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© 2018 by Steve J de Souza

FAQ

If you can’t find an answer to your question on this page, send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

 

1. Can you do the job?

Yes. I am a reliable and competent composer and audio professional. Before beginning any project I will carefully scope out your requirements and, if there’s something I can’t do, I’ll tell you. I simply won’t put your project or my reputation at risk. I’m always updating my skills and equipment – my wife was recently convinced to let me set up my studio to do 5.1 mixes.

 
2. How much time do you need to turn something around?

It all depends on the complexity of the task, my availability and your timeframe. I will take a brief, flesh out the processes and give you an estimate. I’ve spent anywhere between 3 hours and 1 year on a project, always delivering on time – I’ve not had any negative feedback about my timely delivery.

 
3. Can I sit in and watch?

Not really. Not even if you’re Tom Cruise. To create an inspired piece of bespoke music I need space. I am not merely ‘channelling music’, I’m also researching and analysing, and doing lots of painstaking laborious tasks such as setting up equipment and cables, and running tests. Of course, there will be times when you and I will need to meet: firstly, to take your brief and put together a work plan, and then we’ll have work-in-progress meetings for reviewing the work.

 

4. Do you have your own equipment and studio? What software and tools do you use?

I have a small stereo and 5.1 studio set up in my home office. It consists of a MIDI studio, recording interfaces, microphones, recording/engineering/mixing software as well as musical instruments – guitars, percussion and an electronic piano.

 

5. What do you charge? Do you have a rate card? Do you do pro bono?

My rates are competitive within the industry standard. I charge different rates for hourly, half-day, full-day and long-term work. However, these would need to be assessed depending on your requirements, and I am happy to provide you with a detailed quote. I am also willing to do pro bono work when I have spare time. For more information, send me an email.

 

6. Tell me about yourself. What’s your background and how much experience have you had?

I live and breathe music, and always have it on my mind. It is an art form with which I completely resonate. I have played guitar for over 30 years and growing up in a big family in Darwin, creativity was a big outlet. I wrote my first piece of music when I was fourteen. Whilst studying at university in Adelaide, I played in a band. This is also when I first got into mixing, as we had to do all our own stuff – I wish I knew then what I know now. As a composer, I love being able to express emotions through inspired music.

 

7. Do you have a showreel or samples of your work?

Yes. You can hear samples of my music at soundcloud.com/stevejdesouza and ReverbNation.com/stevejdesouza.

 

8. What genres and instruments can you write in?

Some genres I have composed for are pop, rock, world/ethnic, classical, film, ringtones, ambient, soundscape, electronic and EDM. My compositions have incorporated piano, guitar, orchestra, electronic, percussion and many world instruments, such as shamisen, tambur, sitar, dumbek and tablar. I once played violin on my electric guitar for something different.

 

The great thing about MIDI instruments is that you can make your drum, guitar or keyboard play any instrument or sound you like. It’s magic.

 

9. What instruments do you play?

I play acoustic and classical guitar (I have just finished my AMEB Level 7 exam), and piano. In my spare time, I am learning drums and riq as well.

 

10. Can you write for live performance?

I composed numerous world percussive pieces for the first round of production and trailer for DrumStory’ by Iconic Peformances. I also wrote pop songs for the theatrical play, ‘Reality Gap’ by Bruce Way.

 

11. Can you produce a written score?

Yes. I use Sibelius to do this.

 

12. Where did you study?

I’ve studied at SAE and Berklee College of Music. I have acquired Apple Certification as a Logic Pro 9 Master Pro (obtained in Los Angeles). I also completed the Pacfic North West Film Scoring Program (Summer Intensive) workshop with Composer Hummie Mann in Seattle. I am about to complete my AMEB Grade 7 certification in Classical Guitar.

 

13. Where are you based? Do I have to come to you?

I am based in Sydney. For face-to-face meetings, I am happy to meet wherever it is convenient, or even talk over the phone or Skype. For demonstrations, it makes sense for you to come to my studio. However, this may not always be possible and we can work around it. Just let me know what works best for you.

 

14. What formats can I have my music in?

Stereo, mono, 16/24/32-bit AIFF, WAV.

Variable rate MP3, M4A, M4R, FLAC, OGG.

 

15. How can you make my music sound better?

The first step is to listen to your music with a critical ear. There are two main aspects to focus on – the emotional content and the technical aspect. I’m happy to assess the quality of your audio and give you my honest opinion as to how to improve it at no cost to you. I’d love to hear your work.

 

16. How will we work together? What will happen in our kick-off meeting?

I like to work in a relaxed and professional manner. In order to maximise our time together, and after a brief introduction over coffee (my shout), we’ll meet to scope your project so that I can understand your requirements before I commit to you: we’ll talk about the complexity of the work, how to work within your budget, and timing. I’ll assess whether I am the best person to help you, and follow this up with a quote for the work. Once you agree to the quote, I will make a detailed work plan, which will outline the tasks and timings for catch up meetings (if required). If your project changes, we can re-scope the project.

 

17. Are you able to relocate for a job?

I am open to working wherever an opportunity may arise. Relocation will depend on the length of time you need me to be away, and any other work commitments.

 

18. Do you have testimonials?

Yes. These are all available on my Testimonials page.

 

19. What has been your most challenging job?

It would definitely have to be DrumStory. I had to do more than 6 months research on many ethnic percussive instruments and styles in order to deliver original, yet authentic and captivating beats.

 

20. Are you able to write different styles for a film – title credits, theatrical trailers and score?

Yes. I have done all of these.

 

21. Are you set up for 5.1 mixes?

Yes.

 
22. I have more questions for you – can I contact you?

You sure can. I am always happy to answer your questions, no matter how trivial you may think. If I do not have the answer, I will most likely find out and get back to you. In the worst case, I may need to refer you to a colleague if I am unable to help. Contact me.

23. Are you able to work with children?

Yes. I come from a large family so am used to the intricacies of children . I also have a valid Working With Children certificate.

24. What's an earcon?

An earcon is a short sound commonly made for computer applications or digital interfaces, for example, the start-up sound. You'll also hear them as error sounds or success sounds.