I have written music and audio for over 6 video games up to this point and have written countless orchestral pieces. While video game soundscapes and orchestra have their own challenges, I believe that every composer should strive to enter into post production audio work of some sort.
Every composer dreams of hitting it big - that statement certainly rings true for me. Every composer looks to leave a mark somewhere, whether it is writing that big symphony or writing music that takes on a more artistic standpoint like a sculpture- it can be said that music is made to highlight something. What better way to understand how music does this than to learn about post production audio?
A lot of composers, myself included, want to make it as a film composer. But how do you understand this world better if you're not doing it and are looking from the outside? You get in through another route. You get in through another means and through that, you gain understanding.
For me, I started doing Foley through video games. I first started doing this in collaborating with Eric Smith(Battle Crafters, LLC), who has taught me so much about sound effects design from the industry perspective. From there, I then began an internship with Undertone Music, Inc., which not only did I learn about sound effects design from their audio editors, but I also took away from that the ability to be able to understand that world. I would ask questions to their editors to understand their world and what they do at Undertone Music - I even asked Tom Hambleton, who owns Undertone Music, questions. The fact is: if we dare to live in a Film Industry world, a post production audio world, we need to understand it better. It is okay to ask questions. It is okay to make mistakes. When we do understand this post production audio life, we learn how to survive in it, thrive in it, and we stand out better.
Because of this, I now sound design on films. I edit sound effects. I clean up dialogue and remove unwanted sounds from that dialogue. I now mix dialogue. I now have more to offer to the industry because of this route I have taken.
Am I saying every composer needs to design sound effects or do Foley? Not necessarily. The key thing to do is to gain an understanding of how this industry works and where you fit in. Because the last thing you want to do is to be that person who does not know how they fit in. So find people. Ask questions. Gain perspective.