Cedric Baravaglio interview

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Tell us a little about yourself and what you do for a living?

My name is Cedric Baravaglio (my nickname is Cirkle), new in this awesome composers community, I am not a full time composer yet, but I plan to become one. For now, I`m working as a nurse in Geneva Switzerland, my city of birth and living. I’m also a drummer and used to be a singer in few bands, I’ve played Horn in an orchestra for 8 years. I love rock, metal, funk and classic music.

What is your niche or speciality, that makes you stand out from rest of the audio professionals?

There are two styles that I cherish now, the “fantasy” style and “epic”. Starting from there I try to develop alternatives like the sounds of far east, electro and soon some metal (when I have the means). I remain open to all inspirations, and were still learning the methods of composition, I am inspired by many composers.

I think I`m one of the few to use a single software (Reason) that requires a lot of hacking to make an almost correct sound, I think it’s good ear training for later.

Can you give us a brief summary of the equipment you use regularly?

If you are ready to laugh… My PC is a Core 2 Quad that I have bought 4 years ago. 6 GB of RAM 1TB hard drive. I do not have a master keyboard, or mixer, or any specific sound card. So I have to write everything by mouse click.
For the rest, electricity, calm and passion!

What are your go-to plug-ins and software? (virtual instruments, audio processing etc.)

My only software is Propellerhead Reason 4.0, I own sound banks like VSL Orchestal, Miroslav (antiquity), Drums of War (which I used through each bank of sound to create my own synthesizer NN-XT). And few Sonic I bought during the last four years.

My way of mixing is always in Reason and by sections in Soundforge or Audacity.

When do you find you are most creative?

Creativity has two distinctive parts, inspiration / ideas and writing time. My most inspirational time of the day is… always, I can be just walking in the street, driving, having a drink with my friends, reading a comic or almost sleeping and an idea can come, sometime its a big one so I write it down or record it with my mobile.

My writing and editing best time is from 10pm until I can`t stay awake. In the morning too when I don’t have to work.

What is your usual process for creating audio content for games, films etc.?

So far I have made for some videos, short films and web series. Once this was done in a normal manner, that is to say that I was given the coded video time and I had to stall several themes very close together on a very short period of time. It was difficult because very rhythmic and it was in the “horror”.

When I am asked to compose a theme for a video, a series or something, it gives me a kind of storyboard, I try to immerse myself as much as possible in the context, to imagine images and become as creative as possible. This is to give an identity to my music. Thus, I classify this or that music in a certain category and can use it easily.

I’m all for collaboration between a director and a composer, artistic level it is much more practiced than before and that’s unfortunate, but I think it gave place to symbiosis between music and image, between director and composer such as Danny Elfman and Tim Burton or Steven Spielberg and John Williams. We can feel a unique cohesion between sound and image.

Are there any particular secrets to your creativity?

There are two things fairly consistent in my life that allow me to be creative. The first is that I am the observer of my own existence. Things that happened to me, including my friends, my family, the development of my personality and perception I have of life, this is all my own film. The joys and sorrows, moments of anger, everything can be accompanied by music.

The second is to give a human side to everything that happens. In the world, on TV, friends, my family, people in the street. The music is unique to humans, and the principle is that anything can become a source of inspiration. When I catch a melody (often as an orchestra in my head) I blocked that idea and I become almost autistic, because I have to dissect everything that I can write until I did it sound like it was in my head and it takes a lot of resources.

Do you have any audio creation techniques that resulted in something interesting?

Some of that could be used in the hack, yes. If, like me, you do not already have these wonderful sound banks that are currently available, or even if it does, it must be remembered that this is not everything. If you want a “sound” specific, all techniques are good to get there. To simulate a Legato violins, I have to use at least 5 tracks of violins, short notes, fast bow, I use the VSL libraries and those of Miroslav, then I add the solos.

When writing for violins, become a violinist, the movements they adopt when they play, view the section plays. When writing for horns, imagine the output directed to the rear, it takes the breath and the fact that a long note (FF or PP) is never linear. Give expression by imagining an orchestra could play your music.

And, be yourself, do not try to “sound like” but to “be inspired” from music or composers that you like.

Any specific “lessons learned” on a project that you could share?

Sometimes you have to be happy with your work and say “OK, I finished” rather than trying to arrange the music 10 times. It should still be careful and respect your own music,even if the customer is not your favorite, or that the film is not as great as you expected, your music should be.

Also get inspired by watching movies of the same category or by reading books. There is no shame in being out of inspiration.

Any tips, hints or motivational speeches for the readers?

With the little experience I have, I can only give some little advice. Never wait on anyone to call, either friends or clients. Keep composing.

Believe in your music, listen to the critics, don`t ever consider that this is a competition. We are fortunate to have a great community, where people are open-minded and generous.