Portfolio.

Hi! I’m Lucas Willmer, an Audio engineer and student in Brisbane with roughly 2 years of experience in the sound industry. I have been involved in film audio and music productions before, and am willing to explore new avenues and opportunities that will allow me to gain experience and further contribute to the media industry.

My main interests are in Music, Film and Gaming with special regard for Audio Engineering factor of these. My long-term ambitions in terms of careers, is to work with industry standard equipment and fellow professional engineers/designers/film & games producers and other creative individuals in the media industry. My Short-term ambition is to do as much freelance work and other various projects as possible to gain a wide variety of experience and knowledge. Im currently continuing my tertiary study at SAE Qantm in Brisbane, Australia, in the Bachelor of Audio Degree. I hope to apply the skills, theory and experience achieved to as many various projects and opportunities as possible.

I strive for a dedicated, productive, cooperative, and sociable work ethic. From my experience I believe that clients or employers are far more likely to offer work to obliging and “easy to get along with” people that have a good sense of character and are passionate about their art.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 12.14.04 pm.png

My Work:

Item 1: Warm Days (dry mix) – Yaurout

Band Recording Project –

Written by Yaurout band members, James Spencer, Billy McCulloch and Daniel Farley.

Recorded at SAE Brisbane by John Blinco, Lloyd Edgar, Rafael Pereira, Nick Swansborough and Lucas Willmer (myself).

My role in this project was as the Live Room engineer, In this position I was responsible for the major components of recording equipment, such as microphones, as well as their placement, functionality and arrangement. And of course tending to the needs of the talent. Editing and Mixing was a role each member of the project group did individually after recording.

Mixed and edited by myself, at my home studio.

https://soundcloud.com/lucasillmer/warm-days-dry-mix

Item 2: Blues Video Track

Video Backing Track Project –

Written and Played by Dominic Dougherty

Recorded/Played/Programmed/Edited/Mixed by Lucas Willmer (myself), at my home studio

This project started when a good friend asked me to do a video backing track project, the recording was for a tutorial video assembled by a client that required audio. We completed the project within 48 hours of beginning. Despite this tight schedule, the client was very happy with the track.

https://soundcloud.com/lucasillmer/bluesvideotrack

Item 3: Endless (demo)

Solo musical Project

Written/Played/Recorded/Edited/Mixed by Lucas Willmer (myself), at my home studio.

This is something I created in my spare time; I plan to expand on it further throughout more solo project time.

https://soundcloud.com/lucasillmer/endless-demo

 

Inclusive design!

The target these days with our creative media, is to make it as accessible and appealing as possible to a wide range of people, with different cultures, genders, ages, races and abilities (or disabilities). The underlying problem here, is that we’re merely the sum of our experiences, so we can only create from what we know, and many of us do not take the “inclusiveness” of our creative works into consideration, as they may not have had any effect or presence in our lives to date.

This weeks lecture was based around the idea of Inclusive Design, this is the overall accessibility and of a consumer product and the diversity of the target audience. This might not seem like a very important factor to consider, especially along things such as deadlines, budget. Although its vital time spent on making your art the most effective product it can be.

images-3

In the Audio Industry there are few things you see very rarely, one of them is female sound engineers, and just thinking here to myself about it, i have no idea why. Not too long ago, BBC entertainment reporter, Mark Savage, wrote an article (link below) on how females in the audio industry scarce. Despite the fact that there are so many female artists dominating the industry like Beyoncé, Adele, Katy Perry and so on.

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-19284058

Susan Rogers was an studio engineer for Prince, and is now an associate professor at the Berklee College Of Music in Boston. In the article she talks about the female presence in the industry…

“The bottom line is, women aren’t interested,” she says.
“Right now, I currently teach engineering and production; and I also teach psychoacoustics and music cognition. In the psychology topics, the students are half women and half men. But in production and engineering, maybe one out of every 10 students is a young woman.”

Savage goes on to say how this lack of female engineers is mainly restricted to the rock and pop music styles, in the theatre and radio industry’s however, there are several more female engineers.

