John Bernard ’23 (Bachelor of Arts in Collaborative Audio Arts) is a 22-year-old student from Fredericksburg, Virginia, whose interest in audio-related careers stemmed from his background as a musician and composer. He will present his senior presentation online at 10:30 a.m. and in person at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12. The in-person event will take place in Shenandoah University’s Center for Immersive Learning (SCiL), which is located in the basement of the Cecil Pruitt, Jr. Health and Life Sciences Building (HLSB).
Initially focusing on building a solid foundation in audio through the program’s classes, Bernard decided to enhance his skills further by adding a minor in Augmented & Virtual Reality. This interdisciplinary approach aligns with his career aspirations in the video game industry.
Among Bernard’s favorite classes are those that directly contributed to his senior project and portfolio:
- MUPR 499 (Interactive Audio)
- ARVR 290 (Lab 1)
- MUPR 351 (MIDI & Electronic Music Synthesis)
- ARVR 499 (Wwise Unity Integration in VR)
Two of these classes involved independent studies supervised by advisors in the MUPR and ARVR programs, namely Director of Collaborative Audio Arts and Associate Professor of Music Production & Recording Technology Graham Spice, M.S., and Associate Professor of Virtual & Augmented Reality Nathan Prestopnik, Ph.D. These studies focused on using the sound authoring middleware Wwise for sound design and its implementation into game engines.
“John Bernard’s rapid mastery of game audio is a testament to his self-motivation and dedication,” said Spice. “I’ve enjoyed teaching him the Wwise sound engine in our one-on-one sessions and witnessing his growth in other independent studies, exploring areas like video production, editing and programming. Johnny’s journey showcases the remarkable results that come from passion and hard work, and I’m proud to have played a part in his learning experience.”
Bernard credits the support of his professors for creating an enriching educational space conducive to pursuing a career as a sound designer or audio programmer in the video game industry.
“The nurturing environment provided by my professors has been instrumental in shaping my educational journey, fostering the ideal conditions for pursuing a career as a sound designer or audio programmer in the video game industry,” said Bernard. “Their support has been crucial to my experience and development.”
As part of his senior project, Bernard will present on Dynamic Audio and Sound Design, showcasing the intuitive tools of the Wwise Sound Engine. The presentation will explore various software and techniques, illustrating how sounds are designed, authored in Wwise, and seamlessly integrated into a game engine to create immersive experiences.
Some projects that will be shared in this presentation include:
Ghosts of the Argonne (Sound Design and implementation into Unreal Engine)
Dynamic audio in video game menus (Senior project deliverable)
Wwise and Unity Demo Scene (Deliverable from Bernard’s ARVR independent study for integrating Wwise into game engines)
Senior Project Devlogs (Documented video series of Bernard’s senior project and obtaining the Wwise 301 and 201 certifications)
ARVR 495 VR Group Project (VR experience in Unity demonstrating Interactive Music concepts from Wwise)
Following the presentation, Bernard will discuss how the skills and experiences gained at SU have been instrumental in networking and applying for positions that align with his expertise.