CIN­E­MATIC ATMOSPHERES

Read our golden ad­vice for pro-qual­ity sound­track­ing

Computer Music - - Contents -

From 1980s film scores by John Car­pen­ter and Van­ge­lis through to synth-heavy sound­tracks in films such as Drive, The So­cial Net­work and block­busters like The Dark Knight, syn­the­sis and sound de­sign have taken more and more of a star­ring role on the big screen over the past few decades, with elec­tronic sounds cre­at­ing im­mer­sive sonic back­drops to the on-screen ac­tion.

Pos­si­bly the most fa­mous com­poser around to­day is Hans Zimmer, who has sin­gle-hand­edly redefined movie mu­sic with his one-note “blaaah” horn stabs for In­cep­tion. Thank­fully though, mod­ern tools make it pos­si­ble to cre­ate Zim­mer­style cin­e­matic atmospheres at home, with­out need­ing ac­cess to the Lon­don Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra or a Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­tion bud­get!

Through­out this fea­ture, we’re go­ing to delve into the world of cin­e­matic synth de­sign and cre­ate those stun­ning atmospheres you hear at the movies. We’ll cre­ate lush, ex­pan­sive sound­scapes and clas­sic cin­e­matic synth leads with fairly com­mon syn­the­sis tech­niques. Th­ese all fol­low key con­cepts that we’ll ex­am­ine and put into prac­tice with our tu­to­ri­als. Once you get th­ese tech­niques down, you’ll be a master of at­mos­phere in no time at all.

Of course, even if you wouldn’t call your pro­duc­tions ‘cin­e­matic’, you can be sure they’d ben­e­fit from a sprin­kling of movie-style at­mos­phere to lure the lis­tener in. Gen­res such as house, techno, EDM and drum ‘n’ bass all in­cor­po­rate melan­cholic drones, rous­ing horns, evolv­ing pads and lus­trous atmospheres to max­i­mum ef­fect.

In our tu­to­ri­als, we’ll show you ex­actly how to de­sign movie-qual­ity synth sounds from scratch – but we’ll also dis­cuss the vi­tal mu­sic the­ory con­cepts be­hind the sounds, so you have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how to evoke the sonic emo­tion of cinema.

So, time to grab your pop­corn and flick over the page… it’s lights, cam­era, ac­tion!

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