54848606

Another obvious limiting with music is that you can’t really cater for people with hearing disabilities. There are a number of hearing impaired people who have managed to work with music despite their inability to hear. For example, Evelyn Glennie is a deaf Scottish percussionist, in the 2012 London Olympic games she led 1000 drummers in the opening ceremony performances. She says that she relies on the feel and vibration of the sound, and will often play barefoot when performing or recording to get a better feel.

In 2004, Ciarán O’Kelly created a program called Visual Audio, that enabled music to be mapped out visually on a computer with colour coding. The basic aim being to enhance the deaf communities experience with music. Below is a video of the prototype video from a few years ago.

This is a great example of inclusive design in the music industry! And there are plenty more opportunities for Inclusive Design considerations in people’s art.

References:

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-19284058

http://audio-accessibility.com/news/2014/01/music-deaf-ears/

Preparing for the Interview!

The big interview, it’s where we hope to find ourselves, however its a difficult and nervous situation, the questions are very testing and you want to been seen by your interviewer as the ultimate candidate for this job. Week 4’s lecture was about job interviews, I found this particularly helpful and interesting as I have never been in a formal job interview scenario, and to be honest, the prospect of being critically analysed terrifies me. So I guess knowing what to expect would extremely important and helpful for myself as well as other people with job interviews lined up in the future.

One of the first parts of the lecture that struck me was the really odd questions that interviewers would ask. I found it strange that they would go off on a tangent asking the weirdest questions, for example, “If you were and animal, what animal would you be?” or, ““How would you design a spice rack for a blind person?”. Why do I need to know this!?!? Questions you wouldn’t really expect and therefore wouldn’t really deem as necessary knowledge when getting ready for your big interview or writing your resumé.

48809158

However what they’re actually doing, is trying to find out how you function in a very sneaky and cunning way that’s extremely analytical.

These are the typical types of interview question that you may be asked in a typical job interview…

Behavioural questions – These questions focus on your reactions, attitude and behaviour to certain work situation from the past. The idea is to try to get as clear a picture of how you work, solve problems, react to situations as possible. This kind of question will sound like, “Tell me about a time when you….”, or “Describe a scenario when you set this goal and how did you achieve it”. Before going into an interview I would revisit as many previous work scenarios as possible.

Situational questions – These questions are tailored to find out what you will do in certain situations, in that way, they’re quite similar to behavioural questions, however with less regard for your previous work situations, and a greater focus on what will do in the future with this particular firm. These questions could sound like, “How would a workload this big?”, or “What would you I do to make this project deadline?”. I would re-evaluate my work routine before the interview and find a more organised, structured and efficient way of delivering my work, so as to be more prepared for these questions and scenarios in the workplace.

Competency/ability questions – These questions are about your personal skills and abilities and where in the job they will help you. These questions will sound like, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”. I would attempt to find a few main points that prove my knowledge and ability, without trying to brag or sound arrogant.

Communication/cultural questions – These questions look at your social skills and how you could work with a team. Harmony between colleagues is very important and employers will favour those that get along well with others as they make team work a lot more cohesive, and of course will make the workplace more friendly. These questions will sound like, “What do you think your colleagues would say about you?” or, “How would you describe your work relationships?” I would try to be a very friendly and easy-going in the interview, but remain a good listener and focused. Maybe even use my references from previous jobs, also be sure to learn as much as possible about the firm before the interview!!

Knowing the interviewers tactics will give you huge head start as you’ll know what they want to hear and how to answer their questions in the best way possible. Of course you wont be able to script out your answers as if you know what they will ask you, but you will have a far greater chance of getting the job. But if you don’t get the job, email the interviewer and ask for feedback on your interview, and there will be knowledge gained from the experience.

happy-03

You’ll probably hear some weird and vague question’s, the goal is to be prepared, intuitive and enthusiastic and your chances will grow immensely.

References:

http://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/job-interview-tips

http://biginterview.com/blog/2011/02/behavioral-interview.html

Copyright and Contracts

Copyright and contracts is such a dense and complex topic, very few people actually have a full understating of its ins and outs. It’s incredibly easy to take creative material these days through the internet and other means of technology and so many international laws and treaties have been established to preserve and secure creative art from being copied and stolen. In Australia, Copyright is governed by the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).

