My name is Gaby Bendtsen, a 20 years old sound designer and composer, and a proud Michigander! While Michigan isn't know to have a large video game development scene, I involve myself in development through Michigan State University, the top-ranked public university for game development in the country. There, I am pursuing two degrees, a Bachelors of Arts in Games and Interactive Media, and another in Music. While a degree isn't necessary in order to become a sound designer in video games, I believe that a degree can strengthen and teach so many skills, both hard and soft, that I would not be able to acquire outside of University.
My love for sound design and music began with my exposure to piano when I was six year old. Going through elementary to high school, I participated in choirs, musical theater productions, and music theory classes, which affirmed my love for music. However, my pursuit of sound design didn't begin until I started working in film, where I learned about how sound effects were recreated for film. For a while, I thought that I wanted to be a sound designer for film, yet I found the sound design process for video games to be fascinating. I love working in non-linear soundscapes, as I believe that it opens up so many creative doors for designers.
On top of being a full-time student, I am an active sound designer and composer in Michigan. At the moment, I work as an in-house sound designer and composer at the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab, Michigan State University's research lab for video games. I have been working there since the beginning of the summer of 2021, where I have worked on four separate titles, as listed on my credits page. I also work as an Assistant Recording Engineer for Michigan State University's Recording Services department. At my job, I use Pro Tools to record live concerts in a variety of spaces, ranging from small chapels to large auditoriums. Outside of my jobs, I take on side projects, ranging from composing, recording Foley, and cleaning up dialogue for short films, or assisting game development students with audio needs. I also run my University's professional game development club, Spartasoft, where I lead all audio-related tasks and answer any questions students have.
I believe that an important trait in a sound designer is a love for video games! My love for video games, similar to many gamers in my generation, began with the Wii. One of the earliest games I remember playing is Super Mario Galaxy, a title that still is dear to my heart. Some of my favorite recent titles include Persona 5, Beat Saber, God of War, and Hades, among many others. However, other than a love for video games, I also believe that it is important to be humble and pleasant to work with. I always aim to be transparent, communicative, and respectful to everyone I work with, no matter who they are
I love video games, and I hope that one day, my work as a sound designer and composer will impact players as much as I have been. Working in the interactive media industry, I am driven to learn as much as I can to expand my knowledge and reach the highest goals of myself and my peers. Enjoy navigating my website, and if you have any questions please leave them in the contact forum. Thank you!
My DAW's of Choice
Many sound designers are well-aware of the countless amounts of audio software and equipment available for use, whether it be a DAW, plug-in, synthesizer, or the hundreds of microphones available on the market. For me, I elect to primarily work in two DAW's: FL Studio and Adobe Audition.
I have been using FL Studio ever since my junior year of high school, equating to about 4 years of experience. I use FL Studio to write and produce all of my music, as well as organize, layer, add effects, and occasionally edit SFX and VO's. I elect to use FL Studio because of the various plug-ins and VST's that are included with the Signature edition that I use, while also being easy to install third-party plug in's through some of my favorite companies, such as Spite Fire Audio. I love FL Studio because, as a beginner back in high school, its interface made DAW's less intimidating for a new user, but still stands to support my workflow to the highest extent as an advanced producer.
However, I don't find FL studio to have a friendly interface that allows me to edit the spectrogram of a soundwave extensively. That is where Adobe Audition comes in handy, a DAW I have only dived into for the past year and a half. I have found Audition to be extremely helpful when editing out artifacts out of a recording, such as using their Noise reduction plug-in, the healing brush tool for editing out unwanted lip smacks and breaths in a VO recording, and more. I also use Excel to organize my workflow and communicate with clients, which I have found to me extremely helpful in breaking the communication barrier between audio professionals and others.