My first demo reel: Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed

I recently started Elliot Callighan‘s 101 and 201 Game Audio courses on Udemy and created my very first demo reel as part of an exercise.

For this exercise I had to create the sound design for Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed and was given a list of audio assets to use in the video.

The only rules were to use at least one:

  • mono track
  • stereo track
  • auxiliary track
  • master fader
  • fade
  • routing a send to an auxiliary track
  • volume automation
  • pan automation
  • clip based gain
  • reverb

I’m not going to lie: it took me some time to get it to the point I wanted to get it. Although it is a short piece, it was challenging to start picturing what sounds could reflect what I was looking for, so it was all a matter of trial and error. Experimentation was a must for this assessment.

In my experimentation I was inspired by Akash Thakkar‘s video on the 4 essential techniques for Sound Design. Altough they’re really basic techniques, it was key to achieve what I was looking for.

How I made the Demo Reel

Firstly, I took a piece of paper and wrote down the things I wanted to put sound to and a word to describe the kind of sound I was looking for. This wasn’t the case for all the sounds as I was really lost with some of them (especially going through the car at 0:22 amongst other things). When that was the case, I just listened to different sounds and tried to imagine what would fit best to the image.

The beginning

The sounds for the engines at the beginning are basically made of a camping gas torch and different layers of fire and moving vehicles filtered when close to the engine. This involved some gain automation so I could give the feeling of distance when getting closer to the cars.

Transition to accident

I thought about different things (different ‘wooshes) for this transition, but, since it ends up in an accident, I thought it was best to tell the story of what was going on: a race. So what better than a car racing for this with some reverb and delay with a really subtle ‘breath woosh’.

The accident

For the accident, I wanted to create some chaos at the same time I made sure every element was heard.

For the flash sounds I varied the pitch of the same sound slightly so it didn’t sound exactly the same. Then, I added a race commenter’s track that already had that PA sound, with a layer of public cheering mixed with some delay and reverb to give that ‘dreamy’ feeling as it happens in slow motion to create ambience. The idea was: you’re still in the stadium.

Then, I added some cool transition asset that was included to give that feeling of falling when the camera twist takes place paired with a heart beat, some tires scratches and a windshield being smashed.

For when the camera shows the pieces of windshield, I used an electric windmill sound to create a base and then added some ice cracking and squealing together with metal being crushed. Then, when the camera goes through the car, I thought of using an asset that made it sound like a really big piece of metal.

The end

At the end I wasn’t sure of what to use. So I simply came back to ambience and then used a reversed woosh as a transition to get into the car with some reverb. For the logo sound, I used and old claxon sound down-pitched paired with a racing car sound and plane quickly passing by. All mixed with a long reverb.

What do you think of my first demo reel? Let me know in a comment, every input is appreciated!

See you around.

+2% EXP in Sound Design/Editing

+10% Overall EXP

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