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Megs

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  1. Hey guys, I'm doing a research project for my internship class. I'm supposed to choose a specific career and then interview someone in it and tour their workplace. I had a person that I was going to interview but it fell through at the last moment, and now I'm having trouble finding someone on such short notice.   Is there anybody who works in the Bay Area who I could interview about sound design, specifically sound effects, field recording, or foley? It would be a short interview, maybe 15 minutes, combined with a tour of the workplace that could be given by someone else if you're busy. I would love to be able to get this done before it's due on Tuesday morning.   I know most people here are freelance and that might work, but I don't know how you'd feel about the tour if it's in your house, just something to keep in mind (but I promise I'm a good person!). If anyone has any leads, if you can't personally do it but know someone who might be able to, please feel free to message me. Thanks so much for reading this!
  2. Thanks! I'm just wrapping up the last project for this class, making a song (writing a song?), and then the final next Thursday. So glad to have time to start getting some actual projects outside of class done! Also Ollie, I do have a banjo but I'm not good at it! But you're right, I think it could have been that hypothetical, although he definitely wanted it based in reality. Since the path I described in my paper was leaning more towards sound effects, I didn't really think overmuch about the things I could do if I focused more on music. I have sooo much more learning to do in that area :)
  3. Haha Tom! I'm not feeling sorry for myself but it does come off that way since I was trying to explain my situation. I really wasn't expecting sympathy, how could I, it's not like it's a big deal. I just wanted people to know why I was asking about something so random. I know that I can do something about it I was just wondering where I should look; also I DO love to ramble, it's something I know about myself :)    I guess I will try to figure out something freelance then if I focus on a particular area. I was mostly asking if there are part time QA jobs. I haven't found any.
  4. I am wondering if there is such a thing as a part time job in the industry. The reason I ask is because the people I live with are unexpectedly moving in a few months (I pay nearly nothing in rent and that's not an exaggeration). I am currently in school full time and have a part time job (that I sort of love). I absolutely do not make enough to afford a place to live, and my current job can't offer me more. I've been with my company for 6 years and they have been really good to me, I am the only person in my department. Still I've been going to school so I can change industries (from theater to games) and that is my eventual goal, but I really don't have any one specific skill to show off.   Basically I'm looking at getting a second part time job once school is out so I can possibly start making enough money to get a place of my own before I'm uprooted. I would not want to leave my current job without giving them time to find someone that I could train to replace me. Are there any part time jobs available in this industry? I would consider getting a retail job or something but I have zero experience and at this point I'm pretty old, plus I would be making less per hour which is a little hard. I want to at least get started in games during this time when I am forced to find extra employment.   Any suggestions? I know this is the absolutely lamest and loseriest story ever told, but it's just how things are. I decided to go back to school (almost right after graduating too) to get enough technical knowledge to change careers, and had to move back in with "my parents" basically. I had a job that offered great pay and super flexible hours and I've never had a problem with it, in fact I love the company and the people I work with, except that I don't love what I actually do (kind of the opposite really :/ ).   Any suggestions for what I could do would be awesome, creative suggestions on how to make money freelance even. Like I said, I really don't have any particular skill. I can do a little bit of almost everything but that's about it. You can check out my completely unfinished "portfolio" that I just started building if you want proof.   I guess I could just quit my job and burn my bridges there, but it would really break my heart to have to do it so soon.   EDIT: I thought I should add that I live in San Francisco.
  5. So what I put on my list ended up not taking up the whole budget (which ended up being around $30,000 -- a pretty ridiculous amount of money for someone like me to picture spending) but it actually got pretty close. Here's what it included: a Mac pro (I grew up in a Mac family, don't hate me PC people), monitors and sub, Reaper, Logic, Motu ultralite mk3, Tascam dr100, Rode nt1a, Rode ntg2, Rycote windshield, some headphones, and a budget for any extras like stands and cables. Well I had hella money left over so I put a bunch of extra crap in there like Sound Ideas 6000 combo, East West Complete Composers Collection (like I would need all that right now...!), and Waves sound design suite. Then I included web hosting, and a traveling budget to take up the most of what was left.   Honestly it's so unrealistic but I just did what the project told me to. I think it might have been more geared towards musicians, since they would want so much more hardware than me. If I had maybe focused on one thing like recording sound effects I might have been able to focus more and just list a bunch of mics and a better recorder and power supply. But I had a more general idea so I put a bit of everything on the list.       Yeah I finished it pretty quickly after getting over my initial hump. Heh. So true about the teaching thing, but unfortunately I'm not a musician at all. I will try harder!     Edit: I just wanted to give a big thank you to everyone who helped me out on here, and all those people I emailed who probably will never see this (don't worry I thanked them in the emails). You guys are all awesome and I can't thank you enough for taking the time out of your day to help!
