Group Work Reflection - Elemental Game Soundtrack

My recent experiences in the group project have been not what I expected a creative collaboration to be. We had commissioned ourselves the task of creating a game EP with the intent of showcasing it to potential games developers. The result has been an EP that has lacked the collaboration element and is more like a collection of songs from various artists. It may seem harsh to critique the project so early, however, the team element has lacked significantly more effort than any project I have been a part of in my time in audio production. In saying that, I have been very impressed by the individual efforts made by each of the group members, but don't see our blending of talents having the effect I thought it would from the beginning. After listening to each of the scratch tracks, it is evident that as a group we have produced excellent material that is well mixed and would be highly effective for the purpose of game development. In this post, I hope to address my own weaknesses and reflect on how I can turn them into strengths. 

Time Management

After having a hell of a year in 2017, I was ready to let 2018 have everything I got and since then have faced numerous setbacks with work, car and home-related issues affecting my time in the studio. I've still managed to get in and give it all I have, but I haven't quite matched my past studio occupancies from last year. In 2017 I practically lived in the studio and was un-compromising when I was there. To fix these issues I have been keeping a diary and making a plan to complete all my projects with daily and weekly goals being ticked off. Time management is something I find myself struggling with the most, and it can also be the cause of some laziness sometimes. We're all a bit lazy sometimes though right? Nothing to be ashamed of. In all seriousness, I want to use this activity within the group to work on that time management as something I can use going forward. To do this I will boost my scheduling techniques with some fresh juice to give myself some thinking room.

Learning a new DAW

I've been learning Ableton for the past few weeks, and have found the transition from Pro Tools 12 very hard. The user interface looks completely different, and I sometimes feel my time is limited when I need to get projects completed it feels as though learning a new DAW gets put on the back burner. Learning a new skill is hard and it does feel like learning a new language, but I love learning new things and I'm determined to become an expert. Getting this skill will mean I will need to incorporate my time management and scheduling skills to set time aside to practice. So what's the best time to do this? It might not just be what time, but how I practice. I should be able to find an hour every day to learn this skill, but using the hour effectively will take some planning. The ways in which I will use my time are to practice a new technique every day. For example, day one might be to create a sample, day two might be operating a plugin or synth patch. Whatever it is I'll spend an hour on it each day. The video below is a great explainer to the Ableton live world and i'll be using this as one of my resources, 

Teamwork makes the Dream Work

My individual effort has been something I have focused on since the start of the year, but in doing so I've neglected the team aesthetic. Teamwork is a huge boost to a collaborative work, and it helps in so many ways. It's very important that a team operates in a supportive and healthy environment or the project work might suffer. The team I am currently in has strong potential to not only produce good work, but to work under great process. It is a great position to be in that all member of the team share the same passion for production and it will show in the work. It's my hope that we improve towards the end of the project and work equally in effort and quality. To do this we may have to conduct more meetings, and be more critical of each others work. Perhaps allowing time to share ideas and arrange music together will strengthen the group dynamic. 

The game EP has been fun and I am learning, those things are most important to me throughout this exercise. I'm not deterred by the negative experiences I've had so far, but am driven to complete my work with the quality I know I am capable of. Using this time to reflect will give me a huge leg up when I go to approach my next project and I will always keep working on these personal goals that will ultimately make me a better producer. Managing my time, DAW training and Teamwork are just the core building blocks that will get me through this project with some knowledge behind me for the future. In my next blog I will talk about the creative process I underwent to arrange the music for my track. 

References (2017, Jan 6). Ableton Live 9 Beginner Tutorial Pt 1 - Full Overview & Optimization (2017) . Retrieved Feb 26, 2018, from YouTube:

TedTalks. (2018, Jan 2). How to manage your time more effectively (according to machines) - Brian Christian . Retrieved Feb 26, 2018, from YouTube: