How it Was Made
So here’s something a bit different than my usual I suppose. It’s short, it’s spacey, it’s got big synths. This is another one of those “I got a new toy so I’m going to play with it” pieces. The goal was to use some of the awesome sounds that I got from Audio Imperia’s Sounds of the Multiverse collection. Seriously, that pack has some *mega* powerful bass synths that almost make creating powerful trailer music too easy (keyword: almost).
I started out with this piece wanting to play around with some of the drone sounds. I knew ahead of time that this would likely go along with the standard trailer formula, so I wasn’t too worried about the composition. The first 20 or so seconds were pretty simple – I wanted an eerie sounding drone in the background, some sort of subtle buildup and then a major riser into the action.
I’ve strangely been addicted to simple “heartbeat” sounding drums, and that’s pretty obvious to hear in this piece. It seems like such a simple but effective way to push the audience forward. Either way, I was pretty happy with how the beginning of the piece turned out and I think it does its job extremely well.
The first epic section was a bit of an experience to put together. I threw down a few of those insanely huge sounding bass synths but I wasn’t sure what to match it with. I initially wanted just that huge bass slam (ala inception) but it felt really empty after I had the initial run through. My musical inner conflict then flared up as I debated whether or not to give into to my ever-present desire to make things more complex, or if I should try to keep things simple and not overcomplicate. I ended up giving in because it honestly just didn’t sound meaty enough. I went back and added some spacey synths to add some atmosphere, some ostinato strings to add some forward motion and then some drums. I’m glad I did because I think doing that turned the piece into something really interesting. The spacey background atmosphere really makes the piece sound a bit unique. The overall power of the piece is diminished a tad bit I think, but that’s alright because the track has a lot more character.
On the subject of character, I’ll take a brief sidebar to comment on this. Character is something that’s been a lot more difficult for me to achieve lately. As I take more interest in producing music that’s practical and usable, I find that I’m adding fewer elements that make my music sound unique and sound like me. I love guitars (obviously) but they’re not widely used in the industry right now, and that sucks. If I’m looking to get my tracks placed well, my success seems a lot more likely if I give in and produce sounds that are similar to a lot of others and match the current trends in the industry. As an entrepreneur, this makes sense but as an artist I hate it. Either way, it’s an area that I’ll continue to struggle finding a middle ground with. On to the finale!
Ahhh, the finale. This is the part of the song that *should* be the most fun to put together but lately it’s been more of a mess. I’m realizing how important composition is to the final mix and that’s been changing my perspective quite a lot lately. In my initial songs I’d just go balls to the wall and put every instrument I could think of in the mix in a poor attempt to create a “wall of sound”. That doesn’t work though and it ends up being really irritating because all the instruments you want to have power don’t quite have enough. The drums fade, the strings fade, the ambiance fades… it all gets a bit quieter and you can get some seriously nasty pulsing action going on as they’re all competing with each other.
For this piece I decided to try to keep it simple and just add a choir overtop to add that level of epicness without changing things up a whole lot. I think it worked out alright, although I think the choir probably could have been mixed a bit better. After the main finale section it was as simple as adding two additional bass synths for those extra dramatic ending flashes, a brief pause, and then the outro. Simple but effective. I’m working more towards that beautiful but evasive realm of “simple” and honestly it’s a lot harder to get to than I thought it would be.
Overall I like this piece. I think I really nailed the “spacey” aspect of it without compromising too much with the epicness and the power. There are certainly weak areas that I need to improve on (cough, mixing, cough) but I’m refusing to spend inordinate amounts of time on a singular piece right now. I know that I’ll learn far more by writing more songs than by spending a ton of time on one. I’m definitely happy with the direction I’m going though