Ideas for creating music for clients in different creative disciplines.
Even if you have very little knowledge in music theory you will find that there are various tools for music creation. Technology and software advancements have made it possible for all types of people to be able to start putting down musical ideas rather quickly. We now have choices on how we can go about music creation, we could do it solo or we could do it in a collaboration of a few people.
A great way to start is to read any documents received by the client that may have a guide to what is needed or may contain vital information on what the actual creative piece is about. Pictures and storyboards are a great help because we can now work with visuals and any written information for the project. From here we are able to take necessary notes and start to think about what style of music is going to fit the project. What are the themes involved? What kind of mood are we to set? Is there multiple moods throughout the piece? Will we need to add any extra things like Foley, FX, Dialogue or Atmos? These are just some of the important things we need to factor in for different projects which may help to strengthen our music that we are trying to create.
If the client has not provided any specific information for styles of music that they may want then this should become a very enjoyable creative process as we are now free to start looking at any styles of music. If you do struggle with music creation then start to think of doing the task in a small collaboration environment for example, you could get hold of a keyboard player and work together to start putting down ideas, or you may want to get hold of a guitarist and start that way. Also we are now able to step out of an indoor environment to create music and come up with ideas elsewhere, we could find a location outdoors to help bring our ideas out especially if the project involves multiple locations like for example, a movie trailer, advertisement or game trailer.
Again, all our ideas would most likely start from a brief that would have been sent to us from the client. This will always be the best and safest way to come up with something suitable quickly and efficiently. We can make choices now too, will we need additional/other musicians or even a band to feature in our musical piece. Now is also a good time to mention the other BIG thing to take into account, Is there any budget allocated to make this project happen? Do we have enough to pay other people to be involved or do we just have enough for a very small team?
The great news is we have tools like Ableton, Pro Tools, Maschine and Logic which enable us to put our ideas down using decent instruments, sound effects and FX, additionally to this all of the software mentioned above has the ability for us to bring in any recorded material which may be specific to the project idea.
Time management is the next key player to the project, how much time do we have to accomplish our task? This can make or break the project especially if we have not developed a plan of attack. Be realistic with your goals, don’t spend days trying to source multiple musicians, don’t waste time trying to book a studio and don’t waste time looking for samples or sound effects when you could have started creating your own that are suitable and unique to the project.
Research and do more research on how music is used in multiple creative disciplines, take notes on any stand out things that you may hear happening because we can now find information on how to create or re-create these things and try them out in our own way, we may end up coming up with some really cool ideas that may be suitable and unique to our project.
If we have developed an interest in taking on this kind of work then practicing making music for this situation may help too. Why not practice for this type of job role it may help build knowledge and speed for this type of work. Look at some of your favourite movies, watch some adverts and check out some documentaries to gain knowledge on how music is used to enhance the experience. Practicing in a job role may also help with learning how to deal with the time factor because the client is the one who has the date for needing the work, its not up to us to say “Just another week”
Reference tracks are also a very handy and essential part of any music production, having an idea of these or sourcing some tracks suitable will be a massive bonus to aid in coming up with a piece of music and you could always start by re-creating or replicating some of the cool things you’ve heard in these tracks.
Remember this is supposed to be fun too, if your getting frustrated then the research and planning you have done has not been thought through enough and not prepared very well. Take adequate breaks and always step out of your work environment to re-adjust, cool off and clear your head. Its not healthy to yourself (or others) or your work flow to be going at it angry or frustrated this will only lead to accidents and upsets, nobody likes that.
So some of the key things to take in to help create music for a client are:
- The clients brief and any additional written documents
- Any media information received like storyboards, video, pictures
- Reference tracks, video clips
- Solo or collaboration
Hopefully this can give you some idea of how to start or come up with an effective plan on how to create a piece of music for a client in another creative discipline.