Tag Archives: composing

The sonic world of Quibi’s Survive

By Patrick Birk

In response to shortened attention spans and an increase in people watching content on smaller devices, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman started Quibi. This new streaming service aims to deliver Hollywood-quality productions, with a twist — the platform is solely focused on mobile viewership, with episodes of each big-budget series divided into “quick bites” that are generally 10 minutes long.

Peter G. Adams

I recently spoke with Peter G. Adams, who composed the score for one of Quibi’s initial offerings, Survive. Directed by Mark Pellington, the show focuses on Jane (Sophie Turner), a suicidal young woman who finds herself in dire straits when her flight crashes in the wilderness. She and Paul (Corey Hawkins), the only other survivor, must try to escape a frozen mountaintop, as Jane continues to wrestle with her suicidal tendencies.

An ASCAP award-winning composer, Adams past projects include Den of Thieves, Game Night and Amazon’s Too Old to Die Young. He was kind enough to give us some insight into his process.

Was it difficult to pack the emotional depth of a drama into 10 minutes episodes? How did you maintain subtlety within the cues based on the time constraints of the episodes?
I don’t think so. I I mostly just looked at it like I was scoring a movie. Even though the episodes are short, I feel like once you watch it all together, the narrative is more along the lines of what most audiences will be used to in a film. I thought there was enough time within scenes. I didn’t feel like they compressed scenes in order to accommodate the format.

Did you write any of the pop-style songs featured in the show, or did you score around them?
I didn’t write the stuff with the voices, but a lot of the things around it are things that I created. Because we did use some licensed music in this show — some really beautiful pop tunes — I felt like I should probably not use that in the score. I wanted to have the two ideas stand apart from each other a little bit.

What instruments did you record?
We recorded a lot of strings. I recorded myself playing some strings here in my studio, along with things like guitars and bass. We also did some sessions with a small ensemble… just two players. Then we did a chamber ensemble of 25 string players. So mostly I recorded a lot of strings for the emotional punch.

Do you find that recording the real deal gets you further than using a library?
Libraries are great and everybody uses them, but absolutely. I mean there’s just no comparison to having life breathed into the music. We had some nice players on this, and it always makes a difference. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to have players or there weren’t budgets to have players, and it’s never the same.

Do you work out of your home?
I have a little home studio that’s big enough to record in. That’s mostly the way I’ve done it in the last five years or so. I used to not work at home, but now I do, and there’s a lot of benefits right now with COVID, of course.

Were there any skills that you pulled out from the reserve for this project?
One of the great things about working on Survive was getting to write some really fun, emotional themes. I love writing music that can touch people emotionally. That’s something that I probably like doing more than anything else.

Of course, that’s a very subjective thing. Sometimes you think you got it and you don’t, so you have to really collaborate and make sure that people are feeling what you are. You need to make sure that you’re speaking a musical language that is universal enough that people can understand it. love doing that and I got to do it on Survive.

I’ve seen “composer cheat sheets” online with chord changes that are supposed to correspond to a certain emotional response. Do you have a framework like that or is it a clean slate every time?
It’s never a really a clean slate — I bring my own bag of tricks to the job and have my own path that I tread down; things that I’m used to, musically speaking. But every job is different, so I tailor my language to each one. Sometimes one thing will work and sometimes another thing will work. Cheat sheets can be a good thing; anything that can prompt you to find a creative path is great.

There are some universals — I tend to write shorter themes because if I can express a theme in eight bars. I like it better that way. If I try to write longer themes upfront, I’m always trying to pair them down throughout the show. If I write a shorter theme that’s succinct, I find that it fits in more places and more subtly.

Sometimes there’ll be references that filmmakers want me to listen to, or ideas they want to share. I take all the feedback and input and incorporate that into what I do. I did that with Survive. Mark Pellington was very involved in the scoring process; I would call it a collaboration. The producers were also involved creatively, especially Cary Granat.

When you’re using synth, do you design all your own patches? Do you find presets useful as a starting point or have you ever just used a preset in your project?
All the above. A lot of times, I’ll start with presets. If I don’t have the time, that’s where I start and then I always try to make it my own if I can. That’s not to say that some things haven’t just gotten in there that are very “preset-y,” but I do my best to customize things.

I really like that process of sound design and creating synth patches, or processing sounds or recording sounds and then mixing those sounds together. I do that almost as a pre-production routine a lot of times. I start to create a sound world, and I really like doing that, so I try to get the time to do it on every project if I can, and always make it custom.

What kind of sound palette did you begin assembling when you started working on Survive?
I started writing demos a couple of weeks before I had picture. I read the script, and the creative process arose from conversations with Mark Pellington, and we would exchange music we liked.

Mark had some of my previous scores and would point out particular pieces he thought could really work. From those early conversations, I started to write demos and create a sonic world for Survive. I talked about instruments that he liked, and I would couple those instruments with an ambient sound palette with me overdubbing myself on guitar or on strings, or creating feedback, or me taking a synth, stretching it out and ramping it.

I tried to do whatever I could to create this ambient world. The world of Survive is less synth-oriented, so we don’t hear a lot of overt synth sounds in the show. We mostly hear real instruments, whether they be bowed percussion instruments or strings or whatever. Survive is more of a handmade feel. I like to doing that a lot; I just try to record myself and overdub myself and create an atmosphere that way.

I noticed some changes in instrumentation throughout. For example, it sounded like a ghostly flute comes into play around the time when Jane and Paul are leaving the plane together.
That’s actually a violin, but it’s played in a way where it sounds flute-like; I like doing this. We were talking about samples before, and there are some things that you just can’t get from samples. One of them is something like trying to make a string instrument sound like a flute or something like that.

For the vast emptiness of Survive — the mountain — I played strings to create something with a handmade feel. I wanted it to feel weird and lonely and personal and also just a little off. Sort of both natural and unfamiliar. This allows the audience to feel unsettled and uncomfortable, just as the characters are in that setting.

Did you coordinate with the post sound department? There’s a moment in Episode One where Jane’s pocket watch is ticking and it intersects rhythmically with the score.
The sound designers did their own pocket watch and I did a watch as well. That’s definitely one of Mark Pellington’s hallmarks: having sound design that might be score and score that might be sound design. I sampled in some stopwatches and timed them up to be in rhythm with the score and then brought them in. I also did some processing on them. So it’s not just one stopwatch, it’s a bunch of different ones that have different processing on them, and then I faded them in and out and brought them in when they would request them.

There are some huge sound design moments in the show, like the plane crash and the avalanche. How do you judge where to focus the score and where sound design will take prominence?
It’s different for every project. For the plane crash, I did try to go pretty big, but you also know that you’re going to be sort of fighting with sound design. So I tried to do things that would not ever sound like what you’re actually seeing on screen. At the same time, I put in some things like rises in the plane crash section, where there’s also the sound of the jet engines happening, Those are also speeding up. So once again, it’s like, “Is this score or is this sound design?”

In the case of the avalanche, there’s a lot of score in there, but I don’t think it’s too big in the mix. Mostly because there’s all this production sound and sound design going on in those sections.

Let’s talk about your path. How did you get into scoring?
I’ve been involved with music since I was seven. I played a bunch of different instruments and in a lot of different kinds of ensembles. I started doing songwriting and playing in bands in my teens, and then that led to me getting a composition degree.

When I started a degree in music, I didn’t think about doing film. I had always liked film music, and it was always on my radar, but I’m not from California, so it seemed like something that would be hard to do and hard to get into. But I got a chance to intern with a composer in LA, and once I did that I realized that what I was doing back at home was so similar to what people were doing out here in LA. And it would be an easy jump for me.

What were the similarities that made getting into scoring such a seamless transition for you?
I was doing songwriting and playing in bands and I had a very avant garde classical music education. So all those things immediately came into play.

There were always sound design elements that I had to work with in scoring and that’s something that I had been doing in my records. There was the need to write nice melodies with nice chords that people might relate to. That’s something that I had been working with in pop music, so it translated pretty well.


Patrick Birk is a musician, sound engineer and post pro at Silver Sound, a boutique sound house based in New York City.

 

Behind the Title: Squeak E. Clean executive producer Chris Clark

This executive producer combines his background as a musician with his 11 years working at advertising  agencies to ensure clients get their audio post needs met.

Name: Chris Clark

Company: Squeak E. Clean Studios

Can you describe your company?
We are an international audio post and music company with a fun-loving, multi-talented crew of composers, producers, sound designers and engineers across six studios.

What’s your job title?
Executive Producer

What does that entail?
I work closely with our creative and production teams to ensure the highest quality for audio post production, original music and music supervision are upheld. I also take the lead role and responsibility for ensuring our agency and brand clients are satisfied with our work, and that the entire Chicago operation is seamlessly integrated with the other five studios on a daily basis.

Chicago Ideas Week “Put the Guns Down” music video

What would surprise people the most about what falls under that title?
I also take out the trash. Sometimes.

You have an agency background. How will that help you at Squeak E. Clean Studios?
I’ve had the privilege of working closely with creative teams and clients on a wild and wide array of inspired music treatments over the past 11 years at Leo Burnett and across various Publicis Groupe agencies.

I know what it’s like to be in those meetings when things go off the rails and, fortunately, I take pleasure in creating calm and restoring inspiration by laying out all the musical options available. I know this intimate knowledge of agency and brand challenges will help us at Squeak E. Clean Studios provide really smart, focused music and post audio solutions without any filler.

What’s your favorite part of the job?
The individual challenge of each project and the individual person at the other end of that request. It’s a small and very personal industry… and being able to help out creative friends with great music solutions just makes us all feel good.

What’s your least favorite?
When I kick myself after remembering I don’t have to do everything; we have many capable collaborative people across the company.

What is your most productive time of the day?
Morning. Coffee and excitement for the day’s challenges bring out the best in me, typically.

If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing instead? Something entrepreneurial in music marketing. Or working as a high school basketball coach.

Why did you choose this profession?
Music had always been my therapy, but it wasn’t until I moved to NYC and started making my own bedroom-produced music that I realized it had fully taken over as my passion. It suddenly surpassed creative writing, sports, comedy, etc. I was working in media communications and bored with my day-to-day challenges when it struck me that there must be some type of work in music and advertising/marketing. Then this whole world opened up just one Craigslist job search later.

You are an industry veteran. How have you seen the industry change over the years?
I worked in the media world when digital broke through to challenge broadcast for supremacy, worked in DJ music marketing when the DJ/producers came to the forefront of pop music, and I’ve been fortunate enough to benefit from the rise of music experts in large agency settings.

Somewhere in all of that you see the industry embracing more content, the individuality of the rightful creator and the importance of music in every aspect of development and production. I’m pretty happy with the changes.

Can you name some recent projects you have worked on?
I recently finalized some new Coors Light “Chill” campaign spots with Leo Burnett. I am also producing original music for 3 Beats by Dre spots for their creative team in Japan with the help of our awesome composer roster.

What is the project that you are most proud of?
Uniting Chicago rappers like Common, G Herbo, Saba, Noname and King Louie for the Chicago Ideas Week Put the Guns Down music video was really special and unprecedented.

Samsung

I also pitched and licensed a cover of “Across the Universe” for a Samsung global spot that featured a father and his newborn son as a main vignette; it came out shortly after the birth of my first son, Charlie, so that will always be a memorable one.

Name three pieces of technology you can’t live without.
Phone, TV, turntables!

What social media channels do you follow?
Instagram mainly, but Twitter and Facebook in moderation.

What do you do to de-stress from it all?
Playing in bands and writing music with no intention of ever tying it to anything professional is always a great release and escape from the day job. I’ve found it also helps me relate to artists and up-and-coming composers/producers who are trying to get their footing in the music industry.

Human’s opens new Chicago studio

Human, an audio and music company with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Paris has opened a Chicago studio headed up by veteran composer/producer Justin Hori.

As a composer, Hori’s work has appeared in advertising, film and digital projects. “Justin’s artistic output in the commercial space is prolific,” says Human partner Gareth Williams. “There’s equal parts poise and fun behind his vision for Human Chicago. He’s got a strong kinship and connection to the area, and we couldn’t be happier to have him carve out our footprint there.”

