In this 17th edition of The Compressed Interview, I talked to José Ángulo, founder of Hello Sound and he has also worked in different projects creating music for games such as ¡Rompe!, Héroes del Bicentenario, Inner, and in films and TV for projects such as Take Me Out, Cottonhead Project, Two Days Along the ridge, Mar de Colores.
It was a great experience to get to know José and to talk about his experience in this industry. This is what we talked about:
Threshold: Getting Started
Janette: How do you prepare yourself before starting any project?
José: Each project needs preparation, not only in mindset but also to see what each project requires. I have a template for audio and music that works as my starting point. It has different tracks, instruments, routing, etc. which helps me to set particularities for each project. Sound and music need to tell a story by themselves, so you need to choose suitable instruments and sounds, to establish a concept for all the sounds, to create themes and leitmotifs. That’s what takes more time before starting, all this investigation and conceptualization process. Once you have that music “creates itself”. During this stage, I talk a lot with the team to see where should there be music in the game, what are the expectations, etc.
Attack: Things to discuss
Janette: What is your most unexpected experience in the industry?
José: At first, I didn’t know that I was entering this industry. I just enjoyed playing instruments, so I started noticing that there are things besides the usual way we think about sound and music. The most unexpected experience was when I started working on my first own videogame: URA. I have worked before in other games, but this time I started to develop my own game, and that’s something I didn’t expect at all, but I really like it. Working with sound and music makes you versatile. I like TV, movies, streaming, playing games, and I am able to work in all of these fields. That’s what also helped me with the process of creating my own game.
Release: Talking about the good stuff
Janette: What’s the next step in your career? Any project you are working on?
José: I have always worked on projects that weren’t completely mine; I was freelancing for projects created by other people. And since last year, I thought that it would be better for me to create my own projects to work on so I created Hello Sound. I thought that a great way to learn from other people that work in the industry is by just looking at how they work. In Hello Sound I try to do that. My method can help someone else, it’s not that it’s good or ad, but it works for me. So I also talk to other people in the industry about their own processes and their work, and people really liked it. So I did it more formal with the website but always based on the community. I did the YouTube channel, since the talk is really long some information may be lost in the process, but in this channel, I am uploading shorter videos about certain concepts or ideas. For example, how to charge for your work, creating seamless loops, DAWs, and any other subject that people might be interested in but in Spanish. There is not a lot of content in Spanish, so language shouldn’t be a barrier when someone wants to learn. Maybe the next step could be to create a course with 10-12 hour content for music and audio for games: emotion, music production, industry knowledge (how to charge, agreements, where to find clients, etc.) there is a lot to talk about.
Janette: What are some plug-ins and technology that you can’t live without and why?
José: Lately, I have been addicted to Ozone from iZotope, it’s great for people like me that are not great with the technical side. I suffer a lot with master and mixing. Ozone makes it easier for me, some people might not agree with me, but it helps me to look at what’s happening with your music and sounds. It has a mastering assistant that helps you to check your mix. According to what the assistant does, you are able to check it yourself, and make changes. But, I do think that you shouldn’t depend on any plug-in. You need to use different plug-ins according to what your project requires. It’s like having a color palette to apply to a particular project.
Janette: What are the biggest life lessons learned in your personal and professional career?
José: Learning English was very helpful. It has opened a lot of doors, to read books, and to know more people. Also, the people that work in this industry put a lot of themselves into their projects. Each game, each movie, each app, has a lot of work from all these teams… so they will not give you that work if they don’t trust you. So the biggest lesson is to genuinely be someone people can trust. Be responsible, be kind, be nice, don’t be a jerk. That’s what I like the most about this industry, there’s a lot of human contacts, and you work with a lot of people. Try to be someone that people like to work with.