Our sister site AudioJungle is a royalty-free stock audio site that helps musicians earn money. In this interview series you’ll learn about those musicians, their gear, and their AudioJungle experiences. Today we feature AudioJungle author Bobby Cole (Catch22Music).
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
My name is Bobby Cole, and I am from the small fishing of Mumbles which is in the city of Swansea, South Wales. (Wales is the country that is just on the side of England UK.) It’s a beautiful place, right next to the seaside and surrounded by countryside. My studio is situated just a stones throw from the beach and that’s where I make a living.
Growing up in a small village like the Mumbles, I had to find something to do….! Music did not run in the family, but most instruments that I have learnt have all come quite naturally to me. I started drumming at 7 years old, guitar at 9, piano at 14, and recently have started to learn things like the Mandolin, Banjo, Ektara, and many more!
I am lucky enough to say that music is my full time job. I combine a few things including composing music for AudioJungle, teaching music, and doing the odd studio session as an engineer. There are only two decent recording studios within a 50 mile radius where I am from, so there is not that much competition for studio engineers to get work!
Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?
I belong to AudioJungle, and what a great community it is. So many people wanting to help you out if you have questions, the forums are great and really useful. Loads of great information to be found!
I mostly sell instrumental music tracks, and am looking into selling source files (selling the individual components of a song like the drums, bass, guitar, keys) and also audio loops, but all in good time!
How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?
I got started by creating my own multi-track when I was 8 years old. I recorded something onto one cassette (yes cassettes……!) then played that back, and recorded that and another layer of instrument on top, then I just kept building it up. The quality was awful but it was my first studio!
I studied at the London College of Music and Media, and obtained a specialist BA Hons in Music Technology. It took off from there, and have dedicated my career to this industry.
Describe your home workspace.
My home workspace is actually my work workspace, as I do this for a living. My studio space is basically my haven where I can escape life and create music in my own time.
I have a variety of instruments and hardware, including my KRK V6 monitors (I bought these off Christina Aguilera’s producer in London!) my TL Audio Fat Track which is a great valve mic preamp to give my audio recording some warmth, an Edirol UA 1000 audio interface which can get audio into my computer at DVD quality sampling rates. I use the latest version of Cubase, with a few other gems such as Isotope Ozone mastering, and the East West Quantum Leap Goliath sample packs and Orchestra gold sound library.
I also love instruments. I have my 88 key fully weighted MIDI keyboard for playing everything in, then a Warwick 5 string streamer bass, a standard acoustic, a Nashville strung acoustic, a beautiful Gretsch, some standard Gibson’s and Tele’s, a Lap steel, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, various percussion from around the world, a stylophone, etc. I love collecting instruments, and am currently looking around for an original Fender Rhodes keyboard…. But they are a quite expensive!
I love plug ins and samples, but also love the real thing. One of the studios that I work at as a Hammond C3 organ, a Wurlitzer electric piano, a fender Rhodes mk 2, and a Hohner D6 Clav, all original and 40 -50 years old!!!
Mumbles fishing village to the left.
Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files
I have a few different ways really. One of the first things I do is look at my timeline. I think about various events in the year, and try and compose music a couple of months before an event or holiday is occurring.
For example, throughout August I will composer horror music so that through September and October I can upload it, and that it can have some great exposure on the home page in the lead up to Halloween.
Horror music is one of my strongest genres, and I am trying to carve out a career in the film industry by composing music for a few independent films that are out later in the year. It’s a difficult industry to break into, but I am trying to specialize in this area.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
I would have two pieces of advice:
Firstly, always think about what your customers want throughout the year. Think about when the best time would be to upload that Christmas tune….
And secondly, you need to have both quantity and quality. If you only have three files and they are amazing, you will of course sell, but you need both quality and quantity. If you are serious about this then you need to think about how you are going to increase your library up to 500+ tracks.
What do you do to market your files?
A couple of things. I have a large network of social websites (along with my own website) all of which are linked together. I have a Facebook page, a Myspace, a YouTube video, Twitter account, LinkedIn account, Bebo, etc. All with my bio, logo and links to my site. Getting your image out there is important.
I am also on numerous social networking sites specifically for film makers. This is great exposure, as I am getting my image in front of the right sort of people!
What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?
I love the idea behind this. I tried to portray the sense of a haunted circus or fairground. A great scale to use for any horror work is the harmonic minor, it just scares me straight away!
A great relaxed classical piano based piece. I love this track as it is very basic. The melody is so easy and simple and I love how everything kicks in halfway through. To get the large bass drum sound I layered three standard kick sounds with timpani drums and taiko drums, and filtered off all the high frequency, loads of reverb and it creates this really lush big sound!!! It worked out well!
I love the chords in this. Again minor harmonic, with evolving soundscapes and textures behind it all!
Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?
I love Slavador’s work. Such a great portfolio of work, and all really interesting and unique files, great work!
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to play rugby union, go swimming, go to the gym, play old skool computer games (I still have my original super Nintendo in full working condition from the 1980’s!) and I do a bit of DJing playing old skool funk from the 70s and northern soul!
My new website is www.catch22media.co.uk.