Alumna Interview: Kerry McKenna – A1 Audio Engineer at Riot games

1. Can you tell us about your journey so far and current role?

Sure! At the moment I am an A1 Audio Engineer working from Riot Games’ new Remote Broadcast Centre out in Airside, Swords. I first got into outside-broadcast (OB) audio when I applied for a job with NEP Ireland. Once I began it was a very steep learning curve, completely different to anything I had previous experience with. Within a couple of months, I was up to ‘guarantee’ standard. In the OB industry, sound guarantees are the people who make sure that all incoming and outgoing feeds are correctly assigned, such as transmission audio that will be sent via satellite to broadcasters around the world, and localised audio feeds to other OB trucks in the compound. We also do the majority of the audio patching – both soft patches and hard patches. One of the major roles of a guarantee is communications – we will be in charge of the talkback system within a truck, as well as ensuring talkback to various broadcasters outside of the truck.

I was stationed out in NEP’s base in Wicklow until April of this year when I took on my current role in Riot Games RBC. What is very interesting about the RBC is that it is all IP based – so it is a completely different way of working. It was exciting to learn a new system and how to implement standards like SMPTE 2110, JPEG XS and AES67 into our workflows. It’s the first of its kind, which is very exciting to have right here in Ireland.

2. Who are Riot Games?

Riot Games is a video game developer, publisher and esports tournament organizer. What I work in is the esports side. Riot Games produce video games such as League of Legends, Wild Rift and Valorant. These games are huge and have become competitive across the world.
We use the RBC to broadcast esports tournaments globally.

3. What did you enjoy most about your time at Pulse College and Dublin?

I enjoyed the atmosphere the most in Pulse. Everyone was friends with everyone. I met some fantastic people there with whom I’m still close today. Also – nothing made me happier than hearing Ken Haughton sing my name and air guitar every time he saw me!

4. You were also the Studio Assistant/Intern at Windmill Lane Recording Studios. What was that like?

Hmm. That’s a bittersweet question. It was the most challenging role I’ve held. The work hours were very long, and my social life suffered from it – but I can say that I got the best experience from working there – an experience that has helped me get to where I am now – as well as meeting some amazing people that I have stayed friends with since I have left Windmill.

5. What are the most challenging aspects of the industry today facing graduates?

I think the most challenging aspects are that it is such a broad industry – so many different areas that you could specialise in. There are some areas that I never even heard of until I left college and was working in the industry. The big one I think is broadcast audio. I never even heard of an outside broadcast until I applied for a job with NEP. As well as that, it’s a completely different way of working as opposed to working in a studio environment or live sound. But if students were taught the basics of broadcast audio in their studies it would set them up for bright futures within that industry. It is booming in Ireland at the minute, with opportunities across all areas of broadcast.

6. What’s next for you?

I would love to progress further in my current position, maybe running a department full of awesome soundies!

7. What is your proudest achievement to date?

Haha! If I’m to be truthful, my proudest achievement is being promoted to godmother to my beautiful niece Orla 🙂 But I should probably say something related to audio, right?! My proudest achievement in my career is probably working in the role I am currently in. It’s so exciting to be the first audio engineer to work in a facility like Riot Games RBC, and I’m extremely proud of being chosen to work there and of all the work I have done in making the audio department run smoothly.


For more information about Pulse College please contact Emma O’Brien in admissions.

e. emma [dot] obrien [at] pulsecollege [dot] com
t. +353 1 4784045
20 Ringsend Road, Dublin 4, Ireland.