Polyphony Digital Hires Previous Forza Audio Lead for Gran Turismo


Last year, Polyphony Digital announced a public effort to recruit new sound engineers to work on improving Gran Turismo’s audio. They later reported being swamped with a “large number of applications”, and some major hiring decisions have apparently been made.

mike caviezel gdc12As discovered by GTPlanet member DingoDile, Mike Caviezel has become the “Senior Audio Lead” at Polyphony Digital, according to a recent update on his LinkedIn profile.

Mike would have a near-perfect resumé for the position, citing over 18 years of professional audio experience, over 13 years of which are in the game industry. Most importantly, he was a Sound Designer for Turn 10 Studios, acting as the Audio Lead for Forza Motorsport 1-4.

As most of our readers know, the Forza series is generally highly praised for its engine sounds, and Mr. Caviezel was recognized for his work in Forza 4 with nominations for the 2012 G.A.N.G Awards (Best Sound Design) and 2012 TEC Awards (Interactive Achievement in Audio).

After leaving Turn 10, he became an “Audio Production Director” for Microsoft, then formed his own audio company, Spancy Music & Sound, in May of last year. According to his LinkedIn profile, he officially became a Polyphony Digital employee in April 2015.

To learn more about Mike’s areas expertise, check out this 38-minute tech-talk on “Creating and Implementing Vehicle Sounds for Games”, which he gave at the Game Connection developer conference last year. Here’s another interesting video from his time at Microsoft, where he demonstrates the creation of gory sounds by hacking away at pieces of fruit.

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Comments (46)

  1. Pit Crew

    Im happy to see PD take the bull by the horns, swallow their pride and go outside the box to fix the engine sounds on their bread and butter product. their was just to much room for improvement in that department to continue to let this be an on going issue.

  2. scalman

    Forza 4 is too loud in cockpit its like exaust its in your face lol. I made gt6 car sound good with vintage reciver. On tv speakers it sure not good at all. But in all I like how mx5 sounds or s2000 or dodge viper or other cars . not all but some are pretty good. Plz dont make exaust in your face like on F4 :)

    1. scalman

      And its hard to compare this to driveclub or forza 5 , they have amazing sounds on super cars yes. But what about. Ford focus, rx7 or other normal street cars. Most new racing games is about super cars or racing cars anyway these days. And I just enjoying mx5 on gt6 tracks. dont have any game to compare to it.

  3. bloodyboyblue

    Sound doesn’t even matter. I don’t care if the graphics are at the level of Gran Turismo 1 and there’s no sound, as long as there’s a great car list, a great track list, no bugs, and realistic handling and settings. That’s what makes a great racing game, not sound or graphics.

    1. oranjoos

      In my opionion; Great track/car list and realistic handling is what makes a great driving game. A great racing game has to make you feel more excited, by having a more dynamic camera and of course great sounds, to make you feel more involved in the experience. Personally, i get a lot more excitement playing something like GRID or forza horizon because i feel like I’m actually driving (fast, i might add); the sounds and dynamism are great

    2. scalman

      Realy ? i think all matters and sound very important . But surely for me gt6 still one of best in graphics too. cars looks amazing still , even after asseto or project cars I look at gt6 and its wow

    3. Andyc709292

      I thought the same until I played Grid Autosport and Shi(f)t Unleashed. Both have excellent sound features compared to GT6, and whilst GT will gain the most hours, Grid is the one that gets turned up loud.

  4. Blood*Specter

    I agree that “some” engine/exhaust sound in GT6 is very good. But the issue is they all can’t be called even good. No real excuse for that other than neglect or apathy.

    If this guy can prevent the cars from sounding like vacuum cleaners when new engine, exhaust and transmission parts are installed, I’ll buy him a beer. In fact a case of his fav.

    I will love the sound upgrades. But by far I would like having the car respond in a real world manner to suspension input as well as tire air pressure. The series is really lacking in those areas too. However, one step at a time.

  5. infamousphil

    Not to take away from Mike’s capabilities, but it’s only going to be as great as PD and Mike’s manager(s) will allow. Just saying… they’ve had plenty of years, iteratons and consoles to get it right. I honestly don’t expect much sonic improvement. Besides, l’ve never played GT with anything better than standard HD TV and speakers. Yes, l’d like more bravado and crisp sound effects and would be satisfied to think ‘this sounds like a real broadcast’ but… we’ll just have to pay, wait and see.

    Best of luck Mike ;)

  6. mister dog

    Better late than never! A catch for sure and they desperately needed someone competent in their sound dep.

    1. scalman

      Those racing exaust sounds just brutally loud and screams all over. and we dont drive with all cars so at least those that I drive with sounds great . I had 5.1 home cinema on gt5 earlier and I didnt liked it. Stereo I like much better now. Think its depend on what you listen it. Max bass and trebble on my amp just sounds great

    1. Johnnypenso

      DC is nice, but I don’t believe PD and Evo are working together at this time, or at least there’s no evidence that this is the case.

