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Katie Tarrant - Know Your Arsenal


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For audio professionals, it is essential to understand the importance of learning how to use your equipment/software. Buying is not always a benefit, and it is helpful to know when to invest time rather than money.

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Katie Tarrant - Know Your Arsenal

  1. 1. Free PowerPoint Templates Free PowerPoint Templates KNOW YOUR ARSENAL Understanding when to invest time vs money.
  2. 2. Free PowerPoint Templates • Composer, sound designer, and musician. • Graduated from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in 2016. • Discovered game audio during my degree. Following graduation, I worked freelance for a while, and am now due to start an audio internship with Rare in the summer. Who am I? Free PowerPoint Templates
  3. 3. Why is this important? • At any stage of your career, knowing how to effectively plan and budget for your projects is essential. • How many of you can say you’ve learned everything your equipment is capable of? Whether it’s plugins, VST instruments, effects pedals, computer software, or something else entirely. • There are a lot of problems that can be solved with the software you have rather than the software you feel you need to buy. When starting out, I would often convince myself problems with my work were because I had cheap libraries, but I soon realised that was far from true. • In a competitive market, there can be a lot of pressure to always buy the current software or equipment in order to stand the chance, but that is rarely ever the case.
  4. 4. Why is this important? • It will enable you to communicate better with others, share ideas and even in some cases help your employability. • It will improve your workflow and broaden the scope of what you can achieve with your work. • It will influence your creativity, allow you to experiment and stumble upon new ideas that otherwise may have been left undiscovered. Every new library or plugin I learn teaches me something new about audio. • It will expand your knowledge and make you a better audio professional.
  5. 5. Free PowerPoint Templates Free PowerPoint Templates • Whether you’re: • Freelance • In-house • Hobbyist AND • Professional • Intermediate • Beginner • Composers. • Sound designers. • Producers. • Musicians • And much more. Who is this important for?
  6. 6. Free PowerPoint Templates Free PowerPoint Templates When you’re starting out - • Let’s look at a typical set up: • Computer – motherboard, processor, RAM, graphics card, operating system, case, keyboard, monitor… • Speakers • Headphones • An interface • A DAW • MIDI keyboard • MIDI controller (for CC control) • Instruments (if you’re a musician) • Libraries and plugins • Additional hard drives • iLok • Microphone • Portable recording equipment • That’s a lot of gear, and racks up quite an expense.
  7. 7. Free PowerPoint Templates Free PowerPoint Templates • Finances can be one of the biggest hurdles when you’re starting out in audio. • Some people can afford to splash out on everything. • Other people can only afford a few things. • Some people can’t afford anything – or perhaps need time to afford it. When you’re starting out - • Think about the most basic set up that you can get started with. • Devise a list for the future purchases you want to make. • Appreciate that budgeting for them will take time. • In the mean time, just focus on creating great audio!
  8. 8. Free VST’s and Discounts • Companies like the ones shown below often advertise incredible discounts or free products. • There are also plenty of websites and independent creators who release free or cheap VST’s. • If you need a particular VST, do some researching to see what your options are. You’ll be surprised at what you can sometimes find – many companies also offer high quality free libraries. • For rough demos, practice or small projects, free VST’s can often serve you well, especially when you’re starting out. • Once you hone your craft using smaller, cheaper or free libraries, you can invest in the more expensive products over time, keeping an eye out for those discounts! • A little tip – before you make a purchase, quickly scour the web to see if the company are offering any discounts, sometimes even just signing up to their newsletter can get you 10% off!
  9. 9. Subscriptions and Pay Monthly Many companies offer a subscription service: • Waves offer Silver, Platinum and Mercury subscriptions. • EW offer the Composer Cloud. • Slate Digital offer the Everything Bundle. • Eventide offer the Ensemble subscription. • Splice offer sample bundles for a monthly subscription. • Often these subscriptions have payment tiers – generally monthly, or annual, and often include student or educational discounts. • Also look out for free demos or trial copies. If you need it for something quick, a demo can sometimes suffice, and at the very least they can help inform your decision about whether something is worth purchasing. Just be sure to check the terms and conditions if it’s a commercial project you’re using it for.
  10. 10. Open Source • Particularly for game audio, there are a lot of resources that are open source (free to use for learning). • The programs below also have an amazing amount of online resources for learning how to use them. • Sometimes simply googling what you need can give you a viable solution. An example: googling “cheap vst libraries” can bring you hundreds of feasible options for libraries that can offer you a quick fix for a project or a temporary foundation for learning to improve your ability.
  11. 11. Free PowerPoint Templates Less is Often More Think about what the project actually needs. It can be tempting to throw all of your sounds at it, but is it really necessary? Consider Organic Material Play Any Instruments? Consider the Orchestration Live performances always enhance a piece. If you can play any instruments, take advantage of that. Get playing! You will be amazed at what issues you can resolve by appropriate orchestration and effective layering. This is also an area that is covered frequently in online tutorials and books. Free PowerPoint Templates The Art of Economy – Tim Nielsen Inon Zur is a great example of how to enhance a piece with organic material – not only does it bring a unique aesthetic to your work, it gets you thinking creatively and experimenting in new realms. Try sampling real world objects and implementing them into your music.
  12. 12. Free PowerPoint Templates Evaluate Your Purchases Think about what value it will bring you. Do you need it? Can you justify purchasing it? Consider whether you already own something that could achieve the same or a similar result. Keep Track Save Over Time or Invest with your Projects Make the Most out of What You’ve Got Keeping tabs on your purchases is a good way to reflect and highlight unnecessary spending. Create a list of purchases you want to make and plan to achieve them step by step. Save what you can and use your list of purchases to constantly have your goals in mind. This is particularly challenging as a freelancer but by no means impossible. “What do you think is the most important and valuable technology you’ll ever have access to as a score composer?” – Chance Thomas “Your brain?” – Student “Thank you! That’s it. This is the workshop of the imagination. It all happens here, folks.” Free PowerPoint Templates Measure your Expenditure
  13. 13. Free PowerPoint Templates Develop your compositional talent. Don’t feel pressured by your competitors. Free PowerPoint Templates General Advice Look out for discounts, freebies and good deals wherever you can. Make justifiable choices, unless you can afford to be overindulgent. For products you do buy, take a moment to read the manual, or allocate time to sit down and just explore. YouTube, forums and sometimes the company’s own websites are often full of information and tutorials. Appreciate that building up your arsenal will take time. Learn from everything and enjoy the process. Don’t let anything hold you back.
  14. 14. Free PowerPoint Templates Free PowerPoint Templates RESOURCES Open Source Subscriptions Discount websites FMOD Wwise Unreal Engine Unity Pro Tools First Audacity Reaper VSTBuzz Sampleism Rekkerd Plugin Boutique Steven Slate East West Waves Eventide Splice Softube Kush Audio McDSP Soundtoys (occasional freebies) Native Instruments Embertone ANY QUESTIONS? @ktarrantaudio