Archived Zapcoder Interview

This is an interview that was on Zapcoder’s website that was recently removed. I managed to keep the page text so that you can see my interview here:

 

What first got you involved in the music industry?

I started my career in music when I first started taking up piano lessons at a very early age. I then moved on to other instruments such as guitar and drums which led me to realize I had quite an interest in music composition. From there on I pursued my education in music composition and production. I wanted a career doing what I loved most which was creating music. My first commercial projects were small film productions and small indie games for mobile. Some of those creators I worked with in the beginning were also somewhat new in the field and I did continue to work with them as they grew in their fields as I did, which helped me get into bigger commercial projects in the industry. Today, I still meet new creators and developers from all walks of life and still provide my creative services in music production/composition for them. No matter what level of experiences a creative team or individual may have, the overall goal to create something wonderful is always something I’ll be passionate about.

What software/instruments do you use and play to create your musical pieces?

I am well-rounded in terms of instruments. I am able to play my way around a piano, guitar or any type of percussion instrument. As a composer and audio producer working from a home studio setup, I have many tools, virtual instrument libraries and software to be able to create anything and everything that a creator may need. I do have a full list of my arsenal here: http://www.matthewpablo.com/hardware-software

Who, or what genre, would you say are your biggest influences in your music?

The around us is full of inspiration. Many people may be highly influenced by a single type of media such as TV shows or Bands, but for me I see anything and everything around us is an unyielding source of inspiration. I do play a lot of video games and enjoy a wide variety of films, TV shows and music as well. I’d say a big source of my inspiration comes from video games as I’ve been a pretty avid gamer all of my life. After first playing Final Fantasy VII and hearing the great music by Nobuo Uematsu, it sparked a huge interest in me as to how composers are able to create music that emulate certain moods and feelings which is essentially when I started to study composition at a pretty young age.
Now as for certain bands, groups, film composers, and any composers for that matter, I have too many that I quite enjoy on a regular basis. I have heard from many people that I’ve worked with that I have quite a knack for being able to tackle any musical style head-on and successfully emulate it. Anything from jazz, classical, cinematic to specific South American drumming styles and more. It mostly comes from my interest in learning and taking in new things everyday especially musical styles. Stepping way outside of my comfort zone to try new styles and to do things most composers shy away from. The world around us is constantly changing which I believe should bring about new ideas, innovations for creators everywhere.

What are your motivations for releasing your content for free on your website?

We all had to start somewhere. Some of us may just be starting out and I was there too in the beginning of my career as a musician. I mostly offer my work for free to the likes of those who are just starting out or people who need inspiring soundscapes to bring to their project. With having a wide variety of genre and styles, I hope to be able to help anyone with any musical needs with their project. Like I said, we all had to start somewhere, even big and well known productions started out small. Offering quality work to creators of all kinds develop very strong relationships that are likely to last for a very long time. You never know if the small-time developer you worked a while ago on a small project would eventually develop the next biggest game of the decade.

You mentioned being diverse in many musical styles, could we hear a few examples?

Sure! Just remember I do have more samples on my website than what I just post here. You can find more of my music on my website here: http://www.matthewpablo.com/

[Media Links removed, please check out my music examples under the “audio” tab]

 

What’s one of the most outlandish and most interesting music track you’ve produced for a project?

There aren’t TOO many outlandish projects I’ve worked on, but from time to time there will be a couple that come up. One game I was working on was an action platformer with different themed levels of enemies. For instance there was a spooky forest level with ghosts, a pirate ship level with pirates and so on… There was one ninja stage where they wanted to mix traditional Japanese taiko music with intense rock-action music. This is how it turned out:

[Media Link removed. Search “Blackmoor Ninjas” on the search bar if you wish to hear this track]

Is there any real advantage to being an adept and well-rounded composer in many styles? Do you think everyone should strive to be an all-around musician or composer when it comes to various musical styles?

