Name: Camden Stoddard
Hometown: Warren, Maine
Speciality/Style: Music Production / Sound Design
Tools of Choice: Pro Tools 8, Logic 9 , Reason 4, Ableton Live 8, Kontakt 2, Soldano and HiWatt amps, Burns Guitars, UA, Fairchild, Digitech, SoundForge 9, Vegas, Access Virus, anything that sounds awesome!
Years Producing Music & Audio pre-Pyramind: 3
What sorts of projects are you working on today?
I just finished about a year of 10-12 hour days at the insanely cool Double Fine Productions working on the heavy metal video game “Brütal Legend.” I got this internship opportunity through Pyramind and was mentored by the award-winning Game Audio Director, Emily Ridgway. I also got to work beside one of the best sound designers, Brian Min, all under the roof of video game icon, Tim Schafer. I was editing the dialog of Jack Black, Ozzy Osbourne, and Tim Curry, among others.
For the future, I am in communications to come in again for the next big project at Double Fine, which I am very excited about!
WOW! Anything else?
I’m building a sound and music library for licensing. I’m in the middle of helping create the future powerhouse production facility, Ghost Cat Studios! I am enjoying recording and mixing for a great band called The Cute Things, as well as doing post and foley work for the terrific EMB Studios.
I am also currently mixing an album of post punk pop for an up-and-coming artist, doing foley and post audio on an independent film, and recording a sound library for a video game developer.
The hardest thing I have had to learn so far is some serious time management skills!!
How do you feel Pyramind best prepared you for your career in the music & sound industry?
Pyramind’s program was essential in preparing me for the unpredictability of this business. You not only have to have a Plan B, but a C, D, E, and F as well.
The relationships I gained through this school were incredible and vital. A Pyramind instructor introduced me to the owner of the FANTASTIC studio where I do my current projects. This studio owner is now a dear friend and business partner. The audio industry is a huge “who-you-know” industry…not to discount talent and chops!!
I think the Music Theory classes at Pyramind are some of, if not THE, most important classes! The instructors at Pyramind are not just instructors, they are working on HUGE projects. Learning and listening to them helped me achieve important insight for my career direction.
Is there a unique story or memory you wouldn’t mind sharing about your time at Pyramind?
I remember talking about “emotional triggers” in Song Writing. The instructor, a fabulous musician named Anthony Michael Peterson, was showing us how to get to an emotional memory and channel it into a composition. He asked one of the students (who shall remain nameless) to remember a time that brought up anger or something strong. We tried arguments, past girlfriends, jobs. Nothing was connecting.
Then Anthony said “Ok… so your brother calls asking for money….” and this student went OFF. I mean exploded. “He is always asking! I hate it! I am not made of money!” It was hilarious, but at the same time, very pure. We actually got some good lyrics and melody out of it. It was great!
Any advice you’d like to share with future students?
Expand past the classes. Bust your ass in class and on homework to be sure, but find ways to hang with the instructors OUTSIDE of class. This is a world-class production company. Dave Earl, Paul Lipson, Steve Heithecker, Greg Gordon, Matt Donner, Bryan Dale…. these guys are all super sharp at what they do. The top of the game. Go see how they do it.
Also, be on time. It is your money, so get your money’s worth.
Other than that, I would say try to line up your finances so you don’t have to work while attending this school. There is a LOT to do, and working weekends or evenings will make it difficult. I went through this. I know it is hard to come up with money these days, but that is what I would try to avoid if I had to do it again.
Any future plans?
To take a vacation!!