Welcome to Game Music Jobs.  Today’s Tenet of Occupational Professionalism is Organization. I want to encourage you to adopt a systematic approach to your music business. I briefly mentioned organization as last week’s tenet, so now I will address this subject matter exhaustively. I would encourage you to listen to our previous podcast essays to stay abreast of our steppingstone subjects.

Unless you have been bunking with Oscar the Grouch, you should appreciate the benefits of an orderly work environment. Even Benji Franklin wrote in his thirteen subjects of self-improvement, one of them being cleanliness, “Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.” I know that to some artists the notion of an orderly work environment is as fabled as Bigfoot and the whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa. Some may even say the more disorderly your work environment, the more intelligent you may be. Look around yourself — you may be a genius. If you look down and see the dots on your music paper moving by themselves, it is time to address your organization problem. I don’t mean allowing yourself to become obsessed with cleanliness by counting every crumb — if you do that, you may end up in a rubber room.

We will musically address this tenet in a stepwise motion of organizing principles.

The first step is (C) stands for Considering, to determine what your goals are. Consider both long and short-term goals; this is the first step to give proper order to your world. This is the foundational inquisition. It is like looking out into the vast wilderness and setting your eye on a distant landmark. You need to walk in that general direction to get there, but there may be some pitfalls along the way. This is your strategy; now, we need to address your tactics.

The second step is (D) for DAW. Most composers will be using a Digital Audio Workstation, otherwise known as a DAW, to compose, mix, and master their music projects. There are five organizing file designations you may need to use to minimize confusing yourself and other artists who may work with your files. These labels are as follows: Pre-production, Rough Mix, Mix, Pre-Master, and Master. You can shorten them into PP, RM, M, PM, and FM.

For instance, if the name of my song is “Munchman Tell Us,” I would save it to my folder as Munchmantellus PP1, using the 1 to denote what numeral it may become in a series of modifications, and so on in the order of your composition. You may even add a date if you feel it necessary, although many DAWs complete this task automatically.

The third step is (E) for Eliminating Clutter. By “clutter,” I do not mean cleaning up all the ramen noodle cups under your feet. I mean the better organization of your desktops—both digital and physical. I am personally guilty of this one. Do not just save files to your desktop or in a bulk download file. Create designated files for each purpose or client.

And that will bring us to (F). “F” stands for Filing. You should have a file of your expenses, finances, times, and dates for project completion, subscriptions, music, phone calls, schedules, meetings, and etc.

(G) is for Galvanize. Be enthusiastic about your job. Most people do not earn a living being creative, but you do, or you are in the process of doing so. Enthusiasm goes a long way in how you approach your work. Believe me, it makes a difference in how you consciously and unconsciously communicate with your clients. Reorganizing your mind and ameliorating your outlook will improve your business.

(A) is for Accomplish. This step would mean nothing if you did not get up and do it. Make small strides to do this, and I will add to this step at the end of our talk.

But I saved our leading tone for the most important subject of all. (B) is for Backing up your work. For goodness sake, please back up your work. If I were to lose all of my data, they would have to make a rubber room for two. External drives include either your standard disk drive or a solid-state drive. Always back up your work on an external medium. You can save your data to the cloud, but if there was some reason you could not access the internet, you would be blocked from your information. So, I would recommend also keeping an external hard drive.

And finally, (Y). You may say, “There is no Y in this or any scale. That’s theoretically incorrect!” Yes, there is, because the Y stands for You. Game Music Jobs was created to help producers and composers connect. That is why we are here. We are here to help you.

Benji Franklin had thirteen self-improvement subjects; I gave you seven. Try working on them one at a time for a week at a time, and after you have finished, start over again. Feel free to add or take away whichever subjects you would like.

I used Oscar the Grouch for a comedic approach to our subject matter. I mentioned him because the character seems to be an abject participant in his diminished condition. I am not trying to pathologize a fictional character, but some of his traits may have a bearing on reality. I never want you to feel that there is nothing you can do about your bad habits. This is not a day down in the sweltering delta, where all you can say is, “Well, it’s just hot.” Simply put, when you do not feel as though you can change your environment, you may begin to tolerate the intolerable. Never do that—I want you to repudiate the repugnant. Start today.

I would like to thank Maury for supporting my essays.

Clean up your act! Keep learning and always B #. I am Munchman with Game Music Jobs.


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