Audio engineers are responsible for creating and recording a game's audio content, such as music, sound effects, and voice acting. They aim to create an immersive atmosphere for the player, supporting the game's narrative and mood through creative use of sound.
Tasks which audio engineers within the games industry may typically perform during development include:
- Creating and recording samples of sound effects using microphones and various household items (e.g.: fruit, tools, musical instruments).
- Working with the design team to select suitable voice actors/actresses for speaking roles.
- Working with voice actors/actresses to record dialogue for game characters.
- Mixing audio samples, music tracks and sound effects to contain the desired amount of bass, echo etc.
- Composing, performing and recording the game's musical score.
- Mastering the final audio mixes and recordings for use in the game.
An audio engineer will usually be employed by a development studio; depending on the size of the developer, an audio engineering department may range in size from a small team to one or two individuals. Some audio engineers are employed by third-party testing labs which specialize in localization, where they may be responsible for re-recording dialogue/music in another language.
Many audio engineers come from a musical background, or posess other audio-based experience; however, there is no typical route into audio engineering for the games industry, as relevant skills may be transferred from a wide number of other job sectors. Whilst the majority of new recruits into audio engineering are graduates, plenty of audio engineers are recruited on the basis of strong portfolios demonstrating their creative talents.