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JBlanks says

Ok I’d love to know some of the back stories of the guys here on AJ. We all eventually decided we loved music and had to write it ourselves. When, where and why?

My story in a nutshell…I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house as a kid while my parents worked. She had a book shelf, a TV (which my grandpa was always using) and a piano.

I saw the classic horror movie “Halloween” at a very young age – young enough to be warped by the experience and decided to dedicate my life to directing horror movies (a non music related pursuit but eventually linked up). But I was intrigued that the director of the movie also composed the score. Didn’t think it was that out of the ordinary as a kid, but it is. You can count on two hands the film directors who compose their own scores frequently (and you don’t need many fingers on the second hand.)

Anyway – the theme music is very memorable, anyone who’s seen the movie knows it. So I started trying to figure it out on the piano. Took a few days but I got it. It’s simple, wasn’t trying to play Beethoven or anything. But that little success gave me drive to keep going and learn more stuff. Xmas carols, pop songs whatever. Inside of 6 months my parents were proclaiming me a child prodigy – not true, but I could ape music pretty well.

So then the 80s arrived with the midi-synth tidal wave that was such a big part of that decade. I was desperate to get my hands on a synth. I went to a music expo in Melbourne with my Dad where Korg had all their latest models on display. I started a paper round delivering newspapers and junk mail for 2 years until I had enough cash to buy a Korg DW-8000. Changed my life, to this day I think it was the most excited I’ve ever been about owning a material possession.

So I tried a year of piano lessons but was already too far down the road with my own “play by ear” method and dodgy fingering. Midi was my saviour. Still is!

But as the years rolled on and technology improved I upgraded to a Korg O1-W (with floppy drive, that was a BIG extra back in those days), a Korg Triton, Roland stuff until we finally arrived at the era of DAWs and VSTs that we all love.

I just loved music so much I had to figure out how it worked, without all that pesky music theory that I tried but was no good at. Somehow the teachers made it less fun that I knew it was. So I have no formal music training on keyboards, although I did do the full violin thing and passed all exams. Haven’t touched a violin since 1989 though so I’m sure I suck on that at present.

Anyway – I write scores for my own movies now, a lifelong goal. And audiojungle is a nice way to have an excuse to write new tracks that are requested by clients. I do a lot of that stuff still, and love it, but need an outlet for music that I write only for myself (and hopefully AJ clients).

Love to hear from you guys how you started in the game and why. I’m sure there are many experiences we’ve all shared in common. The common link is passion for music. What’s your story…?

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Sky-Productions says

Good story Jamie, gotta love the early Korgs. Get back on that violin, it can’t be very useful!

Music is my only identity and all I’m really good at. I’ve tried many times to give up “THE DREAM” of making a living with music and go full time school or work but I keep coming back, over and over. Its been a very hard ride going back and forth. I worked for a short time as an accountant and then a financial analyst and for me the difference between making music and working at an office is like the difference between breathing in crisp ocean air and breathing in smog.

I’m very grateful to AJ for giving me hope. We are all so lucky/blessed if you think about it.

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gballx says

At 12 my parents bought me a Casio home keyboard for christmas and by 14 they also bought me a Boss digital delay. By connecting the two together and feed into the aux input of a hi-fi I could create a “big” psuedo synth sound. At 16 I bought my first real synth – Korg Polysix. At 19 – a grandad died and I had inheritence money and bought a Yamaha V50 workstation. Also with this money I got a Korg M1. At 22 – final year at film school I specialised in writing music for moving image – sponsored by company to design sounds for M1 and major project shown at BAFTA. Bought loads of synths Ensoniq Mirage, Roland S-760, Akai S3000 XL, EMU E4 – Syquest cartridges for storage etc plus loads of rack synth modules – wrote loads of UK television programmes – remixed boy bands etc. With a huge arsenal of sounds I still could not find this elusive sound in my head – no not strange voices. Music work dried up went to teaching multimedia – had stable income and last year I invested in music gear. Korg Kronos 88, Korg M3M and also a super computer. Now with Cubase 6.5 and the adequate processing power – 3.7 ghz 32Gb Ram and approx 1.5 TB of sample library – spent about £10k On decent library last year my sound in my head is becoming a reality. Freelance work is picking up very nicely once agin and I am having the time of my life.

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JBlanks says

Thanks Sky and Graham for your stories. Cool to know we’re all driven by the same internal fire to do music no matter what. It’s amazing how hard it can be to pursue this passion – especially if you expect to get paid for it. I can’t count how many fellow film student’s scores I wrote for free, or ads I did on spec to get noticed – but they were all such amazing fun and wouldn’t swap any of them.

