In the first of a series of occasional music posts, I thought I'd take the time to explain where the sound in SoundImagePlus comes from.
For many years I worked as a professional musician. Playing guitar and keyboards in bands and as a studio musician. I also wrote songs and composed a wide variety of music. I made a couple of singles which sank without trace and released a few jazz-rock instrumental albums on an obscure German label, which suffered the same fate!! I worked for a while composing and producing music for advertising. This included music for TV ads. for companies like The Body Shop and Sainsburys, a theme tune for CNN plus some local commercial radio inserts and ads for TV companies. I also taught guitar, from Classical to Rock for private students and in schools and colleges and got into assembling custom guitars for people and doing some set up and repair work. And I managed to cobble together a living from all this for a number of years.
Eventually, inspired by a radical education adviser who wanted to turn the predominantly classical music syllabus taught in English schools into something more relevant, I moved into music education. I was by this time working with the recent developments in music technology and I ended up running my own music technology and sound recording department at a Sixth Form College. I helped develop courses in that, co-wrote a BTEC course with a colleague and contributed in a very small way to 'modernising' the music offer in further education.
For many years I taught as well as running my own demo studio studio which I combined with my increasing enthusiasm for photography to produce all-in-one demo and publicity packages for aspiring performers. Gradually the photography took over and I just composed and recorded music for my own pleasure.
And then one of the libraries I contributed images to (iStockphoto) started up an audio library section for music and sound effects. I had a lot of material that I had recorded and uploaded this as well as adding new stuff. And much to my surprise people bought it and are still buying it. It's nowhere near as lucrative as my photography work, but I still get a real kick out of somebody buying one of my tracks. The screen grab below will take you through to some of what I have on sale. (N.B. The music tracks are the ones with the blue speaker ikon.)
So that's where the sound comes from. I've always liked the name Soundimageplus, because it sums up what I do and what I enjoy. Incidentally the Plus relates to various assorted bits of writing, including a GSCE music textbook series I co-wrote with my colleagues at the college, some magazine articles, some (unpublished) novels and a bit of graphic design for record companies and performing artists which you can see HERE.
I count myself very fortunate that I've been able to make a living doing things that let me be creative. It's not always been easy and my income at times has been much more perilous than it is now. As a musician I was forced to sell guitars that I loved on many occasions just to pay the mortgage, including a Gibson 335 with B B King's autograph in it (which I pestered him for) and that still breaks my heart to this day!
And I'll pretty much be carrying on like this until I can't do it anymore. Taking pictures, playing and recording music and dabbling in writing. Photography is my main source of income and likely to remain so, but sitting down and putting together a music track is still something I really enjoy. And thanks to the wonders of my Macpro tower and Logic Pro, that's a lot easier than it used to be.
So, as I said, I'll be popping in the occasional music post. I've already had some requests to write about my guitars and I'll be doing that, with some 'guitar porn' of course. Rock On!!
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As a full-time photographer I make my living from selling images on Stock Photography sites. Writing this blog and doing the comparison tests takes time away from that and earns me very little. If you find what you read here of interest, then you can help me to fund the gear I buy to review, by clicking on the adsense banners, donating and / or buying your gear from the affiliate links. You don't pay any extra, I get a small commission.
Previously I was posting on the free, Blogger platform, but this site, with it's greatly increased functionality, costs me money and the more it expands, the more it will cost. If I can get THE SOUNDIMAGEPLUS BLOG economically viable, then I will be able to review a lot more gear and extend and expand those reviews. Running a blog these days that competes with the best out there requires a lot of time and effort and is close to a full-time job. This means that I'm neglecting other work to put that time in. It is my intention to turn this into a much more comprehensive review and user experience site and I can only do that if I can get it to generate more income.
This site, like much of the internet, has free content and like much of the internet is funded by advertising and donations. I realise that not everybody likes advertising, but without it many of our favourite sites would have to resort to charging for what they do. Google, Facebook and all the other social networks sites remain free because of that advertising.
There is an interesting article on the BBC website HERE, which deals with many of the issues above.