Today we have an interview with the amazing composer and Protegé student Sean Latino.
We talk about Sean’s journey from DJ to the vaping business to trailer music where he just landed his first placement!
Watch it here:
Of course we gotta talk plugins, here’s the ones mentioned:
Black Box Distortion
Hey guys, in this episode of the Trailer music composers podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with one of our protege students. So. His name is Sean Latino. And he has been with that project from the beginning. So, and as we’re nearing the end of the first year of protege, I thought it would be a great idea to bring Sean on, to talk about obviously his story.
You know his experience of pro of the project course. Uh, and also because he landed his first placement as a direct result of protege, he did a course in electronic sound design. One week we set the brief, we released his track and it landed on a Netflix trailer, which is huge. I mean, it’s, it’s just, it’s proof in the pudding, which.
You know, both Vic and I and Guy Protege are tremendously proud of as well. And it’s just the beginning. Whoa. But we wanted to, uh, talk because I think actually, uh, his story will resonate with a lot of you, this kind oflike constant perseverance and constant pushing of his career. Enjoy,
and there you have it. Thank you for listening guys. I hope you enjoyed that episode. I mean, I certainly enjoyed it. It was really nice to finally get a chance to properly talk to Sean about his experience. with Protege, uh, You know, the interesting thing is, you know, I could talk about protege all day, but I sound like a salesman.
So it’s really nice to hear somebody who’s been through the process and experiencing success as a result of the education. Uh, and the business, , the career opportunities we’re offering, , if you are interested in joining , we are open for new applications for next year’s course, which will start up mid September, 2021 this year.
Um, you just need to email it, email, email, email, email, acutally we’llput the we’ll put the contact details in there. In the show notes, just in case I give the wrong contact address, which is perfectly viable. Anyway, thanks for listening. Guys are absolute legends. I hope you enjoy the interview and I will speak to you next week.
Welcome to another episode of the trailer music composers podcast. I am very, very lucky to have one of our students and I masterful producer and composer with us. Sean, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor to be here, right? So, uh, Introduce yourself to the listeners of the podcast.
Who are you, where are you from? You know, what’s your story? How did you get here? That’s a lot of questions. I appreciate that but you know . Let’s start with, yeah. Okay. We’ll start with my name, which is Sean Latino, live in Australia. Uh, and I’m a producer composer and audio engineer. Um, now my story, so basically you just want me to go from like how I started to here to now?
Uh, yeah. Uh, the thing is like my favorite part of these interviews is almost always how people fell into music or how they jumped into it. You know, it was kind of like, oh, you know, I was working in a job. I hated I got fired. So I had to do music or, you know, I was, I was working nine to five and on the sideline I was doing, you know, like me, uh, On the side is my side hustle.
Air-quotes uh, so, uh, well for me, I guess, look, it all started. I’m going to have to go back. So if I just go off track or whatever, you just like just nudge me along . Yeah. Yeah. Oh, I’ll do. Yeah. Talk. Um, so I guess first place to start is I don’t have any like musicians in my family. Um, I don’t play any instruments, so that’s, that’s the first thing.
Um, I’ve done, always done everything just by ear. Um, have always listened to music from, from a young age. Um, uh, see it in my room and just listen to music all the time. Um, my parents were big into movies, so we own a video library. Um, and my dad would always just watch just crazy movies, actions, and horrors, and just stuff that a child shouldn’t be watching.
Um, So that’s yeah, they weren’t really musically inclined, but I just got into music, just loved listening to it. Um, when I was about 11, I made a mine at school, gave me a cassette tape say, that’s kind of telling you my age, um, gave me a cassette, which was public enemy, and that got me into hip hop. So after a few years of listening to all the awesome stuff back then, which was the NWA, you know, the ice cube, ice tea, ultra mag, um, dialogue, salt, all that good stuff.
Um, by the time I was about 16, I saved up some money and I bought a turntable. And then I, um, bought some records and bought a mixer and bought another turntable and started mixing records and started scratching. And that’s kinda how I started my DJ, um, career, I guess, whatever you call it, that, that’s how I sort of started deejaying.
