Helping Those in Need
As most of us know, on April 15th 2013, innocent people were seriously injured and killed when two bombs went off at the Boston marathon. Some of those who survived this senseless attack were hospitalized and are facing staggering medical costs.
Now through April 30th 11:59PM CDT, all proceeds from items purchased on my Bandcamp site will be donated to The One Fund. As Bandcamp allows people to pay for more than the asking price, please feel free to do so!
In addition, all proceeds from the Conclave album sold on 10x10 Room’s Bandcamp page will be donated to The One Fund as well.
Please spread the word, and donate!
Lost in You, Piano Sheet Music
I’m thrilled to announce that, with generous permission from Shauna Perry at BioWare and Steve Schnur at EA, I’m releasing piano sheet music for “Lost in You” from ME3 Citadel!
I’ve gotten a ton of requests for sheet music. The fact of the matter is, it usually never exists unless a piece of music is going to be recorded with a live orchestra. Since most of the music I’ve done is recorded digitally, it never sees paper. “Lost in You” wasn’t recorded live, but I decided that in my spare time I was going to notate this, especially since it’s so short and simple. I think its simplicity makes it easy to handle for those beginning piano, and for anyone wanting some extra guidance on pedal and fingerings, I’m including a beginners’ version of the sheet music as well.
You can download the sheet music (and a link to a performance of it) from my fileshare.
While I’d love to honor requests to create more sheet music, unfortunately I don’t have the time. Hopefully in the future I can release more from other projects though, time allowing.
So I’ve got myself a fancy mailing list now, which I’ll be using very infrequently. Here’s what the mailing list covers:
- Announcements of new projects I’m working on.
- New album releases.
- Freebie announcements.
It’s got zero fluff (unlike my Twitter account—ha!), and is very low-volume, so if you’re looking for just the very basics, feel free to subscribe. Plus, unlike social networks, you won’t miss a thing.
And how about a bonus for signing up? New subscribers through March 8th will get a couple free music tracks. I can’t say what it is right now, but it’s something new and still in the works.
Hey guys, I’ve got a screencast recorded and ready to launch early next week! I’ve had quite a few requests to do this, but nothing extremely specific so this video will be fairly short (just over 10 minutes) and goes over some of my sample libs and a few general things. If you have very specific requests, please wait till the YouTube video is up and comment there. My spare time comes in short spurts, so future videos may take time to produce, especially depending on the content.
Safeguarding Your Work
I’d like to touch on a topic that people don’t often think about until it’s unfortunately too late: backups. There are three different ways of backing up data that, when used concurrently, will have you completely covered.
Local, Versioned Backups
For the Mac crowd, this usually means Time Machine. I’m not a Windows user so I’m not entirely sure, but I hear it has its own built-in backup service, and “shadow copies” are what you want in order to preserve several versions of a file. What you’re after is a way to easily recover a single file or small set of files should you delete them, or make an irrevocable change. Using Time Machine or a similar backup system, you can easily locate a previous version from any date, and restore it instantly.
No one likes to think about catastrophes, but what if your computer blew up? Or what if someone broke into your place and stole it? Obviously Time Machine won’t help you here, so I strongly recommend having an off-site backup service. CrashPlan, Carbonite, and Mozy are just a few examples. This would basically be a redundant copy of whatever you’re backing up via Time Machine or your local versioned backups, in case that blows up too. Yes, unfortunately it can take a very long time (potentially 2-3 weeks, even a few months!) to back up your data, especially if you’ve got half several terabytes or more, but I cannot emphasize enough how crucial off-site backups are. CrashPlan offers a seeding option where they will send you a hard drive to back up to, then mail it back to them (there’s a service fee for that).
Cloned Boot Drive
This is an important one too, as it’s a huge productivity saver, because no one who is under a tight deadline wants to hassle reinstalling their OS from scratch should their boot drive die. Mac users will want to check out Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner, while Windows users should look for Norton Ghost or Shadow Copy Cloner, though better options might be available, so ask around. Simply clone your main boot drive, put that clone somewhere safe. If disaster should rear its ugly head and your system drive goes kaput, all you do is plug in the clone and boot it, and you have your entire system drive up and running, ready to help you get back to work right away with zero downtime.
