Lectures, Lectures, & More Game Music Lectures

In Articles by John

It’s been an interesting start to the year. Having never given a lecture before I’ve now done four in the last month. It started when fellow composer, friend and a former tutor of mine, the exceptionally cool Ethan Lewis Maltby asked me to do a talk with some of his students at my former University (Canterbury Christ Church University). Now this has secretly been on my bucket list ever since I first wanted to get into game music, so to be asked to do it was a real honour for me and of course I said yes. So that’s what I did, I rolled up to my former campus (it seemed smaller than I remember, I think that’s normal though), got to catch up with Ethan, got a tour of the campus’ shiniest new facilities and gave a talk to large room full of bright eyed students about what it had been like for me getting into the industry. After speaking with them for around an hour and answering a whole ton of questions I stayed to chat with a couple of students for another half an hour or so. It was great.

A week later and I’m at Ravensbourne, a university college in London, directly opposite the O2. Jenna Donnelly, also a CCCU graduate, now a course leader at Ravensbourne, not to mention a commercially successful singer/songwriter and producer in her own right, asked me to do some custom sessions covering game music, specifically in the Unity editor, which I know my way around. Running three different lectures, each to last five hours long, was an interesting new challenge for me, and there’s nothing quite like teaching something to someone else to test what you really know. With a good amount of prep however, and an eager group of very keen (and capable) students to work with, I feel that the lectures went really well.

What did we do

Some pretty tricky work actually, however the students managed it in fine style. We covered:

  • Basic playback in Unity (audio sources and the audio mixer)
  • Advanced playback in Unity (generating random music with scripting)
  • Creating seamless loops
  • Mixing for small speakers, phones and tablets
  • Game music theory
  • Getting work and ways in to the industry

So Would I do it again?

Yes, absolutely. Planning the lectures took a lot of time and thought however it’s been a great opportunity to stress-test my own knowledge, by teaching it to someone else. The energy and enthusiasm from a group of new, creative musicians was also refreshingly welcome, and it was really great to hear about their impressions of the industry, the work they’re already doing and the work they want to get into. In this corner of the industry where, for whatever reason we all seem to work in isolation from one another, it was an excellent experience.

If you’d like to talk to me about running a lecture, workshop or talk or to discuss anything covered in the sessions then I’d be happy to hear from you.