Aos. What influenced you to get into Sound Design?
JR. My first two passions early in life were Film and Music. I was really good at music and I just always enjoyed film. So, I think I logically tried to put those two passions together into a career after high school. It really came about through trail and error. I thought maybe I would be a orchestra musician, then I thought I would be a composer. None of those fields seemed to fit me, but when I first started to do sound design in college for a scene in Terminator 2, I was hooked. I knew sound design was the right place for me.
Aos. Have you ever played any Musical Instruments? If so which ones and were you in any bands?
JR. Yes, I’ve played piano and clarinet. I still play piano to this day, but I have given up the clarinet (too hard to keep up). The clarinet is what payed for my college, so all through high school and college I played for countless wind ensembles and orchestras. My favorite band was with the wind ensemble at the Texas All-State band during high school. The director was incredible and inspiring (he also happened to be the director at The University of Miami where I later went to school).
Aos. I understand your an Award Winning Sound Designer for Video games, Multiple AAA titles like Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero 3, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Advanced Warefare. Did you have a favourite game you liked to work on?
JR. Funny enough, my favorite project is always the project I’m currently working on. I’ve been lucky to work on some incredible projects, and it just seems to get better! My last project I completed was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. That has been my favorite past project. I loved working on the sci fi elements within the game. I’m a huge sci fi fan (with books and movies), so it’s sort of a dream come true to work on a game that is in the sci fi realm.
Aos. What inspires you?
JR. Movies and TV inspire me. I love seeing what sound designers are doing these days. I also love seeing what past movies did. I like recreating sounds from Star Wars and other iconic sound movies to see what exactly they were trying to achieve. Usually trying to recreate old classic sounds inspires me to use those techniques and apply them to other sounds I’m working on. I’m also constantly inspired by my peers, especially my co-workers. I’m at Naughty Dog right now, and I love talking and sharing about sounds I’m working on with them. I also get inspired by seeing what they are working on as well. I also started my own sound effects library, and I’m inspired by just going out and recording. If you are recording a lot, there is so much to be inspired by out in the world!
Aos. Who is your favourite Sound designer and who would you like to collaborate with?
JR. My favorite sound designer is Ben Burtt, no question. He is the father of modern sound design, and I think working with him would be an incredible experience (on my bucket list). I’m also a huge David Farmer fan. I’ve talked with him before, and he is an incredible nice guy, so working with him would also be a dream!
Aos. What is your favourite film for sound design?
JR. How can you not say Star Wars!!! The sound in the movie is brilliant. I grew up on Star Wars, so it just has a special place in my heart. Other recent movies I love with great sound are: Oblivion and Prometheus.
Aos. We know you have a passion for Field recording. Is their any particular location, country or setting you’d like to go and capture a field recording?
JR. For some reason I’m a little obsessed with Island Sounds. I’ve recorded some Catalina Island sounds on my website, and I’m actually going back there soon to record more. I think this has spurred on a passion to record even more Island sounds. My big goal is to go to Ambergris Caye in Belize and record all the island sounds I can! Next stop, New Zealand!!!
Aos. What inspires you about Field recording?
Aos. I love the idea of knowing how to create an incredible sound from the ground up. I just finished up a punch sound effects library, and I love knowing the technique and skills and sounds it takes to make great punches. Through the process you learn and grow as a sound designer as well. So, it’s a great and fulfilling experience. Also, it’s unique. If I go out and record something in the real world, like an island ambience, that will be totally new and different from anything out there in the market. I love that it doesn’t take much, and it adds so much to your project.
Aos. If you could sum up your life in a Sound what would it be?
JR. Haha, interesting question. I think I would be a space ship charging up sound. It would have that classic synth-y high end frequency ramp up sound with a big low end element as well (almost like the THX intro sound – see video below) Except, it’s still building!! I love that sound too…