Meet Sound Designer Tri Nguyen who Got His Start at SCC

posted in: Featured Students | 0

By Liza Burke, Marketing Manager

Tri Nguyen first learned skills to become a sound designer at Seattle Central College studying with instructor Brian Kirk in the sound studio here at Broadway Performance Hall.

Now he is an intern at Turner Studios where he designs sound for TV and film, a premiere  position for an up-and-coming sound designer. Just three years into his career, Tri has already proven his talent, winning several awards for his work.

How does someone get into sound design?

When asked, Tri explained, “I’ve developed a deep connection with sound and sound design since I was very small. But to talk about music specifically, my interest in it began when I first listened to Pink Floyd when I was 15 years old and decided to pick up a guitar and learn how to play it.”

Tri was born and raised in Vietnam and came to the US when he was 17 years old as an international student. He talks about his early experiences with sound. "Sound played a big influence on me when I was a child, specifically when I saw Star Wars Episode VI on VHS for the first time when I was four. Despite not knowing any English then, I fell in love deeply with the film. And when looking back, I realized it was the sound that made such a huge impact on me."

Studying sound design at Seattle Central College was an important step in his career. He learned that sound design offered an array of professional possibilities that he wanted to pursue.

What was the class like?

Tri is a fan of the classroom experience. He says, “Sure, nowadays you can learn almost everything on the internet, but you also need direct guidance from people who know what they’re doing, competition/collaboration from your peers, and the right equipment; all of which you can find at Seattle Central. Plus it’s extremely affordable as well.”

At first, Tri was interested in music recording and mixing. Nowadays, sound design for motion pictures is his passion. He explains, "With music you only have music instruments as your palette; in sound design, you have the whole world as your palette."


Following is an an excerpt from an interview with Tri Nguyen by instructor Brian Kirk.

Tell us a little about your current career as a professional sound designer.

Tri: I have worked professionally as a Sound Designer since late 2015, after my graduation from The Art Institute of Atlanta with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Audio Production and an Academic Excellence Award (the school I attended after SCC).

During the time from 2016 to early 2018, I have been able to work on various exciting commercial as well as nonprofit projects. I was fortunate enough to work on over ten short films, three feature-length films and two TV shows. I have luckily won five awards plus three nominations in the category of Sound Editing.


In June 2018, I graduated from Savannah College of Art & Design with a Master Degree in Sound Design and immediately began my employment at Turner Studios, participating in numerous exciting projects for various Turner’s Networks such as Cartoon Network, TCM, NBAtv, etc.


My main focus is post production audio for motion pictures, specifically sound effects editing and sound design. However, I also possess a diverse skill set that can accommodate any audio needs, including but not limited to interactive audio, music production and most recently virtual reality.

What would you tell someone who wants to go to Seattle Central to learn audio production?

Tri: I’d definitely recommend going to Seattle Central as your first steps in this very competitive industry. Make the best out of everything, learn as much as you can, work hard, practice plenty, and be open to any opportunity to grow.

What’s next for you?

Tri: Short term goal would be to secure a full time position as a sound designer, in addition to working as a freelancer. Long term goal would be to take part in a big budget feature-length project as a sound editor or sound mixer.

Tri Nguyen is someone to watch (or listen to) in motion picture design. Keep an eye on the movie credits for his name. You can learn more about his work online:


"With music you only have music instruments as your palette; in sound design, you have the whole world as your palette."

Experience the Sound Studio

Did you know that Seattle Central College has a sound production and recording studio suite?

One room is a classroom fully equipped with leading edge computer software for audio production. The other is a recording studio where students can use professional recording equipment and technology. This is an amazing resource and asset for the arts community!

This fall, community members and musicians are invited to use this facility and participate in two courses offered by SCC's Continuing Education department:

Intro to Pro Tools: Sound Recording and Production
Taught by renowned musician Brian Kirk
8 Thursdays; 4/2/19 - 5/21/19; 7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Instructor Brian Kirk - Continuing Education at Seattle Central College
Music Instructor and renowned drummer Brian Kirk in Seattle Central College's sound studio in Broadway Performance Hall.