Any Advice?

I am a Sophmore in high school. I would like to become a video game/film composer. I play the trombone and am trying to teach myself piano. And if a job in the composing business doesn't work out for me I can also be an electrical engineer. But i would rather have a job involving music. But i was wondering what I can do to improve my composition skills for that kind of composition. I would like to get started ASAP and any help is welcome. Thank you very much :).

 

Also, if it helps, i am on a mac that doesn't have the system requirements to hold the newer music programs... Maybe if they are older versions it will work though.... I have Finale PrintMusic 2010 on it but that is the only music program on there besides GarageBand. 

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  • Start practicing. Write small parts, scenes, take an allready existing movie scene and write the music for it, do the same with a game, pair with a friend knowing his way around flash, XNA framework, or whatever he likes to use to make games, and write him the music for a little game. 

    The kind of music used in a game is really varied-you cannot say "it will be like this or that". Take solar fields for example, game music written for capsised, and its some sweet electronic "loungy" beats. Now take hitman. A grand piece with choir recorded by a real orchestra. So you begin writing whatever you want, practice at small orchestral cues, action, love, peace, sorrow etc, and maybe have a go at some electronic music, always having a kind of scene or game in mind (emen a non existent one).

     

    PS: I'm studying electrical engineering as well :D Be prepaired for tons and tons and tons of advanced mathematics. :D

  • Thanks for the advice :) do you recommend any music programs i could use on a mac? And that's cool with the Engineering... And I love math so i think i'll like it :D

    SpyrusTheVirus said:

    Start practicing. Write small parts, scenes, take an allready existing movie scene and write the music for it, do the same with a game, pair with a friend knowing his way around flash, XNA framework, or whatever he likes to use to make games, and write him the music for a little game. 

    The kind of music used in a game is really varied-you cannot say "it will be like this or that". Take solar fields for example, game music written for capsised, and its some sweet electronic "loungy" beats. Now take hitman. A grand piece with choir recorded by a real orchestra. So you begin writing whatever you want, practice at small orchestral cues, action, love, peace, sorrow etc, and maybe have a go at some electronic music, always having a kind of scene or game in mind (emen a non existent one).

     

    PS: I'm studying electrical engineering as well :D Be prepaired for tons and tons and tons of advanced mathematics. :D

    Any Advice?
    I am a Sophmore in high school. I would like to become a video game/film composer. I play the trombone and am trying to teach myself piano. And if a…
  • I agree with Spyrus. Practice writing 15 - 30 sec cues, because if you can't compose a fully realized 30 second piece....how will you write an entire 5-10 min cue? I currently write music for live plays and skits (which is a different animal all together) but the principle is the same. I have 5-10 sec. intros, outros and transitions to scenes. Then for certain times, depending on what is going on, I have 5 min. of underlying scored music whether it is a theme or an ambient bed. And try to write something everyday or every other day, big or small if time permits. The more you write, the more you will learn what "your sound" is as well. Last but not least, once you get your composing chops down...make a demo reel to be sent out to the game companies...Most usually to the sound or music editors. It is also important to learn the business itself. Today's media composers are business men as well as writers. But make sure to graduate from high school and college first....lol.     In another words, dont drop out and move to California thinking you will be the next Inon Zur.

     

    ok, I'm done.

    just my 2 cents

  • Ok. Thank you very much :) I appreciate your two cents lol.

    Cy Davison said:

    I agree with Spyrus. Practice writing 15 - 30 sec cues, because if you can't compose a fully realized 30 second piece....how will you write an entire 5-10 min cue? I currently write music for live plays and skits (which is a different animal all together) but the principle is the same. I have 5-10 sec. intros, outros and transitions to scenes. Then for certain times, depending on what is going on, I have 5 min. of underlying scored music whether it is a theme or an ambient bed. And try to write something everyday or every other day, big or small if time permits. The more you write, the more you will learn what "your sound" is as well. Last but not least, once you get your composing chops down...make a demo reel to be sent out to the game companies...Most usually to the sound or music editors. It is also important to learn the business itself. Today's media composers are business men as well as writers. But make sure to graduate from high school and college first....lol.     In another words, dont drop out and move to California thinking you will be the next Inon Zur.

     

    ok, I'm done.

    just my 2 cents

  • Surprisingly, your story is similar to mine. I was 1st chair Trombone all through highschool, played since 6th grade on and loved it! I was inspired to focus on piano (which at that point I only dabbled in) by the creations of Nobuo Uematsi, Jeremy Soule, and Yasunori Mitsuda to name just a few - all video game composers. The only thing I could recommend is keep practicing and learn as much as you can from other composers. I messed up by going the straight-composition route, never really taking the time to practice against certain backdrops, just wrote for myself. I am still making up for lost time on that one!

    The investment is what held me back from getting started for the longest time. I run my current system on a Mac and I've easily dropped 10K (much more really) into it. Programs like Cubase and all those neat libraries out there are expensive. Don't let that dissuade you, but be ready for the price tag when you actually want to start producing the material. Until then, do like I did: write it on paper and learn how to play your instrument.

  • You might consider doing a double-major in college.  The odds of becoming a successful film composer are pretty daunting.  Having two skills is a good idea.  I knew someone who went to Univ of Rochester and graduated with a degree in engineering and also from the Eastman School of Music. 

     

    Thing to do is write music for YouTube videos, team up with friends who do video - anything to get some real experience.

     

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