So you both get joy out of life through music that isn’t possible any other way – that’s what I felt. There is something so wonderful about writing music and creating emotion through music.

I can hear it in both of your work – I send all my best wishes for years and years of joyous music in your lives. May we all get to use our passion for music for as long as possible. Good stuff.

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gballx says

Thank you 008! :)

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JBlanks says

Thank you 008! :)

My pleasure 009. ;)

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StudioEtude says

In 2 years old, my parents bought a piano for me and in 4 the first time I realized that it is possible to play :), 6 years old go to the music school, 14 graduated, 15 enrolled in music college …17 graduated it and entered the Conservatory, ...23 graduated from the Conservatory (with 18-19 served in the Army in the orchestra :)). Why I started writing music? In my family all in music education, beginning with my great-grandmother … Synthesizers from: Polyvoks (no VST, natural USSR), Vermona (GDR, Germany), Electronica, Unost(USSR).. many Yamaha (Pss & PSR), Roland JW-50 ( I like it too ), E-96, Korg M-1 & Fantom G8 … and maybe more I’m forget :) now I write on PSR-540, recently sold Fantom …

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dbSounds says

At 9 my Dad introduced me with his melody in his head and he played on my Casio synth. First time i feel deep emotional felling in music… From that moment till now i created music! On & on! Forever!

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Revturkey says

Hi Jamie, the first bit of mine might interest you :)

This is the first time I have ever thought about it. My story as a composer…goes something like this:

When I was a young boy, I used to love the old Hammer horror films and I used to sneak downstairs when staying at my grandparents house late at night to watch them. One day whilst at my uncle Brian’s house, he learnt of this interest and gave me a book about horror films (A Pictoral History Of Horror Movies, published by Hamyln…still got it). Anyway, he also had an old home organ…two manuals and pedals. He let me have a go and I started composing my first music…all scary, dark sinister noises and thunder and lightning trying to emulate the creepy music of the films I loved.

Well that was the start. My parents got the family an organ and eventually when my feet could reach the pedals I was allowed to go and have lessons. During my time learning to play I became interested in Jazz and Blues and how in those styles you could ‘make’ up stuff. Improvise, compose on the fly. I loved that. I was fascinated by it.

Moving on after switching to piano and acquiring a Roland D50 synth…making noises was also marvelous fun…I ended up studying for a music degree after dropping out of art college. Whilst doing the degree, I continued my interest in improvisation but had to start composing ‘proper’ music….writing, scoring and arranging.

I had always dabbled at composing but that it where I started to understand how to contruct music more professionally. When I left I went on to compose for videogames and also for some other projects such as advertising etc…

I have always mainly been a performer, in groups etc but Audiojungle has sparked my interest after a long time away, in composition once again

:)

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JBlanks says

In 2 years old, my parents bought a piano for me and in 4 the first time I realized that it is possible to play :), 6 years old go to the music school, 14 graduated, 15 enrolled in music college …17 graduated it and entered the Conservatory, ...23 graduated from the Conservatory (with 18-19 served in the Army in the orchestra :)). Why I started writing music? In my family all in music education, beginning with my great-grandmother … Synthesizers from: Polyvoks (no VST, natural USSR), Vermona (GDR, Germany), Electronica, Unost(USSR).. many Yamaha (Pss & PSR), Roland JW-50 ( I like it too ), E-96, Korg M-1 & Fantom G8 … and maybe more I’m forget :) now I write on PSR-540, recently sold Fantom …

Awesome background Studio Etude. Musical family is a great way to ensure your musical skills are not washed away by other circumstances. Can hear in your words the passion for music and the heritage. I was blown away when I learned at around 12 that I had a long history of musicians on both sides of my family – except while I was a kid none of them (except my grandma) were alive. My Dad’s father (grandpa #2) had a pianola in his house that no one had played since his mother had died – always resented me playing it for some reason but when I learned the history of the piano it was a nice feeling. To feel like it was still being loved by the surviving musician in the dynasty (lol).

My mum’s mum – (grandma #1 to this day) was from Germany and very musical family. Without her I would have never discovered music at the right age. I have 10 year old son who would rather play xbox or playstation than play on Dad’s awesome musical rig. I literally would have never made friends as a kid if I had all these toys back then… Trying to expose him to music in a way he will come to like I did, but so far…I seem to be failing. :(

Music is the most wonderful thing man has invented – in my opinion. We are all so lucky to have this form of expression and AJ as an outlet. Viva musicians everywhere! Thanks Mr Etude.

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