Ric Viers interview

Find Ric Viers @
Official website
Ric @ Twitter

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do for a living?

I am the author of The Sound Effects Bible and The Location Sound Bible, the owner of the Detroit Chop Shop and the founder of Blastwave FX. I make noise for a living.

What is your niche or speciality, that makes you stand out from rest of the audio professionals?

I am the world’s largest producer of sound effects libraries. Currently, I have worked on over 650 products and literally hundreds of thousands of sound effects.

Can you give us a brief summary of the equipment you use regularly?

I master everything I make in Sony’s Sound Forge. I’ve used that DAW for over sixteen years and have yet to find its equal. I also use Sony’s ACID for sound design.

What are your go-to plug-ins and software? (virtual instruments, audio processing etc.)

I use anything I can get my hands on. I really try not to over-use the same Plug-Ins too much for sound library creation, so that each library has a unique sound.

When do you find you are most creative?

I’m really busy during the day with running my businesses, so I get the most creative at night. It’s the perfect time because there are fewer distractions and I can flesh-out all the ideas that have been percolating throughout the day.

What is your usual process for creating audio content for games, films etc.?

I start with inspiration. If I don’t have any, I try to delay the start of the project (unless I’m under a deadline). Working without inspiration is futile for me. It’s like trying to go on a road trip in a car that’s on empty. I know I’m not going very far. If I’m not inspired, I try to find inspiration by playing video games or watching movies.

Are there any particular secrets to your creativity?

Yes. But, if I told you them, then they would no longer be secrets. ;)

Do you have any audio creation techniques that resulted in something interesting?

I flip everything on its side. I stretch it. Mangle it. Reverse it. Filter it. And then I start all over again. There are no rules. You just have to play and experiment. Find your own voice and stop trying to emulate other people.

Any specific “lessons learned” on a project that you could share?

Spend as much time as you can on the creation process and less time learning new gear. I never buy new gear in the middle of a project. The learning curves can cause frustration and lost time that I could be using developing new content. I usually buy new gear in between projects when I know I’ll have enough time to experiment and master it before I use it during the next project. I also resist the urge to update software, including operating system updates, during a project. It only causes grief.

Any tips, hints or motivational speeches for the readers?

Never stop learning and never stop experimenting. You have to realize that you don’t know it all and accept the fact that you never will. There is no “magical” point in your career when you will “arrive”. It’s an on-going process. Keep pushing forward and don’t plan on stopping. If someone tells you to “never to it this way!”, then be sure to do it anyways. Even if they were right and it doesn’t work you’ll know why. However, there’s always a chance that you could figure out a better way to do it that no one else has discovered because they listened to the other guy. Be different than everyone else. There are a lot of sound designers out there that are legends, but there’s always room for one more. It could be you!