Back in 2012 I had the great opportunity to work with composer/producer Tom Salta on one of the compositions for the score of Tom Clancy’s: Ghost Recon Future Soldier. My job was to create the guitars for one of the action sequences featured in the video game.
Universal Audio, one of my favourite software and hardware companies has published and article worth checking out.
Tom Salta on Creating Award-Winning Video Game Scores with UAD Plug-Ins
When you write music for video games, you don’t just create a linear score, like you would for a movie,” says renowned game composer Tom Salta. “You often have to think, and work, in layers, and compose to possibility. Salta’s expertise at creating such fluid and multi-tendriled sonic magic has taken him to the top of his field. His game credits include Halo: Spartan Assault — which just won GANG’s (Game Audio Network Guild) Best Original Soundtrack award — multiple Tom Clancy Ghost Recon titles, Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands, and many more. No stranger to the studio before getting into games in the early 2000s, Salta has also amassed significant production, programming, and songwriting credits with artists like Sinead O’Connor, Cher, Peter Gabriel, and Whitney Houston.
Click here to continue reading the interview .
With some projects you need to trust your instinct and provide your clients with what you think is right, but to also listen to what they have in mind as well, even if you think they are wrong. When I was creating the music for the “Tetley Infusions” marketing campaign, I faced the challenges of having to raise the bar by proposing music that better suited their images as well as properly interpreting their instructions.
In this case I was to provide the client with two rough ideas based on their creative brief as well as a temporary music track that was provided to me in a rough video. The instructions given by the client where leading towards making the temporary track more dance club like, exiting and fun. In my opinion, the temp track was horrible and it didn’t fit the images at all. So I decide to provide them with 3 rough ideas instead. In the the first idea I followed the brief to the dot by creating something very similar to the temp track but more fun and exiting. The other 2 ideas where pointing more towards the direction I thought was better for what they wanted to achieve but also keeping in mind that they wanted something that could be played in a dance club. The difference between my other two ideas was that idea # 3 was more radio friendly than #2 which was more of an underground dance track.
Can you already guess which one they picked? I was very pleased that they went for Idea #3, since that was the sound I heard in my head when I first saw the rough images. When I presented the final track, the client was so pleased that they didn’t change a thing which is a bit unusual with this type of assignment where there are so many people involved in the creative process.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to do what your first instinct and experience dictates to you and also to do more than what your client expects from you, instead of just doing what you are told. Keep in mind that even when your client seems to know what he/she wants, they are hiring you because you are the expert and proper communication and clear examples are key to guarantee the success of each project.
The process and creation of this video turned out to be a great experience for me. Even though it was a bit challenging since the deadline was very tight, (less than a week!!!!) and the final edit wasn’t finished when I received the assignment, it was a great project to be part of. The Director and Producer, Stéphane Moukarzel was a great creative person to work with. He was very clear and specific about what he wanted to create with the music in this promo piece and that made my job much easier. Three different music pieces were produced to help support the development of the story. I personally enjoy how the introductory track turned out, it creates lots of anticipation and a constant build up of tension that explodes in minute 1:04 with the funk track. The second song really supports the action happening during the entire minute where the behind the scenes of what happens at DATSIT is shown. This song connects with the third track that if you haven’t noticed was based on the song “Viva La Vida” by Cold Play but I wanted to give a more magnificent feeling achieved by the string arrangement combined with the orchestra bells and the arpeggiated guitars.
I’m thinking about uploading a video in the Lessons section of my website demonstrating some of the techniques I used to produce the music for this promotional video. So stay tuned.
All your comments and questions are more than appreciated so keep them coming!!
I hear so many starting music producers that tell you that you need to spend thousands of dollars in order to make great music. But in reality, the equipment is just the vehicle that helps you create the song. Yes, certain mics, preamps, compressors, plugins etc, give you different results, but all the equipment out there in the market covers the same main function; which is to help you transmit your musical ideas into a stereo mix.
No question, having a wider range of “toys” helps, but whats more important is to really know how to use what you have, and really practice not only your mixing skills but your musical skills as well.
My advice; take your time, explore and let your creativity tell you what equipment is necessary for transmitting that sound you have in your head, so you don’t end up spending thousands of dollars in equipment you really don’t know how and when to use…
So last month I was commissioned to compose and produce music for the tv show “Ex-Wives of Rock” which is currently airing on Slice Television. What a blast!! I had to go back to my childhood rock days, when I used to lift guitar licks from songs by POISON, Guns and Roses and Warrant !!!
Here is some info about the show…
EX-WIVES OF ROCK chronicles the highs and lows of the glamorous L.A. lives of four women who have led the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll life… and have survived to reinvent themselves.
Through the narration of Shannon Tweed (wife of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons), the series follows video vixen Susan Dixon (ex-wife of Warrant bassist Jerry Dixon), Cherry Pie rock goddess Bobbie Brown (ex-wife of Warrant frontman Jani Lane), drummer and Tommy Lee’s sister, Athena Lee (ex-wife of Scorpions drummer James Kottak) and Sharise Neil (ex-wife of Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil).
Throughout each episode, you will see all sides of the four ex-wives: the good, the bad and the ugly. We’ll witness family drama, messed up love lives and friendships crash and burn. We’ll see the glamorous red carpet events, the seedy rock clubs, the fabulous hotel lunches and the quiet dinners at home.
Being ‘hair band groupies’ is far in the past for these now late-thirties, early-forties ladies; but that doesn’t mean their rock ‘n’ roll days are over. Their journey begins where one life has ended and another one has just begun. They are Mothers. Business Owners. Partiers. And ladies of the L.A. lifestyle.