ME AND MY FUTURE
My name is Mauro Serra and I am currently studying BA/BSc (Hons.) Audio Production at SAE Glasgow. I have been into music, audio and multimedia since multiple years, collecting work experiences and creating a wide network of clients around the world that, gradually, gave me the chance to improve my skills, knowledge and confidence while working in the industry environment.
I have very clear ideas and plans for the future, as my ambition would be to become an Audio Designer for AAA video game titles and, at the same time, to run a company offering multimedia related services, majorly focusing on VR and new technologies.
WHAT INSPIRED ME AND WHY
Since very young I had many influences from different creative sources : music, video games, movies and illustrated art; while growing it is been easy to understand what I desired my future path to be like. Being realistic and very analytic, I found that the video game industry might be the best fit for my personality and skills, considering also career growth, opportunities and salaries.
A strong passion influenced a lot this choice; titles like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Age of Empires, Star Wars KOTOR and similar have been a big part of this process.
REFLECTION ON EXPERIENCE
As described in the previous post, in the past years I've been hired by clients from different parts of the world to work on their projects, more than 250 to this day, and generally involving various tasks inherent the multimedia field. This open-minded and "willing to not be limited to just one discipline" approach, allowed me to catch more opportunities and to develop different skills that, together, gave me more power on providing related and, sometimes, connected services (e.g. music production and audio engineering [mixing and mastering]).
A concrete example of experience I would like to reflect on is a project I've been hired to work for that involves designing and creating the sound effects and Foley for entertainment videos which, in a second phase, I have to edit, mix and master with the additional provided original music, in order to deliver the final product to the director, that will be exported with the completed video to be released.
This experience marks an important point of my journey for different reasons :
I've achieved the goal of working in a serious environment with a high charge-per-hour, considering my effort and the value I give to my job, having so the chance to enhance my ease concerning income, and basically financial independence - considering I'm living abroad alone.
This opportunity came to me via my hard work and consistency in one of the marketplace platforms I spent the last five years on providing services (www.freelancer.com), raising enough credibility and credits to be elected as elite "freelancer", and because of this high ranking position, I was selected by the website support team for it.
I wasn't new to the involved tasks required to complete the job, but as every new project, there are different variables and elements that it's always safe to recognize and consider.
One of this, and probably the one I retain the most important (moreover because working in remote) is communication. It changes from person to person, and starting a new work-relationship with someone means getting to know him, his expectations, creating a productive plan and work-flow, with the intent to always achieve a positive final result, work and social-wise, as the goal is to keep the contact and continue the collaboration as much as possible.
The first project of this collaboration required a strong effort as it had a very tight deadline, but as I really cared about satisfying the client, I've dedicated my full-time to it until perfect completion.
As in past I've happened to work with few "not really ideal" clients, I've learnt to make a very detailed and precise deal and discussion with the other part before starting to work, as I think it is the best way to avoid as much as possible any problem and uncomfortable situation during the process.
MY STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
During the years I learnt to know and understand what I was doing in a satisfying way and what I had to improve.
Concerning my strengths, I would say I have a great sense of time and organization, that gives me a huge help into handling projects and deliveries, and so balancing work & life. Creativity is another quality I think I have since very young, especially visualizing abstract concepts : this helps me into planning or having a determined path concerning the production and/or the mixing of a project. Attention to detail and precision are definitely feature I am happy to possess, as I always make sure that when I deliver a project or some files, everything is on point at the best of my possibilities for the other part.
If I think about the other side, my weaknesses, I can definitely list my main three :
I generally have a hard satisfaction level to reach, so, sometimes, it becomes an auto-saboteur aspect; it probably comes from a perfectionism approach I have.
I find difficulties into detaching from the production approach/stage when I start to mix, as sometimes I struggle to have objective perspective on the elements; I think it's a high level of DYI related issue.
One weakness related to a technical side might be in the actual recording process of some instruments as, coming from an electronic music production environment, I still miss some experiences and so having the chance to perform different recording techniques using different mics.
WEAKNESS INTO STRENGTH
Improving satisfaction achievement and positive feeling about the work done between the production and mixing stages are probably my main goals, whether at the end of the first one or during the second one.
They way to accomplish them is to improve my approach and perspective of what I'm doing, trying to have a more objective judgement over it and better organizing the stages in between, giving me a safe deadline to not lose interest or touch what the work done, in order to keep focus on the path I want to go through with the project.
I've found few resources that might help me into this :
a Dave Pensado 15 tips video by LANDR (2016) which can help me to build a stronger work approach;
a presentation done by Womack “Willie Green” (2015) at the Audio Engineering Society 139th Convention, concerning sample-based music, in which I can find useful techniques considering the general kind of music I work with;
the making of/documentary film made for Sounds of the Universe (2009), a Depeche Mode album released in 2009, which shows the process of creation, production and mixing of the project, inspiring and helpful in how to approach and work especially on the production of ideas and concepts.
LANDR (2016) 15 Dave Pensado Mix Tips Every Producer Should Know.
Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AqNUNrO690 (Accessed: 09 October 2018).
Womack “Willie Green”, P. (2015) ‘Techniques For Mixing Sample-Based Music ’, Audio Engineering Society139th Convention. New York, USA, 29-01 November. New York.
Depeche Mode (2009) Sounds of the Universe (Deluxe Box Set). Amazon. [Download]. Available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sounds-Universe-Depeche-Mode/dp/B001UE276A (Accessed: 10 October 2016).