Of Sound and Music

Even though the influence of audio surrounds us all, we often fail to acknowledge its impact.

As many USV DAT graduates can attest, working with audio provides a proven pathway to discovery. Listening to music, or performing, producing and processing sounds leads us to pay attention the world around us more deeply. In his first semester at USV, DAT student Joel Giron provides a vivid example of the vehicle audio provides students in their transformation into professional roles and the level of enthusiasm he feels about engaging in that process.

I would wake up each day knowing I was working on something I love and making that into my career.

For his final project in his Freshman DAT 110 Desktop Production Fundamentals class, Joel jumped into producing every aspect of this original music composition: 

Breaking down the work invites an examination of the techniques used, the skills developed, and the planning required that make it extraordinary. Jerome Solomon, Dean of the College sums up his impression of Joel’s project this way, “I love it. That is his original song?  The editing & composition are also excellent.  I’m really impressed!  He even figured out the part about being creative with the end-credits. Bravo!”

Even in his first semester, Joel immersed himself in adapting to USV. The values gained through these experiences show through clearly in his final project. We asked Joel to reflect on his journey so far:

Perspectives: Have you become involved with team projects yet?
Joel Giron: Since entering USV last January, I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in two team projects, both involving video game audio. 

The first one was at the Global Game Jam earlier this year. As a new student, I didn’t know anyone at all. But, I knew I wanted to try working on video game audio, so I participated. It was scary being placed in a small team of individuals whom you know nothing about. We had to develop a video game for 48 hours. I learned so much, not only about the process of making a video game, but also about how working well with your team is essential to making your ideas into a game. I learned you have to put yourself out there, trust your teammates, communicate well and help each other out. 

The second instance was when I worked together with another classmate on an independent video game. He did the programming and I was in charge of the music and audio for the game. It was a personal project for both of us and it was a small two-man team, but the essential values of teamwork and communication stayed with me as relevant factors for success. 

P: How is that different than working solo?
JG: Working in a team is different than working solo. I don’t see one as being better than the other, but they each have their pros and cons. 

When I’m alone working on a project, I have creative freedom to do anything I want. I make all the decisions. But at the same time, I have to do all the work. If you succeed and you come up with something good, it’s on you. If you fail and the outcome is something terrible, it’s on you.

With a team, you’re not only working for yourself but for others as well. You’re not your own boss  anymore. It’s a collective effort. Your ideas will have to bounce off other people. The project’s direction will depend on the team’s collective decision. You’re going to have to work together with your teammates whether you like them or not. On the plus side, you all share the burden in making sure the project succeeds. If you need help, ask your teammates. You don’t have to work on it alone.

P: What does this recognition mean to you? 
JG: I am truly honored and humbled that my work is being recognized even in just my first semester in the school.

I feel I have so much more to learn in this school and that sincerely excites me! These coming years, I’m going to push myself to the limit and really aim to be the best version of myself that I can be.

P: What is on the horizon for you, going forward? 
JG: On the far horizon, I see myself working in the music/audio industry.

I would wake up each day knowing I was working on something I love and making that into my career. I know it will not be easy but it will be so worth it. I can’t wait to meet new people to form bonds with, learn more about my craft and grow more as a producer, engineer and as an artist! I can’t wait to work on lots of new projects and really give it my all!

He even figured out the part about being creative with the end-credits. Bravo!

Prior to coming to USV, music was a hobby for Joel. DAT program director Tim Duncan remembers Joel from an orientation session and sums up the progress he has seen since then:

“Joel asked a number of questions about my suggestions as I made them to the class”, said Tim. “As far as I can tell, he seems to have taken the suggestions to heart and is acting on them. The point is that he seems eager to learn and appears to be tireless in his effort to engage in the activities that will establish him as a professional.”

Subscribe to the Newsletter