5 Quick Music Insider Tips on Video, Animation and Technology

5 Quick Music Insider Tips on Video, Animation and Technology

Be realistic with your time.
Do yourself, and the performers or project manager, a favor by being honest with how much time it will take to complete the project. I used to overshoot my deadlines by two or three months, leaving a very frustrated performer behind, and sometimes even jeopardizing any chances of a performance or adequate rehearsal time. Now, I try to be as realistic as possible.

Give regular updates on the project
Whether it is a music or video project, or a music video project, keep in constant communication with the people that you are writing for. While e-mail may be easy, a call on the phone, video chat, or a live visit, is much appreciated and clears up many communication issues.

Know your music, video, and/or animation software.
Do not embark on a new project with video or music technology that you are not familiar with yet. Try a few test pieces, if you have to, so your time (and theirs) is not wasted with trying to just basically function on the program.

Do not depend on technology
A few years ago I had an amazing music and video performance of the work World Order #5 by the Kansas State University Percussion Ensemble. However, there was a major glitch in the track. The click track had a series of occasional accents to indicate time code for the performers. Though 95% of the clicks had been panned left (the music panned right), one set of accented clicks had been set dead center. Fortunately, the performers did such an amazing job that the audience did not notice the extra clicks. Mind you, that story is mild compared to the lightening strike that blew out the speakers at a national electronic music festival in Oregon, or the numerous times I have seen computers up and crash minutes before a performance. 

And in case you didn't catch it the first time...Do not depend on technology
I know that I said it once, but I will say it again. Do not depend on technology. Somewhere something will go terribly wrong, but if you give yourself enough time and back-ups, then the project can be completed on time. Some things that may happen - entire computer crash and the B.O.D. (blue screen of death), music and video files get erased or corrupted, animation rendering takes a century, the computer gets overloaded, one tiny "fix" trashes the entire video scene, and the list goes on and on. Always have a plan B ready in case the technology gremlins strike!

Follow these simple quick tips and you will be well on your way to musical success! 

Award-winning composer and media artist Sabrina Peña Young has over fifteen years educational experience, from early childhood to graduate school. She currently teaches humanities courses online and will be speaking at the upcoming TedX BuffaloOctober 14, 2014 on her animated operaLibertaria: The Virtual Opera, an excited online sci-fi opera about the teen rebel Libertaria escaping from a genetics Factory and teaming up with her addict father to destroy evil reverse-aging geneticists in a post-USA dystopia. 


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