My Personal Setup
I have a 240GB SSD drive as my boot drive which contains the OS, applications, and other system “stuff.” All my documents and projects reside on a separate 1TB traditional HD. Once in a while I plug in an external Firewire 800 HD and clone the SSD drive as my boot clone, using Carbon Copy Cloner. Time Machine is also set up, backing up both the SSD and the 1TB data drive to a “green” (low power consumption) internal 1TB HD. This allows me instant restores of files on both the boot drive and data drive should I mess something up. Lastly, I have CrashPlan+ which is backing up my entire 1TB data drive (which only has around 430GB in use at the moment). These three things ensure total peace of mind and uninterrupted productivity!
An Added Bonus
I’ve got one more thing in my arsenal: a Synology NAS (network-attached storage) server that I use as my archival system where I store old documents and software installer packages I may want to keep around, especially huge sample libraries I don’t want to redownload again! It’s currently got two 2TB hard drives in it, but the NAS is serving as a mirrored redundancy drive, meaning that whatever is on one of those drives is replicated on the other (though this is behind the scenes and files will only appear once to the user). If one of the hard drives happens to die, I still have all my data because it’s on the second one, although it’s critical to replace the dead drive ASAP.
I briefly mentioned this last night, but I wanted to give it more attention as it’s something I think is really important, and is a chance for people in the video game community to help kids and teenagers who are facing the demoralizing and traumatic effects of bullying.
“Beyond the Final Boss” is an effort spearheaded by three individuals in the community. Their mission:
Set up by Shahid Ahmad, Byron Atkinson-Jones and Mike Bithell, Beyond the Final Boss encourages people from the games industry who were bullied when they were young talk about how they’ve achieved success, respect, peace and more. Through these examples, we want to give youngsters who are being bullied hope that it can and does get better, sometimes much, much better.
There are so many kids out there who love video games and see those who work in the industry as role models. What more powerful message is there than for people who now have successful and happy lives to relate their stories of overcoming hard times growing up, to show that things can and will improve, and to never let anyone distract you from your interests and passions.
You can “like” the Facebook page and find out more details there, as well as how to share your story and experience so that it might inspire those who are in desperate need of an encouraging and positive voice. Your words may even save someone’s life. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
A bit of a change of pace for today’s post! As a few of you might know, my wife Sara creates custom hand-crafted jewelry. I’ve watched her from the beginning as she started learning the art of bending metal to her will and coaxing cords into contorted configurations. She’s a perfectionist like me, so I get it when she gripes about something slightly off in one of her pieces and she sets out to redo it so it’s how she envisioned it. As a result of this, along with her tireless study and practice, her craftwork is impeccable and many have become fast fans of her creations.
But I’m not writing this just to rave about my wife’s talents and announce her new online store. :) I’m posting to get the word out, of course, but also to let you know she’s taking part in American Express’s Small Business Saturday on November 24th. If you register your AMEX card and use it to pay on her site, you’ll get a $25 credit back from AMEX. On top of that, if you share her inaugural post on Facebook or comment on it to give her feedback on the site, she’ll give you a 15%-off coupon code. That effectively makes some of the higher priced items 50% off!
Anyway, I apologize for the off-topic and slightly spammy post, but I think Sara’s work is amazing and she deserves tons of business! Oh, and for those who prefer Twitter, she keeps up on that too.
Hey guys, on October 25th and 26th, I’ll be participating in the Extra Life fundraiser and gaming marathon! Each day I’ll be gaming from around 9AM to 9PM CDT, and will be livestreaming as much as possible via my Stickam account. There’s also a raffle where four winners will receive autographed copies of the Red Orchestra 2 soundtrack.
See my fundraising page for more details and please pledge! http://www.extra-life.org/participant/samhulick
I realize I’ve barely listened to any music lately other than what I’ve been working on. I’m officially taking new music suggestions! I’m picky, and most of the “mainstream” stuff bores me to death. I need interesting music, stuff with a good melody. A few bands/artists I’m into (old and new) with links to examples if you’re not familiar with them:
- Fleet Foxes
- Damien Rice
- Glen Hensard/Swell Season
- Dead Can Dance
- Ray Lynch
- Eddie Vedder
I’m open to ideas! Hit me up on Twitter.
