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Career in sound/music.
Old 3rd July 2016
Here for the gear
Career in sound/music.

Dear Mr Devine,

What were the first steps you took in order to kick start a career in sound/music?

With thanks,

Old 9th July 2016
Gear Head
RichardDevine's Avatar
Hi Reuben, thanks for the message here. My career in the music industry probably started around the age of 17. I signed to Drop Bass Records, who put out my first EP. I was still in high school, and didn't know what I was doing. I was still learning how to use my gear and building up a small project studio at the time. Before my first release I was just learning about how to make electronic music. I had only been making music for about 2 years before I landed a record deal. This is not the normal way to get a career started, as I said before I was still learning, and trying to find my voice. So I felt at that point in time that I still wasn't ready, but some how this record label felt that the music I was making at the time was something people would be interested in. From this point I had a little success from this release, and started woking with other labels at the time.

I began recording every day after school, and would go on gear hunts at the local pawn shops on the weekend to see if I could find anything that I could use or learn from. I acquired a many cool vintage synths during the early 90's that I still have today. Many of these early machines taught me the basics in sound design, more specifically the Arp-2600/EMS Synth AKS. I started reading anything I could get my hands on that focused on sounds made with vintage synthesizers. I also bought many books during that period including one that really stuck with me,, Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques, and Controls by Allen Strange. I began recording with these machines and would fill up hundreds of 2 hour DAT tapes with modular patches, and tracks. I was exploring what could be done with them. I learned so much during that period which influenced the way I write music today. Soon after this I began making demo track tapes to send to other labels. I was finally getting the sound I was looking for and finding my own voice. This is probably the most important thing you can do, is find a sound that you can totally call your own.

From my own personal experience I would say research which field you want to pursue and then focus on building up your own sound. I took what I learned from my music career then applied those things into sound design. Also put together a demo reel of some sort that you can shop around to either labels or companies that showcase what you do. Back in early 2001 I made a DVD reel of various TV spots, and audio scores to short segments from my favorite films. I didn’t have anything built up at the time, but was a good way to learn and test my skills to see if I could work up to the standards of other sound designers. Today I would recommend putting up a separate soundcloud or vimeo account that you can showcase your work to potential agencies. I think this would be a great place to start. :-)
Old 12th July 2016
Lives for gear

Richard, as someone interested in getting into sound design and scoring, I'm curious about the DVD you mentioned making for your reel. First, I've thought about taking scenes I like and rescoring them, but am totally clueless about how to wipe the sound from them to add my own. Is there any software that you recommend to facilitate this? And secondly, are you aware of any copyright issues that arise from doing this, or does it fall under the umbrella of fair use?
Old 24th July 2016
Gear Head
RichardDevine's Avatar
Hi for me a really cool app to import scenes and chapters from DVD films is HandBrake, its a free app check it out here:

From there you can take the scene into a program like Final Cut Pro. I then cut and re-export a scene that I want to score to.You can mute the audio during the editing process on the timeline. Then once exported you can import into your DAW (Ableton/Logic/Cubase/Nuendo). This is how I have done it in the past. There might be a better way of doing this, but hopefully this helps :-)
Old 24th July 2016
It certainly is a very handy tool! Maybe this information is of interest:
AFAIK Apple has broken Handbake in El Capitan OS.
Reinstalling the libdvdcss seems to fix the issue.
I'm on 10.9.5 max so I've not tried it myself yet.
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