Category : Blog Post

6 years, 10 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog Post

An interview with me regarding the work I did on Starship Farragut was published today!  Here is a clip of the interview:

…..

SFS: Just in case there are some people out there who don’t understand the importance of music, do you think that video games and fan films need music?

John: Oh, absolutely. Have you ever seen a film or video game without music? It’s a pretty dry and boring thing to sit through. Music is wonderful for these mediums because through orchestration alone you can instantly convey a particular mood or feeling that you want the audience or gamer to experience. Yes, I think it’s a very crucial element to both video games and film.

SFS: You spend so much of your time creating music. Is it hard for you to relax watching a movie or playing a video game without getting caught up in the music?

Farragutlarge3John: Ha! Well, usually—no, I don’t have this problem. However, this is usually because professional films are scored by professional composers and the same with video games, so they know what they are doing and there is a nice balance of interest without upstaging what’s happening on screen. When there is particularly bad music, however, this does detract from my viewing experience, but I think it would detract from other non-composer viewers as well! The only difference might be that someone with more composition experience will probably know what that composer did “wrong,” whereas someone without this experience may just let it reflect poorly on the movie as a whole.

Read the complete interview here. 

6 years, 10 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog Post

Venture Arctic, the follow-up to the criticially-acclaimed game Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa by Pocketwatch Games, has been released and is available for download for PC. There is a Mac port currently in the works as well.

I produced all of the sound design and music for the game. You can read more about the music on my post mortem here or read more about the game in the press release or on the official website.

6 years, 10 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog Post

Rehearsal has begun for Anything Goes which I will be serving as music director for at Ozark Actor’s Theatre in Rolla, MO. We open on June 14 and run for two weeks. Musically, the show features an impressive cast of over 20 people as well as a 7 person orchestra cranking out a dozen or so classic Cole Porter tunes. Should be a great time!

6 years, 11 months ago 0

Recently, I came across an article called “50 ways to increase productivity.” Inspired by this, I took a look at a few things that aren’t on this list that help me with productitivity in the studio. After all, the creative process can be lonely and tiresome and large tasks seem like they will never be completed. Here are my top 5 tips:

  1. Use a paper-based desk pad. These desk pads are modeled after those large writing pads you see on easels in board rooms or “Win, Lose or Draw”. The idea is that you can make boxes around groups of tasks and then dilleniate the smaller tasks more frequently. Try to make those sub tasks about even in “time weight” so that you don’t have to work for hour just to scratch off a single thing! For example, don’t just have “finish mixing song A”. Instead, break it down and think about what you really need to accomplish with song A. Maybe instead you should have a few smaller tasks like “set trumpet part better in mix” and “adjust panning and reverb for more depth” and “edit bass part for better sync”, etc. It is extremely satisfying then to me to be able to cross things out as I go and see from a quick visual perspective how far I’ve come that day!
  2. Put long term goals somewhere else, but still visible. The things on your pad should be ONLY things you plan to get done that day. That way, you can always go to bed feeling like you conquered the world today! For more long range things (with fat ambiguous names) I put these in various places, such as on stickie notes hanging like stray whiskers from my iMac monitor. It drives me insane, so I love the feeling of transferring one of those tasks to the pad for the day and tossing those out! (more…)
6 years, 11 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog Post

Recently, I’ve been teaching some composition lessons and one of my students, who uses Logic Express, has been discovering a bunch of pretty nifty FREE AU plug-ins that work great in Logic.  I had never used a free plug-in before, preferring to stay with the “commercial quality” set from Apple/Logic/Emagic and Universal Audio.  However, after checking a few of these out, some are quite good and you really can’t beat the price!

So far, the best ones that are free tend to be most useful for sound design or synthesis.  Others that are decent (delays, bitcrushers, distortion) are duplicating (often less well) by something that exists in Logic, so I haven’t bothered with them too much.

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