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Create Loud and other news!

It’s been a crazy week and I’d hoped to update the website about five days ago with some news. Such is life. I was extremely honored to be interviewed by Create Loud, a podcast by Rachel Robison and Cody Crabb. We discussed the value of mentoring – for both the mentee and the mentor! We also discussed various aspects of the game and film audio industries as well as how to best collaborate with clients.

Also my own vlog, Madsen’s Musings now has seven episodes out! Episode eight has been filmed and just needs to be edited. I’ve really enjoyed putting this vlog together and I hope others have enjoyed it as well.

Finally, I’m just about finished up with doing sound design for a top-down 8-bit retro shooter project (more news coming soon on that front) and will be starting music for another puzzle video game in about a week. All while working full time at SGI and still freelancing for various saxophone gigs. Crazy times – but I love it. I still have some space should anyone need music or sound for their next project. So get in touch if you do!

Bio:
Nate is an established composer/sound designer, based in Austin, TX. Aside from making various kinds of noises and music, he also teaches private lessons (saxophone and piano) and performs with live bands. On the weekends he likes to sit and watch the grass grow. He’s also quite fond of fancy beers.

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Madsen’s Musings: Episode 4 – Reframing

The fourth episode of Madsen’s Musings is now out! In this episode, I discuss the concept of reframing your mental picture or idea of yourself, your work and your place in the industry. It’s an important concept that I feel can really help keep one focused on the right goals, and not get too distracted by comparing one’s stature to someone else’s.

The cool thing about reframing is that it can apply to anything! Struggling to lose weight? Try reframing your mindset to focus on the victories you ARE having in that journey. Wanting to build up your brand and getting frustrated? Change your focus on to what you’ve done well so far while pushing to learn and do more for your brand over time.

So much of the journey in professional audio is many tiny steps done over a period of time. Invest in yourself and keep your mental image of yourself in check with reframing.

If you like what I’m doing with this vlog, please consider subscribing! If you have questions or topics you want me to cover – get in touch! I’d love to help out. And if you want to learn more about me and my work – just reach out!

Thanks!

Bio:
Nate is an established composer/sound designer, based in Austin, TX. Aside from making various kinds of noises and music, he also teaches private lessons (saxophone and piano) and performs with live bands. On the weekends he likes to sit and watch the grass grow. He’s also quite fond of fancy beers.

nathan-madsen-composer-sound-designer-austin-texas-vlog

Madsen’s Musings Episode 3: Having a System

The third episode of Madsen’s Musing vlog is now out!

Watch it here!

This episode discusses the importance of having a system to help you have the best odds when freelancing, networking and practicing. Madsen’s Musings is a new vlog series that I’m putting out on a (hopefully) weekly basis. This series will cover various topics including how to break into the industry, working with clients and how to balance work/life balance among many other subjects.

If you like what I’m doing with this vlog, please consider subscribing! If you have questions or topics you want me to cover – shoot me a message! I’d love to help out. And if you want to learn more about me and my work – just reach out!

Thanks!

Bio:
Nate is an established composer/sound designer, based in Austin, TX. Aside from making various kinds of noises and music, he also teaches private lessons (saxophone and piano) and performs with live bands. On the weekends he likes to sit and watch the grass grow. He’s also quite fond of fancy beers.

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Are you letting others in?

A good friend and colleague of mine recently talked about the realization of not letting others in on some of his projects. He expressed how limiting it was to try and do everything by himself. Limiting to his passion and creativity on the project. Limiting to his approach. Limiting to the overall scope and impact of the project. This really struck a chord with me as I’ve recently pushed to do more collaborating in my own projects. In an industry that is so often one audio guy in front of a computer, bringing in people with differing, new approaches is not only freeing, it’s refreshing.

If you’ve composed for any amount of time, you’ve noticed that you develop ruts in the grass. I know I have. Same chord progressions. Same melodic patterns. Same approaches to composing a piece of music. Bringing in new people to help branch out exposes your work to new avenues. New opportunities. So, on your next project I’d challenge you to ask yourself – am I letting others in? Even to just evalute the mix and overall structure of the piece? To review the melody and offering up suggestions? I’ve been so pleasantly surprised and encouraged by sharing my work with others during the production process. It’s made me a better composer, better engineer and stronger musician.

In an industry where so many of us tend to hide away in our dark studios and crank away on our masteripieces, maybe we should do a bit more sharing? When it’s appropriate and not guarded by NDA, of course! So reach out to your friends and peers. Folks that play actual instruments (gasp!) and see how they can breathe life into your pieces. Make suggestions as to how your piece can be stronger. More emotional. For example, I’d written out a flute ostinato that worked well for the song but was very challenging for a live player to perform. My VST could handle it all day… but my VST also doesn’t have to breathe. We made it work in a recording studio environment but if I ever wanted to have that piece performed live, I’d need to rethink that part some.

Using live musicians or collaborating can also be more inspiring and much more affordable than you might first think! Consult with folks who are talented and knowledgible at production and mixing. Because even the best song can suck with terrible production. I completely realize you cannot, and most likely WILL NOT, collaborate on every piece you do. But challenging yourself with new approaches and ideas is always a good thing. Maybe you’ll use them or maybe you’ll confirm that your own approach is the best for a particular song. Either way, you’ll come out ahead for having passed your piece across some people you admire and respect.

My point? Music composition and production is a life long path. No one person can know everything. This industry is actually much smaller than first impressions and folks are willing to help out! Buy them a beer, coffee or do an exchange of services. When possible throw cash. Or just ask and show gratitude! It’s definitely worked for me and I think it would work for you as well. The more well versed you are, the better. It will never hurt you.

Happy composing!