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Lorenzo Venturini and music in audiogames

Lorenzo Venturini is a sound designer: he has worked for some titles of Audiogame Association and here he talks about music, both in general and in audiogames specifically.

What have you studied? Which is your story? 

I have always had passions that could be enclosed in the “visual” group. As a child I drew a lot and this is one of the things that I carried on until a few years ago, then during the artistic high school I became passionate about comics and finally, at university, I chose to study graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna. During my second year I found out the world of audiovisual performance and from there I also began to learn about sound: I followed a private course on sound design and then I continued experimenting mixing sound and image. Two years ago I started working in a Live Visuals Design studio, where we design video content for artists’ concerts, so music has become more and more important. I worked on the tour of several artists like Coez, Irama, Maneskin, Ultimo and various festivals around Italy. I met Ivan Venturi at a Game Design workshop he did at my Academy, before I even started working at the studio, and I ended up editing the audio of many games, even made by other teams. Then I continued to delve into the world of sound synthesis, following other online courses and experimenting with software and hardware. 

How did you approach audiogames than? 

I was contacted by Ivan last year, I had never heard about audiogames before. For me they were a test to put into practice what I had studied in previous years, in fact it was interesting to take care of both the musical aspect and the sound effects. I started from the theme, for Fury Driver: Moonwalks the references were Mad Max, dirt, rock, electronics and the 80ies; from there I collected a library of sounds and put them together with Ableton, using many effects such as the Drive and various distortions. 

Are there any differences between music and sound effects in audiogames and those in video games? 

They certainly have a greater importance in audiogames, especially sound effects: they must be very precise to describe the environments well, consequently the use of reverbs becomes very important. While in a traditional video game, audio goes hand in hand with video, so I often soundly interpret what someone else produced visually, in audiogames each sound is positioned with extreme caution, they become as important in parallel as in a stealth game, where even the distance of the noise of the footsteps produced by the protagonist is of crucial importance. 

What do you need to focus on while creating music and sound effects for an audiogame? 

I need a lot of stimulation and the desire to find the sound I like best. I often do a lot of research, listening to references, libraries, albums etc … The Internet is perfect for this, I can often find interesting ideas that stimulate me to experiment. In general I get bored quickly, so I always try something different and maybe I have never tried before. 

How does the team work? At which point of the development flow is your job required? 

I usually enter when the work is about halfway, there are already the levels, the concepts, the story and the characters. I generally relate to the game designers, who explain to me how they had sounds in mind, from there I understand where I will be free to create and where more didactic sounds will be needed. Then, as I produce the sounds, I relate to the programmers with whom we define how the sounds must be assembled and which commands they must respond to. It is very important to communicate, much of the work is done in a team and it is good to know how to relate to those who will have to take over your work to bring the game to publication.

This episode of the podcast is on YouTube:

You can listen to Lorenzo Venturini’s music in Fury Driver: Moonwalks at this link: