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Sound Designer Spotlight: Pasi Pitkänen

Hi everyone, now we have our spotlight on Finnish composer Pasi Pitkänen. He is an experienced composer and a longtime member of the AudioDraft community.

Hi Pasi, you won the Cities In Motion: Tokyo trailer music contest, congratulations!
First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? We would especially love to hear about your musical background.

Thank you very much. It was a tough competition so I was very glad that they chose my entry as the winner.

Well, my name is Pasi Pitkänen and I am a Finnish composer & sound designer for films, games and other media. I started composing music in the late 90’s with multi-track digital sound trackers (Scream Tracker, Impulse Tracker). Ever since I have experimented with different music genres ranging from electronic music to rock.

I have been an avid gamer and a movie watcher for my whole life so in the autumn of 2008 it was obvious that I would orientate myself towards composing music and creating sound effects for films and games. Still on that road and learning new things every day.

So you play a lot of games? Have you yet played Cities In Motion?

I do play games a lot. Like I mentioned before I am an avid gamer so I spent my youth playing games on Commodore64, Amiga and other consoles as well. After that I got my first computer (Pentium 166mhz!) and I enjoyed playing games like Heroes of Might and Magic I & II, Diablo, The Settlers, Star Wars: X-wing and the sequel Tie Fighter. I was hooked to say the least..I still am..hehe

If I had to choose three games that changed my life somehow I would pick:
1. Heroes of Might and Magic 3
2. Diablo2
3. Civilization II

I have not played Cities In Motion yet but I need to check it out and see if it is my cup of tea.

You managed to capture the feeling of Japanese urban setting with your song very well. Does Japanese culture influence your work? Have you ever been to Japan?

Thank you. Japanese popular culture has influenced my life greatly. I grew up watching Silver Fang, playing Resident Evil and Final Fantasy games and later I found Takeshi Kitano movies which blew my mind. I have not had many projects in the past that needed music with Japanese influences so the Cities In Motion: Tokyo trailer was a good project for me to compose music in that vein. I have not been to Japan yet but I have that and many other countries on my must-visit list.

Please tell us about your creation process? How do you start making tracks and how do you know when a track is ready?

The way I start making tracks usually depends on the type of the project. If it is an action film / game I start with the percussion to get the groove I want and then build themes and melodies on that. If it is a mellower project I load up my piano library and start noodling for ideas and themes first and then build on that. This varies from a project to another.

How do I know when a track is ready…hmm…I guess when it has the feeling that I am looking / going for or when it is the last day of the deadline..haha

We noticed that you’ve created a lot of instrument and sample packs. Can you please tell us a little bit about this work, how hard it is to create a sample pack?

Well to be exact I have not created those instruments and sample libraries that are listed in the credits section on my site but I am part of the Sonokinetic beta and demo composer teams. We check the new upcoming libraries thoroughly so that they are bug free and ready for release. While doing this we also compose a demo song or two with the new library so that the potential customers can hear what can be done with the library.

I can say that it is a lot of work to thoroughly check huge libraries like H.I.P.P, Tutti or Sultan Strings. In the end it is all worth it cause we help Sonokinetic to create high quality and very affordable sample and sound libraries for music and sound design productions.

What’s your favorite piece of music gear and software at the moment, and why?

My favourite gear at the moment is my Roland Octa-Capture soundcard. It works flawlessly, has a great sound quality and it fits nicely to my current needs. As for the favourite software I choose Cubase 5. I have used Pro Tools and other DAWs before but when I tried Cubase the first time it just felt right and everything is easy to find.

What do you think about AudioDraft and is there something you would like to say to the AudioDraft community?

I think AudioDraft is a great service; especially the contests which help composers and sound designers to create different kinds of music and sound effects. The contests have a good variation in the type of music and sound effects the contest holders want.

To all of you AudioDrafters out there: Keep on doing what you are doing and remember if your entry is not chosen as the winner you can always use it as one of your promo songs or part of your showreel.

Thanks Pasi! Have a great Summer!

Thank you. Have a great summer as well and check out more of my music from my website at www.pasipitkanen.fi.

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