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SDA 012: Kyle Fraser – 343 Industries & Halo 5

Sound Design Academy interview with sound design Kyle Fraser of 343 Industries

This week I had the massive honor of speaking with 343 industries Sound Designer and Audio Lead Kyle Fraser. Kyle has some incredibly high standards for his work, and an especially keen ear for what he’s going after along with an unquenchable thirst for continuing to improve his craft and deliver an even more epic final product. Halo 4 garnered a ton of audio awards when it released in 2012 including but not limited to IGN’s Best Audio All Platforms, Best Audio Viewer’s Choice, and Game Audio Network Guilds Sound Design of the Year. 

Show Notes


  • Kyle graduated from Vancouver Film School (1:42)
  • Originally from Lansing, MI (2:00)
  • Went to the Art Institute in Seattle when he was 19 (2:27)
  • How does it work going to school out of the country? (2:44)
  • How did you like the Vancouver Film School experience (3:34)
  • When did you first start getting interested in audio? (5:53)
  • Kyle was more into athletics as a kid. Sound came later (7:30)
  • Kyle’s biggest takeaway from that sports background (7:53)
  • How Kyle got to where he’s at (8:19)
  • Did you work on Fable II? (9:58)
  • From there where did you make the transition of to the company you’re with now? (10:41)
  • Did 343 start out on Halo 4 (12:22)
  • What was it like jumping into the Halo universe with such an established following behind it? (13:09)
  • What do you do when you only get 12 mb of memory for audio? (16:48)
  • What was your favorite element of working on Halo 4 (19:06)
  • Kyle’s a fan of the studio DICE’s work (28:15)
  • http://www.dice.se/about/
  • Sometimes it’s the journey to building a better company that is the real fun and reward (28:58)
  • The Loudness Wars (30:29)
  • Halo 4 did get a ton of audio awards (32:28)
  • Do you guys ever stick easter eggs into the audio? (33:59)
  • Michael doesn’t own an Xbox One… (35:36) 
  • Do you have a favorite game outside of the one’s you’ve worked on? (36:35)
  • How much of playing a game at work is leisure vs. intense listening and developing? (37:39)
  • Audio can get you involved with so many other forms of education and industry (41:08)
  • Do you guys get into the logical design of your weapons or how something might mechanically work? (41:57)
  • When 343 took on Halo 4 was the goal to gut it and revamp from scratch? (43:05)
  • Organization and archiving are sincerely important aspects of sound design (43:30)
  • What’s your DAW? (44:43)
  • When your games need things like forest ambiences, do you just head out into the trees? — they went to Iceland (47:36)
  • Geek out about Chris Watson (47:52)
  • How was Iceland?! (48:37)
  • Field recording gunshot tails (52:20)
  • How did you set up your recording situation with WB? (54:13)
  • Outsourcing foley to John Roesch (54:38)
  • The perks of being in sound (55:33)
  • How’s it feeling getting to the final deadlines of Halo 5? (56:16)
  • Halo Multiplayer (56:52)
  • Where did all the talking go? (57:34)
  • What’s your favorite microphone? Guys, his answer is the most detailed ever. It’s awesome. (1:00:00)
  • Do you have a book that you’d recommend? (1:03:56)
  • Best piece of advice. (1:10:37)

Thanks again for listening, be sure to subscribe and leave a review if you like you’re hearing. I do listen to feedback, and am happy to answer any questions at michael@sounddesignacademy.com.

Till next week, 


The Road to E3 – Episode 4: Showtime