Every once in a while we all need to take a bigger step and improve our skills or boost our artistic development. I’ve had that notion for quite some time now, but couldn’t figure out on my own what to do and what to focus on in particular. That’s why I’m still a Patreon user, supporting some talented people in order to learn from them, but also seek out particularly gifted professionals and ask them for their support.
One of them is mixing engineer Joel Dollie with whom I shared a few hours of going through a composition and all the samples included, and work on sonic improvements. These sessions have turned out to be a quantum leap for me in terms of mixing and getting the right sound. Not only is Joel a very experienced mixing professional, but also a congenial person to spend time with. I highly recommend his resources which include videos on Youtube, an e-book and his new online course on mixing.
The other one is composer Philip Johnston who has an outstanding orchestration course online (Orchestration Recipes) which I highly recommend for its small, but concise hints on orchestration techniques and the use of samples. (What would I have given to have something like that when I started out!!) These small lessons I enjoy tremendously, also for Phil’s sense of humor.
Other than that, I watch Youtube channels, recently having discovered those of Ryan Leach and Dom Sigalas and I’m still working my way through Alan Belkin’s channel which is a terrific resource on composition and orchestration technique.
The hardest thing about “levelling up” is that you realize all the mistakes you’ve made in the past. It’s probably a bad idea, but I’m revisiting some of my (old) compositions and giving them a makeover. This way I can apply the newly acquired techniques, but it also means I spend a lot of time not composing new material. It seems I’ve yet to find the balance between improving what’s already there and just moving on.
Btw, here’s a little teaser of what’s to come as soon as I feel I’m ready to go on!