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Monday, November 14, 2011

No Excuses for a Good Education:

     Sometime I hear students lament on schools, instructors and whether they are getting a quality education, which, in the state of the economy today is totally justified. My strategy concerning this would be the follow: 

A. -
With the purchase of any big ticket item you do some research and fact finding. If you were buying a car, TV, or washing machine you would check specs, read reviews, reports and feedback before you made the purchase. Your educational institution is no different. Some things to consider; how long the school has been around? What people of importance have graduated from the institution? What about the teachers? Do they have experience in the field or closely related fields? Does the curriculum reflect changes in the industry? What about school accreditation? Are you get bang for your buck? What about type of degree? Is there additional support for job seeking as you get close to graduation? 

B. - So you are now in your institution of choice. Every teacher has different teaching styles. What is the student consensus concerning instructors? Ask people deeper in the program about who are the best instructors for the different classes. Ask from a diverse group and you will be able to narrow down to a few good choices. Try to arrange to get into those classes with these instructors. Do research on the jobs in the field you want to get into. What skills , software and knowledge is required? Be ready to go deeper and ask question about these area when the classes that teach those subjects come around. 

C. - Take an active part in your education. Courses dealing with technology are always in a state of constant flux because the technology and processes are always subject to change. Have a list resources you can go to that will get you that information. Very often good instructors should point you in the right direction. It can be trade magazines, websites, books etc.. Be on the lookout for info to put you at the top of your game. People in industry don't wait to be told. They are already in the know and teaching themselves new techniques constantly. Work at your craft until it becomes effortless.

One of the best artist I know that made complex drawings look easy and effortless told me his secret once. He lived on a farm with no TV or radio for several years and all he did was draw. No distractions. Find a quiet place to study. Absorb, focus, apply and practice! If this is truly something you want to do, go after it with enthusiasm.

Stay tuned for another tip that will keep your sharp and make you even more employable.

PS – Sorry folks. I try to keep the things as short and to the point as possible. Just being thorough.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Your Free Open Source Music Studio

A perk as an instructor is to be able to review books related to the curriculum. A book I received recently, “Your Free Open Source Music Studio” by G.W. Childs is a book I wish I had several years ago.
When I made the switch from hardware to a software based recording set-up, it took a bit of research, time, money, trial and error to find proper resources. This book lists quality sources that are
free or very low cost.

This the same author that wrote several other good audio books including “Creating Music and Sound for Games”; a text that is used by the Berklee music online program-
 http://www.berkleemusic.com/school/course/introduction-to-game-audio?tab=8777020&program=music%5fproduction . Both books are great!
These days a computer with the right software has all the capabilities of a professional recording studio.Check out the books. Try Amazon or Bookfinder.com for the best pricing.

So as not to steal it’s thunder, here are two resources not mentioned in the book. For FruityLoops lovers check out LMMS (Linux Multimedia Studio) - http://lmms.sourceforge.net/ .

This software is free, works on Windows and Linux and work very similar to the FruityLoop music program.
Also try Acid Xpress - http://www.acidplanet.com/downloads/xpress/ . This is a streamline version of Sony’s Acid music program and it’s free. It allows you to combine loops to make your own music. Once a week on Acid Planet they provide music loops that you can download for free as well. Just click on the free downloads tab.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

What are the Triple A’s

Hey everyone. I finally took the hint from friends of mind and decided to start a blog.

I asked myself what I could possibly write about being that there are so many neat blogs already out there. The answer was to write about the three things that interested me the most; Animation, Art and Audio. Hopefully I can maybe point some of you to new sources of inspiration as well as to share information and some life lessons that have helped me down the road. Information gained should be information shared, right?

Geez, I’m sounding like an old geezer. You are only as old as you feel, yes? So I choose to be that kid who is still wide eyed with wonder at all the cool things happening around us.

The Triple A promise:
To blog at least 2 or more times a month. Have something of merit and importance to discuss about the Triple A’s. Not to be long winded and pretentious. To maybe un-wrangle some thoughts and ideas and gain perspective about art and life. To give something back for life I’ve been blessed to have.