Co-Founder, Syndicate 17; Adjunct Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Media & Games Division; Artist in Residence, Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Chanel Summers is an Audio Designer for Emergent Technology, an Educator, & an Interactive Audio Technologist.
Chanel Summers began her career as a pioneering designer and producer of video games, developing innovative products ranging from high-performance 3D vehicle simulations, to action/arcade platform games, to hardware peripherals while working at early industry-leading companies such as Mindscape, Velocity and Mattel Media.
Recruited to Microsoft in the late ’90s, Chanel was responsible for the release of that company’s first multiplayer internet game, Fighter Ace, a precursor to the rise of online gaming. Chanel was subsequently selected as the company’s first Audio Technical Evangelist, in which capacity she was responsible for launching innovative audio technologies such as DirectMusic (a revolutionary method of creating and delivering interactive music and sound design) and also dramatically increasing the use of Windows as a platform for audio creation. With the inception of Microsoft’s Xbox game system in 2000, Chanel was tapped to help design and promote the audio capabilities of the new hardware and to create the industry’s first support team for content creators: a team of graphic artists, sound designers, composers and game designers who would work with the development community, coaching game creators to take advantage of the capabilities presented by Xbox. As a result, Chanel became a widely recognized figure in leading industry organizations, as well as the published author of a number of articles and technical white papers
After leaving Microsoft, Chanel co-founded Syndicate 17, an audio technology and design consulting company that specializes in assisting highly innovative companies focusing on interactive audio to build industry-changing product. Syndicate 17 also writes and produces original scores, cues, and sound designs for everything from films and television shows to video games and web sites. Finally, the company also develops cutting-edge curriculum for educational programs around the world that are looking to find new methods of instruction in audio aesthetics and interaction design. In addition, Chanel is also a highly sought-after professional drummer, recording with and performing frequently in a number of nationally touring bands, working alongside such bands as Missing Persons, The Dreaming, Smile Empty Soul, The Last Vegas, Endless Hallway, and Vast, and showcasing in festivals ranging from CMJ to SXSW.
Chanel is a frequent lecturer at both music and technology industry events around the world, as well as at leading educational institutions, captivating audiences as diverse as TEDx, SXSW Interactive, the Game Developers’ Conference, MAGES at MAGFest, Trinity College (Dublin), SESAC, the Irish Music Rights Organization, the Seattle Interactive Conference, the Develop Conference, Girls Make Games, The Centre for Digital Media (Vancouver, BC), Queen Mary University of London, Lancaster University (HighWire Doctoral Training Centre), DYNAMICS School of Audio Engineering (Chennai, India), and the Dublin Institute of Technology – where she was also extended a formal invitation on behalf of the Academic Council of the school to formally act as an External Examiner for the MSc in Creative Digital Media program. Chanel sits on the advisory board for The Academy of Entertainment and Technology at Santa Monica College and the inaugural innovative audio conference A3E, and is a member of the 5D Institute, a cutting edge research organization exploring the future of narrative media through World Building.
Chanel recently served as a consulting Chief Product Officer for a technology start-up based in Ireland and consults for a variety of innovative technology companies. Chanel developed and teaches a new course at the University of Southern California’s Interactive Media & Games Division in the School of Cinematic Arts which focuses on the art and aesthetics of creating audio for video games and has worked with the USC faculty to create a dedicated minor in interactive audio for students looking to specialize in that area. Chanel serves as Artist in Residence at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart where she has been working with them to create programs that move the school towards a more technological, project-based, collaborative educational effort, including producing a series of summer workshops teaching students the aesthetics of audio for video game production and a blended/collaborative learning program incorporating American Literature and Sound Design. She is also a member of the Forest Ridge Innovation Task Force.