Sketching 1.: Idea and Theme

Exercise time!

Hey you! Yes, you! =) Now is the time to create your first whole trailer track from scratch.

What you should keep in mind is, that we are now in the planning and sketching phase. You need to plan and visualize. Don't get lost in something else. Sketching must be quick, effective, simple, and fun. It must call for your core composer instincts and unleash the inner musician beast!

What you need to do at this point:

  1. Create a plan and have a vision!
    It's important, so don't ignore this step, just do it! You don't need more than 5 minutes for your vision. Write down on a paper, or in a little text document how your track should sound like when it's done. Make as many notes, as many simple bulletpoints as you can. The more details you can imagine, the better. A painter should not change the subject of the picture when it's half done, right?
    These bulletpoints can be tempo, mood, track style, instrumentation, arrangement sections, length, etc.
  2. Get your palette ready!
    Open a clean, empty DAW session, and load your template instruments based on
    your vision. If you already have a template that is great or if you have previous projects that contain instruments of your liking, that is fine too.
    If you don't have a template, or template instruments ready, here is the right time to put one together. Use what you learned during the "Sketching Template" lesson and keep it simple.
  3. Create your theme for your trailer track!
    As always I recommend setting up a few boundaries for your writing process. You can put down hits/booms every 4 or 8 beats (based on your tempo, not too dense), a riser before the last hit, a smaller riser, and other things which will most likely be there. If you feel that these fxs are distracting your attention, you can mute them while figuring out the theme, but I just found that they inspire me to work faster.
    If you have your work environment ready, just sketch a few ideas with the sketching tool of your liking. But beware: If you are always sketching using the piano, it might lead your track to a different direction right from the start. So I suggest considering sketching with something that might match your vision more. If you want your track to be majestic, you can be brave and start by a simple horn riff/melody. If your track will be based on string ostinatos, start with ostinatos. If your track is like mine (super simple melody that goes together with the percussion) then use piano or mallets. Also, you can boost your creativity by using a combo-instrument: wrap together multiple instruments in one Kontakt instance, and try to sketch with that. It might have limitations, but it's always giving me the breeze: I press a chord on the keyboard and at the same time a full wall of sound is coming out, like
    a piano, long strings, horns, and some choir voices together. This can be heavenly inspiring, but still be mindful that this is a sketch, the focus is on the idea which needs to be simple, catchy, and nicely fitting for a trailer structure.
  4. Pick the idea you want to work with, and stick to it!
    If you found an idea, a theme, that you feel comfortable with (and can imagine how you will arrange and build out throughout your whole track), go for the next video!

Complete and Continue