Audio Forum 2018

Ben Minto

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Video games - favorite media of Milennials and generations after them. Audio Forum has been indeed working hard to keep up with this particular topic, but the year 2018. was the breakpoint, with as much as three game audio-related lectures in three days.

The key game audio talk in 2018. was the one by Ben Minto, Studio Audio Director at EA DICE. Besides being a wonderful person, who offers remote talks himself (he doesn't like flying), Ben has an enviable portfolio. Since 1999, Ben has been involved in series such as Burnout, Need for Speed, Battlefield, Mirror’s Edge, Medal of Honor, Star Wars. Almost everything that EA DICE offered in the last 20 years contains work by Ben Minto.

Ben was lucky to share his workplace with his wife, Mari Saastamoinen Minto, Lead Sound Designer at this almost three decades-old game development studio. They both share success of each and every game released!

Ben Minto is a person we'll likely be seeing around a lot. Perhaps once we talk him into visiting us in person!

Mark Mangini

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In 2018, Audio Forum finally got the chance to seriously brag about its programming. We hosted a talk by an Academy Award winner - Mark Mangini, who won Best Sound Editing for Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015, along with David White.

How to win an Academy Award? Well, something like this: Mark has about 125 films under his belt, he designed sound for Leo the lion found in MGM logo screens, has had 5 previous Academy Award nominations, was willing to sit in a freezer for 12 hours straight for 7 days just to record 5 minutes of penguin squawks.

About Mark's previous Academy Award nominations, here's the info: 1986. – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, 1992. – Aladdin, 1997. – The Fifth Element, 2015. – Mad Max: Fury Road, 2017. – Blade Runner 2049.

Mark's two and a half hour-long lecture was attended by about 70 people in one (confined) space, completely breathless. We believe that on that cold November evening everybody left the lecture never to be the same, more aware of what it takes to be top-notch in what you do.

Sylvia Massy

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Absolutely charming in every way, Sylvia Massy was one of headlining speakers at Audio Forum 2018. The UK Parobrod venue was as full as it never was; we had to save on air to stay in longer and listen to one of the greatest music producers in the world.

Sylvia is best known for her work with Tool, System of a Down, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Prince, Bjork, Johnny Cash. We'll never forget her story about working with Prince: "When I'd invite him to listen to what I've been doing, he'd just burst out of the studio with some woman and leave".

Sylvia is a pioneer of rather unconventional sound recording techniques: running audio signal through pickles, light bulbs; recording drums with garden hoses, placing the control and live room into the same space, etc.

She started her career in studios Tower Records, Larrabee Sound, Sound City Studios. Today, Sylvia lives and works in Oregon. Her collaborations with Rick Rubin, working on albums by Slayer, Danzig, Geto Boys are quite known and respected. Guest appearances in workshops, academia, YouTube videos, even in Pensado's Place are pretty regular as well!

Larry Sider

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Larry is an old friend and acquaintance of Audio Forum crew. Since 1998, he's been organising The School of Sound symposium - biannual four-day event exploring the creativity of sound in art and media, with a special emphasis on film and screen productions. Larry organizes each edition of SOS along with his wife Diane Freeman Sider, an ex television producer.

He's an exceptionally active member of British media sound art and craft community. Plethora of Larry's events take place in the interim, between two School of Sounds.

Larry is ex-Head of Post-production at National Film and Television School (NFTS), a highly valued European school, also very familiar to Serbian students.

At Audio Forum 2018, Larry held the keynote speech, setting the overall tone and mood of the event. We are very thankful for every support Larry has had for us, especially for listing Audio Forum at The School of Sound email bulletin, on par with similar events in the United Kingdom.

Maximillien Simard-Poirier

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We think that transcribing his name would be pure blasphemy. However, for the sake of convenience: ladies and gentlemen, we give you - Max! He held a talk at Audio Forum 2019 via video call all the way from Montreal, on behalf of a company highly significant to video game sound practitioners - Audiokinetic with their WWISE.

Max is Sound Designer/Product Expert – Developer Relations at Audiokinetic. He helps game developers with usage and licensing of WWISE for their projects. We talked about using WWISE in general as well as what's the good practices in sound implementation in video games. We consider this topic highly relevant to Audio Forum participants since it's still kinda insufficiently popular.

Max's career with sound started in 2010. enrolling into Electroacoustic Studies at Concordia University. After that came the Digital Music program at the University of Montreal. In 2017, Max joined Audiokinetic as Sound Designer – Developer Relations, as an Audiokinetic-appointed person at the disposal to the video game audio community.

Aldo Lamanna

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Audio Forum has had excellent relationships with Steinberg. However, it wasn't before 2018. that we finally managed to bring them over into our program. On this occasion, we enjoyed a talk by an awesome Venezuelan guy.

Aldo Lamanna is Product Specialist, MI & Professional Audio at Steinberg Media Technologies - a guy who travels the world preaching the word of Steinberg. At Audio Forum 2018, he held two separate talks: about Nuendo's new ADR solutions and Nuendo integration with WWISE (video game audio implementation software).

Working for Steinberg proved to be logical continuation of Aldo's career. Before coming to Germany from Venezuela in 2012, he worked as live sound and studio technician. After he moved, he was working as musician, studio assistant and mastering engineer. Aldo started working for Steinberg in 2014. when his development as Product Specialist actually began, working in sales and export.

Aldo is a great friend of Audio Forum, so be sure that we'll be seeing him around pretty often!

Nikola Divić

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Nikola is a young businessman, known for creating one of the first Serbian cryptocurrencies - GameCredits. He's been developing software for years and began with entrepreneurship during GameCredits development, as a crypto-investor. The enthusiasm around blockchain technology eventually created Soniq Project.

Soniq Project was aiming to enable everyone to participate in music talent competitions - as audience, sponsors or judges, all within a dedicated product. The basic motivation was to eliminate friction known to exist in traditional competitions - political bias, sensationalism, unfair play. Soniq Stars was an emerging platform built on blockchain technology that would use Soniq Token as official currency, securing fair-play and chance for everyone to compete with only their skills.

After completing a reward-based Instagram campaign, in which they invited aspiring musicians to publish videos of their musical interpretations, Soniq took its last breath. To get the good ideas out, sometimes you need a little luck.

We hope that Soniq Project, one of the sponsors of Audio Forum 2018, shall play their song again.