|Richie Nieto's Blog|
A short description about your blog
Hello all, I hope you've had a fantastic Holiday Season!
I'm extremely excited to report that EA and Hasbro have announced that three of their Fall-released video games have sold 2 million copies between them so far, and I got to work on two of them, 'Nerf N-Strike' and 'Littlest Pet Shop'.
Here is the link to the article on Gamasutra: http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=21669
I am extremely grateful to Chance Thomas for letting me be a part of the audio team for those projects. It was a great experience and a lot of fun.
All the best to you guys and gals in 2009!
Crazy Italian drummer Andrea Vadrucci plays Super Mario 2 (!!!!)
This made me smile when I saw it, so maybe it will you too...
Last night we had the Toronto Hang with the lowest attendance so far, at least for this year. Mike Daykin, Ryan Henwood, Jason Crowe and I had a great time, though.
The Richmond Rogue is quickly becoming the official Toronto Hang beacon. Good beer, good food, good service, quiet enough to have a conversation, and pretty inexpensive, which is hard to find in Toronto. Our hostess was friendly and on the ball at all times, and she gently convinced us to stay for one more when a mini-storm hit outside as we were preparing to leave.
As for the meeting itself, one of the things we talked about was the importance of self-promotion in this industry, and particularly in the G.A.N.G. forum. We discussed ways to prepare a good reel, how to be more visible and, essentially, some ideas on to make the most out of G.A.N.G.
All in all, the Hang turned out very well. It just would be cool to see more people at the next one. Everyone knows it's hard to make the time because we're all busy, but the purpose of the Hangs goes beyond the beers and the talking. From knowing we can split some costs with people we know and trust when going to a convention, to having allies that will advance in the industry a bit quicker, to just making good friends who we have something in common with, the benefits are well worth the effort.
The pictures for this Hang didn't turn out too well, so to compensate, here's a picture of my broken Rock Band drum pedal...
I urge everyone who hasn't checked out the Resources section of the website to really do so. I just recently got around to listen to some of the recorded panels, and there is a ton of information in there that I've seen asked about over and over in the forum. It would be great (if it's OK with G.A.N.G. ... Paul?) to put those in your MP3 players and listen to them on your car stereo, while riding the subway to work, or just winding down at home.
Some will glance at the Business section and dismiss it as the 'boring part' before checking it out, but to me it is the foundation of everything else. It doesn't matter if you become a monster composer or sound designer, but get screwed because you don't know how the money side of the industry works.
The written articles are great too, but I find that listening to someone get enthusiastic about their craft has a much bigger resonance with me, and I figure it's because we primarily use our ears to do what we do. It just makes me more optimistic about the future and, on a specific subject, really makes me want to pop my GDC cherry next year with a full conference pass :)
Yesterday I got to see VGL for the first time, and it happened to be a massive free outdoor show, smack right in the middle of downtown Toronto. Despite the persistent street band playing across the street, and the occasional loud conversations nearby, the experience was great, although bizarre at some points. It was weird watching the audience playing with a beach ball while a full symphonic choir belted out the Myst theme, for example.
My personal highlights included the Halo and Super Mario Bros. segments, but I truly enjoyed the whole concert. The performers were top- notch, as expected (go Toronto musicians! :) and Martin Leung's piano playing was pretty mind-blowing – it definitely brought a big smile to many of our faces. As far as some music that I missed, I would have loved to listen to 'Welcome To Rapture', but I realise the setlist changes all the time and it's just impossible to play everything at every show. Still, I felt the music selection was well balanced.
So, big props to Tommy, Jack Wall, Martin Leung and all the amazing local musicians who put on an superb evening for us. I'm really looking forward to the next one.
Some dictionaries define 'audio' as 'sound within the acoustic range available to humans'. This is a flawed definition, given that natural hearing range varies from person to person. So, by this definition, what is 'audio' to a 10-year old may just be 'sound' to an 80-year old person. Also, most people can't hear the full spectrum of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, which was established a long while back as the range of human hearing – way before massive headache-inducing traffic jams, loud club music and noisy home renovations made it into our daily lives, which made most of us a bit deaf by lowering substantially the upper frequency threshold of our hearing.
Someone once mentioned a very interesting and seemingly valid difference, which makes a lot of sense to me. Sound is the movement of air molecules compressing and expanding as waves that reach your ears. Audio is an electrical, digital and/or graphical representation of sound. Once sound energy reaches a microphone's diaphragm, it gets converted into audio in electrical form, which gets sent over to a converter and turned into audio in digital form, which in turn gets represented in graphical form on your computer screen. And later, it gets reconverted into electricity, and finally, back into sound coming out of speakers.
So, by that definition, I always picture a 'sound engineer' as someone with a great ear - more of an 'artist', who freely experiments with sound, like a painter does with colour and textures - whereas I think of an 'audio engineer' as someone who knows more about the details of the gear and tools and who has a vast knowledge of engineering, but not necessarily great artistic taste. So, sound would be more 'right-side of the brain' stuff, more intuitive and creative, and audio would be more 'left-side of the brain', more technical and driven by logic and facts. Which is not to say someone has to be professionally either on one or the other side, but a balance of each.
Who knows. That definition may be totally wrong, but I like it because it makes sense to me. Then again, putting cream cheese and raspberry jelly together doesn't make sense, but i like it too, so there you go.
Well, any dark clouds left over from the storm on Friday decided to scram and leave us alone, and we had a nice sunny, warm patio at the Bier Markt yesterday. We only had to wait for a patio table for about 15 minutes, which was pretty good, considering how popular that place gets on Saturdays.
Jason Crowe, Ryan Henwood, Adam Raley, Simon Poole and myself had a great time talking about everything, from vintage games to the state of the industry in Toronto (along with the obligatory snide remarks) to a plan of getting a bunch of us together for a road trip to GDC next year. The "Toronto G.A.N.G. Delegation", if you will.
Mike Daykin and John Loranger were sorely missed, so we hope you guys will be able to make it next time, as well as anyone else who wants to enjoy a few hours of geeking out and having a few laughs and beers with us.
MOTU just announced their new 896mkIII Firewire audio interface. It looks pretty cool...
Price will be $1,295 MSRP. Check out all the info here.
In the words of Adrian Belew, 'the more I look at it, the more I like it'...
The new website is pretty awesome. I really like how the forum is now integrated with the rest of the site. In the previous version, most of the time I would just automatically click on Community>Forum whenever I logged in, but now I get to explore the site a lot more. So, well done, gentlemen – awesome job.
As for my own shameless plug: I put out an album last year, called 'Giant Robots and Sunsets'. Real fun stuff. If you can't dance, this is perfect for you, and if you can actually dance to it, please post a video. You can check it out at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/richienieto.