How Matt Piersall of GL33k Works

How Matt Works

The Pro Sound Effects How I Work series (inspired by Lifehacker) asks Hybrid Library owners what inspires them and what tools and routines help them get work done from day to day.

This interview is How I Work #1 - see below for other interviews in the series.

Name: Matt Piersall
Occupation: Game Sound Designer
Location: Austin, TX
Most Recent ProjectBattlecry
DAW of ChoiceAbleton Live

What is your current studio/workspace setup like?

I'm fairly simple, but here it is:
• LaCie - 2 TB project / SFX Drive
Ableton Push
Apollo Twin (with extra DSP)
• Mac Pro 2014 Laptop (Dual Core i7 16 GB RAM)
SPL Surround Monitor Control
Sennheiser MKH 418
Livid Block Controller
Yoga Ball


What is one thing you know now you wished you had known 5 years ago?

For some reason this is a hard question :)

Here's a real answer - I'm content with everything I've known at the time I've know it. Failure, success, and in general figuring stuff out is an important process in the life of an artist. If there is ONE thing I'd wished that I had figured out earlier is that it's important to always be confident and to not get down on yourself. It simply slows down your life both creatively and personally.

What software/hardware/gadgets can you not live without?

I really like Maschine right now - I make tracks at home for fun

iPhone for Audible and Podcasts - I listen to a TON of audio books (iPhone is obvious but smart phones in general are amazing devices. I remember not having them)

Push Controller – this is the best controller for Ableton, it's also helped make my sound design WAY more performance based and less editing based

Steamer - I finally quit needing to iron - steamer is way easier to store and does less damage to your clothing

Where do you find inspiration for your sound design work?

Most inspiration is process based. I like changing how/where/when I do things. I try and live life first. Sound design is an amazing career and art form but there are things that are much more important. Realizing that in the end we're just making video games frees me from being trapped by thinking my work is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

It's not that you can't fail. Just fail early and often. Always try things, they might not work but that's okay. My sound design has become a zen state to me. I don't think, I just do.

What’s your favorite time-saving shortcut/tool?

I'd say the DrumRack in Ableton has been a huge shortcut. It's quick, it's already mapped to Push and you can drop sounds from your library directly in. If you need to record something it's SUPER quick to get your live recording into the Drum Rack. Sequencing my sounds vs. editing has saved me a ton of time and it's made it very speedy to create options and revisions.

What's a typical day like for you?

• Wake up - make coffee - smoke a cigarette
• Write in my book what I'm going to accomplish that day set some unrealistic goals
• Push ups, squats, pull ups, crunches
• Shower - put on too much cologne - walk a mile to work
• Start Crushing
• Continue Crushing
• Go see my kid
• Go grab drinks with friends after the baby is asleep
• Make out with a random girl
• Go home, practice DJ-ing

What are your top 5 films of all time?

LA Story
Wet Hot American Summer
Toy Story 2
Cool Runnings (...just kidding)

Where's the best place for people to follow your work or contact you?

Twitter: @GL33kler

 → Check out other interviews in the How I Work series archives!

Follow Pro Sound Effects on Twitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn for more sound designer interviews, industry news, and library releases.

Worldizing Film Sound with Richard King

Behind the Library: Body Sounds with Mark Mangini

A sound recordist using a violin bow on a cymbal.

Behind the Library - Sonomar Collection: Bowed & Scraped Cymbals