The Fat Man on Game Audio

Sheet Music

Phases and Stages

The Fat Man on Game Audio: Tasty Morsels of Sonic Goodness

by the Fat Man, George Alistair Sanger

New Riders, 507 pp., $35 George Alistair Sanger, aka the Fat Man, may be Austin's all-time bestselling musician, with more than 20 million units shifted. You might not recognize his work off the bat, though. The Fat Man composes music and sound effects for video games, and is an industry pioneer, having worked on a slew of games, like Wing Commander I & II, The 7th Guest, and the Ultima series, on platforms from Intellivision to PC to PlayStation2. He's also a peculiar fella. Here are some things to know about The Fat Man on Game Audio: Tasty Morsels of Sonic Goodness, Sanger's new philosophical look at the game audio field:

  • Don't skip the intro. It tells you where the Fat Man is coming from.

  • Don't expect linear. If you want linear, go read Linux for Dummies.

  • Look forward to huge sudden blurbs with every word in a different font, spouting quips like: "I think that is success. Everything else is like the icing on the rotten fish."

  • Clever captions, many accompanying photos of Austin institutions like Einstein's arcade or Human Marvels Enigma and Katzen, are part and parcel of the text flow.

  • Fat Man is not the guy from Jake and the Fatman, but his brother Dave Sanger has won four Grammys drumming for Asleep at the Wheel.

  • There are descriptions of technical stuff like MIDI and .wav files, but nothing head-spinning.

  • Fat Man runs through the basics and history of game audio and the useful software, not to mention life, fashion, and how to make a homemade didgeridoo, but there's no more than a cursory look at technique.

  • Which is why this book is equal parts entertainment and education, perfect for a novice or anybody curious about the field of game audio.

  • Hip-hop karate classic PaRappa the Rapper gets mad props, which is reason enough to recommend this book.
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