Berklee internship employer Kemal Amarasingham of dSonic takes us along to E3, the world’s premier trade show for computer and video games. Below, Kemal interviews Adam Levenson, executive director of Omni Media Music and former senior audio director at Activision about how Berklee students interested in video game audio can break into the gaming industry- and what he looks for in new hires.
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dSonic was formed in 2000 by brothers Kemal and Simon Amarasingham and now has teams of composers and sound designers in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Boston. They have over one hundred titles to their credit and have won numerous “Best Of” awards from the gaming press. Recent projects include major titles such as: Double Fine’s Brutal Legend, 2K’s Bioshock 2, Atari’s Alone in the Dark and the MMOs zOMG! and Fallen Earth.
In addition to producing high quality sound effects, voice-overs and music for the game industry; they are on the leading edge of game audio, creating their own brand of adaptive audio. dSonic composes music and sound effects around the abilities of developers’ sound engines, so they can become an integral part of the game. By creating an adaptive audio experience, or helping internal audio departments when they are overloaded, they always consider themselves to be an extended part of the development studio.
Upon learning that the 18th century violinist Paganini had sold his soul to the devil in order to become a virtuoso, Kemal Amarasingham is said to have asked whether the devil might accept a less drastic trade for merely an improvement in violinistic ability. Many of his classmates at the conservatory discount the story as nonsense, however it is noted that shortly afterward Kemal gained accolades at a public performace, while simulaneously losing the ability to discern the difference between the taste of cilantro and chocolate.