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Going Forward

The only remaining thing now is the question of why? Why did I move to another country to go to school learning Audio Engineering when I had already begun to forge my path into the world of video game music? To properly understand this we will have to look back to my humble beginnings as a composer and view it with the light of my previously discussed strengths and weaknesses.

After getting my hands on a DAW, I started writing music. Alot of it. I would experiment with combining the sounds I had with other sounds, using instruments in weird or unexpected places. I‘d look through plugins without really understanding their purpose and try to find interesting sounds within their presets. Eventually my exploration slowly halted as I found my favourites and started relying on them. I liked working quickly, writing things out quickly, and establishing sounds quickly. This lead to me relying deeply on presets, often without properly understanding the underlying concepts that made the preset in question work.

Sometimes these tendencies would cause me problems later on that I wasn‘t smart enough to solve. My innate laziness and desire for speed gave me lots of value in some areas, but in others I suffered greatly. And then one day a few years ago I was approached to work on a video game, attempting to do a style of music that was not exactly firm or easy to come by. And boy did I suffer to begin with. Even when I found the style of music that worked it all still seemed mostly fluky, like I‘d just stumbled into something that was good rather than understanding what exactly I was dong.

So I decided that I needed to become better at understanding what I was doing, to be able to competently deliver on the things required of me. To be able to proceed swiftly from an idea to execution, instead of fumbling around in the darkness. That is why I came to SAE, to transform myself from a boy who just liked the sound of one reverb preset into a man who understands both the Why and the How of a Reverb unit, and how to use them properly to his advantage. Of course, a reverb is just an example, I can assure you that my previous lack of knowledge went much deeper than that, despite me using these tools on a weekly basis.

Another reason I came here was because I had started picking up an interest in actually recording live things using microphones, but was completely clueless on the subject. Many years of working with sampled instruments have left me very aware of their shortcomings, as much as we can do to make them feel natural there‘s simply nothing like a great live player. I realized that if I kept going on this path, there would come a day in the future where the quality of material I was delivering needed to go up to that final level of the living and breathing sound.

And I wanted to be prepared for that day when it came.

The way I learn has always been through applying knowledge, rather than absorbing it. I recognize the importance of lectures, but I personally feel as though they would be better served for my benefit if I could go instantly after the lecture and begin applying the concepts discussed. In that way actually, some of the most important lectures I‘ve attended have been where I‘ve been working on projects outside of school that suddenly warrant a technique that was just discussed earlier in the day by my teacher.

As I apply these different techniques and knowledge that I‘ve attained my confidence grows and I become more and more assured in my ability to pull of whatever comes to my table. As I bring this text to its closing, I think that currently the area that needs most development for me is assuredness within a studio setting and belief in the knowledge I already have. These are things that I believe can only be forged into steel through more experience, so for now I think I will look for more opportunities to gain such experience.

As for my weakness in fundamentals of Audio Production, through tackling my problem by going to SAE I have learned alot and grown alot, and I will continue to apply the knowledge I gain here, improving the quality of the projects I am currently working, and all of my work going forward.