Ville Sorsa interview

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Find Ville @
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Brief list of credits:

Quantum Break, Death Rally

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

I started my music career back in the 90s and founded EDM record label few years later. After running that label for somewhat 10 years I decided to get a music technology degree and worked quite a few years as a freelance in movies, radio and television projects. In 2011 I was hired to Remedy Entertainment in Remedys next big thing team. My current work consists mostly recording, creating and implementing sound effects for the upcoming Xbox One IP, Quantum Break.

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

I often look opportunities to challenge myself and I constantly try to push myself out of my comfort zone. I absorb new technologies really fast and I have a very unique skillset for twisting, bending & morphing everyday sounds into most obscure abstract sound effects.

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

Apart from the usual PC & mac development and audio production combo, we have managed to build up our production gear list quite a lot. We have a fairly wide selection of industry standard recorders from handheld Olympus LS series to proper Sound Devices field recorders. We have also acquired quite a respectful selection of mics for most of our production needs. We still need few “good to have” bits and bobs but over all we are very happy with the gear selection we have here at the moment. We have also played with an idea to buy our own Symbolic Sound Paca to our arsenal.

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

Since there´s quite a few audio people working in our company we have tried to synchronise the plugins and DAWs we use here. Most of our selection includes the regular post tools such as Waves and Izotope plugins and both Pro Tools and Logic DAWs. In addition to the usual synchronised plugin sets we have few bit more specialized plugin sets and our own “personalized” plugin sets.

When do you find you are most creative?

Definitely in the mornings, I usually wake up early try to hit the office before everyone else comes in, grab a cup of coffee and try my best to do bulk of design work done before the meetings and other usual daily tasks I need to do. I try to do all the creative work before 11 am, but sometimes find myself still tweaking sounds 11pm in our cine studio. Once you get into the flow it really doesn’t matter what time it is or where you are.

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

I think we work here pretty much the same way every other AAA game company. We record assets, edit them, put them to our library and depending on what sort of purpose they have in the game end up the in the game as hard effect or PFX in cinematics for example. When we need some more abstract sounds I usually do massive batches of sounds, do selects and store a small portion of them to our production library. Few months later I might stumble something really interesting sounding stuff, re-morph and combine with other sfx stems stuff and then that material again would be stored in the same library for production use.

Are there any particular secrets to your creativity?

I just work really hard and try to come up with different combinations of most obscure plugin chains and source material. I´m always analyzing games and films and I try my best to absorb information from other professionals in the field. I do feed my creativity before I start my work with a piece of music I really like or some ear-candy I´ve found from internet. It´s a good to reflect on works that get you in the zone.

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

I usually have so complex plugin chains and production techniques its really hard to describe them. I use my skills to bend plugins and sounds into submission by trying to break them in unusual ways in order to come up with something new and cool. I might take vocal effect such as Melodyne and put all sorts of audio assets into it and bend, twist and morph sounds into something totally unrecognizable. I might then put it into Izotope RX and fool around with spectral filters and partial restoration tools and come up with something absolutely un-worldly sounds. I then might put that material into a convolution reverb as an IR and slam huge batches of files through it just too see what sort of soundscapes you come up with. I don´t know, it´s all about diving into the sonic depths and finding something really good via serendipity.

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

Yes there are few valuable life lessons I have learned during the years I´ve been in the business. I think the biggest thing for me has been in finding equilibrium between work and normal life. It´s good to be conscious about your own physical and mental well-being and maintain ties between friends, family and other important things in life. Work hard, but never forget to arrange time for yourself and your loved-ones.

Any tips, hints or motivational speeches for the readers?

Opportunities in this field often look like a lot of work. Learn, challenge yourself and always surround yourself with people who are more experienced than you are. Success attracts attention, so believe in yourself, work hard and always do the “extra mile” even when it´s not required from you.