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Inside DICE: Our Lead Sound Designer


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The award-winning audio work of the Battlefield games is a vital part of what makes the franchise successful. In this installment of “Inside DICE”, we have a quick chat with Andreas Almström, Lead Sound Designer. Learn more about dinosaur sounds and trying to avoid noisy children…

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You’re the lead sound designer here at DICE, how did you end up here/in this role? 
- I started at DICE about 4 years ago. I got involved in the DICE f2p initiative, which turned into Easy and I helped ship two of their games. Then I got hired onto Battlefield 3, where I worked as a regular sound designer. I did a pretty good job so for Battlefield, I ended up as the lead sound designer.

- I have a specific skill set when it comes to core systems and very technical type sound designs, and weapons and vehicles are my sort of main interest. So being a lead sound designer at this studio fits me very well.

What is the biggest challenge when creating sounds for a video game?
- The biggest challenge is to really capture the sound. Or in other words: to avoid disturbances – all the things that can distract from the performance. The audio team embraces working in “wild” environments so we accept there is some grit in the field recordings. But it can be challenging to get away from sounds of people, animals, and children. Children are the hardest ones to silence!

Is there anything that people underestimate about sound design work?
- I would say the actual amount of work that goes into creating a sound. If the sound works in a game, you take it for granted. But the amount of tweaking and handling, working with animation and VFX, making the systems, implementing them, creating the content, organizing it, keeping track of memory budgets – it all adds up. If you’re not involved in a studio that works with games, it’s easy to dismiss the sound as something that’s just there.

Do you have a favorite sound from the Battlefield games?
- The hidden dino roar on Rogue Transmission is a personal favorite from Battlefield 4. That one was really fun to design, and the reaction it got from the community was incredible. We wanted to create some kind of puzzle that had to be solved, so we had this idea of two buttons that had to be pushed simultaneously. The sound itself was a mixture of sounds from elephants, lions, moving bushes, and then we added some reverb.

- When Battlefield 4 was released it took a few weeks before someone had gone through all the sounds of the game and finally found this roar. No one knew for sure how it could be triggered though, so there was a ton of discussions on the Battlelog forums. I think the thread consisted of 400 pages before someone had guessed the combination… It was great fun to follow this quest online!

Want to learn more about the sound design in Battlefield 4? Read the article “Sounds of the Battlefield“.



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