  6.   Well technically I think this is up for us to decide individually. The name of the assignment is "project studio" so to me that means it's not like a full blown studio built in your basement. The class I took previous to this one required a book that had all the info on how to build a studio like this, so if I had wanted to do that for this project I at least could have referenced something to know what I needed. But yeah. I mean some of the people in this class already have a home studio, so I imagine that their paper would be more about turning it into a professional studio. Who knows? But for me I would be starting out with nothing.   It's actually a pretty small paper (hard for me since I like to ramble), I think he said he wants it under 1000 words, and less if possible, but he has a giant list of questions we have to answer. We just have to do it as concisely as possible. Plus there is the shopping list part of it. I'm already finished (I better be, it's due in an hour and half).     This definitely occurred to me recently and I scrapped the idea of a second paper to see about that. In my first paper I depended on my part time job to pay my cost of living at the very least, so that all of the estimated income from the studio could be spent on building it. So figuring out the all my cost of living expenses sounded like an annoying waste of time when I had already written it. Although it's something I would love to figure out if I had more time.   Scotland sounds like my kind of place :)
  7.   Yeah that makes a lot of sense :/    Ugh that is so terrible about the lawsuit. Some people man...
  8. This makes a lot of sense to me, I didn't know for sure if you could legally work like that but it is good to know you can. I can see wanting to do it a bit further on like you said. Thanks so much! :)
  9. Blowing my mind over here! I would love to know the answer to this haha! So if you have a 9-5 job and have a DAW at work, do you still need a studio at home? I mean obviously you would want to work on stuff in your free time for yourself, but I sort of don't think the paper has that in mind (unfortunately). I suppose if I worked at a big game company with a cushy (sometimes) job I could still use the studio at home for recording and editing my own sound effects library (that's something I'm really interested in doing). That's really something I need to think about. I kind of already wrote the paper with freelance in mind but I might start writing a second paper with this new idea. Still I'm not entirely sure that it fits the premise of building a DAW for a career... It would help to have the home studio in this case but it wouldn't be the main workstation... And hey I fully think being too hot is an excuse for anything. Native San Franciscan here though, man do I hate the heat. EDIT: I forgot to answer your other questions. This section could get long... The specifics of the paper are we have to explain our career, what we would be doing and with what equipment, our clientele, how we would find them and contact them and how much they pay and how, explain in detail our day to day work in and out of the studio, and then what we would plan to do after one year is up (in terms of expanding our business and our studio etc.). On top of the paper we have to use our estimated yearly income (deciding whether or not we would have a day job to pay our living expenses or whether we would use the money from our studio to support ourselves [if so break down what expenses we will need to cover with it]) to build, all at once, our "project studio". We have to create a shopping list with list prices as well as deals we can find, to match that income/budget. I hate even talking about this because I think my teacher is a genius for coming up with this paper and I hate to just give it all away, but at the same time I wish all of my teachers required a paper like this so I think it's maybe a worthwhile idea to steal/ spread around. I am studying a generic "game development" certificate at the local junior college, I'm not looking to get my masters or really even complete the certificate. I just wanted to learn which area of games I'm most interested in. Still having a hard time deciding, but even though I don't WANT to do QA (playing buggy games is one of my least favorite things to do -- sometimes I wait a year after a game has come out to even buy it) I honestly think I would be really good at it (I love complaining about things! J/k). But I am studying art, audio, game design, a little programming, animation, storyboarding, everything I can think of. I have a variety of interests :)
  10.   That is so interesting, I had no idea it had to be that much. Your friend was smart to do it that way, but I can imagine it would be really scary while it was happening to all of a sudden be in debt that much. He must have really good credit now! Haha. Yeah I do find the premise of the paper to be a little backwards for me and how I might choose to do something, but dropping over 30K on a simple studio is a hella fun assignment now that I've actually gotten to that part of it.       Thanks so much for this advice guys. I don't know a lot about sample libraries yet but for this paper I am planning on "buying" some, so I will definitely keep in mind the quality aspect. I am pretty poor but $500 doesn't scare me (maybe that's why I'm poor...?)     I was actually thinking about this before and forgot to ask about it. In order to become freelance do you have to set yourself up as a business or anything? Or can you work as a contractor without having your own business? This is not something I've looked for online yet so there might be a handy forum post about it that I should look at.   Thanks again!
  11. Sounds pretty rough :/ having to spend time doing your own QA and then not even being able to be there to make sure the changes get made. Yeah I would much rather be involved with the implementation now that I realize it's kind of like doing the final mix of everything. That really sounds like it could be a nightmare (for myself), but I guess maybe I'd just have to learn to let things go. Thanks for that insight! 
  12.   I read a few other topics where implementation came up, and I was wondering how you did that if it was distance. It makes sense that it would be for local clients. I think I might be in a good area for that (San Francisco). Also thanks for the file sharing info, it was something I realized I forgot to ask about :)     This makes absolute sense, I think I would be using mics a lot. But knowing myself I would also want a number of plug ins and samples if I were doing music, since I don't play any instruments.    And yes, that part of the assignment sort of confused me. It seems like what he is saying is we are calculating this number in order to take out a loan (or know how much we need to have saved up) so that we can spend this money all at once -- which seems a pretty extreme to me -- and then be out of debt within a year. That last question is definitely something he wants us to address in the paper though.    Thank you thank you thank you for you response, this really helps me out a lot!