PAX 2012 has been such a blast! I just wanted to say how great it was to meet everyone in person and have the chance to chat at least briefly during the whirlwind that is PAX. :) And a huge thanks to everyone who attended the composer panel on Saturday, it was incredibly humbling to see nearly every chair in the Kraken Theater filled!
Hope you all have safe trips back home!
Thanks from DB
I just wanted to share a thank-you from my friend DB, who is extremely grateful for all the donations her friends made, and of course to those of you who contributed by buying “A Hero is Born.”
Thank you all for your kind words and support at this wild time.
The tide runs high, we loosed from our moorings. “Life is not fair” now steers the ship; it is a sturdy rudder, stalwart below the waterline— but the sails are full of the chaotic wind of rapturous and splendid memories.
A world without Fritz is inconceivable, and yet— here we are.
Your most excellent help has kept us from the concerns of the insane way life goes on.
With Love, Respect, and Gratitude,
Thanks so much, everyone, for your donations to help my friend DB! “A Hero is Born” has been taken down, and will be back later (much, much later) when the full album is complete.
Composer for Conclave
Time to let the cat out of the bag and unveil the mysterious “Project C” I’ve been talking about on Twitter!
A company called 10x10 Room contracted me to write a main theme for their online tabletop RPG, Conclave. You can already play the game in existing form, though they’ve launched a Kickstarter to help raise funds to spruce up the game in major ways.
One of these ways is, of course, adding a soundtrack. For now, I’ve written a two-minute main theme, which you can acquire in digital form (MP3, FLAC, Ogg) by pledging at the $5 level or higher. The long-term plan, should the Kickstarter be successful, is to add another eight minutes of music. In that case, a full soundtrack album will be made available for sale, and a short run of autographed physical CDs will be sent to those who pledge at the $75 level or higher. At the $25 level, you get a digital copy of the album once it’s complete.
I’d love to see the development team succeed at their funding goal and improve the game, and I’d also love to write more music for this mystical world they’ve created! Please visit the Kickstarter (below), see what the game is all about and what the planned improvements are, spread the word, and pledge what you can. Thank you!
Yesterday I shared a link to a donation page to help out a friend of mine, DB Cooper. Her partner, Fritz Hasenpusch, unexpectedly passed away during a hike while in Hawaii. This is a man whom DB has been friends with for thirty-five years, and they became more than friends in the last two years of his life.
I’ve already given what I’m able to, but I don’t feel it’s enough, so I’m temporarily releasing a track from my album I’ve been working on for a while and donating 100% of the profits to DB and Fritz’s family. It’s tagged as “pre-release” just to indicate that although this track is complete, the final version going on the album will likely be a bit different, either musically or mix-wise.
So for the next nine days only, “A Hero is Born” will be available for sale here: http://samhulick.bandcamp.com/track/a-hero-is-born-pre-release
On August 23rd at 10:00PM Central Time (Aug 24 3:00AM GMT), the track will be taken down and won’t resurface again till the album is complete. Again, 100% of the proceeds during this one-week period go directly towards helping those closest to Fritz, who have been affected emotionally and financially by his loss.
Thank you for helping out!
Anonymous asked: Hi Sam, I'm Aristotle Omissis on Twitter. As per your instructions, I'll repost my question for you here: "Hi Sam! Are you aware of the Loudness War? Does it exist in the gaming industry as well? What are your thoughts about it?" - Looking forward to your answer!
I am aware of the Loudness War, and I vehemently refuse to participate in it. It does exist somewhat in the game industry, though it’s definitely not as prevalent as it is in the pop music world. So much nuance is lost when music is compressed and squashed into a constant volume level; it’s a real shame, because part of the musical experience is the dynamics that help to invoke an emotional reaction in the listener.
The best thing that musicians can do is continue to use minimal compression, and make people turn up their volume instead of destroying the dynamic experience of their creations in order to satisfy a pointless standard created out of competition. If we can encourage more people to adopt this convention and demonstrate its value to consumers, hopefully it will eventually become the new standard.