Learn Your Tools

Working as a composer for commercial media requires you to stay up to date regarding technical and stylistic developments. This means, it is part of the job to more or less regularly get accustomed to a new piece of soft- or hardware. This could be anything from a DAW update to a sample library to a new synthesizer or a new technical workflow.

Some composers develop the habit of simply getting new things to run as quickly as possible and figure out how it really works during the next real life use. While this way might work for some people, it can also end in frustration or in developing excessively complicated workflows.

It might actually be the better choice to really explore the new tool on its own and really understand how it works and what it can do. Playing through all patches of a new sample library, diving through all levels and sublevels of the GUI to figure out how you can make it do what you want it to do might actually save you a lot of time in the long run.

Depending on your personal preferences it might be a great time saver to read manuals, watch Youtube tutorials, read Forums etc. Many highly specialized pieces of software are not really possible to design very user intuitive so figuring out what all the buttons knobs and functions do is essential. In the heat of a project you might simply not have the time or nerves to get accustomed to all the functions and start to muddle through which might end up in you never really learning how to use that particular tool properly or even worse, developing workflows that take way longer than what would actually be necessary if you really knew what you were doing.

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