On a personal note, I love getting emails from you all! I really do. There is a part of me that has wanted to be a teacher for most of my life. I didn't have someone who at the very least pretended to know what they were doing re: composing/midi/production when I was growing up, so I had all sorts of unanswered questions and curiosities about this sort of thing.
BUT, as much as I appreciate the emails, I have let a LOT of emails fall through the cracks. I'm terrible at responding in a timely manner. Not all the time, but enough to make me want to create this list so I can forward it to all y'all (as they say here in Atlanta where I am spending Christmas with my family) when the questions and inquiries start pouring in.
On to the list:
1. How old are you? You can't be THAT young!?
I'm 24 as of October 2014. Is that young? Depends on who you ask...
2. What equipment/software do you use?
DAW: Logic Pro X
Monitors: Yamaha HS7's
Interface: Steinberg ur22
Controller: Alesis QX49, Yamaha Motif XS8
3. What sample libraries do you recommend?
I can't speak for a lot of other types of libraries, but when it comes to orchestral libraries, I prefer the ones with the most natural sounding room tone and attack.
Winds: Berlin Woodwinds, VSL Woodwinds
Brass: CineBrass, Spitfire BML series, Hollywood Brass
Percussion: Spitfire Orchestral Percussion, East West Symphonic Orchestra
Strings: Spitfire Mural, Hollywood Strings, 8dio Adagio/Adagietto/Agitato
4. Can you teach me lessons about Logic Pro or sequencing in general?
Yes! Shoot me an email. Lessons are $40/hour for weekly lessons. $50 for irregularly scheduled lessons or single sessions.
5. How did you get started in the music industry?
From what I've gathered from speaking with industry professionals, making it big in the film music industry is all about "who you know". My first film scoring gig was actually through my grandfather who mentioned me to a friend of his. This friend was a long-time film and television guy and was looking for some music for his first feature. After that, I worked on some of my friends' film projects (most notably Zach King) and from there, things have continued to grow. A lot of clients find me through my YouTube videos and tutorials. The rest hear my music in other projects floating around the internet. My music has been on television as well (National Geographic, SyFy, Spike, etc.), but those sort of gigs rarely pay off. No one pays attention to TV music, much less watches the credits!
6. How do you recommend I go about getting film scoring gigs?
As mentioned above, connections are key in the film scoring industry. Talking to your filmmaker friends from school and getting in early on their projects is a great way to get started. As for practical things, I would focus on getting a resumé put together as well as a website and SoundCloud profile. Only post things that you are proud of. Look around for other people at your skill level and do some honest comparison. If your work is lacking in quality (compositionally or production-wise) you probably shouldn't post it. I HIGHLY recommend you post with caution. Don't catalog every piece you've ever written. I frequently go back and delete old posts that I've outgrown.
7. How do you go about charging your clients? What should I charge my clients?
Remember: there is no set price for composing. Every composer is different. I don't like discussing my exact rates with other composers, to be honest. But for starters, you'll be working within the budgets of your clients for a few years as you get projects under your belt. That's the way it is. I have established my rates after working with clients all over the world for 5-6 years and figuring out what the basic market value these days is. Then I add some value for the unique services and skills I bring to the table and there is my number. Again, work within client budgets for a while, then after you've established yourself as a composer people want to and like to work with, you can set a fair rate for yourself and your clients.
8. Can we collaborate?
Potentially! I love collaboration, to be honest. It's more exciting to me than composing alone. Shoot me an email and pitch your project.
9. Will you compose for my such-and-such project for free?
Most likely, no. "IMDB cred" isn't really a comparable trade for the hours and hours of work I will pour into your project, not to mention the years of higher education, thousands upon thousands of hours of practice, and tens of thousands of dollars I've put into my craft. There are, always, exceptions to this, but they are few and far between.
10. Are you able to mock up my music with more professional sounding samples?
Yes, assuming the project/style aligns with my skill set. Email me for inquiries and rates.
11. How might I obtain a license to use your music in a film project?
Ask me. Not all the music I've posted online is available for licensing, but if you like the sound of something, it can't hurt to ask!