☆ Hello, my name is Alex, and I'm a remote session player on flute & oboe.
Remote session player on flute, oboe, and Native American Flutes(F# and A), I went to school at Berklee College of Music for and have many years of performance training under my belt. I specialize in video game performance and composition.
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Interview with Pearl Pixel Audio
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I am particularly proud of my work at an internship I had back in 2015. For this internship, I was one of 24 people selected, and of the 24, I was the only composer/ sound designer selected. I was set to work on all 4 of the games we were to make, while everyone else was set to work on a single game. We put so much effort into making the games and had so much fun. It was my first real game-making experience, and it has helped me in more ways than I can count.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am working on two games as a composer, one being a co-op game about girls in space, and another called Zed, an artistic story game by one of the artists of Myst.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I just found the platform, so unfortunately not.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I prefer digital because I don't have much excess income to spend on gear. If I had more time and money, I'd love to learn more about analog, but until then, I'll stick with digital. In general however, I don't see why one is better than the other as they both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to work as hard as I possibly can to create the highest quality music that I can. Be it on an instrument, or composed.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: There are challenges around every corner, which makes the job all the more fun. I think of music and composition as little puzzles waiting to be solved, and realize that they can be solved in several ways.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What do you charge? It depends on the project budget - we negotiate from there depending on if they are allowed to divulge such information.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Many people think that musicians are scary to talk to, but we don't bite! We're actually a pretty darn friendly bunch.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How much music do you need performed/composed? What is the budget of the project?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If you didn't expect to hire musicians for your project when negotiating the project, it's always a great idea to add at least a couple of live performers for your work. It will help your music become more lively and your client may notice the extra effort!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Water filters, fishing line, flint, my husband, and my dog(s). Probably not exactly what the question is asking... If I were to take musical gear however, what if there isn't any electricity? We can try to make instruments on the island and from there we can make our own music :)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I am a budding game composer, and I have been working in games for about 4 years now. I have been performing for 11 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with Grant Kirkhope. It's highly unlikely I ever will, but I wouldn't have gotten into game audio if it weren't for him.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Never use too much compression. People can tell when you do. If you decide to use compression, use it as if it were a spice you are putting on food. If you put too much, it will be off-putting, while if you use just the right amount, it's adding to the mix.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Video Game Music
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: In regards to my oboe performance, I'd say I bring a warm lively tone to a song. Many are particular about oboe sounds, and I am no different. I'm quite picky when it comes to tone in general and I put my all into creating a pleasurable tone.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When performing, I take whatever the client sends over(be it midi, pdf, etc.) and record the required parts. This tends to take the bulk of time in my process as I record several takes to make sure I get the best possible take for the client. Once this is complete, I export the .wav or other requested file type and send it over via Google Drive(unless requested otherwise).
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I record in-home on an MXL-870 behind a shield.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am inspired by many video game composers such as Grant Kirkhope. As for performers, I am inspired by Kristin Naigus, a fellow double reed performer.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I am a performer on Oboe and Flute along with Native American Flute(Keys of F# & A). Most of my clients are composers for video games.