From learning to DJ at age 13 to working Gramaphone Records to studying music theory and composition at Columbia College, Hori’s immersion in the Chicago music scene has always influenced his work. He began his career at com/track and Comma Music, before moving to open Comma’s Los Angeles office. From there, Hori joined Squeak E Clean, where he served as creative director for the past five years. He returned to Chicago in 2016.

Hori is known for producing unexpected yet perfectly spot-on pieces of music for advertising, including his track “Da Diddy Da,” which was used in the four-spot summer 2018 Apple iPad campaign. His work has won top industry honors including D&AD Pencils, The One Show, Clio and AICP Awards and the Cannes Gold Lion for Best Use of Original Music.

Meanwhile, Post Human, the audio post sister company run by award-winning sound designer and engineer Sloan Alexander, continues to build momentum with the addition of a second 5.1 mixing suite in NYC. Plans for similar build-outs in both LA and Chicago are currently underway.

With services ranging from composition, sound design and mixing, Human works in advertising, broadcast, digital and film.

The score for YouTube Red’s Cobra Kai pays tribute to original Karate Kid

By Jennifer Walden

In the YouTube Red comedy series Cobra Kai, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), the young hero of the Karate Kid movies, has grown up to be a prosperous car salesman, while his nemesis Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) just can’t seem to shake that loser label he earned long ago. Johnny can’t hold down his handy-man job. He lives alone in a dingy apartment, and his personality hasn’t benefited from maturity at all. He lives a very sad reality until one day he finds himself sticking up for a kid being bullied, and that redeeming bit of character makes you root for him. It’s an interesting dynamic that the series writers/showrunners have crafted, and it works.

L-R: Composers Leo Birenberg and Zack Robinson

Fans of the 1980’s film franchise will appreciate the soundtrack of the new Cobra Kai series. Los Angeles-based composers Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson were tasked with capturing the essence of both composer Bill Conti’s original film scores and the popular music tracks that also defined the sound of the films.

To find that Karate Kid essence, Birenberg and Robinson listened to the original films and identified what audiences were likely latching onto sonically. “We concluded that it was mostly a color palette connection that people have. They hear a certain type of orchestral music with a Japanese flute sound, and they hear ‘80s rock,” says Birenberg. “It’s that palette of sounds that people connect with more so than any particular melody or theme from the original movies.”

Even though Conti’s themes and melodies for Karate Kid don’t provide the strongest sonic link to the films, Birenberg and Robinson did incorporate a few of them into their tracks at appropriate moments to create a feeling of continuity between the films and the series. “For example, there were a couple of specific Japanese flute phrases that we redid. And we found a recurring motif of a simple pizzicato string melody,” explains Birenberg. “It’s so simple that it was easy to find moments to insert it into our cues. We thought that was a really cool way to tie everything together and make it feel like it is all part of the same universe.”

Birenberg and Robinson needed to write a wide range of music for the show, which can be heard en masse on the Cobra Kai OST. There are the ’80s rock tracks that take over for licensed songs by bands like Poison and The Alan Parsons Project. This direction, as heard on the tracks “Strike First” and “Quiver,” covered the score for Johnny’s character.

The composers also needed to write orchestral tracks that incorporated Eastern influences, like the Japanese flutes, to cover Daniel as a karate teacher and to comment on his memories of Miyagi. A great example of this style is called, fittingly, “Miyagi Memories.”

There’s a third direction that Birenberg and Robinson covered for the new Cobra Kai students. “Their sound is a mixture of modern EDM and dance music with the heavier ‘80s rock and metal aesthetics that we used for Johnny,” explains Robinson. “So it’s like Johnny is imbuing the new students with his musical values. This style is best represented in the track ‘Slither.’”

Birenberg and Robinson typically work as separate composers, but they’ve collaborated on several projects before Cobra Kai. What makes their collaborations so successful is that their workflows and musical aesthetics are intrinsically similar. Both use Steinberg’s Cubase as their main DAW, while running Ableton Live in ReWire mode. Both like to work with MIDI notes while composing, as opposed to recording and cutting audio tracks.

Says Birenberg, “We don’t like working with audio from the get-go because TV and film are such a notes-driven process. You’re not writing music as much as you are re-writing it to specification and creative input. You want to be able to easily change every aspect of a track without having to dial in the same guitar sound or re-record the toms that you recorded yesterday.”

Virtual Instruments
For Cobra Kai, they first created demo songs using MIDI and virtual instruments. Drums and percussion sounds came from XLN Audio’s Addictive Drums. Spectrasonics Trilian was used for bass lines and Keyscape and Omnisphere 2 provided many soft-synth and keyboard sounds. Virtual guitar sounds came from MusicLab’s RealStrat and RealLPC, Orange Tree, and Ilya Efimov virtual instrument libraries. The orchestral sections were created using Native Instruments Kontakt, with samples coming from companies such as Spitfire, Cinesamples, Cinematic Strings, and Orchestral Tools.

“Both Zach and I put a high premium on virtual instruments that are very playable,” reports Birenberg. “When you’re in this line of work, you have to work superfast and you don’t want a virtual instrument that you have to spend forever tweaking. You want to be able to just play it in so that you can write quickly.”

For the final tracks, they recorded live guitar, bass and drums on every episode, as well as Japanese flute and small percussion parts. For the season finale, they recorded a live orchestra. “But,” says Birenberg, “all the orchestra and some Japanese percussion you hear earlier in the series, for the most part, are virtual instruments.”

Live Musicians
For the live orchestra, Robinson says they wrote 35 minutes of music in six days and immediately sent that to get orchestrated and recorded across the world with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. The composing team didn’t even have to leave Los Angeles. “They sent us a link to a private live stream so we could listen to the session as it was going on, and we typed notes to them as we were listening. It sounds crazy but it’s pretty common. We’ve done that on numerous projects and it always turns out great.”

When it comes to dividing up the episodes — deciding who should score what scenes — the composing team likes to “go with gut and enthusiasm,” explains Birenberg. “We would leave the spotting session with the showrunners, and usually each of us would have a few ideas for particular spots.”

Since they don’t work in the same studio, the composers would split up and start work on the sections they chose. Once they had an idea down, they’d record a quick video of the track playing back to picture and share that with the other composer. Then they would trade tracks so they each got an opportunity to add in parts. Birenberg says, “We did a lot of sending iPhone videos back and forth. If it sounds good over an iPhone video, then it probably sounds pretty good!”

Both composers have different and diverse musical backgrounds, so they both feel comfortable diving right in and scoring orchestral parts or writing bass lines, for instance. “For the scope of this show, we felt at home in every aspect of the score,” says Birenberg. “That’s how we knew this show was for both of us. This score covers a lot of ground musically, and that ground happened to fit things that we understand and are excited about.” Luckily, they’re both excited about ‘80s rock (particularly Robinson) because writing music in that style effectively isn’t easy. “You can’t fake it,” he says.

Recreating ‘80s Rock
A big part of capturing the magic of ‘80s rock happened in the mix. On the track “King Cobra,” mix engineer Sean O’Brien harnessed the ‘80s hair metal style by crafting a drum sound that evoked Motley Crew and Bon Jovi. “I wanted to make the drums as bombastic and ‘80s as possible, with a really snappy kick drum and big reverbs on the kick and snare,” says O’Brien.

Using Massey DRT — a drum sample replacement plug-in for Avid Pro Tools, he swapped out the live drum parts with drum samples. Then on the snare, he added a gated reverb using Valhalla VintageVerb. He also used Valhalla Room to add a short plate sound to thicken up the kick and snare drums.

To get the toms to match the cavernous punchiness of the kick and snare, O’Brien augmented the live toms with compression and EQ. “I chopped up the toms so there wasn’t any noise in between each hit and then I sent those to the nonlinear short reverbs in Valhalla Room,” he says. “Next, I did parallel compression using the Waves SSL E-Channel plug-in to really squash the tom hits so they’re big and in your face. With EQ, I added more top end then I normally would to help the toms compete with the other elements in the mix. You can make the close mics sound really crispy with those SSL EQs.”

Next, he bussed all the drum tracks to a group aux track, which had a Neve 33609 plug-in by UAD and a Waves C4 multi-band compressor “to control the whole drum kit after the reverbs were laid in to make sure those tracks fit in with the other instruments.”

Sean O’Brien

On “Slither,” O’Brien also focused on the drums, but since this track is more ‘80s dance than ‘80s rock, O’Brien says he was careful to emphasize the composers’ ‘80s drum machine sounds (rather than the live drum kit), because that is where the character of the track was coming from. “My job on this track was to enhance the electric drum sounds; to give the drum machine focus. I used UAD’s Neve 1081 plug-in on the electronic drum elements to brighten them up.”

“Slither” also features Taiko drums, which make the track feel cinematic and big. O’Brien used Soundtoys Devil-Loc to make the taiko drums feel more aggressive, and added distortion using Decapitator from Soundtoys to help them cut through the other drums in the track. “I think the drums were the big thing that Zach [Robinson] and Leo [Birenberg] were looking to me for because the guitars and synths were already recorded the way the composers wanted them to sound.”

The Mix
Mix engineer Phil McGowan, who was responsible for mixing “Strike First,” agrees. He says, “The ‘80s sound for me was really based on drum sounds, effects and tape saturation. Most of the synth and guitar sounds that came from Zach and Leo were already very stylized so there wasn’t a whole lot to do there. Although I did use a Helios 69 EQ and Fairchild compressor on the bass along with a little Neve 1081 and Kramer PIE compression on the guitars, which are all models of gear that would have been used back then. I used some Lexicon 224 and EMT 250 on the synths, but otherwise there really wasn’t a whole lot of processing from me on those elements.”

Phil McGowan’s ‘Strike First’ Pro Tools session.

To get an ‘80s gated reverb sound for the snare and toms on “Strike First,” McGowan used an AMS RMX16 nonlinear reverb plug-in in Pro Tools. For bus processing, he mainly relied on a Pultec EQ, adding a bit of punch with the classic “Pultec Low End Trick” —which involves boosting and attenuating at the same frequency — plus adding a little bump at 8k for some extra snap. Next in line, he used an SSL G-Master buss compressor before going into UAD’s Studer A800 tape plug-in set to 456 tape at 30 ips and calibrated to +3 dB.

“I did end up using some parallel compression using a Distressor plug-in by Empirical Labs, which was not around back then, but it’s my go-to parallel compressor and it sounded fine, so I left it in my template. I also used a little channel EQ from FabFilter Pro-Q2 and the Neve 88RS Channel Strip,” concludes McGowan.


Jennifer Walden is a New Jersey-based audio engineer and writer. You can follow her on Twitter at @audiojeney.com.

Behind the Title: Spacewalk Sound’s Matthew Bobb

NAME: Matthew Bobb

COMPANY: Pasadena, California’s SpaceWalk Sound 

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We are a full-service audio post facility specializing in commercials, trailers and spatial sound for virtual reality (VR). We have a heavy focus on branded content with clients such as Panda Express and Biore and studios like Warner Bros., Universal and Netflix.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Partner/Sound Supervisor/Composer

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
I’ve transitioned more into the sound supervisor role. We have a fantastic group of sound designers and mixers that work here, plus a support staff to keep us on track and on budget. Putting my faith in them has allowed me to step away from the small details and look at the bigger picture on every project.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
We’re still a small company, so while I mix and compose a little less than before, I find my days being filled with keeping the team moving forward. Most of what falls under my role is approving mixes, prepping for in-house clients the next day, sending out proposals and following up on new leads. A lot of our work is short form, so projects are in and out the door pretty fast — sometimes it’s all in one day. That means I always have to keep one eye on what’s coming around the corner.

The Greatest Showman 360

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Lately, it has been showing VR to people who have never tried it or have had a bad first experience, which is very unfortunate since it is a great medium. However, that all changes when you see someone come out of a headset exclaiming,”Wow, that is a game changer!”

We have been very fortunate to work on some well-known and loved properties and to have people get a whole new experience out of something familiar is exciting.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Dealing with sloppy edits. We have been pushing our clients to bring us into the fold as early as v1 to make suggestions on the flow of each project. I’ll keep my eye tuned to the timing of the dialog in relation to the music and effects, while making sure attention has been paid to the pacing of the edit to the music. I understand that the editor and director will have their attention elsewhere, so I’m trying to bring up potential issues they may miss early enough that they can be addressed.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
I would say 3pm is pretty great most days. I should have accomplished something major by this point, and I’m moments away from that afternoon iced coffee.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I’d be crafting the ultimate sandwich, trying different combinations of meats, cheeses, spreads and veggies. I’d have a small shop, preferably somewhere tropical. We’d be open for breakfast and lunch, close around 4pm, and then I’d head to the beach to sip on Russell’s Reserve Small Batch Bourbon as the sun sets. Yes, I’ve given this some thought.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION?
I came from music but quickly burned out on the road. Studio life suited me much more, except all the music studios I worked at seemed to lack focus, or at least the clientele lacked focus. I fell into a few sound design gigs on the side and really enjoyed the creativity and reward of seeing my work out in the world.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
We had a great year working alongside SunnyBoy Entertainment on VR content for the Hollywood studios including IT: Float, The Greatest Showman 360, Annabelle Creation: Bee’s Room and Pacific Rim: Inside the Uprising 360. We also released our first piece of interactive content, IT: Escape from Pennywise, for Gear VR and iOS.

Most recently, I worked on Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Scoring The Last Jedi: A 360 VR Experience. This takes Star Wars fans on a VIP behind-the-scenes intergalactic expedition, giving them on a virtual tour of the The Last Jedi’s production and soundstages and dropping them face-to-face with Academy Award-winning film composer John Williams and film director Rian Johnson.

Personally, I got to compose two Panda Express commercials, which was a real treat considering I sustained myself through college on a healthy diet of orange chicken.

It: Float

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
It: Float was very special. It was exciting to take an existing property that was not only created by Stephen King but was also already loved by millions of people, and expand on it. The experience brought the viewer under the streets and into the sewers with Pennywise the clown. We were able to get very creative with spatial sound, using his voice to guide you through the experience without being able to see him. You never knew where he was lurking. The 360 audio really ramped up the terror! Plus, we had a great live activation at San Diego Comic Con where thousands of people came through and left pumped to see a glimpse of the film’s remake.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
It’s hard to imagine my life without these three: Spotify Premium, no ads! Philips Hue lights for those vibes. Lastly, Slack keeps our office running. It’s our not-so-secret weapon.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
I treat social media as an escape. I’ll follow The Onion for a good laugh, or Anthony Bourdain to see some far flung corner of earth I didn’t know about.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHEN NOT MIXING OR EDITING?
If I’m doing busy work, I prefer something instrumental like Eric Prydz, Tycho, Bonobo — something with a melody and a groove that won’t make me fall asleep, but isn’t too distracting either.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
The best part about Los Angeles is how easy it is to escape Los Angeles. My family will hit the road for long weekends to Palm Springs, Big Bear or San Diego. We find a good mix of active (hiking) and inactive (2pm naps) things to do to recharge.

Behind the Title: Butter Music and Sound’s Chip Herter

NAME: Chip Herter

COMPANY: NYC’s Butter Music+Sound/Haystack Music

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Butter creates custom music compositions for advertising/film/TV. Haystack Music is the internal music catalog from Butter, featuring works from our composers, emerging artists and indie labels.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Director of Creative Sync Services

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
The role was designed to be a catch-all for all things creative music licensing. This includes music supervision (curating music for projects from the music industry at large, by way of record labels and publishers) and creative direction from our own Haystack Music library.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Rights management is an understated aspect of the role. The ability to immediately know who key players are in the ownership of a song, so that we can estimate costs for using a song on behalf of our clients and license a track with ease.

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU USE?
The best tool in my toolbox is the team that supports me every day.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
I have a keen interest in putting the spotlight on new and emerging music. Be it a new piece written by one of our composers or an emerging act that I want to introduce to a larger audience.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Losing work to anyone else. It is a natural part of the job, but I can’t help getting personally invested in every project I work on. So the loss feels real, but in turn I always learn something from it.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
Morning, for sure. Coffee and music? Yes, please!

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Most likely working for a PR agency. I love to write, and I am good at it (so I’m told).

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I was a late bloomer. I was 26 when I took my first internship as a music producer at Crispin Porter+Bogusky. From my first day on the job, I knew this was my higher calling. Anyone who geeks-out to the language in a music license like me is destined to do this for a living.

Lexus Innovations

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
We recently worked on a campaign for Lexus with Team One USA called Innovations that was particularly great and the response to the music was very positive. Recently, we also worked on projects for Levi’s, Nescafé, Starbucks and Keurig… coffee likes us, I guess!

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
I was fortunate to work with Wieden+Kennedy on their Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad in 2015. I placed a song from the band Hundred Waters, who have gone on to do remarkable things since. The spot carried a very positive message about anti-bullying, and it was great to work on something with such social awareness.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
WiFi, Bluetooth and Spotify.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I don’t take for granted that my favorite pastime — going to concerts — is a fringe benefit of the job. When I am not listening to music, I am almost always listening to a podcast or a standup comedian. I also enjoy acting like a child with my two-year-old son as much as I can. I learn a lot from him about not taking myself too seriously.

Jason Moss composes music for ABC’s The Toy Box

By Jennifer Walden

Children may not be the best source for deciding when bedtime should be, or deciding what’s for dinner (chicken nuggets again?), but who better to decide what toys kids want to play with? A large part of the Tom Hanks film Big was based on this premise.

ABC’s new inventor-centric series, The Toy Box, which premiered in April, features four young judges who are presented with new toy inventions. They then get to decide which toy prototypes would be popular with others in their demographic. Toy inventors competing on the show first meet with a set of “expert mentors,” a small group of adults who delve into the specifics of the toy and offer advice.

Jason Moss

If the toy makes it past that panel, it gets put into the “toy box.” The toy is then presented to the four young judges, who get to play with it, ask questions and give their critique to the toy inventor. The four young judges deliberate and make a final decision on which toy will advance to the next round. At the end of the season, the judges will chose one winning toy to be made by Mattel and sold exclusively at Toys ‘R’ Us.

The Toy Box needed a soundtrack that could both embody the essence of juvenile joviality and portray the pseudo-seriousness its pre-teen decision makers. It’s not a job for your average reality show composer. It required askew musical sensibilities. “The music is fun and super-pop sounding with cool analog synths and video game sounds. It’s really energetic and puts a smile on your face,” says the series composer/music supervisor Jason Moss at Super Sonic Noise in Los Angeles. “Then for the decision-making cues, as the kids decide whether they like a toy and what they’re going to do, it had to be something other than what you’d expect. It couldn’t sound too dark. It still had to be quirky.”

Moss knows quirky. He was the composer on IFC’s Gigi Does It, starring David Krumholtz as an eccentric Jewish grandmother living in Florida. Moss also composed the theme music for the Seeso original series Bajillion Dollar Propertie$, a partially improvised comedy series that pokes fun at real estate reality shows.

Moss covered all of The Toy Box’s musical needs — from high-energy pop and indie rock tracks when the kids are playing with the toys to comedic cues infused with ukulele and kitschy strings, and tension tracks for moments of decision. He wrote original music as well as curated selections from the Bulletproof Bear music catalog. Bulletproof Bear offers a wide variety of licensable tracks written by Moss, plus other music catalogs they represent. “It’s a big collection with over 33,000 tracks. We can really compete with bigger music license companies because we have a huge amount of diverse music that can cover the whole production from head to toe,” he says.

The Gear
Moss composes in Apple’s Logic Pro X. He performed live guitars, bass and ukulele (using the Kala U-Bass bass ukulele). For mics, he chose Miktek Audio’s CV4 large diaphragm condense tube and their C5 small diaphragm pencil condenser, each paired with Empirical Labs Mike-E pre-amps.

Moss combined the live sounds with virtual instruments, particularly those from Spectrasonics. XLN Audio’s Addictive Drums were his go-to for classic and modern drum sounds. For synths, he used reFX’s Nexus, libraries from Native Instrument’s Kontakt, Arturia’s Analog Lab and their VOX Continental V. He also called on the ROLI Equator sound engine via the ROLI Rise 25 key MIDI controller, which features soft squishy silicone keys much different from a traditional keyboard controller. The Akai MPK88 weighted key controller is Moss’ choice in that department. For processing and effects, he chose plug-ins by Soundtoys and PSP Audioware. He also incorporated various toy and video game sounds into the tracks.

The Score
The show’s two-minute opener combines three separate segments — the host (Modern Family‘s Eric Stonestreet), the expert mentor introductions and the judges introductions. Each has its own musical vibe. The host and the expert mentors have original music that Moss wrote specifically for the show. The judges have a dramatic pulsing-string track that is licensed from Bulletproof Bear’s catalog. In addition, a five-second tag for The Toy Box logo is licensed from the Bulletproof Bear catalog. That tag was composed by Jon LaCroix, who is one of Moss’ business partners. In regards to the dramatic strings on the kids’ entrance, Moss, who happened to write that cue, says, “The way they filmed the kids… it’s like they are little mini adults. So the theme has some seriousness to it. In context, it’s really cute.”

For the decision-making cues, Moss wanted to stay away from traditional tension strings. To give the track a more playful feel that would counterbalance the tension, he used video game sounds and 808 analog drum sounds. “I also wanted to use organic sounds that were arpeggiated and warm. They are decision-making tick-tock tracks, but I wanted to make it more fun and interesting,” says Moss.

“We were able to service the show on the underscore side with Bulletproof Bear’s music catalog in conjunction with my original music. It was a great opportunity for us to keep all the music within our company and give the client a one-stop shop, keeping the music process organized and easy,” he explains. “It was all about finding the right sound, or the right cue, for each of those segments. At the end of the day, I want to make sure that everybody is happy, acknowledge the showrunners’ musical vision and strive to capture that. It was a super-fun experience, and hopefully it will come back for a second, third and tenth season! It’s one of those shows you can watch with your kids. The kid judges are adorable and brutally honest, and with the myriad of adult programming out there, it’s refreshing to see a show like The Toy Box get green-lit.”

The new Tom and Jerry Show score combines vintage and modern sounds

By Jennifer Walden

Tom and Jerry have been locked in conflict since the 1940s when animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera pitted cat against mouse in a theatrical animated series for MGM’s cartoon studio. Their Academy Award-winning Tom and Jerry short films spurred numerous iterations over the years by different directors and animation studios.

The latest reboot, The Tom and Jerry Show, produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Renegade Animation, and directed by Darrell Van Citters, started airing on Cartoon Network in 2014. It didn’t really come into its own until Season 2, which began airing in 2016.

Vivek Maddala

Vivek Maddala is co-composer on the series. “The storytelling is getting better and better. Ostensibly, it’s a children’s show but what I’m finding is the writers seem to be having a lot of fun with allegorical references. It features layered storytelling that children probably wouldn’t be able to appreciate. For example, Tom’s love interest, a cat named Toodles, is an aspiring dancer by night but her day job is being a spot welder for heavy construction. Obviously, this is a Flashdance reference, so I was able to thread oblique references to Flashdance in the score.”

New episodes of The Tom and Jerry Show are currently airing on Cartoon Network, and Maddala will be composing 39 of the episodes in Season 3.

As with Hanna-Barbera’s animated theatrical shorts, the characters of Tom and Jerry rarely talk, although other recurring characters are voiced. Music plays an essential role in describing the characters’ actions and reactions. Maddala’s compositions are reminiscent of composer Scott Bradley’s approach to the original Tom and Jerry animations. Comfortable cartoon tropes like trumpet blasts and trombone slides, pizzicato plucks and timpani bounces punctuate a string-and woodwind-driven score. “Scott Bradley’s scoring technique is the gold standard. It is beautiful writing,” he says.

In their initial conversations, director Van Citters regularly referenced Bradley’s scoring technique. Maddala studied those scores carefully and frequently revisits them while writing his own scores for the show. Maddala also listens to “music that is completely unrelated, like Led Zeppelin or Marvin Gaye, to help jog my imagination. The music I’m writing for the show very much sounds like me. I’m taking some of the approaches that Scott Bradley used but, ultimately, I am using my own musical vocabulary. I have a certain way of hearing drama and hearing action, and that’s what the score sounds like.”

