This is our new blog section called Sound Designer Spotlight and it features one of our community members each month. We aim to introduce the faces and voices of the talented artists and active contest holders on AudioDraft. First in the line we have Andrew Higgins aka ADHMusic from UK.
Hi Andrew, you have already won five contests on AudioDraft. That’s amazing, congratulations! How do you do it? Do you have a secret weapon in your arsenal?
No secret weapon unfortunately. I just try to understand the pitch really well. I always read the ‘exam question’ twice, as it is so easy to get carried away with an idea that you lose sight of what the client wanted. I also try to do some research on the company/client to better understand the context and what business they are in. Often I also won’t listen to any of the other entries so they don’t distract (and I lose confidence as there are some brilliant composers out there!).
Now can you tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from and how did you end up creating music?
I live in the UK midlands, as far away from the sea as you can get in the UK. I’ve always been passionate about playing and writing ever since I was about 15 and picked up a guitar. I did the usual thing joining lots of teenage bands that spent more time jamming and setting up than ever doing something really useful. Over recent years though, the explosion of technology and software created so many opportunites and possibilities that I got more and more interested in the recording/writing and arranging side. I’m showing my age when I admit that I used to record with an Atari STE running creator, onto an old Fostex 4 trk. Things have moved on (though I’ll never sell my old Akai DPS16!). I learnt of Audiodraft through doing some web research on possible outlets for my music (hail Google) and I guess I’ve been lucky!
Has AudioDraft been helpful to your music career? How has your success motivated you in your music career?
Music is not yet (unfortunately) my day job. Audiodraft has been fantastic though! It has given me the confidence to really go for it and provided an opportunity to reach individuals, markets and communities that would otherwise have been impossible. I must admit I was a bit sceptical about the concept of the site at first, but having got involved I’m totally hooked.
From a musical perspective it has taught me such a lot about being disciplined, more focused and thinking laterally about working with my kit. My portfolio/CV is looking a lot healthier and I really feel I have developed as a composer through working in the different genres and a variety of contests.
What hardware and software you use to create your music? What instruments you play?
By default I’m a guitar player. I can cover bass and some keyboards and am learning drums (which is great for your programming BTW). My gear isn’t fancy and very basic: the hub is a Quad Core PC running Cubase Studio 4, Propellerheads Reason, Record and Recycle, Wavelab 6 and some mastering plugins. I have a couple of Akai DPS16s which are brilliant for mobile recording and can sync with the above. I’ve got a range of guitars and a couple of old Roland Rack units as well as a Vox Tonelab SE, the latter being great for DI’ing. Nothing fancy on the mic front, some Shure SM57s and a Rode NT1 are the mainstay.
Would you like to say something to the AudioDraft community?
Never be surprised either way (if they love it or hate it) and don’t take it personally. Regard an unsuccessful entry as a bit of a jigsaw puzzle that you can invariably reuse in another context down the line. Having won a couple of competitions I have realised that writing a brilliant pieice means ‘diddly squat’ if it doesn’t fit the brief!
Thanks for the interview Andrew! We are looking forward to hear more of your tunes in the coming contests!
Hear Andrew’s winning work in the following contests:
Draught Beer Soundtrack – the perfect pint
Create four engaging tracks for an iPad party game (1 of 4 winners)
A cool retro influenced sound track & sound effects for promo video
Blobo TV game-show
Can you hear ALT in Space?