…”We have a massive system to regulate creativity. A massive system of lawyers regulating creativity as copyright law has expanded in unrecognizable forms, going from a regulation of publishing to a regulation of copying”… Lawrence Lessig

As a student of creative media, this is will become terribly important for me and the people I will work with, to establish some security, this is a passion as much as a job. So what is it that I will actually need to know before signing a contract? Or hiring someone? Or publishing a project?

Essential copyright knowledge for students and people new to the industry would be…

  • Copyright is implicated from the moment creative material is made
  • It only protects the actual material and the creators, not names, phrases, styles or techniques etc
  • Australian Copyright laws apply to the material that is in Australia, regardless of whether or not the material was created in Australia.
  • Copyright allows the creator to…
    • Reproduce the material
    • Publish the material for the first time
    • Communicate the work
    • Perform the work in a public environment (literary/dramatic/musical works)
    • Adapt and Transform the work (literary/dramatic/musical works)

EMI Records and Sony BMG Records were fairly recently taken to court over accusations from Larrikin Music, claiming that the Australian Rock outfit, “Men at Work”, plagiarised the main flute riff from the classic Australian kids song “Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree”, in their hit song “Down Under”. In February 2010, the court ruled that Larrikin Musics Copyright had been violated and were entitled to a hefty amount of royalties from “Down Under”. The case is still ongoing at this point. This, I believe, is a great example of a large-scale copyright infringement that began over a single flute riff which lasted the grand total of a few seconds. And could have been avoided, had EMI and Sony BMG Records asked for authorisation by Larrikin to use the riff in the song.

Men_At_Work

For more information on the details of the case and specifics of the songs, visit the link below…

http://www.artslaw.com.au/articles/entry/mighty-kookaburra-swoop-men-at-work/…

What I’ve discovered through the duration of this course, is that a lot of work in creative media is freelance/project work. Contracts in these scenarios are vital to ensuring the job or requirements are fulfilled to the needs of the client, and of course that the hired hand gets everything they’re entitled to. I never considered how a simple contract would be a necessity at student level, given that no one is getting paid to take part in university projects. However with this in mind, a contract, even just a simple one can save a project from collapsing, or it can ensure better control over an employee’s work, and obviously it provides a legal statement binding them to the terms of the project/job.

References:

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lawrencele333222.html#rZDIz1IzOfizUKyT.99

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-02-04/men-at-work-plundered-kookaburra-riff-court/321624

Running a Studio 101!

Running your own professional Recording Studio requires a lot more effort than just turning knobs and moving faders, it incorporates a strong business approach, a creative passion for Audio and of course a healthy and positive relationship with clients/musicians. This weeks lecture focuses on our Income, Art and all the stuff in between…

Running a Studio of my own always seemed like an awesome idea, however I never quite pictured how I would make a successful living from it. It’s quite an investment depending on how you go about creating your business. A Professional requires a lot of technology and skill, one potential way is to open one at home with a few thousand dollars of gear, naturally a studio of this budget is going to be quite rudimentary and will have limited abilities. The other way is to rent out a recording space and fill it with $10,000, $50,000 or $100,000 worth of equipment, the only real limit of equipment is the budget. One way around dropping a heap of money on a Studio, is to start with other colleagues and share the workload, costs and pay.

Also I’ve heard from an Artists point of view, it’s far more attractive to find a studio that can do the best with as little money as possible, as most new and amateur artists can’t afford a fancy studio with all the bells and whistles.

j9u845

A lot of people are quite happy to leave their dreams on the poster, generally due to fear of failing. But that feeling is normal, especially to recent university graduates, the responsibility with starting any new business is immense. What else is important? MARKETING AND ADVERTISING, this is vital to having a continual flow of clients. As an owner of a Recording Studio, Marketing and Advertising would be a priority of mine. Also its important for any engineer to understand and utilise his/her equipment to it best ability.

Every successful Recording Studio needs to be treated as a business, the place has to run efficiently and the bills such as rent and any hired equipment, have to be payed no matter the circumstances. When comprises are made I would take it upon myself to consider the artists point of view, and explain to them the terms of any agreements made my expectations as well as theirs.

