PRACTICE PRESENTATIONS IN THE MORNING!
SEND THIS TO PARENTS AND FRIENDS FOR THE WEBCAST at 14:00 : http://live.efzer.org/stanford2015
These are the last blog post I will ask you to write…
What were you doing in Highschool, and what did you do in college? [10:30:50] Benjamin: In high school I was struggling to get decent grades, and playing a lot of videogames like Final Fantasy and Quake. Near the end of high school I got some music-making software and started tinkering with it. I had no formal training, so I was just winging it the whole time. Most of the stuff I made wasn't very good. :D [10:30:57] sherol: haha.. nice [10:31:53] Benjamin: I went to college for audio engineering, which in this case was recording local bands in a studio. Meanwhile I spent many hours in my dorm room with a synthesizer and drum machine trying to figure out how to make electronic music. Again, I had no teacher to help with this specifically, though the audio engineering certainly helped. [10:32:01] sherol: When you compose, do you use piano/instruments more or or digital [10:32:26] sherol: compose on real instruments or digitally [10:33:03] Benjamin: I'm almost entirely digital. Everything I do is in software. I can play piano and banjo bit and I'm currently teaching myself to play electric guitar. [10:33:55] sherol: do you ever record yourself playing a real instrument to put in a game? [10:35:06] Benjamin: I've started to record guitar parts occasionally and I've recorded acoustic drum parts for some things, but it's fairly minimal. [10:35:24] Benjamin: I'm trying to incorporate more and more real instruments as I go. [10:35:47] sherol: Our student, Jack organized a Shanghai student music festival. They did had it few days ago. [10:36:07] Benjamin: Wow, awesome! [10:36:21] Benjamin: I never did anything that cool when I was in school. [10:36:25] sherol: mostly it was like rock and punk music.. Some metal. [10:36:31] sherol: He plays bass [10:36:38] sherol: another student, Bran was the vocalist [10:36:55] sherol: I'm telling them all to play FTL, they would love it. [10:37:12] Benjamin: :D [10:37:20] sherol: Do you have to work on Sound effects and music? [10:37:47] Benjamin: I did both sound effects and music on earlier projects like FTL and Gravity Ghost, but these days I'm just a music guy. [10:38:07] Benjamin: I can send a picture of my studio if you think you guys can receive it okay. [10:38:13] sherol: ok [10:38:31] sherol: can you over skype? [10:38:39] sherol: it seems to be working [10:38:45] Benjamin: Cool. [10:38:56] sherol: Mike asks, he wants to do electronic music. Where can he start? [10:40:47] Benjamin: That's a good question. I don't know what software is available in your region, but the first thing you need is a computer and a digital audio workstation, which is software. Most of the nice ones have an entry level version that's relatively cheap. [10:40:58] sherol: How do you teach yourself to play guitar?... how do you overcome the difficulties to get better at it? [10:41:20] sherol: (sorry.. i realized you are still answering the last question) [10:42:13] Benjamin: Check out Ableton, FL Studio, or Cubase. Maybe also get a small USB musical keyboard to go with it. This will be a good start. You'll also need a solid understanding of music theory and the time to train yourself to use the software. [10:42:37] sherol: They use FL Studio [10:42:43] sherol: they said [10:42:43] Benjamin: Yeah, perfect. [10:44:53] Benjamin: As for teaching myself guitar: I have a couple of books on guitar, plus I simply find sheet music of songs that I like and practice that. My music theory knowledge makes transitioning to a new instrument just a little bit quicker. There's also a great game called Rocksmith that I use all the time. I don't know if you guys have played Guitar Hero or Rock Band, but it's like that but with a real guitar, with lessons and everything. [10:45:28] Benjamin: It's REALLY hard to stick with an instrument. I'm incredibly lazy. So self-discipline is probably the hardest part of learning guitar for me. :D [10:46:29] sherol: Who's your favorite game composer? [10:48:17] Benjamin: My favorite soundtrack ever is for EarthBound, so I guess that would make my favorite composer Keiichi Suzuki. Jesper Kyd (Assassin's Creed, MDK2) was a also a huge inspiration when I was starting out. [10:48:50] sherol: Do you do orchestra music ever?.. or what style? [10:51:02] Benjamin: I've made exactly two orchestra pieces, entirely in software. I could theoretically write music for orchestra, since I can read and write sheet music and have a rough understanding of how an orchestra works. But it's really not my forte. My influences are on the pop/rock/funk/electronic side. [10:51:13] Benjamin: I hope to do more orchestra work someday though. [10:51:26] sherol: Cool [10:51:40] sherol: Where do you get ideas [10:52:06] sherol: is it when you are walking or taking a shower? [10:52:13] Benjamin: Sometimes, yes! [10:52:20] Benjamin: Or driving. [10:52:54] Benjamin: Or watching a movie or talking with someone. Really, ideas can happen any time. [10:53:20] Benjamin: The ideas are not as useful as just experimenting with chord progressions and melodies though. [10:53:22] sherol: do you start with notes or beats? [10:53:57] Benjamin: Generally I start with either a chord progression or some kind of rhythm part. [10:55:06] sherol: ok... We are gonna try to skype you and say goodbye! [10:55:43] Benjamin: Okay! [10:55:46] sherol: Thank you so much! [10:56:00] sherol: We are all interested and greatful :) [10:56:05] *** Call to Benjamin Prunty *** [11:01:02] *** Call ended, duration 04:53 *** [11:01:17] Benjamin: That was awesome! Thanks everyone.