Um, was, was this in the nineties? Yeah. Yeah. A long time ago, this was in the like mid midnight nineties, I’d say 29. So this would have been like mid nineties. I was deejaying. Um, and I linked up with, um, some local rappers. Uh, one of them was a producer, so I was their DJ. Um, we do shows and, um, we actually supported some pretty big international artists, which was cool.
Um, but then I, I just, I was just interested in making music. So I went and bought an MPC. I went and bought a four track because back then computer audio wasn’t was not existed. Um, you know, there, we didn’t have like what we do now. So I had a four track, had MPC. I’d sit there and chop up my drums and sample records and make beats, um, And I did that for, for a while.
Um, and that’s kind of how I started my label, um, which is magician records. Um, so I started the label and just got as many people as I could that wrapped and just started recording them and started making as much music as I could, um, then producing all of these albums. Yeah. Yeah. So I was producing the albums of, you know, obviously doing all the recording, mixing everything, um, and then like back then we didn’t have like, Spotify would even have, uh, iTunes.
We didn’t have any of that stuff. So I was, uh, I was doing like consignment drops at all the different record stores. Um, and by the time I got my music a little bit better, um, and I needed to get it sort of Australia wide. I had to get distributions. So then I got a distribution to you and, uh, You know, and then obviously I had a distributor, which I could send all my CDs to, after I got them all, you know, pressed up and everything.
And they took care of all the distribution side of things. I just had to hope that people bought the album. Um, yeah. Um, so basically after I finished high school, uh, a, um, just a little bit of work for a year, just, um, just saving up some money and stuff. And then I went to college and did audio engineering.
So that went for about a year. Um, uh, full-time audio engineering. Um, you still doing the label, we still doing the label at the side. You’re still doing, oh, like this whole time of like always still doing the label now. So I’ve always been doing the label. I’ve always been just, just making music on the side and, you know, pushing out as many albums as I can, um, after doing, um, College.
I went to work in a studio actually for a year unpaid. So I was working in recording studio unpaid for a year. And, uh, that was just for experience, which was cool. Um, then after that I had done a lot of work with Australian hip hop artists and I wanted to work with American hip hop artists. So, well, not only that, I kind of wanted to work with all my favorite American hip hop artists, which was like the cool cake.
Um, the team dog, the, the Chino XL, the twisted insane old people, just, I listened to all the time. I was like, I want to work with these guys. So I, I hit them up. I, I got in touch with each age of the ones, not all of my favorite ones, but a lot of like the main, main ones I was listening to at the time I got in touch with them and, uh, Collaborated with them, just sent them a bait.
They, they recorded and like really vocal sent it back. I mixed it and did everything and relayed to them. David, can I jump in? Right. It’s like, so often in these stories, people sort of say something like, oh, I hit up these people. Let let’s, let’s talk about how that, how the actually works out, because it sounds so easy.
Oh yeah. So I just, I just, I just hit up Danny Elfman, you know, it doesn’t work like that. Can we just go into the details? How did you make those connections? Cause that is often the hardest work to be done once you’ve got the connection, the, the resulting work from that is often flow, but how did you make those connections, especially back then?
Was it snail mail? Did you write a letter? No, it was, it was like a, my space. Oh nice. He’s my space. And then from there I realized I was serious about it. And, um, then I got their phone numbers, you know, and I’d call them and talk to them about it. Um, so from Kool Keith, which was like that, guy’s a God in the hip hop world.
He’s massive. Um, from talking to cool, Keith, I got in touch with Tim dog who unfortunately passed away, but, um, I got to work with Tim dog as well. Um, and the same with, with all of them are pretty much just. You know, found a way to, to either email them or get in touch with them, whether it be my space or whatever social network there was at that time.
Um, but I don’t know how I did it really, but I managed to do it and I got it, which was cool. It was awesome. Um, so I’m glad I do that. Cause I’ve worked with some of my favorite, you know, my favorite hip hop, hip hop artists, which, um, it’s cool. Yeah. That’s awesome. Well, I mean, how did you, how did you handle it when, I mean, I D I guess they didn’t respond straight away right.
That you didn’t send an email and it was like, oh, Hey, great, awesome. Let’s watch. Um, no, I, with some of them, there was some money involved so that, you know, that was, uh, uh, that kind of got their attention. Um, you know, I’d have to pay. Too. I’d be like, look, I’ll pay you this much. I just want you to do a verse on one of my tracks and they’ll be okay.
