Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.
Born in the UK, writing music for US television, collaborating with VideoHive authors, and never going into a new idea with a set agenda. This week we meet Russell Bell (RussellBellMusic – UPDATE – now BeyondTheVeil) from AudioJungle.
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Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
I’m a British-born composer also based here in the UK. I’m 37 years old and I have been playing and writing music for about 24 of those.
I mainly write music for US television for an LA-based company that provides for a number of channels/ networks such as MTV, Bravo, E!, Disney, Discovery, TNT etc
I play keyboards with bass guitar a close second. My work takes me through the gamut of genres and all kinds of weird and wonderful briefs.
Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?
I’m a member of AudioJungle and this is my creative home where I sell various styled pieces from epic action, comedic, lifestyle and motivational tunes and even some shorter ident/logo motifs.
How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?
Everything I do is self-taught.I had no formal training at all and i much prefer to make all those discoveries myself, even though at times the journey and task at any given time can be a much harder one without some solid theory to prop up the big orchestral cues!!
Describe your home workspace.
My workspace is at home. It’s quite humble and consists of a i7 PC running Windows 7 64-bit with 16 GBs of RAM and a fair few HDDs full of samples etc.
I use a Novation Impulse 61 as my controller and tend to master everything from my AKG K702’s for maximum accuracy during this stage of the process.
I keep stocked up with all the sounds I can lay my hands on as my weekly needs take me through the styles from modern pop, to country, comedy, cinematic cues to avant-garde electronic and everything in between.
Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?
I never go into an idea with any set agenda. I start with a blank template mostly. I run at a very fast pace as I’m a big believer in hitting your initial idea as fast as possible thus retaining that momentum, excitement etc. as possible.
I normally write, mix down and master off a typical cue in 2-3 hours. The much bigger orchestral trailer type cues can take 6-8 hours depending on what I’m being asked to write, or how ambitious I feel at the time!
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
Be aware of trends. Understand the importance of a solid clean mix. Promote these tunes, tag them very accurately and keep them coming!!
What do you do to market your files?
The single most crucial way of getting your work out there is to make a cross-platform/marketplace connection with another author. Ideally a VideoHive author.
When you combine forces to advertise your wares, you’re hitting a massive crowd and your chances of standing out go up considerably.
I use some YouTube and Twitter marketing, although I don’t tend to focus too much on this as I should do. Something I’ll need to rectify soon I feel.
What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?
I’m very fond of this track. I think it captures the very cutting-edge emotive game style score. I’m thinking Deus Ex territory for this one.
i owe a great deal to this one tune. It paired with a successful VideoHive author, and from this point on, it hasn’t stopped selling. It’s a really trendy upbeat and happy tune which is nice as most of my work tends to be a little too serious!
Despite no sales on this tune, it is a fave of mine. I love the emotion is the vocal and the mood. It doesn’t feel derivative of anything else. Yes it’s a niche cue, its harder to place per se than a ukulele clapping tune, but this is perhaps why i like it so much.Its not conventional straight down the line. It reminds me of several of my influences.
Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?
My fave author is the one and only Tim McMorris.
I think Tim has been my inspiration on day one of AudioJungle membership. He shows you what can be done when you appreciate the market climate out there.
He has tapped into the music advertising scene in a way that’s incomparable for me to anyone else. Not only on the basis of being a good songwriter, but a great vocalist, mixer and someone with full appreciation of melody.
Everything he touches turns to gold but its not by luck or chance. This is the real deal.
What do you do in your spare time?
Rather sadly, aside from writing music, I’m always listening or writing more!!
I do try and pry myself from it once a week and spend time with my young son and doting wife. I say doting more as a way of saying “thank you” for putting up with my terrible working hours, my hit and miss career, my fanatical attention to my music and all the late nights, big costs and years of struggle it takes to get there.