Studio-Partner-Guide-Cover-618x800

Author of The Art of Running s Successful Studio “Disc Makers'”, in conjunction with 8 other studio partners, created the 19 step “Mantra of a successful Recording Studio”. Some of which are just creature comforts and simple luxuries, however they can make the studio environment more attractive and they’re fairly simple to acquire. Other than these the most important factors of an efficient studio are meeting deadlines, being efficient, meeting clients needs, creating a quality product and just being a nice and friendly person to work with.

http://blog.discmakers.com/2013/09/successful-recording-studio-mantra/

From what I’ve discovered, the major requirements of running a professional Recording Studio, are skills and technology, getting well-known, being professional in the work place, and of course having devotion and a passion for making music, if you love it enough it should be easy.

The Entrepeneur’s Playground

The focus of the previous weeks lecture was on our creative and professional identity in the industry and what we plan to achieve with it, and what most in the media plan to achieve is this status of ‘entrepreneurship’, which in its essence is a hardworking, innovative, risk taking individual that seizes business opportunities left, right and centre. A start-up business or even multiple may even be on the agenda but not necessarily. This is definitely a growing objective of those working various forms of new media. As student of creative media, what I find quite an intimidating prospect, is how challenging new and innovative media is to create.

86dq4

However, I suppose if it were easy, than anyone could and would do it.

The harsh reality of trying to achieve this entrepreneur status, is that sometimes taking risks, and being innovative and passionate about your work and idea’s will not always yield a reward. Meaning, entrepreneurial success is not something everyone is able to achieve in their lives. This is where the idea of ‘Intrapreneurship’ (a new term from our lecture), seemed like a more plausible route to follow, in the way that someone could take their passion and innovation to other companies/ organisations and use it as an asset.

As it turns out both Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs are a great asset to the economy and very rewarding positions.

They create new business through goods and services…

Entrepreneurial ventures often create a lot of income…

Their desire to innovative and divert from standards and tradition can have a large impact on social change…

To the farthest extent they can improve standard of living! For example…

iphone-plus

I think what makes the concept of entrepreneurialism so attractive, is the freedom to follow your passion and creativity, and of course make a living from it. The greater free time and extra money is a major perk that would make life really flexible, comfortable and would have a relaxed but positive effect on the flow of creative work.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/101414/why-entrepreneurs-are-important-economy.asp

Influences.Identity.Interests

Curation activity. Our online professional identities are the sum of the media that we engage with. The things that you re-blog, ‘like’, re-post, and share, tell your audience about your creative interests and also predetermine the kinds of media that you are likely to create and contribute to

As a musician, most of my influences are to do with music, a fair variety that has grown throughout recent years. I’ve taken a lot of these influences from father who shared a lot of his musical influences with me, he is also a musician. He introduced me to a great many artists and people, that I am still incredibly fond of to this day. All of which have shaped me creatively.

Below is link to a page of Artists, Bands and Live Shows that would currently consider to be my utmost favourites.

—–https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv0Ddti5ID2qg_302KwjxVQ/playlists—–

The kinds of media I hope to contribute to someday would be without doubt, music, and by extension the recording, producing or live aspects of that medium. The Playlists in the link above are comprised according to the main types of music im interested in.

1. Progressive Metal – The intense technical and rhythmic complexity of the music amazes and intrigues me, also the sheer talent that these musicians have. Not to mention how so much of this kind of music is create with the simplest of recording setups, sometimes even in people’s living rooms. The vast use of polyrhythmic patterns keeps me so heavily engaged in the music, usually trying to figure out the patterns of the song. The combination of intricate chord voicings teamed with high gain effects is something else that fascinates me deeply, so much of this music has very specific tonal characteristics

2. Melodic Hardcore – I love the power of the vocals, kind of how it’s usually the fine line between yelling and screamo. I find it really easy to connect with this kind of singing. The guitars play more melody orientated riffs, general characteristics being minor 7th and minor 9th chords; which give a unique sound. Also the Drop D and C tunings give it a much heavier and distorted tone; a trait I enjoy a lot. Another cool characteristic is the melodic overtones played over the heavy rhythms and more commonly amongst heaps of feedback from the guitars.