Cool. Let’s say you were hiring them as session rappers essentially. Well, yeah. Oh, nice. Yeah. Not all of them, but some of them yet, like some of them aren’t going to do stuff for free someone like cocaine. Isn’t just going to be like, yeah, I’ll rap on your track for you for nothing. Don’t worry about it. No, this is not going to happen.
Um, so yeah, so some of them, you know, it took a little bit of persuasion and others were like, yeah, cool. Let’s let’s do some stuff and see what happens. Um, so from there, um, I guess I went to okay. From there basically I was realizing that I wasn’t making much money from, um, for music, so I needed to do something.
So I started a DJ business, um, a mobile DJ business. So I do, uh, DJs for weddings, for corporate events, kids’ parties, um, birthday parties, stuff like that. I’m sure you guys have got mobile DJs over there. You know what I mean? Oh yeah. So I started up one of them. Um, and then I trained a bunch of DJs, so I trained like about 15 guys and um, and then I was, you know, running the business and sending all my DJs out every week to different events.
Um, and that, that was a good, good little business. I had that going for about five years. Um, and I was still always doing my music. So while I’m saying this, like all this, this story, I’m still doing my music in the background. Yeah. Magician records is still running. Yeah, still running to this day, still going.
Um, so, uh, after like five years of doing the, the mobile DJ business, I kind of had enough of that. I sold it. Um, I had an opportunity to sell it, so I sold it. Um, and then I went straight into making another business, which was an online business, um, selling vape products. Um, you guys have got little, the vaping stuff over there.
And at that time, um, vaping was, was just awning up in Australia. So I saw an opportunity and I took it and I did really well, which was awesome. Um, so that kept going for a few years. And then I got married and I had a mortgage and I had a baby, well, I didn’t have the baby, but the baby. And, um, and I was like, okay, I need one.
So I got a full-time job and I started working as well. Um, so I was working, doing my side business, doing some music and trying to support a family, um, paying a mortgage, all that kind of stuff, um, from there. Um, so did you get, uh, like a regular day to day job, you know, air quotes? Yep. Okay. Yeah. So it was like a, an AAV technician.
Um, so I’d manage, um, I’d manage a group of guys too. We’d go out and do, uh, installations for, for audio visual, like home theaters, um, networking, stuff like that. So I managed a group of guys doing that stuff, um, that was going for a few years. And then that’s pretty much when COVID came and just went, see you later.
Um, and at that point I was like, okay, so I don’t have any work. Now my online business is kind of going down a little bit. What else? I really look, I mean, I know how to run businesses, but now it’s not the best on to start a new business, unless of course you’re rich and Vic, but,
um, so, so I wasn’t going to start another, another business at that time. It was like, what am I going to do? And I just went back on my music because it’s something I’ve always done. And I was like, how can I monetize my music? How can I, uh, I knew I wasn’t gonna make any money doing hip hop music. Yeah.
Like this wasn’t yet. Not that I’m not the type of hip hop music I was making back then. Yeah. Um, and especially in Australia, like it’s, it’s, it’s not the U S down here. So, you know, hip hop’s like big down here, but it’s not like America. Um, so I knew I wasn’t really going to make it. Can you describe the scar to the listeners?
What type of music you’re writing then? Because I’ve heard it. So when you say not that type of hip hop, you know, I, I know, I know it took Matt. Describe where we are, you know, w with what you were doing back then, Back then I was making like, um, like the hiphop I was making back then it was just standard, uh, like Noni stall, very bap kind of hip hop stuff.
Um, whereas now, I mean, look, my music’s always been a little bit left of Santa. Um, it’s always been a bit dark. It’s always been a little bit in your face. Um, but, but it was hip hop. Yeah. I mean, I did Dre and I, I went into Islamic crazy noise music with, um, with my buddy laconic. Uh, we’ve got a group called and on spake, which basically every album we do is a new concept.
So our first album was, um, it was pretty much straight up boom-bap. Um, and then the next album, we kind of just went into like, we’re just doing whatever we want to do. And that, that was. The tip, the album was called the tip and it’s just an album of filth and disgust it’s mess. It’s horrible. You should check it out.
