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

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[quote name='BradyHearn' timestamp='1329945514' post='4915660']
Thanks Nathan, thats all great advice, Im glad we have people like you on this board. I've been working on the 'getting my stuff out there' part lately to good success, if you have a sec, let me know what you think of my presentation www.bradyhearn.com
[/quote]

Your music is quite good! I enjoyed it! A tip though - turn off the autoplay. It can make clients and browsers upset if their speakers are turned up then suddenly music blasts at them. Another helpful tip would be to set the starting volume to around 70%. This way the user can turn it up if they so wish. Nice gallery - perhaps add some captions? Looks like you got to work with live musicians - awesome! :)

Other than that - your website is clean and simple to use. That's a good thing!

Cheers,

Nate

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Thanks so much Nate, I took care of the autoplay issue and went over to a Soundcloud widget, which is nice because it isnt flash, so people can play my reels with ipads and iphones. Im not sure if they have a volume control on soundcloud, but thats a good idea too, since Ive been limiting my music to -0.1 dB, so it does come off as fairly loud. Also, over the past 2 weeks Ive had access to Lawrence Manchester's (howard shore's mixer) studio, so Ive taken the opportunity to to bounce every stem from my reel and remix in his studio after-hours, its made a big difference because I could actually hear clearly, both the high and low ends.

Thanks again Nate!

Regards,

Brady

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Really great advice all around - particularly the list of recommended reading near the beginning, Nate!

Feel free to listen to my current audioreels as linked in my signature. Would love any kind of feedback as I'm just starting out properly as a composer for video games and film :)

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I want to add my thanks for all of your advice Nate. I just landed my first paying job and am very excited. Everything on this site gave me a good foundation and reading Aaron Marks' book has been amazing. It has helped me every step of the way with getting this job, and now working on getting the contract ready. Thanks for suggesting this gem of a book! Edited by Bakuda

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Nice article! Just found out about this website and it already gave me some usefull information.

 

I have been playing games and making music for about 10 years and just realized i would like my music in a video game one day :)

 

This is a good place to start reading up on some stuff I am not yet familiar with.

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Hi, I like the article very much

 

I was googling a lot to find next steps for me but I wasn't able to find clear answer

so then I thought gamedev has great community lets ask them

that's basically how I got here and this topic is basically what I'm interested in so I didn't created another one.

 

Just to give more information about me I'm software engineer. I wouldn't say that I'm very skilled game developer but I'm highly skilled in coding

and I'm very passionate about game development.

I'm also playing guitar and composing simple music on it ( I'm good with blues improvisation :D ).

I don't see myself as performer but fact that I enjoy creating something new ( I mean anything ) give me most pleasure and enjoyment makes

me think that I should at least try myself in game music creation

but I'm nowhere right now. I'm reading articles about "game music creation" , "game sound engineering" .etc

also having fun in FL studio.

problem is that I don't even know what is the official name of game music creation if such name exists

I also don't have clear image how people create game music do they do it completely in DAW or do they records ?  ( probably depends on case ).

so I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to provide some guidance ( links, videos .etc ) of

how people do it what they use and what knowledge they need

also it will be very useful if you provide resources for learning these stuff and also other suggestions will be priceless

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This was such a good read, thanks a lot Nathan and thanks to everyone else sharing their experience. I just ordered some of the books that were recommended but this thread alone gave me a lot to consider and reflect upon.

Cheers,

Patrick

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On 7/27/2008 at 5:32 PM, nsmadsen said:

Hahaha, well actually I'm not an alcoholic, but I did write silly, stupid songs at my start. :) Glad you liked the post!

Nate

 

On 9/12/2008 at 1:18 AM, Kaiyoti said:
Quote:

This is a good point. Sure anyone can make music in their bedroom, but the truth is that most of it is very bland, ordinary, and sounds like a copy of some well-known music made by someone in a bedroom with no budget and half the skill. Orchestral music is some of the easiest to spot in this case. A trained ear can instantly hear someone's skill and experience when they write orchestral music either on a sequencer or record it live (and it has little to do with the quality of the samples). A non-trained ear may not be as critical, but it can instantly recognize the superior product when two tracks are compared.

Having the tools to make music doesn't make someone a decent composer any more than buying a hammer and saw makes you a carpenter. Anyone can pound a nail, but I wouldn't want just anyone building my house. As Madsen has stressed there is a lot of skill and learning involved in becoming a good musician. Someone who has put in those years of effort is much less likely to want to work for free, but that person probably won't sound like the free composer either!

 

 


When I pointed out the bedroom studios, I should've mentioned that in the current digitally-packed world, being a musician is different then before. If you can still pull off live-recordings, then you're golden. But these days, everyone does music composition on electronic equipments or software. "Composing", is only a minor part to music arrangement. Producing is the major part. It's a common misconception to think that higher quality samples = producing. Like muzo said, samples play very little in producing. Game developers and film directors can only go as far as hearing that high quality sound, as opposed to how well the mix actually is. That means anyone can sound awesome to the director/developers. It's not hard for anyone to run their midi music through these softwares, get a domain, slap on a banner that says [name], composer for TV/Film/Game and "join" this industry. So it doesn't matter if you have 10 years training spent in RCM institute, if you are willing to do digital music composition, then you need to learn how to produce, mix, tweak, master your sound.

Good analogy with the carpentry. Which is why I don't ever call myself a composer, because I think it's an joke/insult to the big guys. A suitable title is a "musician" who composes... It's a silly thing to think but that's how I'll show my respect for them. Not everyone deserves the "composer" title. My analogy had always been that just because you cook doesn't make you a chef. What would the world be when people can call themselves chef just because they can make instant noodles. And no, cooking is not a common knowledge either, some people don't cook at all. I also don't believe in the variant degrees of level like "amateur" or "professional" composer. You're either one or not. Digital music composition is not an art anymore, it's a skill. And it requires more than you can imagine. You do NOT need the "composer" title to be hired to work on projects, what matters the most is the demo's and samples.

I realize how very demotivating my posts can be (rendering the original topic useless)... don't be. They're just subjective opinions and suggestions.

[Edited by - Kaiyoti on September 11, 2008 7:18:35 PM]

 

 

well,  I'm not an alcoholic but I was written stupid songs at my starting. :) I like the post.
Nate

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