We were first introduced to Mick when one of our customers posted the Voices of Devs YouTube video (below) on our forums. Further investigation revealed that Mick was a prolific video game music producer, with titles such as Need For Speed, Last Airbender & Shift 2 under his belt…to name a very few.
Mick tasking success
Tell us about your music and yourself?
For the past 8 years I’ve had the awesome pleasure of writing tunes and making noises for the wonderful world of video games. I’ve worked on about 50 games for companies such as Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, THQ, Marvel, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Sony.
The video game world is incredibly diverse and has allowed me to write music in pretty much every style under the sun!
How did you come to use FL Studio?
I bought FL Studio 5 and I’ve been hooked ever since! I absolutely love how computers have allowed us to explore new ways of making sound. Unfortunately…I find that most DAWs are the most uninspiring ways of connecting with a computer. There’s nothing worse than having a tool that is difficult to work with when you need it the most.
That’s why I dig FL Studio – it just…works. When I want to do something, it wants to do it too. When I need it to work in a hurry…it works in a hurry. When I need it to feed the cat…it just…hang on, no, it doesn’t feed the cat (come on Gol, is that feature coming?). Most importantly, FL Studio keeps up with me – right at this very moment I’ve got nine different projects on. Each project has a deadline and that deadline can’t be changed. Having tools that I can rely on allows me to concentrate on the project, focus on the music and sounds, and get more sleep!
Do you have any tips for people wanting to break into the video game industry?
Firstly, get your music out there! Post it around the net, send links to people, get it into public events – whatever you can do, get it out there! Aim to get it in front of people who make decisions. If you’ve got something cool out there, people will notice! Secondly, get yourself out there! It’s impossible to build relationships with people from your studio, and you can’t expect opportunities to come to you – you need to go looking for them! Go to trade shows, play gigs, go to conferences, and meet people! Finally, stay positive and have fun! There’s only two times to do something – when you should have done it, and right at this very moment!
Need For Speed
How does FL Studio fit into your music production?
I use FL Studio on absolutely everything. I use it for scoring, sequencing, designing sounds, and musical sound design. It’s just so easy to work with, and work with quickly. It opens up in a flash, I can load up a template, throw in a bunch of sounds, load a stack of effects, assign a bunch of controls and start making noises!
Tell us about your production environment & toys?
I’m actually not much of a gear-monkey, but I love my instruments and my organic sources of sound. I’m a Guitarist, so I’ve got a big collection of axes – my Dad makes Guitars and instruments and has built me a bunch stuff including a hollow Alumimum body 7-string, a beautiful nylon string Classical, a Duclimer and even a Waterphone he designed for a horror game I was working on. I’ve also got a collection of Duduks, Bansuris, Mandolins, an Oud, and lots of other various wind and percussion instruments from various corners of the world.
I also love my valves and tubes – I’ve got stacks of valve preamps, mics, compressors, EQs and other effects. I’ve got a new custom made valve chorus unit with two 12aX7s in it, which makes some of the most edgy sounds you’ve ever heard!
I love anything that makes sound and you can find interesting sound sources anywhere. Computers have allowed us to tweak audio to the extremes – we can tweak tempos, timings, pitch, rhythms, or even harmony! You can make music out of anything. Anything, can become anything else! To prove this theory I made a song completely out of human voices recorded a the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco:
One of my favourite tools at the moment is IL Harmor – I love throwing sounds into that thing and tweaking the hell out of them. The other day I needed to make some crazy monster sounds for a new game I’m working on. I threw a dog growling sound into the IMG of Part A, changed the Freq to Linear Wide HZ, slowed the speed, set the Unison control to Uniform and the order to 5. Then, I recorded some overcooked Pasta being sloshed around, loaded that into Part B and set it up in a similar way to the dog growls. I assigned the Harmony, Prisim and Phaser controls to my controller surface and “performed” sounds by playing all over the keyboard. All this took about 10 minutes to set up and resulted in some of the most violent, horrifying sounds the client had ever heard. They loved it!
Any links you would like to share?
Email: mick [at] mick-gordon [dot] com
“This envelope has money in it right?”