You, you probably hide it. Um, it’s, it’s really intense. Um, uh, yeah, I’ve always done a little bit of, you know, my style for hip hop is, you know, I’ve done a west coast kind of style, which I love. Um, so that’s kind of, yeah, I do a little bit of everything within hip hop. Now, I guess my hip hop is completely different to what it was back then there, um, Yes.
So wait, what’s the line. Okay. Let’s get you back on track. So before I rudely interrupted, um, so you, uh, were talking about COVID hit. Yeah, COVID hit. Okay. And I was like, how can I monetize this? How can I do something with my music? And I researched, and I was like trying to figure out ways to make money off of music.
And it was production music, sink music, and I kept researching and kept learning new things and found taxi. Um, now taxi is a company where basically you sign up with them and I’ll send you briefs every day of, you know, um, try the music, hip hop, music, drones, everything also, it’s a country music like everything.
So I, I always watched it. And, um, I mean, I was looking know, I always looked at the Braves and the trailer music always sparked my, uh, Explain. I, it got my attention, but I didn’t really know much about it. So I just focused on the hip hop stuff. Um, and I got, I got some forwards and I got a bunch of music into some libraries.
Um, dunno, what’s happened with those tracks. Um, but I got like 30 tracks into a library. Um, and then I still had the trailer music kind of thing in the back of my head. Um, And I had the tools like I had damage and that state I’d bought density because I’d watched your video on density. And I was like, that shit looks sick.
I got to get that. Um, I got that and I had a few tools, so I kind of like, I was playing around with stuff, but I just didn’t really know what to do. So obviously I’d, I’d watch and learn and just try and play around until something came up. But, um, the way I really got into it was I, I was on Facebook one night and I saw a post from a guy called Lex, like shell.
It, um, he’s a, he’s a composer from the UK as well. Um, awesome. Dude, we’ve actually become really good friends. Um, so I saw a post that he done for a placement he got, and it was like some cool hybrid, just intense, just kind of stuff that I like. And I was like, I’ve got to hit this dude up. So I just hit him up randomly.
He never known me. He didn’t, he never didn’t know. Um, and I hit him up and I was like, man, like, I really liked that music. I’d love to try and get into this sort of music. Um, can you just listen to my stuff and tell him, we want you to think, how do you think Lex would ever get back to me? But he did. Um, which, uh, yeah, he got back to him and he was like, yeah, look, I had to listen to some of your stuff and it’s cool.
Like I’m working with this other guy in LA. Um, I’ll get him to listen and then I’ll get back. And I was like, awesome. So, um, let’s go. Yeah. Back to me after, uh, Chris, which the guy who was working with, um, listen to my stuff and he was like, yeah, look, we both really like what you’re doing. We love your hip hop stuff.
Um, just, you know, start, start making some stuff and we’ll listen and we’ll go from there. So I did, um, and I, I listened to so much trailer music and I’d studied it. And I tried to figure out how these guys were making all these insane trailer music. And I just. Um, I made a bunch of tracks and I sent them, uh, like a playlist of all these trucks and I’m just waiting for them to give me feedback.
And then finally I get an email and actually, I think I remember I spoke to Lex or anyway, that will like, look, the tracks are good, but they need work. And I was like, yeah, you’re no, I know, like I’ve never made this kind of music before. I was just, just making what I thought the music was, um, which, you know, some of those trucks are cool, but they need work.
Um, and then randomly one day I get an email from mammoth talking about a course, um, Which if you bought density, you can get into this course. And I was like, I’ve already bought density, but I really want to get into this course. So the course was the protege course. This was the first course, which you guys did.
It was like the initial one. Um, so I emailed mammoth audio and I’m like, look, guys, I’ve already bought mammoth. I mean, I’ve already bought density. Um, but I really want to get into this course, please, like whatever you can do. And I didn’t hear anything back. And I was like, oh no. And then a few days later I get an email going, congratulations.
Like you’re in this course. And I was like, okay, awesome. So whoever you ever replied to my email for a mammoth, um, thank you. That’s probably Jamie. Thank you, Jamie. Yeah. Cause then that got me into, um, into the court, which the first course was a piano, a piano track, and I’d never made a piano track in my life.