Maddala’s vintage-meets-modern compositions incorporate contemporary instrumentation and genres like blues guitar for when the cool stray cat comes onto the scene, and an electro-organ of the muziak persuasion for a snack food TV commercial. His musical references to Flashdance can heard in the “Cat Dance Fever” episode, and he gives a nod to Elmer Bernstein’s score for The Magnificent Seven in the episode “Uncle Pecos Rides Again.”

Each new musical direction or change of instrument doesn’t feel abrupt. It all melts into the quintessential Tom and Jerry small orchestra sound. “Darrell Van Citters and Warner Bros. are giving me quite a bit of autonomy in coming up with my own musical solutions to the action on-screen and the situations that the characters are experiencing. I’m able to draw from a lot of different things that inspire me,” explains Maddala.

Instruments & Tools
His score combines live recordings with virtual instruments. His multi-room studio in Los Angeles houses a live room, his main composing room and a separate piano room. Maddala keeps a Yamaha C3 grand piano and a drum kit always mic’d up so he can perform those parts whenever he needs. He also records small chamber groups there, like double-string quartets and woodwind quartets. The string ensembles sometimes consist of seven violins (four first and three second), three violas and three cellos, captured using a Blumlein pair recording configuration (a stereo recording technique that produces a realistic stereo image) with ribbon mics to evoke a vintage sound. He chooses AEA N8 ribbon mics matched with AEA’s RPQ 500 mic pre-amps.

Maddala also uses several large diaphragm tube condenser mics he designed for Avid years ago, such as the Sputnik. “The Sputnik is a cross between a classic Neumann U47 capsule with the original M7 design, and an AKG C 12 mic with the original CK12 capsule. The capsule is sort of like a cross between those two mics. The head amp is based on the Telefunken ELA M 251.”

Maddala’s composing room.

Maddala uses three different DAWs. He composes in Cakewalk’s Sonar on a PC and runs video through Steinberg’s Cubase on a Mac. The two systems are locked together via SMPTE timecode. On the Mac, he also runs Avid Pro Tools 12 for delivering stems to the dub stage. “The dub is done in Pro Tools so they usually ask to have a Pro Tools session delivered to them. Once the score is approved, I copy the stems into a Pro Tools session so it’s self-contained, save that and post it to the FTP server.”

Maddala got his start in composing for film by scoring classic silent films from the 1920s, which Warner Bros. and TCM restored in order to release them to today’s audiences. He worked with recording/mix engineer Dan Blessinger on those silent films, and Blessinger — the sound designer on The Tom and Jerry Show, recommended Maddala for the gig. “A lot of the classic silent films from the 1920s never had a score associated with them because the technology didn’t exist to marry sound and picture. About 10 or 15 years ago, when TCM was releasing these films to modern audiences, they needed new scores. So I started doing that, which built up my chops for scoring something like a Tom & Jerry cartoon where there is wall-to-wall music,” concludes Maddala.


Jennifer Walden is a New Jersey-based writer and audio engineer.

Behind the Title: Butter senior producer Annick Mayer

NAME: Annick Mayer

COMPANYButter Music + Sound (Facebook)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY? Butter is a group of talented composers and producers, who all happen to love working with each other. We create original music for moving picture, with a focus in the world of advertising. We also act as music supervisors when clients are looking to license rather than compose.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Senior Producer

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
As the senior producer at Butter, I am a face and a name to our clients, and the liaison between the clients and our composers. I organize and oversee the briefs, have input on the creative process, manage the schedule and handle the budgets from start to finish. I am wearing two hats at all times: supporting my clients, while remaining a driving facilitator to our team of composers. My main concern is getting the job done well. That means painlessly for our clients, while making sure our composers are able to create the best and most creative product. This is key for me. I also work in the music supervision aspect of what we do at Butter, conducting searches/music research in Butter’s Library, as well as reaching out to publishers, etc., for outside licensing.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Making lunch! At Butter Music + Sound’s west coast office, where I moved a little over a year ago, we often make lunch for clients in our outdoor kitchen. Our LA EP Marcus Nelson and I love to cook, so we jump at the opportunity to share this with our team and clients. Our special is lamb burger Friday’s — seriously delicious.

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU USE?
Dropbox for all things file sharing… we collaborate with artists all over the world, so Dropbox, along with Skype, makes these relationships possible. Spotify is amazing for music research — I love going down the rabbit hole on different genres and artists. I also love a good old-fashioned phone call; this solves the smallest to biggest issue that can easily be lost in translation over email.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB? 

When I am reviewing submissions from composers and go, “Yup, this is the one!” Music is very difficult to talk about for many people, and when we nail what agency creatives are describing it is so satisfying.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
When pieces of music that we love die in the demo process. In our business, especially for the composers, you have to learn not to get too attached to your idea, as it can change and even die at the drop of a hat. C’est la vie.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
Lunch with the team. It’s a 30-minute block where we can relax and debrief or talk about something completely stupid, depending on what we need that day.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Working with my hands somewhere outdoors.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I started working in this niche of the music industry when I was around 23, so fairly early! Before that I was writing about music for a culture magazine and waiting tables for a paycheck.

Clash of the Clan with Liam Neeson.

Clash of Clans with Liam Neeson for SuperCell.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
We just wrapped a five-spot package for Honda (RPA) where we pre-scored everything. It was super fun to help them bring these stories to life from the get-go. In June, we worked on an awesome spot for Android (Droga5.) We were asked to create an original song for an Android spot that would launch on June 30 in tandem with the addition of a leap-second to the world clock. I love, love, love what we came up with. We also work on lots of Supercell spots (Boom Beach, Clash of Clans) for Barton F. Graf 9000, and most recently put together a massive live orchestra that we recorded at Avatar studios, one of my favorite places in New York!

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
Wow, tough question! I loved working on the DirecTV Fantasy Football spots with the Manning brothers (Grey, NY.) There were many logistical hoops to record the Mannings live on set, but our team made it happen. The project was super fun and gained over a million views on YouTube within a few days of going live.

Also, we recently worked on a German spot for Immowelt, one of Germany’s biggest real estate portals. It was a really exciting and creative brief, and what our composers came up with blew my mind.

In my first year at Butter, we recorded a huge ensemble at Avatar Studios with some of New York’s most talented jazz session musicians for a Kayak spot (Barton F. Graf, 9000)… as a huge jazz nerd, that was an amazing day on the job for me!

