Agate Academy Interview Series Part 5 with Iyo, the Music Composer and Sound Designer

Known for complementing games, audio turns out play an important part in games, and true gamers will relate. Audio is staying in the same level as filmic visual of game since it is proven to tie a certain bond to players. The basic psychology of music that has the ability to play with the emotions, also works for audio in the game, only it is much subtler.


In this part of Agate Academy Interview Series, Satriyo Utama, or familiarly called Iyo, will share his role as the Music Composer and Sound Designer or Bard. As a Bard, Iyo handles all musical needs for the game production.





Hello, Iyo! Would you first tell us about your role and the work you are dealing with?

Well, as for now I’m the last Bard standing in Agate International, and of course I’m dealing with audio-everything. From composing music and sound effect, to recording voices or conducting voice over.

What do you think as the essential skill in order to be a Bard?

 The most important skill that can be used to compose or arrange music for games is playing piano and mastering one of the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) or any kind of audio production software. You don’t need to be highly mastering the piano skill as long as you can stream those melodies you have in mind to DAW through midi controller.

After composing, instruments that have been recorded in DAW will go through mixing process to polish the sound. Next after mixing, the sound then goes into mastering. I usually use gameplay video that has a great quality I can find in Youtube to be the comparison. These two parts of process is completely relying to your hearing ability.

One thing you should know about composing sound effect is you need to first recognise many game genre since it comes with a different need of sound. For casual game, the kind of sound that mostly composed is simple and attractive sounds, usually goes like byop-byop. The sound is certainly different with VR horror game which needs horrifying voices. For cases like this, and to simplify the sound effect composing, I arrange various sound libraries and refer to certain library for certain genre. You can build your own collection of sound library by hunting through internet or self-recording many kind of voices.

For voice over, you have to understand the basic of miking technics, such as the distance between the microphone to the source of voice, the gain to optimalise the volume, also tricks on how to edit the vocal. When I first joined Agate, I used my own voice for any voice over matter, but now I often seek for another crews’ assistance to record voices.

And for the final question, do you have any tips for those who want to start learning to compose audio?

The easiest way to start is through Youtube. You can search using the keyword “audio game making” and learn it by yourself. Or you can also find game studios providing internship program on audio making. Last but not least is since a bard relies so much to the hearing ability, you have to start turning down the volume of earphone or speaker and stop doing marathon on listening to music for hours without resting. Well, if you want to find more detailed information regarding to this, stop by Agate and let’s talk it out over coffee!