Post Magazine

November 2011

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CUSTOM SCORES [ Cont.from 43 ] pear-shaped stringed instrument used in North African and Middle Eastern music), or instruments all over the world. There are a whole bunch of bowed instruments, I can play because I have played the cello. That's what allows me create a unique sound." SONY SURGEON, HBO GO YACHT Thwak! Music ( in NYC creates custom scores for TV spots and films, as well as pro- vides music supervision. Tony Verderosa, the owner/ executive creative director, is an active composer in the company. He works closely with teams of compos- ers to provide a variety of choice for their ad clients. For Verderosa, having a strong collaborative effort is the most efficient way to provide a variety of music directions in a short amount of time. With advertising, radical changes to a custom score can happen in as little as six to eight hours. Having experienced com- posers who thrive in this sort of high-pressure envi- ronment, is what Thawk! thanks for its success. "People tend to make their decisions close to the ship date because they know they can. Years ago the demands of turning music around quickly was a lot more prohibi- tive, but with Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, and all these amazing tools, people have gotten used to asking for pretty radical changes overnight, and sometimes even in six or eight hours. That part makes it tricky, but we have a lot of very experienced composers and pro- ducers on staff that know how to get it done and make things happen." Verderosa and his team at Thwak! worked with McCann Erickson on the :60 Sony Xperia Surgeon spot, which aired at halftime during the Super Bowl back in February. Thwak! provided six different music options for McCann, and then refined the chosen track, which featured tribal drums and orchestra. "There was a lot of density and complexity in the track," explains Verderosa. "It was a good blend between organic recorded percus- [ Cont. from 39 ] sion and stuff that I've recorded over the years at Avatar Studios. There was a lot of experimenting in a short amount of time with the spot. So we have a lot of stuff we already recorded live that can be easily manipulated. Tempos can be changed and pitch can be changed. Once you arrive with the client at that magic moment where it's the right tempo, with the right textures, and things are hitting in the right spot, you get a chance to fully commit and do some live over-dubs to punch up the track. It's something we will do in the final phases; if we want to warm up a track that has strings, for example." When writing a track, Thawk's Tony Verderosa: In addition to custom scores, the studio has added music supervision services. Verderosa starts with the tempo and the feeling of the groove, and then typi- cally moves on to the piano. Those two ele- ments are his framework for the arrangement and help him to score the hit points and builds in the spot or film. "As a composer and producer, I like to write in Cubase 6. For samples, I'm a big fan of a lot of the EastWest sample libraries. I also really like a lot of the built-in Steinberg plug-ins and virtual instruments. There is one called LoopMash that I use on a lot of the modern tracks and remixes. Over the past seven months, I've been relying a lot on Steinberg's HALion 4, a sample library and virtual sampler that works with Cubase; I have a lot of custom samples as well. I've done RESTORATION machines to play back old audio formats, he fired up a DAT machine, loaded in the tape and put Cedar's Cam- bridge plug-in for noise reduction to work. After electronically delivering the restored track to the DVD authoring house, the origi- nal elements as recorded go back into the archives, he explains. "Part of what we're doing is making a big repository of all the assets" so Sony Pictures Entertainment's asset management department and future restoration teams can have easier access to libraries of material. When Chase works on foreign-language versions of TV dramas or vintage series like the stylish (1979-84) Hart to Hart, starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers, he sometimes finds that "the only existing tape has been speed-corrected to meet commer- cial breaks." Problems arise putting the track back with the newly transferred picture. "It's easier to get back to the right speed with the 46 Post • November 2011 music, but with the foreign dialogue you have to look at background cuts and artifacts, line them up and make a prediction about how to fit the track into the new picture." To cope with speed variations he uses Pro Tools and Serato's Pitch 'n Time Pro, a high-quality time-stretching and pitch-shifting product he calls "a really useful tool. I've even used it on new content like Michael Jackson's This Is It to make sure his pitch stayed the same when it went to PAL. NTSC and PAL have inherent speed variations." Chase also deploys Sonic Solutions NoNoise "to get out of a lot of jams" involving tape dropouts. "It does some nice synthesis ahead of and behind the dropout and fills the hole," he says. "If that doesn't work you have to get creative in editorial and pick up vowels, syllables or music." The assets Chase deals with are generally in good shape so his focus is on bringing the audio up to the standards required by new release platforms. Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months Total Number of Copies Outside County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 In County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid or Requested Distribution Outside USPS® Requested Copies Distributed by Other Mail Classes Through the USPS Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation Outside County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541 In County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541 Nonrequested Copies Distributed Through the USPS by Other Classes of Mail Nonrequested Copies Distibuted Outside the Mail Total Nonrequested Distribution Total Distribution Copies Not Distributed Total Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date 23,243. . . . . . . . . . . 21,923 21,256. . . . . . . . . . . 20,685 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 9. . . . . . . . . . . . 8 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 21,265. . . . . . . . . . . 20,693 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0 1219. . . . . . . . . . . . . 500 1219. . . . . . . . . . . . . 500 22,484. . . . . . . . . . . .21,193 759. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 730 23,243. . . . . . . . . . . 21,923 95%. . . . . . . . . . . . . .98% a lot of instrument design with Steinberg and Yamaha over the years. A lot of their new drum kits and por- table triggering devices for drummers, even the key- boards, have a fair amount of sample memory, so it's fun to put custom samples into those instruments and manipulate those too." Along with custom scores, Thwak! offers music supervision. A good example of how both pre-exisiting and custom music can work together is the :30 HBO Go Yacht TV spot they did for BBDO, which won a Silver Lion at Cannes. The tongue-in-cheek spot fea- tures a cliché nighttime drama track up top that seam- lessly blends into HBO's custom tag. The pre-existing drama track was from Thwak!'s licensable catalog of music. "We have quite a serious library of pre-existing music that we license. We try to give clients access to customizing something they normally wouldn't have a chance to. It's a little more malleable than landing in a huge catalog with 50,000 stock tracks. For the HBO spot, we did a little revision to the Yacht track, and fol- lowed it up with various arrangements of the HBO tag. That is a great example of being able to deliver pre- existing music and a custom score to the client." While Thwak! creates custom scores, being able to offer music supervision is becoming an important aspect of the company. Providing both under one roof has been beneficial for clients. "Especially for film cli- ents, they often need composers and music supervi- sors, so being able to offer both is key." STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, AND CIRCULATION (Required by 39 USC 3685) Publication Title: Post Magazine Publication Number: 000-297 Filing Date: 9/30/2010 Issue Frequency: monthly Number of Issues Published Annually: 12 Annual Subscription Price: $63.00 Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 620 W. Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204 Contact Person: Randi Altman Telephone: (516) 797-0884 Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: 620 W. Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204 Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher: Post LLC, 620 W. Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204 Editor: Randi Altman 620 Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204 This publication is owned by: Post, LLC - William Rittwage Publication Title: Post Magazine Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: 9/19/2011 Publication required. Will be printed in the November 2011 issue of this publication Name and Title of Editor, Publishers, Business Manager, or Owner: William Rittwage - owner Date: 9/30/11 I certify that the statements made by me above Are correct and complete.

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