Advice for a career in sound design

Hi all, what would the skill requirements and educational requirements be for a career in sound design, I've been producing for the last 10 years, 7 using Ableton and recently for a small label, however I've always enjoyed the process of sound design for media. I feel I have the software know how and some theoretical understanding as well. Any advice on the best approach to developing the skills and education. thank you


  • Some may disagree with this but it's my take on it.

    I can't offer anything with regards to gaming sound but in film...

    There are many disciplines in sound design for media. Recording, editing, mixing, ADR, creation of sounds in studio or on location, manipulating sound libraries etc.

    If you already have some understanding, I would say meet and network with as many legitimate film-makers as you can. Offer to do some sound design for them for credit in their films which will get you entries in IMDB. You get experience, IMDB credits, meet new people and others will hear your work which should eventually lead to paying or larger gigs.

    It's the "chicken and egg" scenario. One can't get experience because no one will hire without it and one can't get hired because there's no experience. Working with smaller film makers is a way to at least start. You wouldn't believe how many pro's got their start this way. It's all about your "reel". It's everything unless your uncle owns a studio :-)

    I'm not familiar with schools outside of the USA so can't comment on that but here there are lots of institutions which teach all things related to film making and sound. Not cheap but they exist.

    Learn Pro Tools. It's the industry standard when it comes to professional sound in films.

  • The title "Sound Design" has been diluted over the years. I'm assuming since you posted here that you're referring to synthesis of software, creating synth patches, or sound patches for use in music?

    I'm a film/tv sound designer which in my industry means something very different from music. I'm credited for example as a sound designer for Disney's Frozen, Frozen II, Alita: Battle Angel, Stranger Things SE03, Star Trek: Discovery SE001, From Dusk 'til Dawn, Sin City, and many more... My job for these movies as a sound designer is very different for each show.

    What specifically are you interested in doing as a "sound designer?"

    Btw, Ableton is great for making cool sounds, music, and tweaking but for Film / TV sound the industry standard is Pro Tools. If you're interested in that career route, I would definitely recommend getting familiar with PT.

  • Hi thanks for your reply. I'm interested in sound synthesis, for effects and ambient music. I'm hopefully gearing towards composition but I still lack a lot of musical theory. I have no problem learning a new tool either.

    Sorry if these sound like dumb questions haha.