Tell us a little about yourself and what you do for a living?
I am a composer and sound designer for games, TV, film, trailers, animation and other media. I’m also the author of a couple of children’s books (in the works). I’m married and have two sons.
What is your niche or speciality, that makes you stand out from rest of the audio professionals?
Well, it’s become apparent to me lately that I specialize in children’s music and sound lol. The projects are always a lot of fun and I get to create audio in a wide variety of styles. On the other
hand, I also specialize in the more “epic” and dark trailer type cues.
Can you give us a brief summary of the equipment you use regularly?
I’m a PC guy right now. My main controller in the studio is a Korg M50 (88). I have a Michael Kelly acoustic/electric guitar. I’m using the iPad more and more these days as well.
What are your go-to plug-ins and software? (virtual instruments, audio processing etc.)
Right now my main DAW is Cakewalk Sonar X1 Producer. I also occasionally use Reason. As far as sounds, I use IK Multimedia’s Philharmonik, EWQL Symphonic Orchestra, Dimension Pro, a Korg M50, Rapture, Sampletank 2.5, Sonic Synth 2, a lot of freeware synths with their own character and sound, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch!
When do you find you are most creative?
Definitely nighttime. But I’m usually pretty good at “turning it on” when there’s a deadline.
What is your usual process for creating audio content for games, films etc.?
Well the first step is discussing the project with the developer, director, producer, etc. Then I like to get a hold of any visuals that are available for inspiration. I like to have an audio asset list sent to me when possible as well. Then if it’s music, I’ll listen to any reference music they mention and start hashing out ideas. If it’s a sound design project, it’s usually a combination of recording new source material and sifting through my collections.
Are there any particular secrets to your creativity?
Good question! I think one thing I try to do is stay inspired and passionate about music and sound. I never want to get jaded or bored.
Do you have any audio creation techniques that resulted in something interesting?
I’m always finding new ways to capture and manipulate sound. I’ll try anything. There are a few techniques I seem to gravitate to but they’ve become almost subconscious so it’s hard to say. Experimentation is important though (for both sound design and music).
Any specific “lessons learned” on a project that you could share? How much time do you have?!
Lol. I’ve actually been very fortunate. I hear horror stories all the time. I’ve made plenty of mistakes but a couple that stick out are 1. Never rush. If you need more time, ask for it. 2. Don’t assume. Ask questions…lots of them if needed. Don’t worry about sounded “dumb” or anything. You’ll save a lot of time if you get clear requirements upfront.
Any tips, hints or motivational speeches for the readers?
Besides the above, I’d say to try and go above and beyond whenever possible. At the same time, don’t let anyone take advantage of you. If someone asks for revisions, do them. We have to remember it’s their “baby”. We may think we nailed a music cue or sound effect. But for whatever reason the client may not. It’s their call :) Above all, stay passionate and excited about what you do! We truly are fortunate to make music and sounds for a living. Or, if it’s not your living yet, you’re still very fortunate to have your gifts and talents.