Garry Schyman has proven himself as one of the most impressive scoring voices in the genre of videogame music with his acclaimed scores for such series as BioShock, Dante’s Inferno and Destroy All Humans! His work also encompasses prime time television, mini-series and feature films, adding to a decades-long body of work that has seen him conduct orchestras at sound stages the world over as he has scored some of pop culture’s most iconic characters. Schyman’s video game scores have brought him critical acclaim and industry recognition, including the Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the Best Original Score from the Spike TV Games Awards for BioShock and Game Audio Network Guild awards for BioShock, as well as their nominations for Destroy All Humans! and Destroy All Humans! 2, and many other awards.
In video games sometimes they hire you for 60 or 100 minutes of music, but they need 300 minutes of music and they don’t have enough money to have it all written originally. It's very common to deliver things in lots of different stems so that they can take your music and make different cues out of it. When I worked for Sony I delivered every stem I created separately. Sometimes it’s dozens and maybe as much as 30, 40, 50 stems. Sometimes just one or three stems of a very complex cue can create a very interesting, sparse, bit of music. If they're very familiar with the material and they get really into the weeds with it they can generate a lot of different, interesting cues.
You need to know your team in advance, before you begin a project. There are a lot of composers, orchestrators, editors, and other types of musicians, in LA especially. We are the center of that world. But it’s surprising how some people can be pretty incompetent despite their credits. I’ve had experiences working with people who have a good reputation, and I've found it to be a great frustration because I still have to micromanage. It's important to find the right people for you and your process.
The key to efficiency in the studio is prep, prep, prep. A recording session is like a chain that is only as strong as its weakest link. You have to write good music, your Pro Tools sessions have to be ready, the sheet music has to be properly spaced and properly prepared, the engineer has to have things under control, and then of course you need great players. All of those elements need to be present for every session. It's impossible to over-prepare for a recording session.