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Trevuar25

Composer's Question

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Hey I've been composing for around 5 or 6 years or so and I love doing it, but I had never had the opportunity to compose for a game, I finally found a game to work on. The game is a free RPG coming out(Chronicles of Forensia) like December or so. I'm the main person composing the music, I wrote the main theme and I'm finishing up like 6 battle themes. I wrote the "game over" music, and I will probably have like around 30 mins of songs or more that I am doing for free. when the title releases I just asked that he put me in the credits as a composer. My question is how could I go from doing free projects to get people to pay me to do this? I love composing more than most things in life! another question is do you think that it is a good idea to just compose for free a few times to get your name out there like I did? if you want to hear the main theme I wrote it's at This Link

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You're asking how fast you can go from doing this for free to doing this for a job or at least payment per contract?

That really depends on your skill, how well you network and market yourself. I've been very lucky and a year to the day I started chasing this dream for real (I know, very uncanny) I was offered a full time position doing music and sound. I love it too! Before that I was able to land some large projects and get my name out there. I think the best solution is to get a few titles on your resume and really strive to learn as much as you can about this job.

You could even start charging now, but you might want to charge on the lower end. I view rates as a ratio to how much experience and credentials does the person have, and how good is their music (or product). I don't charge as much as a 20-year professional does because I don't have as many years put in.

But I'm getting off track.

I'd set up a great demo reel, I mean the best stuff you've got. Then start marketing yourself like mad. Take projects on and always try your best to get a positive vibe about you out in the market. If you haven't, I'd read Aaron Marks' book "The Complete Guide to Game Audio". While this isn't a book on how to write songs, it is a great book on how to run your own business as a composer or sound designer.

I'd also attend every clinic, master class and convention you can afford. Not only are these great networking possibilities, but you can learn some really great skills and techniques from some of the masters!

Your passion sounds great, now all you have to do is put in the time and effort.

Best of luck to you!

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Oh and one more thing, I don't know what you're educational background is but if you are about to enter into college I'd really recommend getting a music-related degree. While someone can be a great composer without a formal education, I've found that having the musical education I have has really helped me write better, stronger music. It is also easier for me to know how to fix something, because I have the musical theory and training and my ear is good.

So, if you're about to go into college, seriously consider a music-related degree. The exposure, study and approaches to music that you'll learn at a good music school can really make the difference!

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Quote:
Original post by nsmadsen
While someone can be a great composer without a formal education, I've found that having the musical education I have has really helped me write better, stronger music. It is also easier for me to know how to fix something, because I have the musical theory and training and my ear is good.


I'll second this. I sometimes get hired to arrange and orchestrate for people who don't have an education. When I see some of the mistakes they make and difficulties they have, I sometimes really pity them.

I'll also throw in one caveat. Getting a degree will not guarantee you a job. There are far more people getting degrees in music than there are jobs in the music industry. It can be a tough road, but with a bit of skill and some luck you can make a living.

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Thank you very much for your feedback, I am trying to find more projects but even finding an opportunity to compose for free is hard! well I am off to find more projects!!!


THANKS A TON!!!

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Quote:
Original post by Muzo72
Quote:
Original post by nsmadsen
While someone can be a great composer without a formal education, I've found that having the musical education I have has really helped me write better, stronger music. It is also easier for me to know how to fix something, because I have the musical theory and training and my ear is good.


I'll second this. I sometimes get hired to arrange and orchestrate for people who don't have an education. When I see some of the mistakes they make and difficulties they have, I sometimes really pity them.

I'll also throw in one caveat. Getting a degree will not guarantee you a job. There are far more people getting degrees in music than there are jobs in the music industry. It can be a tough road, but with a bit of skill and some luck you can make a living.


There's a course at the HKU in Utrecht, the Netherlands which is essentially just that. 'Composing for the Media', it's called. Translated (which may not be that correct anyway):

"The education BMus Composition for the Media will train you as a composer for film, telivision, theatre, dance, animation, documentaire, radio, internet, games or DvD-Rom (whatever that last one means, I haven't got a clue). You will use modern musicproductional tools.

What will you Learn:
- composing, arranging, and instrumenting
- using the musical abilities of technological tools
- musical education and attention for sound (that's that good ear and all)
- knowledge and skills around productionprocesses, investigation and development, working together, rapporting, publicing and presenting.
- You will learn to deliver compositions of high quality within a given amount of time and budget"

I think I'm gonna go there after high-school (only two years now :D) Does it seem any good, or would you guys still prefer a conservatorium above this one?

Quote:
Thank you very much for your feedback, I am trying to find more projects but even finding an opportunity to compose for free is hard! well I am off to find more projects!!!


THANKS A TON!!!


Good luck Trevuar25! I'm in the same boat as you are. Apparently I did something good, because a couple of weeks ago someone contacted me, saying he got me from an older project (of a friend), and he'd like me as a composer. :D Yay!

Oh, and I'll second NMadsen's recommendation for Aaron Marks' book.

-Stenny

[Edited by - stenny on August 17, 2007 2:45:43 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by stenny
Does it seem any good, or would you guys still prefer a conservatorium above this one?


It's hard to say without knowing the quality of the instructors and looking at the actual cirriculum. Visit the school and compare it with others. Make sure you are getting a well-rounded education. Remember, this industry may have changed so much by the time you get into the workforce that you won't recognize it.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of music programs that focus on film, games, or media. I say focus your efforts on being a good musician. That's what's really needed. The other, technical skills like audio formats, sequencing programs, and frame rates are always changing and can be learned from a good book or sometimes just by reading a manual. Its easier to learn (and teach) the technical aspects. That's partly why so many media scoring degrees are popping up. It's not hard to find teachers with technical know-how, and potential students see it as a fast track into a competitive industry.

(Sidenote: I laugh out loud at some of the advertisements for schools claiming you'll get a 4-year degree in just 3 or so. They claim to cut out all those "unnecessary" classes. [headshake])

I think of it this way: If you want to become an author you don't start by studying Microsoft Word, current industry publishing and printing practices and font styles. You study how to develop a story and how to use language to be descriptive or create a mood. You study the works of other respected authors to learn what techniques they used. You also try to get a broad education so that you have a good understanding of things which you may write about. From all that knowledge you build your own way of writing and hopefully develop a style.

That's not a quick easy road, but I think you can see the benefit. Education should be about more than just job training.

[Edited by - Muzo72 on August 17, 2007 3:38:51 PM]

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Thanks mate.

Quote:
I think of it this way: If you want to become an author you don't start by studying Microsoft Word, current industry publishing and printing practices and font styles. You study how to develop a story and how to use language to be descriptive or create a mood. You study the works of other respected authors to learn what techniques they used. You also try to get a broad education so that you have a good understanding of things which you may write about. From all that knowledge you build your own way of writing and hopefully develop a style.

I do seem to get your point there. From what I have seen this course is quite what I'm looking for. They gave some examples of courses in the first year, and only one had to do with computers and tech. The other were Soundstudy, sounddescription, eartraining, musicanalysis, etc.

You áre absolutely right though, the quality of the teachers is of grave importance. I'll go have a look when they have those 'come-and-have-a-lookie'-days.

Thanks again

-Stenny

EDIT:
I found an URL with english content:
click

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