New Challenge for a New Year
I don't generally make resolutions for the New Year but all the talk definitely brought up some thoughts on what my goals should be. I spent January really challenging myself on this, writing down ideas and creating massive amounts of Trello boards. I landed on some great ideas that I'll be implementing but I decided on making my one big thing for the year doing pure sound design daily.
I did a great deal of recording last year. I have many sessions yet to be edited and added to my master library. With that in mind I noticed that outside of actual projects and creating examples for classes, I wasn't spending much time just playing with sound. I had a growing list of plugins, processes and interesting sound experiments I wanted to try when I 'had time'.
Maybe it was coincidental but I feel like I noticed a lot of similar sentiment in the community (on forums, twitter etc.). So I asked myself a series of questions: How can I make this part of my daily routine? What should the expected result be? What limitations should I impose? Will this make me better at my craft? Can it help the community? These questions are how I landed on my 365 day, pure sound design challenge.
The Game Plan
The idea is simple; spend an hour or less every day to create a new sound or series of related sounds. I decided it was key to ultimately limit myself to using only sounds I have recorded. I think I will rotate other limitations; right now I'm just using Pro Tools and stock plug-ins. I believe having these temporary sets of 'rules' will freshen up the challenge as the year wanes. As a result of this initial limitation I've found myself experimenting with Pro Tools elastic audio a lot more than I usually do.
I also wanted to make an active effort to track my work for future reference. With that in mind, I settled on making a brief journal entry each day to outline what I had done, how much I liked the outcome and anything else worthy of note. It also gives me some potentially interesting content to share via the blog or future videos/podcast.
Reflections after Month #1
I've held off on posting this because I wanted to see how I felt after completing the first month. I have to say I'm very pleased. Overall, I feel like I am getting the desired outcome that I intended to in my planning stages. I think I spent more time each night for the first week as I was getting in the groove of what this would be. I'm averaging at about 30 minutes per day now though.
I've created some really cool sounds that I might not have otherwise. Setting aside the time was challenging some days, and I actually was extremely sick the first two weeks. All in all I'm really looking forward to tracking my progress throughout the year and sharing as much as I am able. I'd also encourage any other sound designers out there to join in and reach out if you do!
Pure Sound Design 2017 - Key Components
- Create one new sound or a series of related sounds each day
- Spend 1 hour or less
- Create a brief journal entry for each day, outline the process
- Evaluate your limitations
These are the parameters that were right for me, evaluate the idea for yourself and figure out what you know you can commit to. Remember, the idea is to have fun.