Joe Buechel '17 is making all the right moves to become a sound designer for video games

Dec 16, 2015

Joseph Buechel ’17 is transforming his favorite childhood pastime—playing video games—into a career. He’s pursuing studies in sound design for video games. Sound design is the creation of music and audio behind different media. Buechel’s passion for this art form is clear as he prepares for his career. He studied sound design in Spain during the summer; he is currently interning at an audio company in Chicago and designing a customized major at North Central College.  

Buechel experienced professional audio in a unique setting while studying in Spain through the Berklee College of Music. The Film Scoring program introduced students to the technology involved in the scoring industry. During summer 2015, Buechel attended classes for three weeks on film and video game scoring and had opportunities to write music, record with musicians and conduct his own music.

“I worked with some amazing and talented professors,” Buechel reflects with a smile. “This trip helped me look at the audio and music of video games in a much different way.”

To gain a competitive edge in the job market, Buechel landed an internship at Particle Audio in Chicago, a company that designs sound and composes music for radio and television commercials.

“I’m getting a lot of experience,” says Buechel. “I sit in on recording sessions and oversee the process and help the voiceover talents who come in to record narrations. I’m in the heart of professional audio.”

At North Central, Buechel has tried on many hats, majoring in music, music education and interactive media studies. However, he determined an individualized major best suits his career goals and is combining the components of other majors that he feels apply to his specific career. Buechel has named his major Game Development and describes it as covering the “professional and technical aspects of the gaming industry.” The curriculum includes classes in business, computer science, video game design, speech communication and interactive media.

With two years until Commencement, Buechel is already considering life post-graduation. Graduate school is on his radar, but he understands he has to build his résumé with additional internships and experiences before considering that route.

“I’m so passionate about this area and so eager to get into it. Being able to communicate emotions through sound and music is definitely where I see my career heading.”  

By Lauren Baltas ’16