by Native Instruments

Video game sound design 101: Layering fantasy fireballs with Marshall McGee

Learn how to make video game sound effects with a pro sound designer in
this half-hour masterclass.

Here on the NI blog, we’ve often looked covered how to make video game music. But have you ever wondered how the incredible sound effects of those AAA video games are created? Marshall McGee has all the answers. Aside from building up a dedicated YouTube following for his video game sound-design breakdowns and tutorials, he’s also lent his talents to big-name video games like the Just Cause series. Here, Marshall walks us through the process of creating a convincing magical fireball in all its crackling, billowing, incendiary glory – from preparing the project to collecting raw sounds, layering, processing, mixing, and mastering. More than just showing us how to make specifci video game sound effects, however, he offers us a rare insight into how a sound designer actually thinks, with potential applications far beyond the world of gaming.

And don’t forget to take notes – there will be a test. You’ve missed the competition (sorry!), but metapop is still giving you the chance to apply your newfound knowledge and reimagine the sound of the clip used in Marshall’s video (kindly provided by VFX artist _artwerkz). Head on over to the page, check out the winners, and see if you can do better! And don’t forget to stick around for the community – metapop is made for music, but you’ll find plenty of like-minded sound designers over there who’ll only be too happy to discuss the finer points of how to make game sounds.

Enter for a chance to win

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