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3 Reasons Not to Miss GameSoundCon 2024

With so many conventions and expos celebrating game development at large, it’s wonderful to know that game audio can command its own spotlight each year at gatherings like GameSoundCon. Few events have put game music, sound design, and dialogue on a pedestal quite like GSC since its inception 15 years ago. 

According to GSC’s own social accounts, attendees set a record for registration with weeks still to go before last year’s event. This growing gathering continues to be so much more than just a reunion for the in-crowd. It’s encouraging to see the community only gaining in strength after global lockdowns, creating the opportunity for many more sonic masterminds to meet, new ideas and inspiration to be shared, and new collaborative paths to be forged.

Now that GSC has announced its official 2024 dates, we figure now’s as good a time as any to share some of our team’s favorite takeaways of past events and encourage other game audio pros to start booking your Burbank, CA, travel now, because we absolutely want to meet you there.

1. Access to Leading Audio Perspectives

While GSC’s slate of sessions and featured speakers has yet to be announced, we’ve no reason to believe in anything other than some of the year’s foremost topical leaders being represented in the mix. 

We couldn’t help but share our pride in seeing Unlock’s own John Robert Matz included among last year’s presenters when he took his audience on a deep dive into his latest independent work—the award-winning music of Tchia. His reveal of the intensely collaborative process behind “Bringing the Sound and Soul of New Caledonia to Video Games” had us experiencing the real-world cultural inspiration behind the musical soundscape of Tchia with fresh ears for both traditional and unconventional details. 

When not under a spotlight of his own, John can often be found stageside, admiring the ingenuity of other presenters like composer Austin Wintory (Abzu, Journey), who delved into the intricacies of mapping a branching, musical system for Stray Gods with its 44-track decision-driven song selection. 

What’s especially great about GSC is that the access it provides to such expertise isn’t limited to the attendees onsite. Most of the sessions are hosted virtually and kept online throughout the year so folks far and wide can share in the wealth of knowledge displayed on the show floor. We love supporting events that continue to prioritize accessibility for our peers who face many diverse and important realities every day—considerate of everything from busy schedules to the measures many continue to take to protect personal health and well-being.

2. Connections for Future Collabs

It can’t be stated lightly that Unlock Audio would likely not exist with the team it does today if it weren’t for GameSoundCon. Some of our colleagues first crossed paths at GSC before reuniting under the Unlock banner. This is yet another testament to the wide reach of the convention, given our team spans half of the globe. 

For a remote team that’s dependent on screen time like ours, last year’s show ended up being a great excuse for some of our many satellites to share a close orbit again for a while. Our longtime GSC attendee and Voice Services Director Bonnie Bogovich was one of the strongest voices of encouragement for my own first-time GSC attendance last year.

“GSC is one of my favorite events each and every year,” she shares. “Even when we were virtual only, it was and is still one of the best places to see colleagues, catch up on the world, business, and life, and to hear what the latest audio hotness is.”

Composer and Producer Thomas Kresge echoes Bonnie’s enthusiasm for the show’s unique opportunity to reconnect. “There’s always value in getting out of the studio to meet new people and follow-up with others. The panels are always informative, but the greatest value of these events is simply having everyone in the same place at the same time.”

3. Moments You Had to Be There For

Unfortunately, not everything can be captured and shared with folks tuning in to GSC online. Some of the dynamics of certain presentations carry their strongest weight from seats on the show floor. 

For example, John Robert Matz and I relished the experience firsthand of Inon Zur’s freeflowing presentation about the unconventional and freeform approach to writing the soundtrack for Starfield

Yet, some of our most memorable experiences happen in spontaneity outside of the scheduled broadcasts, in the interactive roundtable sessions and chance encounters throughout the exhibit hall. Communal coffee breaks are always a highlight of Bonnie’s own experience. “I find that at events like GameSoundCon, the best memories happen on the show floor in amiable discussion, face to face (or in my case, facemask to facemask),” she shares. Further proof that GSC is the veritable who’s who and what’s what of game audio at present.

The liveliness of these excited discussions helped underscore for Bonnie some important messages from the “Working with Extreme Vocals in VO Sessions” panel. “As actors, speakers, presenters and attendees, it’s easy to get swept up in the energy of the moment, be it in performance, acting, catching up with friends, or shouting over the din of a crowd at a networking mixer, and forget that your adrenaline is on high during that period, and as a result you may not notice how much pain your throat—and your voice—is in until you wake up sounding like a frog the next morning.”

Let’s Meet at GSC

We clearly haven’t come down from our GSC2023 high, and the announcement of the next show dates is only serving to keep us afloat. Whether you’re a GameSoundCon veteran who shares our enthusiasm or a fresh face on the scene considering your first-time trip, we hope to see you there! We can’t wait to see what new wizardy and wisdom is in store from our fellow game audio pros.

Find out more about GameSoundCon here!

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