3. Rock, Punk, Blues, Alternative (Basically the “Other” category) – Most of this category consists of songs that I grew up loving, or have characteristics that have stood out to me. Whether its an individual instrument or rhythm, or how everything works together in the mix, or just a song that i found really well written.

4. Best Live Shows – A few live gigs that have drawn me in to live music

Future Trend Predictions

Trends are a wayward and genuinely unpredictable phenomenon that is the main factor of any popular culture. They spread like wildfire one day are burnt out the next, despite this, many popular cultural trends will find their way back to prominence at least once. So what do we expect to come back? And where do we reckon cultural movements/directions will take us in the next 5 to 10 years? Well I think it would be wise to analyse the past and the present before we dive into the future.

One big observation I must proclaim first is, demographic change. Meaning, the typical person has changed a great deal from 50 or 60 years ago. Not just the what they do or look like, but what they believe, what their wants and needs are, their opinions and their tastes. This is a typical symptom of time. Also, 50 or 60 years ago was a very different time, and to put things into context, gay marriage was something absurd and almost unheard of, the percentage of family households has decrease by several percent all over the world, most of which were religious, and back then technology was ancient in comparison to today. Pretty much a whole other world when you look at how far we have come.

Whilst its difficult to predict when and what cultural trends will be next, they all seem to be influenced a few specific things. Being Nostalgia (if were talking about prior trends), people of influence, and marketing. Generally its a combination… One result of this is Nostalgia Marketing, this is a great market to be in. Nostalgia is something the older generations experience with glimmers of happiness and wistfulness, and younger generations thrive on it because its satisfies the desire for individuality. Not to mention the fact that’s these product already exist, they don’t have to be imagined and invented again. Nostalgia Marketing for the win!

With all this in mind, these are the trends Id would say would be appearing in the next 5 to 10 years.

1. Technological – Desktop and Laptop systems will eventually become more virtual with holographic and multi-sensory technologies. In this area, the aim is for a simpler product that’s more capable and smarter than its predecessor. I doubt any technology from the past will become popular again, with the exception of older gaming systems, that can be considered to some as ‘retro’.

2. Fashion – A theory I have about fashion is that it will soon become a matter of self-expression and that picking styles of certain group or status will be made redundant. Also, sustainability and recycling of clothes etc, will become a huge attraction for people, as well as manufacturing from recycled or older products. Many fashion styles and trends of older generations could force people to conform to be like a majority, meaning fashion was and still is to a degree, a status symbol. People are more aware of this now and many cultures will eventually grow out of this.

3. Retail – Online shopping is a huge method of shopping that second to none in terms of efficiency, simplicity and speed. Soon this will expand to people swapping and sharing clothes both online and virtually, mainly to save money whilst getting new products and dispensing with what other people may find more enticing than the original owner.

References:

https://aifs.gov.au/publications/australian-households-and-families

http://www.nowandnext.com/?action=top_trend/list_trends&sectorId=1

http://www.euromonitor.com/global-nostalgia-marketing/report

http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1332972/new-nostalgia-trend-its-reference

Media Use and Identity

The Media has been amongst us in one way or another for several years, one common form and perhaps the oldest, is newspapers. Newspapers were introduced over 400 years ago and have since become a major factor in the media domain of today.

Title page of Carolus' Relation from 1609, one of the earliest newspapers https://multimediaman.wordpress.com/tag/the-first-newspaper/

Title page of Carolus’ Relation from 1609, one of the earliest newspapers
https://multimediaman.wordpress.com/tag/the-first-newspaper/

More contemporary forms of media used today such as the Social Networks, Blogs, Radio, and T.V. etc, are currently leading the way in vast world of digital media. Most of which are designed to be just the push of a button away, for anyone and everyone to access. Despite the fact that these are ground breaking innovations, there are of course consequences, both good and bad. Also, because our world is so incredibly saturated with these forms of media, I can say with absolute certainty that these consequences will inevitably have an effect on almost every single individual.