  13. Thank you so much! Yeah I kind of thought I was overthinking it after I started writing it, and I figured I could just guess. The problem was I really had no idea what even the ballpark range for amount of sound effects for a game. But I think I could guess that it was sort of a lot. I have to admit it's been a long time since I used excel for calculations but I will mess around with it.    At least I know that I wasn't completely off with the numbers I had been just randomly guessing I could get. I mean, assuming this world was perfect and I could get exactly as much work as I wanted... Hah   Sorry I asked so much, I was just trying to get it all out there. When I was emailing people I started out with just a few questions and tried to get them to warm up and get conversational, that's more my style, but by the time there were a few emails back and forth and I started really asking the important stuff they would just sort of... stop answering haha. I felt like I had learned my lesson about starting off with the small questions.   Thanks so much for the input!
  14. So maybe people don't want to answer, that's fine. Honestly I can just come up with random prices for things and feel ok with that, even though we are supposed to provide sources for our information. I have looked around enough that I feel I could justify the price I come up with.   The stuff I am really looking for is how many clients per month. Is it one? Or more like 10? I just have no idea.   Other questions I have are how do they pay you, would you be on a payroll and receive a paycheck, or do you charge with PayPal or something? Do you usually meet them in person or just talk over email or the phone? Is there some sort of cool computer program you use to talk and share documents and stuff? When I say "you" I mean you individually, I am not assuming that you speak for everyone.   When it comes to actually creating the studio, what are the most important things to have the latest version of? I would assume that it would be the software, if anything, so please correct me if I'm wrong. What are the most important things to spend money on? Microphones or monitors? Or an expensive interface?   Now I'm just putting up more questions hoping someone will respond... ; _ ;  I know, it hasn't even been 12 hours yet! Maybe I'm just procrastinating.
  15. Hi everybody, I waited a long time to start this topic because I spent so long looking at archives and trying to find any references that I could find. Now I'm a little concerned I waited too long..   Anyway, I am writing a paper for a class (due Thursday ._. ). The assignment is to choose a career that requires a DAW and figure out how much you could make in a year, and then "build" a home studio with the budget based on your projected income. I am having a really hard time with this.    I should explain that I am not involved in the game industry (unless spending money and hours playing games counts -- hah) but I would like to be someday. I don't know what I would want to do, besides knowing that I want to be involved in the creation of them (that could be art, audio, QA, or anything really). I would be changing careers; I have my BA in lighting design for theater and I'm just not wanting to do it anymore. That's why I'm back in school (just at a community college) trying to see if I could fit myself anywhere in video games.    Hence this audio class, and this assignment that I am finding so hard. I have no audio experience besides this class (being a lighting person since I was 14, audio has always really intimidated me).    So the whole paper revolves around what we would use the project studio for, and I suppose since I would be owning this DAW I would be doing freelance work. I assume my clientele would be indie game developers. I think I can get through the part of the paper where I talk about marketing myself and the operating costs of doing so and the shopping list to build the studio. But in order to get to those parts I have to estimate my gross monthly income. And we are supposed to acknowledge that this will be the beginning of our career and not the peak of it.   I don't write music but for the purposes of this project let's pretend that I will be offering music as well as sound effects (which I am more comfortable with at this point) in order to make myself more qualified for this sort of work. I will also pretend that I have talent in this area; meaning potential to have a future in this business, even though I would have zero experience. So I figure I could give myself semi competitive pricing and get away with it here. I'm not entirely sure what that would be, so I'll just throw some figures out there and anyone can tell me if I'm crazy wrong.   Let's say I charge $300 for a minute of music (exclusive) and $50 per SFX. I know that this is high for someone who is just starting out and probably way too high for indie game developers too, so is it super unrealistic to put these prices into the project? Remember this is supposed to be the price for the whole year. I could put $150 per minute and $25 per SFX and feel like those might be more realistic for someone at my level (or even too high still, but I'm not a kid anymore so I know how I value my time, and even at this price it seems like almost giving it away), and then I would have to work a LOT more to be able to make a decent amount of money. Any input here?   Ok so that is one question, but the harder part for me that I can't seem to find any information on is how many clients I can expect to get in a month. Obviously this is a lame question because it seems like you can't expect any clients at all if you don't market yourself well (but let's pretend I do -- any advice given here will not be spurned though!).   So not only do I have to estimate the amount of clients I could get, but how many minutes of music and SFX they would need. Any help here? I can't seem to find any specific information anywhere; in order to get more information from developers you have to be looking for the job, and most audio people don't tend to share that sort of information (from my limited experience scouring forums and emailing people).   Other info we can put into the paper are related streams of income from our studio, so I'm thinking voice over work/ recording, film audio, animation.. anything else? Are the prices about the same for stuff like that? I guess voice over is priced totally differently, does anyone know anything about how you would price that or sell it if I were to sell voice overs?   I will keep looking around and emailing people even though it hasn't been too helpful, and I guess I will start trying to make up numbers and just get the paper written for now, and I can adjust figures and what I would be able to buy with it later on. Thanks so much   EDIT: I just wanted to add that you can PM me (I think?) if you don't want to put anything up publicly.