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Calum Bowen

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Hi,
My name is Calum and I've been lurking around here for a while. I am a student of music and am aiming to get into the games industry. I am currently working on two very small games productions and have experience of film/radio etc. but a deep understanding and love of game audio. Instead of babbling on I will show you a link to my website which at the moment is effectively my online CV: [url="http://www.calumbowen.com"]www.calumbowen.com[/url]

I am currently at the stage where i'm trying to move away from free work as I believe it is a hole i don't want to get stuck in! As I mentioned, i'm a student of music and so my training is in composition but I am trying to improve my production all the time so that I can be at a stage where I can independently produce professional quality work.

If anyone has any feedback about the website and it's content it would be greatly greatly appreciated!

This forum does a great job for informing lost souls like me - keep it up!

Calum


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Just to confirm, I am not offering myself up for jobs, just seeking advice on how to make myself more desirable to employers.
I realise that I am completely new here and I am asking for help before offering any to anyone else so I will go and get more involved in the community and hopefully receive some feedback another time.

Thank you,


Calum

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Hi Calum, I'm also a student of music, so I guess we're on the same ship. I wish I had your tier of equipment though! you got some pricy stuff there.

What I liked: you use a lot of thematic material (good thematic material, in fact) and you have a good repertoire. This is very valuable.

What needs improvement: your work on [b]separation[/b] and [b]mixing[/b]. You should be bolder with your mixes - this generally means using stronger compression and louder gains.
Taking for example that "Visual Novel Teaser 2" reel, the first part. The flute carrying the melody is not prominent enough. The rest of the voices don't seem to fill the soundscape as well, so you lose a lot of [b]weight[/b].
Take this track for reference: [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8ILhJCr60A"]http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Z8ILhJCr60A[/url] - notice the volume of the voices, and how 'present' or 'in place' everything is.
You need something mastered to the point where it should sound great even when played standalone, without a game or video to accompany it.

I also think another point that needs improvement is your website. It needs an [b]identity[/b]; put something on that blank background, and use divisions (HTML <div>) with background images for decoration. Use free web templates as reference if you can. This isn't really music related but speaks of design and presentation, concepts you can take to any artistical field.

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Hi Kryzon,

Thanks for the very detailed feedback. I definitely agree that mastering/mixing is something i'm currently working on. Hopefully I will be rapidly improving with each piece I make.
I will definitely need to do a lot of study to make my pieces as full and well defined as others are :). I'm very glad you think my material is good though!

The website too... hmm, yes I do think I ought to find my identity - i haven't even got an "about me" or "bio" section yet so I kind of don't exist much as a "brand" - which is a very important aspect of making this work!

Thanks again,

Calum

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Hi Calum,

Firstly you have a lot on great content on your site so I think that's definitely something you should be proud of. You have examples of re-scored films and games, provided music in articles and worked in many different types of projects which shows your versatility which is great. I particularly like the idea of your Pokémon inspired project!

I would echo the point made by Kryzon around improving the usability/navigation of the site. There is a fine line between minimalist layouts and blandness. As well as a bio section which you have mentioned below, I would also have a dedicated music page where you list out the entirety of your content in some logical format i.e. "re-scores", "projects" or something similar. Something akin to your "Samples" page but for all of your content. Also, as your site is effectively your online CV, I would create a demo reel of your music which really capitalises on the range of projects you have been involved with and music you have created (I know you did a demo reel of sorts for your visual novel project, but I would expand upon that idea for all your music). You could also do multiple demo reels for different aspects of your content if you think it'd be more appropriate. I think demo reels are a really useful way of getting your music heard efficiently - also easier to attach in emails if you're applying for anything etc.

With regards to the content of the actual music, Kryzon's critique is a lot more astute than mine. I enjoyed listening to everything and definitely agree that your thematic content is great. Your Pikachu piece was a standout favourite of mine.

Hope I haven't recycled too many of the comments made and this helps!

Matt

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[quote name='mattjavanshir' timestamp='1321784879' post='4885833']
Hi Calum,

Firstly you have a lot on great content on your site so I think that's definitely something you should be proud of. You have examples of re-scored films and games, provided music in articles and worked in many different types of projects which shows your versatility which is great. I particularly like the idea of your Pokémon inspired project!

I would echo the point made by Kryzon around improving the usability/navigation of the site. There is a fine line between minimalist layouts and blandness. As well as a bio section which you have mentioned below, I would also have a dedicated music page where you list out the entirety of your content in some logical format i.e. "re-scores", "projects" or something similar. Something akin to your "Samples" page but for all of your content. Also, as your site is effectively your online CV, I would create a demo reel of your music which really capitalises on the range of projects you have been involved with and music you have created (I know you did a demo reel of sorts for your visual novel project, but I would expand upon that idea for all your music). You could also do multiple demo reels for different aspects of your content if you think it'd be more appropriate. I think demo reels are a really useful way of getting your music heard efficiently - also easier to attach in emails if you're applying for anything etc.

With regards to the content of the actual music, Kryzon's critique is a lot more astute than mine. I enjoyed listening to everything and definitely agree that your thematic content is great. Your Pikachu piece was a standout favourite of mine.

Hope I haven't recycled too many of the comments made and this helps!

Matt
[/quote]

Thank you so much Matt. Music in articles? I'm afraid I don't know what you mean? Mmmm - yes i definitely agree that my website is a little bland. The homepage at the moment acts as a blog but perhaps it's most important to send people to the music straight away.

Demo reel too! I definitely agree. I'm a little anxious to do it as i'm not super keen on the quality of all my work but i should definitely put one together soon. At the moment i'm still at uni so I guess i'm busy with other things but i'm aching to get back to writing more! :)

Even recycling makes me feel good!

I really appreciate all the comments though,

I'll check out your stuff soon,

Calum

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The website was original but kinda hard no navigate. The music was amazing, like the chip tunes very classy! [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif[/img]

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