Rachel Hartanto

Graduated: 2013

Current Role: Video Game Audio Designer


Did you always aspire to be in the job position you currently hold?

No. I've been playing piano and clarinet (shout out to my teacher Anthony Felton) most my life so I figured music made sense. I went through 5 different music majors so even in college I didn't know what I wanted to do specifically. I was a mess. Even with that, I'm not like an outstanding musician, though there's a saying "if you can't play, you can compose!" It wasn't until I played Overwatch (a good video game} that I realized, "Yo, this sounds freakin' epic, I want to do this as a career." 

What have you done since leaving CTHS?

After graduating, I went to Sydney Conservatorium for a year. Then, upon receiving a scholarship, I transferred to Berklee College of Music in Boston, to complete my music degree, majoring in electronic production and design. During that time I did internships here and there and worked on indie games to help me build my portfolio so I wouldn't be jobless. Fast-forward to 2023, I now reside in Los Angeles with my German composer husband and my fur-baby/ studio assistant Yuki.

Describe your average work day....

10am I primarily work from home so I typically roll out of bed into my home studio now. 10am-2pm Depending on the day, it varies. I dedicate this time to focus on asset creation, whether that being: going on recording adventures for Foley and sound effects, recording sessions with voice actors, telling musicians what to do, or just crafting in my DAW. 

2pm- 4pm It's game time! Playing video games is a very important part of my job. Taking notes where gameplay can be improved with audio, finding bugs and having fun! 

4pm - 6pm Implementation. Half the job of a video game audio designer is being able to put your sounds into the game. I work with various game engines including Unreal, Unity, or proprietary game engines, and either code things in or utilize audio middleware like Wwise for assistance. 

Please share some words of wisdom for today's students...

Living with a mindset, everything happens for a reason.

Greatest lessons learned at CTHS: 

Work hard, play hard.

Shout-out to a special teacher or subject:

I really enjoyed my time at CTHS, I'm grateful there were so many different outlets to express my weird creative energy: music, visual arts, dance, French, big band. So special shout out to the arts department in particular - thanks for dealing with me!

Piece of advice for students today: 

I believe there's no one-size-fits-all advice as life's experiences are so varied. "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." - Forrest Gump