The only real advantage is being able to work in many different projects of all kinds and having a step up from others who may only be proficient in one or two styles of music. There were a few instances in some of the games I worked on that being capable of producing various styles opened doors to new ideas from the game designers and creators and helped bring new concepts to the game itself.
Personally, being all-around is just my thing. I enjoy learning new things everyday whether it is a new instrument or a new style of music. I do take learning those new things very seriously and make sure I am fully understanding what I’m taking on. It doesn’t come overnight either. It takes a lot of study, practice and application to learn new styles and instruments. For everyone else, I don’t think everyone should strive to learn every instrument or every style of music unless they really want to. If you enjoy just playing guitar and writing guitar music, that’s totally fine! Do what you want to do that makes you happy. Inspiration is always around the corner, and as long as you’re doing what you feel you do best success will always follow.

So what are some of the most note-worthy projects you’ve been involved with?

I have worked with many smaller game productions and a few bigger ones. One of the most successful games I’ve worked on was a game called “Cloud Spin” developed by Skytrain Studios for Apple iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cloud-spin/id633283236 It’s featured on many of Apple’s official game collections like “Flight Games” and “The Best Games You’ve Never Played” and it was also featured on IGN and Touch Arcade

Another game I worked on was a game called “Maximus” developed by Moof Games for Apple iOS https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/maximus/id627873426. It’s an epic action RPG with a huge epic movie-score soundtrack. Moof Games has had millions of downloads for their games and continue to develop great games for everyone to enjoy.
There are many more projects I’ve worked on and I’ve showcased most of them here on my website:
http://www.matthewpablo.com/credits

Here at Zapcoder we hope to make creating personalized apps, jokes and games incredibly simple. What are your thoughts on this concept for both users, and the opportunity it brings to artists who will pick up promotion and credit, such as yourself?

I think it’s a great resource for both users and artists involved. As Zapcoder continues to grow and develop it will always continue to be an invaluable resource for both users and artists alike of any experience level. Promotional credit and exposure here on Zapcoder is always guaranteed and are always plus, but the inspiration you will bring to those who provide your work for is invaluable and help to develop strong relationships with other creators.

Do you have any advice for new and aspiring artists?

I’m sure those reading this already know much about what it takes to be successful in the creative industry, but I do have some advice.
There are many times we feel discouraged and want to give up, but you need to stay positive and always be aware of how amazing the world is around us and the inspiration it brings around every corner.
Setting and having clear, set goals for yourself is always helpful. If you are passionate about something enough you will eventually get to where you want to be. The work you put forth towards your goals is truly an outlook on what you will get out of it.
Networking is something people always mention, and that’s because it’s very important. It’s quite rare someone will pick you up from randomly stumbling across your website or portfolio and offer you a job opportunity right then and there. You need to be places where your services are in demand and needed. If you are a game music composer, you need to make yourself known as a “game music composer” around where developers/creators are. Some of the ideal places for that are gaming related conventions, events and meet-ups. Imagine huge expo centers and/or rooms full of people who are all offering exactly what you’re looking for! Also you’ll find others doing the same thing your doing, maybe on the same experience level or even those with more experience. Creating relationships with your peers is also important and don’t ever be afraid to ask for help, to some it may not seem like it but the rest of us in the community are also an invaluable resource as well.
Lastly you need to have fun and enjoy what you do. While you strive to be a better artist, enjoy the process of learning, study and practice of creating something wonderful. Be happy with your ability to create great things, it will always help you move forward in your daily pursuit of becoming a better artist.

How can we get in touch with you for networking purposes, or just to say hello? Do you also create content for us to enjoy on YouTube or elsewhere?

I’d love to hear from you guys! I would be more than glad to meet new aspiring artists, creators or anyone else really.
You can contact me directly via my website: http://www.matthewpablo.com/contact
I do create videos for YouTube. I upload original music playing within my music software, notation software, some live performances and more. I also have some tutorials on creating film music, video game music and other music related things. You can find my channel here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/letspretendxc0re

Thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions today Matthew! Will you continue to provide and upload great content to Zap?

It was a pleasure to answer your questions! I wish everyone great success in their endeavors here on Zapcoder and everywhere else. I will be around here for a while providing quality music and audio for Zapcoder, and I hope to see more amazing content from others as the community grows and further develops to be a great resource for everyone! I’m very grateful for you guys to have me interviewed here and I hope my responses were insightful for those reading along.So until next time, see you guys later!