I miss the words

John Mann
edited September 2021 in General

Hello, I am going to try to be brief but may fail. I find myself worrying about tech issues, generally because I am not very tech savvy. (I shoot my own films in Super 16mm). I am beginning to be so mired in the tech issues that I find myself just going back to my acoustic piano. I got into all of this because I love writing music, maybe even more than shooting film. But the learning curve just seems to grow larger, the acronyms more obscure. Is there some sort of "dummies guide" to all of the jargon? I joined the VI forum hoping for some answers. To give a perspective, I wondered why a forum would be the number 6. In short, does anyone else very feel as if I just do not understand all the acronyms and I did not ever want to be a computer programmer? Do you ultimately arrive at a point when you just fire it all up, it turns on, you write and feel music and it just works without inordinate glitches?


  • Hi John,

    Sadly technology is taking over our lives, more and more so, we need to try to keep up with the “jargon”.

    Being an IT infrastructure manager by day, I guess I’m fortunate to be in the middle of it all but even I somtimes get confused with the ever faster evolving, newer technologies.

    Composing, using a computer will require you to use some sort of DAW (digital audio workstation)

    Generally the terminology used there is more or less standardized, across the different brands.

    Looking at sample libraries, (e.g. orchestral) you will find that terminology is also following the standard across the board 99% of the time.

    I think youtube is a good place to start, when looking for information. There are also training websites, some free and some commercial that can help you.

  • I get so exasperated with letters, numbers, acronyms, and buzzwords. I wonder if sometimes they are used to indicate how hip the writer is, at the expense of clear meaning.

    "I am beginning to be so mired in the tech issues that I find myself just going back to my acoustic piano. I got into all of this because I love writing music..."

    Can you recruit an assistant or intern, to transcribe what you write? Just a thought. Steven Sondheim is still writing, I believe, with staff paper and pencil.

  • I agree, it can be very confusing.

    There is a list of acronyms in the Newbie Questions section if that's any help?


    Soundcloud: Darren Prescott

  • Hi @John Mann

    Thanks for the post and the feedback! Yes it can be daunting starting in on this, but if you have any specific questions don't be afraid to reach out. It's a learning curve for us all. Take full advantage of the resources available to you and eventually it will all be second nature.

  • Hi, John.

    I can relate strongly to this. I love composing and recording and producing music for indie video games and other audiovisual projects. Sometimes people working on a project with me will expect me to be like a coding engineer first, an electrical engineer second, and then some rudimentary musical knowledge on the side. I have to set them straight.

    I am reminded of something the editor of Sound on Sound magazine said in a recent issue. He said something to the effect of, the most important essential aspect of any recording is musical ideas. All the production and special stuff comes in second place. It could help to remind yourself that while you may be struggling with some of the technical stuff, your musical experience and knowledge are very valuable indeed.

    I have found it helpful to try and pace myself when learning a new anything related to audio technology. There will be pressures to know all this technical stuff, but I find it helpful to take a step back and figure out where the pressure is really coming from. Oftentimes, it is coming from me. Like any musician, I have a burning desire to bring my musical vision to its fullest reality. The fact that I don't yet grasp all these middlewares and codecs and plugins and etc. can feel like someone else's barrier has been set in my path. Perhaps you can relate to this feeling.

    I have found that speaking up and asking for help has worked. You occasionally get the grumpy know-it-all who gripes about the way you even ask a question, but I usually just tell those people thank you and move on. :) The majority of folks on these forums are friendly and happy to help. While my learning curve has been steep and I am still learning, I can say that there are indeed breakthrough moments, and moments where I can look back and say "wow I remember when I had no idea how to _____" but now I can do it just fine. It also helps to have a teacher. I learned ProTools by taking a class at my local college.

    You mentioned the VI forum, so I think you're talking about this one: https://vi-control.net/community/ But just in case, that's a great community to get support and to grow with others who are also trying to figure out how all these expensive toys actually work. :)

    And taking some time to step away from it all and sit down at the piano like you're doing is certainly a great idea.