Find Jake everywhere!

Feel free to get in touch, whether through email, Facebook, or Twitter.

Business inquiries, questions, and feedback will all be read, and responded to as promptly as possible. I am always seeking new and exciting work projects, so don’t hesitate to send out a ping, whether you’re a one-person team or a console producer.

Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of email asking for advice on how to enter the game industry, or about which music tools are good. I really enjoy meeting people and talking shop, but I also tend to get in way over my head with projects, and sometimes I just get sidetracked and fall behind on personal email.

So, to be of some assistance even when I’m hyper-focused on work, I’ve listed my most commonly received questions, and answered them here! I don’t mind a bit if you ask something I’ve answered a thousand times, though; Feel free to get in touch at any time, for any reason.

Get in touch:

JAKE KAUFMAN

JAKE "VIRT" KAUFMAN

BUSINESS

PLEASURE

Composer, sound designer, technical wizard

A ridiculous amount of excellent free music

Jake “virt” Kaufman
Heavy on the melody
Compose so quickly
It ought to be a felony
Already wrote some of the
Most acclaimed
Music ever dropped
On a video game

Got mad style
In his own category
Destroy the mic
Every sound tells a story
Volume is the weapon
Madness is the mantra
Killin’ it on TMNT
And the 4th Contra

Shovel Knight, DuckTales
Double Dragon Neon…
Dude so cool
He like sonic freon
Writes code
Triple-A implementations,
Plotting the infiltration
Of all nations

Thousands of fans
Come through with that scrilla
Get ‘em riled up
He’s a social Godzilla
Both scores and stars
In documentaries
Book him at your con
Get rocked with energy

Here are all the things Jake can do to help your games sound incredible.

Music Composition and Arrangement

From live orchestra to progressive metal to southern hip-hop to klezmer to big band jazz to rock’n’roll to dubstep to painstakingly authentic SNES music, Jake’s work covers a vast range of styles, and he often combines them in unique and amazing ways. Jake works best with people who find joy in music, and want their games to have energetic and memorable soundtracks.

Jake is often hired for “revivals” of classic franchises, because he can give classic game music a modern sound, while treating the source material with the utmost love and respect. Fans and reviewers notice this.




Here are some demo tracks to get you acquainted with Jake’s work.

Jake works in a recording studio in Los Angeles, with a band room and vocal isolation booth, equipped for remote audio or video sessions with clients. He records with a talented engineer, as well as a large pool of incredible session musicians and vocalists. From a string quartet to a full orchestra, even the most ambitious ideas are within reach.

Jake releases all of his soundtracks on Bandcamp. Everything is “name your own price” with no minimum, so you are welcome (and encouraged) to download all of his albums for free.

Sound Design

Having created tens of thousands of original sound effect assets, Jake can capably create not only music, but an entire sonic landscape — alone or as part of a team. His work involves field recording, cutting-edge synthesis, and all sorts of dog sampling.



Here is a reel containing examples of actual sound effects Jake has created for commercial games. (NOTICE: Sound effects reel in progress. Please check back soon!)

(NOTICE: ACTUAL SFX REEL NOT READY YET! This is a fun video created by Jake to illustrate what would happen if oldschool games used modern-style sound effects!)

Consultation and Implementation

Jake speaks the language of developers, and works easily with team members in any technical or artistic discipline. Planning and testing complex or simple audio functionality with developers is an everyday part of his work, whether on-site or remote.

With expertise in all modern middleware and development tools including Fmod, Wwise, UE4, and Unity, as well as fluency with C++, C#, Python, Javascript, and Lua, Jake is one of the most technically capable “audio guys” you’re likely to meet.



Some examples of things Jake has done for previous game projects:

  • Take MIDI source data from a traditional composer, and compile and deliver game-ready music data for Nintendo 3DS and Wii/Wii U systems.
  • Write a custom dynamic music system that changes based on the player’s location within a level, so the music evolves and changes interactively.
  • Position ambient “sound emitters” within levels, creating a rich 3D sonic environment.
  • Place “hooks” in code to trigger sounds, and write support functions to simplify things like randomization and polyphony management.
  • Work within 3DSmax and proprietary animation tools to time sounds perfectly to character animations

Created music and sound effects (collaborating with Manami Matsumae, the composer of the original Mega Man 1!) Music and SFX are both authentic NES code, and the soundtrack can be played on a real Nintendo / Famicom system with the proper hardware. Edited and collaborated on the game’s script, including some of the worst puns.

Arranged the entire soundtrack from the original game for this HD remake, including the legendary “Moon theme”. Contributed to sound design and mixing, and scripted all of the sound effects to trigger within cinematics. “Back-ported” his own new original tracks into 8-bit NES format, to fit in seamlessly with the original NES soundtrack.

Wrote soundtrack which includes fully produced vocal songs. Designed, implemented, and tested most in-game sound effects. Directed, mixed, and implemented VO. Worked with programmers and designers on animation and visual effect sounds. Made the final boss sing a rock opera. Wrote many of the worst puns and 80s catchphrases in the script.

Collaborated with Raison Varner and Dan Wentz on over three hours of highly dynamic reactive music, using a node-based system designed in-house. Created hundreds of sound effects for physics-based destruction, weapons, and environmental sounds, working closely with programmers and effects artists.

Promotion and Community Involvement

Jake has a dedicated fanbase of thousands, and is well-known as an arranger of game music and as a chiptune artist. As a friend to many in the gaming press and the indie community, having him on your crowd-funded or “revival” project is a great way to generate buzz. It’s not uncommon for gamers to commit to a “day one purchase” after learning of his involvement.

Jake also regularly attends trade shows, conventions, and other events, both as a speaker and a music performer, and is always looking to partner with conventions and music festivals of all shapes and sizes.



Here is a list of cons and shows he’s played and spoken at.

  • King Harkinian: Zelda, Duke Onkled is under attack by the evil forces of Ganon. I’m going to Gamelon to aid him.
  • Princess Zelda: But father, what if something happens to you?
  • King Harkinian: I’ll take the Triforce of Courage to protect me. If you don’t hear from me in a month, send Link.
  • Princess Zelda: Impa!
  • Impa: Don’t worry, Zelda. The Triforce of Wisdom promises the king will safely return.
  • King Harkinian: Enough! My ship sails in the morning. I wonder what’s for dinner.
  • Link: Oh, boy! I’m so hungry, I could eat an Octorock!