Brian L. Schmidt

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Brian L. Schmidt (born 1962) is a music composer for various video games and pinball games.


He began in the video game music and sound industry in 1987 as a composer/sound designer and programmer for Williams Electronic Games in Chicago writing music and creating sound effects for pinball machines and coin-operated video games. In 1989, Schmidt left Williams to become one of the video game industry's first independent composer, sound designer and audio technologist under the company name of Schmidt Entertainment Technologies. While a consultant, he worked on over 120 console and arcade games. Schmidt is also the creator of the BSMT2000 audio DSP,[1] which is used in various pinball games and video arcade machines and the QSound "Q1" 3D game sound chip used by CAPCOM. In 1998 Brian was recruited by Microsoft to become Program Manager for DirectSound and DirectMusic. From 1999-2008, Schmidt was the program manager of the Xbox Audio and Voice Technologies division at Microsoft and was responsible for much of the audio architecture for the Xbox and Xbox 360. He created the start up sound for the original Xbox console, using 'old-school' techniques to create an 8-second sound using only 25 kilobytes of memory.[2] Brian is also credited with bringing real-time Digital Surround to video gaming with the inclusion of Dolby Digital Live on Xbox.[3]

Schmidt was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Game Audio Network Guild ( in 2008 for his contributions to the game audio industry. His work has received numerous awards such as Sega's "Best Sound" award and the Game Audio Network Guild's "Best new audio technology" awards. In 1989, his theme from the video game, NARC, was recorded and released by The Pixies.[4] Other game music by Brian is featured in the CD Box set, Legends of Game Music. Brian also received the 2009 G.A.N.G. recognition award at the 2010 Game Developers Conference for his work founding GameSoundCon.[5]

Brian received dual undergraduate degrees, a B.M. in Music and a BSc in computer science from Northwestern University in 1985, where he created the first dual degree program between the School of Music and the Technological Institute there.[6] Following that in 1987, he received his master's degree entitled "Computer Applications in Music" also from Northwestern University. Portions of his thesis were published in the Computer Music Journal in 1987.[7]

Schmidt left Microsoft in February 2008, and formed Brian Schmidt Studios, L.L.C., an independent consulting firm. He is also the creator of GameSoundCon, a conference and seminar on composing video game music and video game sound design for the professional audio community.[8]

Brian is also the Founder and Creative Director of EarGames, an independent video game development company specializing in audio games; videogames that rely on sound for gameplay. EarGames initial release, Ear Monsters, was released in June 2013.[9][10]

Schmidt's works[edit]



Data East Pinball[edit]

Sega Pinball[edit]

Video games[edit]


Sega Mega Drive/Genesis[edit]

Electronic Arts[edit]
Other developers[edit]

Super Nintendo Entertainment System[edit]


  1. ^ "Internet Pinball Machine Database: Data East 'Batman'". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  2. ^ "Designing the Boot Sound for the Original Xbox". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  3. ^ "The making of the Xbox: How Microsoft unleashed a video game revolution (part 1)". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  4. ^ "Theme From Narc". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  5. ^ Lucy Newman. "GDC 2010: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves wins GANG's Audio of the Year award". Gamertell.
  6. ^ "McCormick ByDesign". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  7. ^ JStor Reference A Natural Language System for Music
  8. ^ Interview with Composer & Founder of GameSoundCon, Brian Schmidt
  9. ^ "Making Ear Monsters: Developing a 3D Audio Game". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  10. ^ "EarGames 3D Audio Games". EarGames 3D Audio Games. Retrieved 2016-11-17.


External links[edit]