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Member Since 10 Sep 2008
Offline Last Active Sep 20 2008 04:37 PM

#4311183 Starting your career as a composer-sound designer (FAQ and answers)

Posted by Kaiyoti on 10 September 2008 - 01:00 AM

Original post by ndatxcod
Great tips, I was wondering which books about composing/arranging theory you would recommend.

I think composers at first should be willing to work for free on projects to get experience and to put their name out there so you can point and say "there I made the music of that game".

Having said that I'm looking for some music for my project [grin] <evil laugh>.

These are great tips, however, I do think that the common fallacy that most music composers is that as soon as they think they have the ability to make music, they want to be in the industries. Hopefully I don't offend anyone, but there are people with years of professional experience but still create terrible material. Experience doesn't mean everything. Even before trying to "work for free", composers should really spend some time just learning and building that custom trademark sound. Really, I'd hate to see good games with low budgets ruined with poor music production values. Most established composers today (people like... Jeremy Soule, Jesper Kyd, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Trevor Rabin, etc) have their signature style. Unless you're just doing it for the money, then disregard that point.

I'm not remotely a professional music arranger (I refrain from calling myself a composer because I believe that's only reserved for the people who are the real deal) but so far, I've never really had to sell myself, if you have some sort of profile up somewhere (soundclick, ctgmusic, myspace, etc...) people will generally discover you. I've had quite a bit of people requesting music for various projects. What have I learned from this? I prefer making my personal music tracks... because it's more flexible and creative, and you learn better. Most projects have certain requirements on the type of music you create, which limits you to that freedom. If I can work with a project, it's great, but I prefer ones without the tight deadlines. I like to think that ever track I do, I'm making progress towards my custom sound.

People are usually worried about building up those "credits" section in their portfolio or resume and just getting their names in projects as opposed to actually making some good music. If you're a director for a movie or game, and you're looking to hire some musician, you'll probably be more concerned about the person's style rather than what the person "can" do. For instance, I certainly don't think someone like Hans Zimmer would ever do a space sci-fi movie or a western cowboy film (although those would be interesting).

Composers probably won't like my post very much since my opinion may insult or challenge people's abilities... but to my defense, this is simply a matter of opinion. I have no intention of becoming a full-time composer (not anytime soon anyway) so my ideals probably only work for me.

[Edited by - Kaiyoti on September 10, 2008 7:00:11 AM]