Thornton Prime
Thornton Prime
technical sound designer

technical sound designer and composer for video games

 
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Introduction

Hello, I'm Thornton Prime, a technical sound designer and composer for video games.

My main focus is in how sound design and scripting contribute to level design. I'm experienced implementing audio in Unreal 4, Wwise, and Fmod. I also have a lot of experience implementing dynamic music and sfx systems.

My knowledge of traditional and classical styles work together with a love for electronic music to create my unique perspective on music composition. As well, a strong interest and competency in synthesizer programming, DIY projects, and audio engineering helps me adapt to any project.

I've recently graduated from the DigiPen Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Sound Design.

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Technical Sound Design

 

Sound Design and Music Implementation in UE4 and Wwise

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As a developing musician, I found myself needing to understand how things worked, what made them tick. I was always curious into the more technical side of music, and how we interact with it. Game teams and projects have given me the amazing opportunity to really immerse myself in implementing audio for games.

Working on projects in Unreal Engine 4 has been an incredibly enabling experience. Having control of the entire audio pipeline, from asset creation to gameplay programming, has given me the freedom to really create more adaptive, immersive, and creative audio soundscapes. 

I have experience in UE4, Wwise, and FMod. I am very interested in gaining experience in new engines and audio middlewares.

Side Projects...

City 17

Technical Sound Design by Thornton Prime
Art Assets & Technical Art Coutesy of Liam Tart

Currently a side project I am working on is making sound effects for Liam Tart's remake of part of the City 17 map from Half Life 2. It's been a great experience using the Unreal Audio solution, although I am very eager to see the new changes to UE's audio engine in 4.16! It has been really interesting to contrast Wwise's philosophy against Epic Game's approach to audio. So far, I have made a player controller with a material specific footstep system (it's first person so there's no animations to tie them to), and interaction system for interacting with props to play sounds or trigger events, and a dynamic spaceship system to simulate random spaceships flying overhead.

 

TBA Unity Project

Another side project I'm working on is a game in Unity with some friends as a hobby. Currently we're in Pre-Production, but here's a draft of how the revolver may sound:

(warning: loud)

This comes from a recent recording session, where some friends and I went out to a shooting range and recorded various gunshots and gun handling sounds. It was a great experience, processing gun sounds is a unique challenge!

 

Game Project - Penny Blue Finds A Clue

Made by Team Cactus Curse
I handled: Music, Sound Design, & Audio Programming

Penny Blue Finds A Clue won the DigiPen Annual Game Awards for:

  • Best Music
  • Game of the Year 2017
  • Best 2D Design
  • Best Characters

Penny Blue was developed my senior year at DigiPen, with Team Cactus Curse. It is a mystery adventure game based around helping teen detective Penny Blue solve a murder at Le Fleur du Chapiteau Hotel.

The game was made in Unreal Engine 4.15 with Wwise. I made all music and sound effects, and programmed / implemented all the assets personally. This project was a perfect excuse for me to stretch outside of my comfort zone in Unreal. I expanded my knowledge of the engine by making cutscenes using Unreal’s sequencer, implementing SFX, making particle effects, making my own player characters and controller classes, diggingthrough my game’s dialog system to implement audio cues, and templatizing audio classes to speed up my implementation pipeline.

    Experience in different Audio Middlewares
    and Scripting / Programming Languages

    Proficiency

    Experience in Years

    My Experience in different DAW's

    • Ableton - 7 years
      My preferred DAW, I have been composing and doing sound design in Ableton for 7 years. I have a lot of experience with M4L (Cycling74's integration of Max into Ableton as a scripting language)
    • Logic Pro - 4 years
      I have a good amount of experience composing in Logic 9 and X, it is the preferred DAW of my degree program.
    • Sibelius - 4 years
      I have experience composing, engraving, and part writing in Sibelius.
    • Pro Tools - 4 years
      I have a fair amount of experience recording and editing sound files in Pro Tools.
    • and other DAW's, including Digital Performer, Audacity, Adobe Audition.
     

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    Music & Compositions

    My education at DigiPen was an awesome opportunity to immerse myself in classical training, and build upon my more technical training. Strong foundations in skills such as synthesizer programming, studio engineering, and modding projects combine with my love for orchestration and music theory to create my unique perspective on music composition.

    Being a composer aimed specifically at music and sound design for video games, I have experience writing and implementing dynamic and non-dynamic music for interactive media. Working on many teams each semester of my education has really forced me to understand and create a variety of styles of music, ranging from laid back jazz to pumping electronic music.

    One great experience for me was when I worked together with the local Redmond High School to perform and record a piece for their String Orchestra. Writing with such severe limitations was educational, and being involved in every step of the process, from part writing all the way to the actual performance was very eye opening. It was a very challenging experience to have to work with a full string orchestra, and it was amazing to have the opportunity to work with a conductor to ready my music for the stage.

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    A little bit about me

    I became inspired to pursue a career in audio for video games after realizing that the average life of a musician didn't interest me. I found the creative freedom and level of complexity in video games to be liberating and a fascinating challenge. As the technology in video games becomes more sophisticated, I'd like to help the storytelling side of video games grow with it.

    I began making electronic music in 2007 with Digital Performer 6. Since then, I've moved onto newer DAW's and better gear, but my love for computer music has remained. Some musicians who inspire me are Akira Yamaoka, Joe Hisaishi, Claude Debussy, Radiohead, Lido, and John Coltrane.

    Some of my favorite pieces of media are Bioshock 1, Deus Ex 1, Silent Hill 1 & 2, Fallout New Vegas, Twin Peaks, System Shock 2, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut,  and Star Wars: KOTOR II!

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