My personal media use revolves heavily around the Internet, film and T.V. The Internet and by extension Social media is where I consume most of my information about current happenings in the world, the music industry and entertainment in general. Beyond that it’s also a communication tool I’m extremely fond of. Most of my other association with internet is music oriented. Film and T.V., to me, above anything is a great source of entertainment, I very rarely go a day without watching some form of film or T.V..

These media forms been a big part of my life for the past few years of my life, and only when I force myself to think about it, do I realise just how much I depend on these recourses and how much of my life they absorb.

A study was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation a few years ago, the objective of which was basically to find out how much time people spend on their devices with media access. The results stated that people between 8 and 18 years old spend over 7 hours accessing media resources, daily. Most what these people (us people) are accessing falls under the entertainment category, most of which is video streaming, social media and music. This really makes me wonder how this mass consumption influencing me. Or to put it differently, without the media who would I be? Would I be different compared to who I am now? My understanding is that the media is continually changing our identities and our self perceptions, usually indirectly. The influence comes from the various forms of media, and we are the catalyst. We shape Identity according what we see and hear.

Also, what do all these forms of media that I use, say about myself and others as creative people? I believe it suggests what forms of creative media we’re attracted to, what we like about them and what kind of interests we have. For example, Facebook, in my opinion has a level of connectedness and availability that many other forms of media just dont offer, it brings together so many media forms into one and makes it incredibly simple to share information and material, and so a vast amount of people flock to this one form of media.

References:

http://www.criticalmediaproject.org/about/key-concept

http://kff.org/other/event/generation-m2-media-in-the-lives-of/ – Kaiser Family Foundation Study

http://www.nyu.edu/classes/stephens/Collier’s%20page.htm

https://multimediaman.wordpress.com/tag/the-first-newspaper/

What brought me to SAE? What are my “Creative Influences”?

My journey to SAE began during my first year of highschool when i picked up a guitar for the first time. As i progressed with playing it, learning new materials and finding new sounds etc, I would find myself spending a great deal of time searching for new music and new styles. It soon became a ritual that I would do almost every day, I would sit infront the of the computer, usually for several hours, just filtering through artist after artist. Looking back from now to then I can see how much my taste in music has changed, from just simple rock and punk, to Melodic Hardcore, Thrash and Progressive bands. Genres almost unheard of the world of Itunes top 40 listeners.

By the time I graduated, I had established a new and very personal perspective of music. I discovered how powerful a tool it is and influencial it can be, largely because of its effect on me and my prior experiences with it, being predominantly mental or emotional. I realised how something like the theme song from the 1975 Thriller Movie, “Jaws”, had the ability to build so much anticipation and tension. Or how a song like “Somewhere over the Rainbow” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole, can bring feelings of hope, warmth and contempt, these are just examples, but you get the idea. This ability to make people feel a certain way is something i hope to achieve someday.

Being a musician at heart, I idolize people of great musical talent, meaning that a lot of my idols are successful musicians and/or band members, although production, recording and mixing sound is generally a big part of what they do. My two main idols are Misha Mansour and Adam “Nolly” Getgood.

NAMM 2015

Misha Mansour – NAMM 2015

Adam

Adam “Nolly” Getgood

Both are band members of Periphery and Produce/Engineer music together. What inspires me about these guys is of course their incredible skills as musicians and song writers and their sheer knowledge of sound and how to manipulate it, both onstage and in the studio. During the composing of each of their bands albums, Misha and Nolly make a series of videos based in the studio where they’re recording, the idea behind these videos is to share their methods of recording, info about gear and how they get their sound. This insight into a professional kind of studio scenario was what really got me hooked on the whole production aspect of music, and it inspired me to go further down the Audio engineering path.

What I hope to achieve at SAE is a firm knowledge of how to capture sound and turn into something that can have a positive impact on listeners, either on the live stage or in a recording studio. And I believe studying at here will give me the tools to this.

References:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UetE-O77xw – the mental and emotional effects of music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bFr2SWP1I – Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvCI-gNK_y4 – Jaws theme song

http://uploads.jacksonguitars.com/blogs/jackson/2015/01/Misha.jpg – Misha Mansour Image

http://forbassplayersonly.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Nolly-150.jpg – Adam “Nolly” Getgood Image