Saturday, November 13, 2010

Music for Licensing

Not too long ago, Kurt approached me about creating some music with him for the purpose of licensing: creating pieces without intention for a particular sound, album, or direction, but rather making soundscapes for soundtrack music or use in commercials and the like. It's been a very interesting experiment so far and I'm looking forward to see where else it will go.

It is pushing me to add much more texture and depth to my music, especially in regards to automating effects throughout the track. This means adjusting settings, or parameters, while the song is being played. For example, instead of choosing a distortion for a track and just leaving it on, I may adjust the individual settings within that effect (volume, gain, or tone) continually and record the changes (via MIDI signal). When the track plays back, the tweaks to each setting are also replayed, so it's like there's an octopus at the control board, turning a whole bunch of knobs at once. The best part is that all these changes are non-destructive to the track, meaning that I can simply erase the automation data and leave the actual recording untouched, effectively destroying the proverbial octopus. More practice with this will certainly alter the way future Maybe Bomb tracks sound.

The song recently posted on Facebook was more goal oriented, looking to change feel at specific length markers and maintain a more upbeat feel. However, most of the other pieces sound more organic, darker, and dreamlike, pulling inspiration from Atticus Ross's recent work on The Book of Eli Soundtrack and Nine Inch Nails' Ghosts.

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