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
iPhone, iPhone and iPhone.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I have two dogs, so anything from lounging to hiking with them is a good de-stresser. I actually bring one of them to work with me and she is probably the most amazing de-stressing tool. Aside from that, cooking, yoga, running …anything outdoors.

Get to know film trailer composer Yoav Goren

Yoav Goren is co-founder of Immediate Music, which creates music for motion picture trailers as well as for high-end product advertising, television programming and promos.

Goren is also owner of Imperativa Records, which recently released a compilation of Hollywood trailer music featuring big names within the genre, called This is Epic Music — Volume 1.

Santa Monica-based Goren, an Emmy award-winning composer and producer, has been working in trailers and related worlds for over 20 years. What better time than now to reach out and get some background on the artist and his music.

Writing music for motion picture promos is a very niche field. How did you get into it?
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PostChat: Composer Rob Gokee

By Randi Altman

This week’s #PostChat guest was LA-based composer Rob Gokee, whose resume includes a variety of work, including projects for film, television, commercials and the Web.

Gokee was excited to be in the hot seat on this week’s Twitter chat. In fact, he says that over the last seven years the majority of his industry contacts have been made through Twitter. But it hasn’t all been about work. Gokee actually met his wife on Twitter. “Most of my groomsmen were people I met on Twitter, and we live tweeted the wedding,” he reports. “I also wrote a book about it.”  That’s how integrated Twitter is in his life.

During Wednesday’s #postchat, which took place at 6pm PST/9pm EST, he enjoyed Continue reading

Composer Boris Salchow takes on zombies, humor for ‘Sunset Overdrive’

By Randi Altman

Insomniac Games and Boris Salchow are frequent collaborators, so it was no surprise when the game developer tasked the composer to score the cinematic music for its next-gen shooter zombie game Sunset Overdrive, which was published by Microsoft Studios exclusively for Xbox 1.

The game itself is frenetic in its gameplay, but doesn’t take itself too seriously as proven by the game’s humorous and satirical feel. The German-born Salchow (Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time, Fuse, Resistance 2&3) took great care to make sure the funny didn’t come off as campy or too cute. He also used many different influences, from alt-rock to 1960’s Hollywood orchestral music to zombie horror to spaghetti western to minstrel ballads.

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Chanda Dancy focuses on audio post for indies with Cyd Post

Cyd Post, founded by film composer Chanda Dancy, will be opening its doors in Glendale, California, next week with a focus on audio post production for independent filmmakers. Services will include custom music production, sound editing, sound design, ADR, Foley and voiceovers.

According to Dancy, “The main focus of Cyd Post is sound and music production for independent films and new media,” which she believes is the future of the industry. So Cyd Post will focus on work that involves things like content for the web, hand-held devices, gaming consoles, etc. “The company is poised to handle an extremely flexible range of budgets and projects in anticipation of emerging technologies and the ever-changing landscape of entertainment content creation,” she says. “Independent and new media content creators can essentially have their cake and eat it too in regards to getting professional sound and music from an award-winning and experienced artist and staying within their budget.”

Chanda_Dancy-0327

Chanda Dancy

In addition to her film composing work, Dancy plays a variety of instruments and is an accomplished vocalist. She started composing films as an undergraduate while getting degrees in composition, music theory and violin performance at Houston Baptist University. “It was mostly small, local commercial projects, but I also directed my own short film and scored it as a part of a special senior thesis project that my awesome composition professor, Ann K. Gebuhr, created a special course for,” she explains. “Directly after undergrad, I went on to intern with composer Mike Post (Law & Order, NYPD Blue, The Rockford Files, L.A. Law, Quantum Leap, Magnum, P.I., Hill Street Blues) as part of the 2002 BMI Film Scoring Fellowship, and then went on to attend the USC Film Scoring program in 2003. Everything just progressed from there.”

Dancy is most noted for her collaboration with filmmaker Ted Chung on films such as A Thousand Words, Mike’s and I.D. She also scored the Peruvian offering La Navaja de Don Juan, Unmentionables and the horror film directed by Ning Jungwu called Lift to Hell.

So how did Dancy’s path lead her to starting an audio post house? “I am using skills developed over the past eight years that started with my employment as a sound assistant at an audio post production house back in 2006 called NL3 Audio. From that point on sound production has been an integral part of my artistic growth, right along with music composition. Also, from a business standpoint, it only makes sense to use all skill sets in an official capacity in the name of diversification!

gear shot

Tools
Cyd Post’s gear includes Avid Pro Tools 10 and 11; Waves Diamond plug-in suite; Native Instruments Komplete 8; East West Hollywood Brass; East West Hollywood Strings; Cinesamples Cinecore Winds; Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56; Presonus Monitor Station studio controller; JBL LSR4326P Bi-amplified studio monitor system; Sweetwater, Creation Station 450; Finale 2012 notation software; Adobe Creative Cloud; Avid Mbox 2 Pro; M-Audio Keystation 61 es; and a JBL LSR308 powered monitor system.

The recording room houses Vocalbooth.com Platinum Series Recording Room 9’x10’; Neumann TLM102 large diaphram condenser mic; Rode NT5 stereo pair; cardioid condenser instrument mic; Audio Technica AT3035 cardioid condenser mic; Audix DP7 instrument mic set (seven mics total); Zoom H4N handheld field recorder; Line 6 Spyder III guitar amp; and a Acoustic B200 bass amp.

 

Meet Audio Post Pro Will Bates

NAME: Will Bates

COMPANY: Brooklyn-based  Fall On Your Sword  @fallonyousword 

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We are an audio post production company specializing in custom music composition to picture (films and commercials) and audio mixing.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Founder, principal and composer.

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Meet the Artist: Scott Lee Miller

Scott Miller, Creative Director, The Hit House, Los Angeles

Being the Supreme Overlord of all things musical within his studio is quite a responsibility… but one he absolutely loves!

NAME: Scott Lee Miller aka Mojo Magnet

COMPANY: The Hit House (www.thehithouse.com), Los Angeles, @HitHouseMusic

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?

Music composition, custom scoring, sound design, and high-end production music.

 WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?

Creative Director and Supreme Overlord of all things musical.

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