  7. dethringr

    Now hire the rest of the forza team so we can have some fun customization with the cars and maybe a fun single player mode

  8. Tenacious D

    People act like nothing good has come from the Polyphony sound department. It’s almost as if no one here has played GT5 or 6. Or they just won’t give PD credit where it’s due. There are some wonderful sounds in GT6 if you care to listen, but I guess some people just refuse to. And I have to wonder about the credibility of the supposedly hardcore enthusiasts who like the heavily overdone, incorrect engine roar in Forza 4. I guess wrong is okay as long as it’s hella loud wrong. ;D

    Anyhow, as I said in the GT7 thread, this may be great news, but with the sound revamping done in GT5 and 6, how would anyone know what Mike’s contributions are? He could overhaul the whole sound library, or he could polish up work done on GT7 already and make improvements here and there, and no one would ever know. PD has shown that the sound team can knuckle down and make drastic improvements. Mike’s sound design and team oversight will be welcome, but GT7 would have sounded better regardless. But hey, welcome aboard, and please don’t be tempted to do what you did in Forza 4.

    1. Johnnypenso

      No one denies the good aspects of GT’s sound Mr. Skyisfalling. But overall it’s the worst sound package of any game on the market. I don’t know of anyone that disagrees with that except you and a couple of others.

    2. SavageEvil

      Lol, the less said the better on this site. All I have to say is AES is PD’s answer to recording engine sounds, just virtually create them from dimensions of actual engines. Griffith500 knows a lot more about it, it’s not perfected on PS3 but the RedBull cars, 97T and other vehicles run on AES sound system. This gentleman should bring expertise and help bring more stuff like gear shifts, clutch thunks and others to the mix to give GT more appeal. Hopefully GT7 and AES completely nixes sound samples for engines, so we will be experiencing sounds as if it was a real engine creating them…ain’t technology great? PD mantra seems to be simulate everything; simulate physics, simulate weather, time of day, tire smoke, engine sounds, aerodynamics despite some buggy cars. Despite it’s shortcomings it’ still my number 1 go to car game, holds a special place. Project Cars will carve out a spot despite it’s glaring omissions and short comings, I’ll enjoy the ever living mess out of it.

    3. YZF

      “aerodynamics despite some buggy cars” – some? dare I say.. all? I.e. its global issue.

    4. Magic Ayrton

      I agree, I really hope the sounds aren’t anything like Forza 4 in GT7.. Forza 2 nailed it.. with exhaust and intake sounds.. but I have to say I won’t be buying a PS4 and GT7 until I play the game for myself on someone else’s system. The trust has gone.

  9. Kurei

    I wonder if him & translator-san will be getting lots of face-time together, to overcome the language barrier I imagine will be present at first, unless Mike knows Japanese already ?

    Otherwise I am interested to see where this goes, I usually enjoyed the sounds in the Forza series, especially of BOV’s, which many GT fans have wanted improved lately.

  10. RL8791

    I was playing Asseto Corsa on a friend’s PC yesterday and was amazed at how great the Shelby Cobra engine sounded as I drove it around the course at Spa. When I let up on the gas pedal, the engine burbled and belched and when I downshifted and floored it, the brutish snarling crescendo gave me goosebumps. When I got home, I put GT6 on the PS3 and also ran a Cobra around Spa. I had to stop playing because the nnnnzzzz engine sound coming from that beautiful car was just so ridiculous in comparison. Hopefully there are some immediate sound patches released. I can see a lot of users moving on to Project Cars otherwise.

    1. Johnnypenso

      What’s even more amazing is that the Shelby Cobra was originally a community mod, sound and all. It wasn’t originally designed by the developer, but by a community modder and it was so good it was adopted by Kunos for inclusion into the official game! Imagine that a modder, working at home on a pc, came up with a car that looks like that and sounds so delicious!!

    2. Kurei

      Give the Lotus 49 a try if you get the chance to play again, the Ford Cosworth DFV motor will keep your neck-hairs on-end !

    3. Tenacious D

      If engine roar is all you care about, Burnout is sitting their, waving its virtual hands.

      I usually play a racing game for the racing, but maybe I’m weird that way.

    4. Johnnypenso

      @Kurei, I believe the Lotus 49 sound is a mod from ElMariachi if I’m not mistaken, that was incorporated into the release version of the game. I’ve used all of his sound mods actually, and they were all exceptional. Hard to believe a guy working for free in his basement creates far more realistic sounds than the biggest racing game franchise in the world isn’t it?

  11. TeamCZRRacing

    Now THIS is some good news. Let it never be said that Forza didn’t have some fantastic sounds.

  12. dimassa19

    Do not put him to work in the engineering of replays.(in this feature, Gran Turismo is better than Forza…and many others)

  13. Durodes

    Now they really don’t have an excuse.
    Anyways the sounds on the VGT cars have gotten so much better, my eyes widened when I first heard the Subaru one.

  14. MarchingSaint

    If Forza’s audio is a little bit overdone,and GT’s sound too artificial, i can’t honestly wait to see the GT6’s and Forza’s audio merge together to create the ultimate simulator. ( Just remember that PD pretty nailed it with the nissan lmp2 sound)

    1. Tvensky

      That sound guy did say that they faked forza sounds, they used tuned car sounds and then dumbed down them manually until they sound similar to original car sound They Fneededoto… Forza is also known for its dumbed down tracks for more beginner users, physics are unfinished with tons of arcade elements… Nothing like we don’t know about.. Hopes up for gt7 sounds..

  15. Ryowatanbe201

    I hope they finally get rid of the rubber ball hitting the ground sound. Aka the crashing into other cars and walls sound. XD

    1. theformidlog

      Like a shattering of the body instead of *poom*. I think you hit the nail right on the head on that one, buddy!

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