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Creating Sound: 3x5 Interview with Viktor Phoenix
by Henrik Namark on 06/11/12 01:57:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


3x5 Interview with Viktor Phoenix at

Viktor Phoenix's Website | Viktor on Twitter

[George Hufnagl explores the meaning of the word "Rrrrrrraaaawhooomph" in this week's 3x5 with Viktor Phoenix. From web design to sound design, Viktor shares his journey from early cassette tape sounds to his latest work with Turtle Rock Studios. Additional video is available at the original source,]


1) Starting with the word “one” and increasing by increments of one thereafter, list 5 points that describe yourself.

One time.. at band camp...

Two heads are better than one. I try and seek advice from a trusted source whenever possible.

Three tries is a good start. It’s taken me awhile to not worry about getting it right the first time.

Four tracks seemed like a lot to me when I bought that Yamaha MT120 cassette recorder in 1991.

Five years from now, I hope I’m doing the same exact thing that I’m doing right now.

2) If you could have a five-finger discount on any piece of software, what would it be?

Kyma. Technically, Kyma is software and hardware, but you can’t run the software without the hardware (unless that’s changed since the last time I looked into it).

3) Describe what the number 5 would sound like if it were in human form.



1) If you were to replace one of the Beatles, who would it be? Who would you put in his place?

I would replace Paul with Keith Richards. Imagine what the Beatles would have sounded like if they had some chutzpah.

2) What are your four favorite sound design tools?

Pitch ‘N’ Time Pro: A great time stretching and pitch shifting tool..

Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch in Pro Tools: Time stretching and pitch shifting like Pith ‘N’ Time, but a bit faster to work with since it’s built into Pro Tools.

Flarp!: Fun at parties!

Avantone Mixcube: A new fav! Great for checking mixes.

3) Finish the countdown: 4...3...2...1...

Earth below us, Drifting, falling, Floating weightless, Calling calling home.


1) What are three reasons you’re working with sound?

1) It fulfills my childhood fantasy of spending my days in a room with soft walls, low lighting and a sweet hi-fi.

2) I am incredibly passionate about defining spaces and experience with sound.

3) It’s been a logical progression: When I was a little kid, I would tweak BASIC programs on my dad’s TRS-80 to get cool sounds when I played back the cassettes on a normal tape deck. From there, I played in bands (mostly punk rock and industrial), started an electronic music magazine (interface magazine) after a move to Chicago, and eventually started working in web design and development in the late ‘90s. That all paved the way for a career in game audio and here I am!

2) Of the following, what would you buy if you had a spare $100 and why? 3-piece suit, 3 super cheap mics, 3 blind mice?

I’d buy one suit jacket from the fashion district in DTLA, one SM57 (you can never have too many), and a few cheap piezo mics. That’s about $100. Does that count?

3) What are three games that are your go-to examples for great sound design?

Ico, Battlefield 3, Burnout Revenge


1) Two issues that invariably come up when working are...

Communication and Time, you can never have enough of either.

2) What are two pieces of advice you would give to someone eager to get into sound design?

Listen more.
Hone your craft every day.

3) Finish the line: “Two sound designers walk into a bar...”

The one wearing headphones and carrying a shotgun mic and a weird blue bag turns to the other and says, “That was good, but let’s get another one for safety.”


1) Name one sound design task that could be improved with technology.

Batch processing that actually worked. :/

2) “This one time, I was working on a project and...”

...we recorded weapons and vehicles at the National Training Center near Barstow. Great experience.

3) What is the first thing you do after completing a project?

Rest my ears, usually with a trip to the high desert...

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