Creating custom original music for visual media!
“But I can just use that stock music library from the interwebs…”
Sure, there’s plenty of situations where this works great (i.e., Reality Television). However, if you long for the specific such as “I’m looking for the colour blue, on a Saturday, 2006, March” while also conveying emotional support, this is where custom music is a perfect match for your production.
Music that is precisely tailored for the moment compared to stock music “needle-drop” compromise.
“You’re more expensive than my friend’s kid who uses Garageband”
Sometimes called “Additional Programming”, these are bespoke sounds custom created for use within a Composer’s score instead of common “off the shelf” sounds that everyone has access to.
The Monster Modular Synth!!
The individual modules are sourced from all over the world – ranging from established synthesizer companies to one-man operations that design and build each by hand. The sonic possibilities of the system are endless, such as a building something from a huge trunk of Lego, and offers a bespoke sonic edge to a composer’s sound.
Neil Wiggling some knobs
A Technical Wingman is basically “Scotty” in Star Trek. Tasked with keeping the ship operational when the pressure is on! Depending on the scope of the production, it could be a canoe or huge oil tanker… but hopefully never the Titanic (oh that’s so lame…wah wah!)
- integrating/deploying/maintaining studio systems at the hardware and software level
- sourcing new sounds and plug-ins
- building writing templates
- general tech support
- preparing pre-records and materials for the score record and eventual mix
- preparing sessions for an orchestrator
- preparing parts if no copyist is involved
- keeping notes
- verifying any note inconsistencies in Orchestration vs. Mockup.
- another ear in the room
Music Editors work with the Composer and Post-Audio Department of audio-visual mediums
Depending on the type and complexity of a Show or Film, few or many of the tasks outlined below are part of the Music Editor’s responsibilites:
- spotting episodes (working with the Composer and Director to determine where music is required in a program)
- creating a “temp” soundtrack from pre-existing score before a Composer is hired
- cataloguing delivered score from the Composer and keeping track of contracted minutes
- editing the Composer’s pre-existing library according to spotting notes to sound like it was scored (usually for animated programs)
- preparing click tracks and related Pro Tools sessions for any live recording (i.e.: Orchestra)
- logging takes at the recording sessions and later comping the best takes
- outputting screeners for client approvals
- inserting additional licensed music into a show/film
- conforming cues to picture changes
- conforming the full soundtrack for different broadcast markets (versioning)
- creating cue sheets
Music Editorial is a thankless job. The work is invisible to the listener if done properly. Basically, the Music Editor is a Pro Tools ninja!
Neil provides technical consulting services for Composers as well as meeting up with emerging composers to ‘talk shop’ about the business and how to dive in!
Neil is also involved with:
Screen Composers Guild of Canada
- Member: 2005 to Present
- Mentorship Program: Mentor, 2015 to Present
- Board of Directors: 2016 to 2018
- Seminar Host: Synthesis for Film & Television
Fanshawe College Music Industry Arts
- Program Advisory Committee: Member
- MIA Audio Post Production
- Guest Lecturer 2018
- Guest Lecturer 2017
- Guest Lecturer 2016
- Guest Lecturer 2015
- Guest Lecturer 2011
- Guest Lecturer 2010
- Guest Lecturer 2006
Centennial College Story Arts Centre
- Part-Time Faculty
- Digital Audio Music Production with Pro Tools (Fall 2016)
- Digital Audio Music Production with Pro Tools (Fall 2017)
- Digital Audio Music Production with Pro Tools (Winter 2018)
- MIDI, Programming and Synthesis (Winter and Fall 2018)
Canadian Film Centre
- Slaight Music Residency: Technical Round Table Panelist 2018
- Slaight Music Residency: Technical Round Table Panelist 2017
- Slaight Music Residency: Technical Round Table Panelist 2016
- Slaight Music Residency: Technical Round Table Panelist 2015
- Slaight Music Residency: Technical Round Table Panelist 2014
- Slaight Music Residency: Technical Round Table Panelist 2013
Ontario Association of Broadcasters
- OAB Career Day 2018
- OAB Career Day 2017
- Roundtable Co-host at the Independent Producers Table
- “Career Day provides a forum for soon-to-be graduating broadcasting students to meet with professionals in their field to talk candidly and ask questions in a unique and casual setting. This allows them a level of access to people they would not normally have. The ever popular round-table discussions features hosts from all areas of broadcasting.
Harris Institute for the Arts
- Guest Lecturer for MIDI Students, Fall Term 2017
- Guest Lecturer for MIDI Students, Winter Term 2017
- Guest Lecturer for MIDI Students, Fall Term 2016
Toronto Animation Arts Festival International
- 2013 Panelist on Music Underscore
Toronto Ravel (2016 to Present)
- Electronically preparing various cues from “The Matrix” for Monthly Study Workshops
St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School
- Guest Speaker for the entire Grade 10 and 11 student body, discussing a career path as a freelancer (2014)
US Department of Veteran Affairs
Provided general music production and related computer technology one-on-one training to a US veteran residing in Toronto (2005)