Posts tagged ‘studio’

July 3, 2014

THE TRILOGY OF TECHNOLOGY, ART AND MUSIC

As you walk around any game development studio, you’re likely to see the majority of programmers and artists with headphones on, listening to music. It helps them focus on their work and their favorite artists inspire them.

As I was creating my latest YouTube video, I realized how much technology and art inspire me as well. While I’ve always appreciated those elements, creating this video really drove it home.

The technology affords me an almost endless palette of musical instruments, recording, mixing and sound design options. I am able to spread those options across multiple screens so that it only takes a turn of the head to monitor all the processes that are necessary to produce a professional quality master recording of my work. And unlike early in my career, it’s possible to build a fully functional recording studio without costing as much, or more, than a house.

Most of the windows on the screens are not only functional and accurate, but also provide graphically pleasing and stimulating feedback. While I have had a lot of experience in using traditional musical instruments and recording hardware, the high contrast visuals that surround me now are truly inspiring.

If you wish to succeed in a technology, art or music career, never forget that there are elements in each field that can not only help you, but inspire you as well.

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July 4, 2013

THE STUDIO UPGRADE

The lifeline of any composer is his or her studio. In a lot of cases, there is more than one place to be creative and work on projects. Composing is a lot about formulating the ideas before you ever start recording. For some, that part can be done almost anywhere – in a bedroom, in the park, on a beach, or even taking a drive. But I rely on keyboard and percussion controllers that interface with my digital audio workstations (DAW). That way I can always push the record button to capture my thoughts, even if they are a simple melody or chord progression.

DAWs are fairly common among composers in the game, television and film industries. And when you have a studio at your workplace and a studio at home, they both need to be compatible so that you can transfer files between the two.

My home studio was in desperate need of upgrading. While it had served me well for seven years, it was at the very end of its life cycle and was not compatible with my studio at IGT. So I started planning this upgrade almost a year ago.

As you can imagine, upgrading a music studio is not an inexpensive proposition. So I had to wait for freelance work to come in so that I could pay for the new gear. Thankfully, I got a contract to work on a small video game that is currently under development. I am under a non-disclosure agreement with the developer, so I can’t say more about the project at this point, except that it is going very well. You might hear some of my work if you attend the PAX game show in Seattle next month.

I based my home studio upgrade on what I like and dislike about my studio at IGT. That studio has current, state-of-the-art software and hardware that allows me to do my job quickly, efficiently and allows me to deliver high quality results. The one thing that is a minor annoyance (and has been for a very long time) is the displays. Despite having two LCD displays, I am constantly arranging all the windows. It is routine for me to have 6-10 windows open at one time, so I end up doing a lot of shuffling. That takes me out of the moment and has occasionally caused some good ideas to be lost.

My current, upgraded home studio solves that problem. I now have five display monitors running from my Mac Pro. My old Mac G5 is now a server and has a display of its own. While I still need to put things on top of each other from time to time, I can choose the windows that won’t interfere with the creative flow.

I love the way I can now access any information I need at a glance. This makes decisions and edits a lot faster now. So my home studio is current today, but with the speed of technology, it’ll need to be fed in another six months or so. But the major objectives have been accomplished. And the studio looks pretty darn cool now, too.

Studio 7-4-13