Earl Vickers is an American audio engineer and sound programmer known best for his work with Atari in the 1980s.
Vickers was introduced to music at an early age, and by the time he began college, he could already play the piano and guitar.
Vickers graduated from Duke University cum laude with a bachelors of science in electrical engineering. Vickers describes his time in college:
Vickers first foray into video games was at Bally Midway where he worked on the sound for a few games and even designed and programmed entire game called Spitfire (ARC) which involved spitting eyeballs at your opponent. The game was never released because management thought it was disgusting, especially with the digitized sound effects Vickers created.
From 1982 to 1988 Vickers worked at Atari Corporation as an engineer and programmer. During those six years Vickers developed many audio technologies including audio compression and decompression, multi-channel playback, and composite sine modeling synthesis for several of Atari's arcade games. In addition to audio engineering, Vickers also created sound effects for several games, recorded speech for several, and even composed music for a few.
Describing his work at Bally Midway and later Atari, Vickers said the following:
Starting in 1991, Vickers was working for Tengen, Atari's home console division, where he composed music and created sound effects for several Nintendo and Genesis games. In 1993, Atari was bought by Time Warner and Tengen was renamed to Time Warner Interactive. Vickers stayed with the company and continued to write music and create sound effects, but by 1996, Time Warner Interactive closed down as well.
From 1999 to 2000 Vickers was the senior audio DSP engineer at Aureal where he again worked as a programmer and designer of audio technology.
Vickers founded his own company in 2001 called The Sound Guy, Inc. It's a privately held small company that designs audio manipulation software like the SFX Machine Pro, and other sonic tools like ChatterBlocker. He continues to operate The Sound Guy to this day in San Francisco, California.
Vickers left Creative in 2004. In August of 2007, Vickers has been working as the Principal Audio Algorithm Engineer STMicroelectronics where he works on algorithm development for their various audio enhancement technologies.
Vickers describes his musical influences and taste as:
Earl used GEMS, but he originally used LSD.
Earl used the NES version of RPM.
With Star Wars (ARC) team.