today, James works for the organization—Sound Ideas—which encompasses various stock music, ringtone, and other sound companies. His workload involves everything from audio recording and editing to data entry, cataloguing and customer service.

“I’ve edited over 400 songs of stock music, and I have made and sold ringtones with more to do in 2016,” says James. “I also intend to make a stock music album in the New Year.”

You can hear some of James’ work for yourself on iTunes. And of course, James has kept his original passion for DJing going strong.  He continues to play gigs around the city, some alongside live musicians, and he’s about to become a stand-in live sound technician at Toronto’s popular Coda nightclub.

Congratulations James! We are so proud of all you have achieved, and look forward to hearing about what your future has in store.

Inspired by James Fensom’s story?

Visit Trebas to learn more about our Audio Engineering and DJ school or to speak with an advisor.

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How Early Russian Filmmakers Changed Film Editing Forever

Posted on January 8th, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Russian Filmmakers Changed Film Editing Forever

Old Soviet Union propaganda films probably seem like an unlikely source of inspiration for film students. However, in the years between the 1917 revolution and the reign of Joseph Stalin, early Russian filmmakers helped pioneer many common editing techniques you’ll see onscreen today.

Since many working-class Russians could not read, Lenin felt that film was the perfect way to spread Marxist revolutionary philosophy. With fresh stock in short supply, filmmakers experimented with splicing together found footage to create montages, developing a distinct style which rejected traditional continuity and emphasized using visuals, rhythm and pacing, and music to communicate ideas.

For modern film production students, the fundamental principles of these methods remain relevant and useful to this day.

The Kuleshov Effect: A Fundamental Film Editing School Principle

The Kuleshov Experiment is one the earliest examples of film theory, and helped open people’s eyes to the possibilities the medium offered. In his short film, Lev Kuleshov took a single shot of an old Tsarist matinee idol, and alternated it with shots of a girl in a coffin, a bowl of soup, and an attractive woman.

Even though audiences saw the same shot of the man three times, they reported seeing a different expression on his face depending on what he was ‘reacting’ to. The experiment proved that the order and juxtaposition of different shots could be used to evoke different emotions in people, laying the foundation for modern film editing school theories in the process.

Russian filmmakers found inventive ways to edit old footage.

Russian filmmakers found inventive ways to edit old footage.

Pudovkin’s 5 Editing Methods Explained For Students in Film Editing School

One of Kuleshov’s students, Vsevelod Pudovkin, would play just as integral a part in developing modern editing theory. Pudovkin recognized that editing was a form of expression unique to filmmaking, and developed five techniques that film production courses still teach today. These are:

  1. Contrast: viewers are presented with two very opposed scenes in sequence.
  2. Parallelism: where the editing draws parallels between differing events.
  3. Symbolism: using a shot to convey a metaphorical meaning.
  4. Simultaneity: cutting from one location to another to convey actions occurring simultaneously.
  5. Leitmotif: repeated images that appear throughout a film to remind audiences of a particular idea, person, or situation.

Applying Eisenstein’s Editing Theories During Your Career In Film Production

Sergei Eisenstein, one of the most revered Soviet filmmakers, originated several techniques which you’ll encounter during your career in film production. He placed particular importance on metric editing and rhythmic montage, using shot length and scene dynamics to create the tempo and rhythm of his films. He also emphasized tone in his work, focusing on light, shadows, and colours.

His most innovative theory was the ‘intellectual method’ of editing, in which footage was combined to create conceptual connections. Eisenstein used his methods to produce many famous propaganda films. Some were montages which juxtaposed images to draw parallels, for example splicing footage from a slaughterhouse with a riot. Others experimented with tempo and perceptions of time, most famously when depicting a massacre on the Odessa Steps in Battleship Potemkin.

One of Eisenstein’s most famous films depicted a massacre in Odessa, Ukraine.

One of Eisenstein’s most famous films depicted a massacre in Odessa, Ukraine.

Want to learn more about film editing theory?

Visit Trebas to learn more about our programs or to speak with an advisor.


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4 Public Speaking Tips That Can Boost Your Event Manager Career

Posted on January 1st, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Boost Your Event Manager Career

Public speaking is an important part of event management success. How important is it? At Trebas, for example, students spend an entire term on communications and marketing, where they learn—among many other important skills—the ins and outs of how to confidently and professionally address an audience. By carefully honing their public speaking skills, students graduate ready to take on event planning professionally!

If you’re interested in taking your public speaking skills to the next level, and want to get a head start on your event planning courses, read on for a sneak peek at some tricks top public speakers use.

1. Prepare for Your Presentation to Ensure Event Planning Success

As you learn how to become an event manager, you’ll find out just how important the preparation stage can be, especially when it comes to public speaking.

Before a presentation, it’s important for students and professionals to carefully research, practice, and prepare their presentation.

Students learn to carefully rehearse presentations ahead of time. They also run through their slides, and diligently check technical equipment well before it’s time to present. This preparatory work helps them fine tune their presentation so that it is at its best. It also helps them feel confident. In addition, by memorizing the material ahead of time, students won’t run the risk of reading from notes or slides once they are in front of an audience—experts know this is a big no-no in public speaking!

2. Have a Backup Plan in Place to Keep Your Presentation Running Smoothly

Even the best event planners run into the occasional mishap. That’s why a top event manager course often stresses just how important having a backup plan can be—with a good back up plan, event planners can deal with unforeseen challenges and keep their events running smoothly.

Before a big presentation, try to think of a few unexpected mishaps that might derail it, like a microphone not working or your slideshow file getting deleted. Then, think of a few solutions to these problems such as keeping backup files handy, or having a spare microphone to use.

With a backup plan or two in place, you can reduce pre-presentation nerves and feel ready for anything.

3. Use Slides Effectively to Take Your Event Planner Career to New Heights

Slides can be excellent tools for public speakers. They can help illustrate a point, reinforce the concepts you mention, and add depth to your presentation.

Sometimes, though, a slideshow can act as a distraction. To use slides effectively, follow these simple guidelines:

  • don’t write your entire presentation on slides
  • choose a large readable font
  • don’t overuse bright colours and animation
  • keep graphs and charts simple and easy to understand

By properly using a slideshow to complement your presentation, rather than take away from it, you’ll take yourevent manager career to new heights!

4. Find Your Unique Style & Give Your Public Speaking and Event Planner Career a Boost

One sure fire way to boost your public speaking skills is to pick a style that feels comfortable to you. If you have a good sense of humor, try adding a joke or two to your presentation. Perhaps you love telling stories; if so, you might try incorporating an anecdote that fits nicely with the key messages of your presentation.

Top public speakers know how to add a touch of personal style while maintaining professionalism.

Top public speakers know how to add a touch of personal style while maintaining professionalism.

Adding a touch of your personal style helps you connect with audiences, and gives your presentation an authentic touch.

Want to learn other public speaking tricks for your event planning career?

Discover how Trebas prepares its event management students with practical hands-on courses.

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