Alexander Dmitriev
About studying at the Institute and life prospects
— How did you come to work in the game industry?

— It was quite a long way. I started working in a documentary film Studio. There I learned how to record voice, atmospheres, and even did editing and color correction. Then I started to work with feature films. And only after that I was invited to work as a sound engineer at the game Studio "Creat". That's how I immersed in a world of computer games.

As for music in general, at the age of 5, my parents sent me to learn to play the piano. You can't call it a conscious choice, but it has greatly affected my life. I went to music school, and it was basically a return to my roots a few years later.
— You changed the direction in your professional career at a conscious age. Tell us how to make up your mind despite the fears.

— I don't think there's nothing to be afraid of. Just do what you're interested in. When there are opportunities in life, you should not be afraid to try. You just feel that it is really yours. You can be a specialist in a narrow focus, but you need to try something else to understand what your heart truly desired.
You'll never know until you try.
Some of the projects are obtained only due to the fact that graduates of the Sound Design Institute
take part in them
— How did you come to teaching? Did it affect you in as a professional?

— In fact, teaching helped me to grow as a specialist. When I explain a new topic to the guys, I go through the material again, and dive deeper. That is the first point.
And the second point is that it has always been difficult for me to speak publicly, and this is the basis of teaching. So I had to overcome myself. It helped me get rid of my inner fear. And the third, but not the least thing is that teaching allows me to take projects that I would not have taken if there were no students in my life.

Now I'm doing a project with one of the graduates, who helps me a lot. Some of the projects are obtained only due to the fact that graduates of the Sound Design Institute
take part in them.

Considering your experience studying at foreign institutions, do you think it's worth it to study sound-design abroad?

— Generally, I believe that you should not neglect the opportunity to learn wherever it is. Nowadays the world is so international that there are enough good specialists everywhere. And if there is an opportunity to work in a large company abroad, or with a master who knows the ropesб then you need to use it. I would like to talk and learn from high-class specialists myself.
— Is it really possible to give a new profession to a person in just 1 year?

— In fact, a year is quite a decent period. Only if the student is not lazy, and he has at least a little experience in working with sound or a strong craving for music. If a person did not have any sound background, it is likely that it will be difficult for him to pass this path quickly and become a in-demand specialist immediately after graduation. And if he played games, listened to music, was interested in sounds, then he has some baggage, and it will be easier for him. The technique of teaching is that the basic core of knowledge can be told in a year.

For example, I do not theorise much, but do show a lot of things, give my students practical projects. Practice is the basis of everything.
Interactive sound can only be used in games, or are there some areas where this is also relevant now?

— Quite a lot is being done with interactive sound now, especially in the virtual world — VR. People are trying to be creative, learning how to use different techniques. There is also a history of art projects where interactive sound can be useful.

I was in the Music Museum. There was an exhibition about sound waves, you could interact with instruments. This is exactly the kind of art installation that requires interactive sound. And, of course, there are free artists for whom sound is very important.
They need to let the Russian gaming market grow a little. We jumped on the bandwagon a little later
than professionals did in the West
— How does the Russian game market differ from the Western one? What prospects do you see?

— I don't want to strongly criticise the Russian market. However, it seems to me that the specialist is treated with less respect here. When I come to a project, I have to prove that I have a lot of experience, despite my accumulated authority over the years. There is no such thing in the West. They get to know you, communicate with you, and then they either accept you for the project or don't. If so, you are given a certain creative freedom and respect for your own vision. But in Russian reality, they need to complete some of their tasks, and producers, sometimes, move away from the global goal of making a cool game in the direction of applied things.

However, things are getting better year by year. Developers are starting to respect sound in games, even on mobile devices. For example, often in apps/games, the message "play with headphones" appears — this means that the sound was seriously engaged. The trends are, in theory, quite positive
We just need to let the Russian gaming market grow a little, because we jumped on the bandwagon a little later than professionals did in the West.
The more restrictions you have, the more chances to find an interesting solution
— Is the visual component a limitation for a musician or composer in creating music for the game?

— There are different projects. This is the same as for pop music composers — you understand what genre you work in. For example, you write a rap music, and you can't go beyond that. You come up with all sorts of tricks, cool moves or looking for a unique voice. In any case, you are within the format.

In games you do have more freedom. There are many different genres: shooters, visual games, platformers, RPGs. You can imagine yourself as a Renaissance composer for some adventure game about the middle ages. I am attracted to this variety of games. But no matter what the music is made for, the starting point will still be the structure of the game and the visual part, which to some extent limits you.

There is such a phrase: "Restrictions lead to a surge in creativity." The more restrictions you have, the more chances to find an interesting solution. Restriction is not always a bad thing.