In this edition of The Compressed Interview, I talked to Luis Menchaca. I met Luis when we both were doing our BSc back in 2011 and then we had the opportunity to go to an exchange program together at the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia. Then, we just talked every once in a while until we met again on a Discord server called LATAM Game Audio so I decided to have a chat with him about the experience he has had in the last 6 years.
This is what we talked about:
Threshold: Getting Started
J: What skills (either technical or personal) do you think that anyone starting in this industry needs?
L: It depends on what you want to specialize in. But I would definitely say patience. It is not easy. For example, I am focusing on game audio, and you need to search and search until you accomplish it. But if you work hard, you’ll eventually get it. Also, practice a lot. You need to try different things to improve.
Attack: Things to discuss
J: What’s the biggest challenge you have encountered, professionally speaking, and how did you get around it?
L: Working professionally in this industry, you need a lot of organization. When I record dialogues for games, you need to check all the material that the project manager gives you, you need to prepare the sessions, organize all the materials, because always when you are recording anything can go wrong… so you need to be prepared. Also, many clients give you very specific tech requirements, microphones that must be used, the distance between the voice actor and the microphone, room specifications, recording levels, etc. So you need to play everything with anticipation and check everything continuously so everything goes right.
Release: Talking about the good stuff
J: What do you think is the best part of working in this industry?
L: When working with games or dubbing, the best part is that you have access to different projects before they go public. You have the opportunity to create great teams with directors and voice-over actors. You have a great time while working. Also, having the opportunity to work with AAA companies on projects in which you learn a lot. In the game industry, most people are friendly and are open to help other people to get into the industry.
J: What would you say is the most important thing when doing localization, dubbing or creating sound design for games?
L: When working in games, audio quality is really important, there is no room for errors. You need to check all the technical specifications, the room, audio levels, mic distance, and everything. When dubbing, you don’t need to worry about all those small details, of course, it still needs to sound great, but you need to pay more attention to the sync… especially now that most recordings are done remotely.
J: What are the biggest lessons that you have learned in your personal life and professional career?
L: Good question… in general I think that in both cases apply that you should have an objective and work until you get it. When you achieve what you were working for is a great feeling. Especially when you enjoyed everything that happened in the journey. And another thing is that you need to learn from everything and everyone… and you need to share what you know. You need to be humble, that is very important, because in this industry you work a lot in teams, so you need to put your ego aside.