Interview / Doug Kaufman

studio

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Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Doug Kaufman – I write music and create sound design, primarily for television. I also have released several solo albums under my own name and under alternate d.p.kaufman.

Where are you from? How did you get into composing?

I live in the mountains of northwest North Carolina in the US. I’m originally from rural Ohio, and went to college for music and sound production in Ontario, Canada.
I had kind of an unusual childhood in a very strict religious sect that didn’t allow musical instruments. My only musical influences until I was older were acapella singing in church and at home. When my family left that church we bought a piano, and I immediately fell in love.

Which software(s) and hardware(s) do you use for creating/editing your music?

I was sold on Pro Tools from the first time I used it when I was a teenager. I’m also a huge fan of Spectrasonics and iZotope. I have a variety of guitars, but almost always stick to my single-coil electrics.

What is your process of creating, how yours songs comes to life?

I have this motto of “never stop moving” that I try to stick to. I create lots and lots of content and try to constantly explore new techniques. Most of it gets scrapped, but whenever an idea clicks I roll with it and build it up. I really try to avoid falling into habits, so I try to change up the process constantly.

How much time do you spent on a song?

For commercial projects I usually have fairly tight deadlines…often a day or two. For my solo projects though, it’s often as long as a week.

The titles of your songs are pretty specifics and imaginative, how did you find them? Are they in adequation with the universes you imagine in your head?

Yeah, I really dislike generic titles. With “Lullabies for the Apocalypse”, I really had the whole concept in my head before the project even started. There were some pretty specific visuals in my head throughout the process.
With “Fear and Curiosity” though, it was more of a song-by-song kind of thing. I’m really inspired by ideas, and sometimes visual art if it’s imaginative.

Did you live exclusively from your music?

I’m a full-time composer and sound designer. This often involves quite a bit of mixing for television and some forensic audio as well.

Do you have other creatives hobbies?

I try to paint, but I’m quite bad. I’m constantly sketching and doodling, but I’ve never invested the effort to become a real designer. Someday I would love to have the time to paint more, write some short stories, and maybe learn to code better and develop quirky little apps.

What’s next for you?

I would love to branch out into writing music for games. I’ve been fortunate to work with some really talented people in television and film, but I would love to explore what sonic storytelling is like in a video game environment.

Thanks a lot Doug!

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soundcloud.com/dkaufman

dougkaufman.net