Ever, never even thought about it. So that was interesting. Um, and I had no clue what to do until I watched your course and studied and went and, you know, I didn’t make it amazing track from my first ever piano track, but, you know, I did it. Um, and the cost, if, I mean, the course was, if I hadn’t have watched that course, I would’ve known what to do.
If you had just said, make me a piano track, be like what it was. It was awesome. It was great. It was informative. And it showed me exactly what to do. Um, and then as soon as that, um, that course was done, I submitted the track then I guess that’s when the protege journey started. That’s probably, I think that’s pretty much gone from then to here.
So it’s into now. Yeah. Um, actually, I got to say, um, with the prototype, cause I did talk to my wife about that and I was like, look, I really want to do this course. Um, and she was like, go for it. So it definitely pays to have an amazing supportive wife. There’s just like, yeah, go do this. Like we’re in the middle of a, you know, a pandemic just go and like make some music, dude.
Why not? So yeah. I’m super thankful for that. Um, and then that’s yeah. That’s how I got into the course. Yeah. It, I completely agree. Having a supportive partner is it’s literally the world of difference. Yeah. It’s an X level. Definitely. Yeah. I mean, there’s so many touch points on now. And I go and say, let let’s, let’s go into the piano stuff.
We’re getting a so wet brought out a little bit because obviously this we’re reaching the end of the Berkshire year and I’ve sent, so before you signed up for the core, Sean sent me some of his tracks, uh, and he sent me an email kind of saying that I really want to do this. I’m not sure if I’ve got the skills for it.
And he showed me, he sent me the tracks and, you know, after my bowels were ruptured from the tremendous noise, I then grabbed the link and sent it to guide Jones, uh, who who’s kind of runs Porsche for Vic. And I, and I said, look, guy, this guy, like he has to do the course. This stuff is immense because the thing is like, you hit you.
The nice thing is because I’ve sort of had so many students, you could start to hear. I don’t want to say the diamond in the rough, but you know, you could start to hear when someone has skills, especially in the world of noise or sound, you can just say you can hit, well, they know how to make sounds and carve them into a space.
And it that they were the tracks weren’t like structured in the way that we traditionally structured them, but they had so much potential. Uh, and it’s been such a pleasure for me and Vic and guy seeing your progress from week one up until now. Uh, and we had the pleasure, Sean, of, uh, informing you that you got your first placement.
Do you want to tell us a little bit about your first placement? First placement was an amazing show that actually binged about a week before you guys told me, um, which was love death and robot season two, which is an amazing show. Um, and the trailer is bonkers. Um, so just, yeah, when you guys said that, uh, in that, cause you guys I’ll tell the listeners spaces that you guys mentioned.
I had no idea about this placement and, um, we were in a, in a live zoom call and guy basically said, we’ve got some amazing news. Uh, we’d like to congratulate Sean on a trailer placement. And I was like, yeah. And I lost it. I lost it. I didn’t hurt her arm, man. I didn’t know what a, there was so many emotions going on.
It was crazy. It was, um, it was amazing. I’m just so grateful. I’m so happy though. Just relieved in a way, because I was always, um, Curious as to whether it would happen, you know, like I was like, am I like, is the music I’m making? Like, is it going to get placed? So that was kind of, yeah, it was reassuring. It felt good.
It was an amazing, amazing feeling. Um, yeah. I’m so grateful and thankful and it’s like, it’s all thanks to it’s the, thanks to you. You know what I mean? Like, man, I’ve let so much of let’s start a match from the corner. Like he said, my music from, from the stock to now is like, not in day. Um, I was talking to my wife about it actually, and the way I described it to her was, um, like I think it’s evolved.
Um, I think my music, it used to be like, it used to be like today. Yeah. So. Just imagine like today it’s kind of flat. I mean, it’s still kind of cold, but it’s a bit flat. And I think now, like I’m not saying that my music’s next level amazing, but I think it’s more 3d, you know what I mean? It’s evolved. Um, you know, it’s got more depth.
It’s, it’s even more in your face. It’s got more layers. Um, it’s structured properly, which is the big one. Like it has structure, it has, um, you know, relevance. It just feels good. It’s expansive. Um, it’s just fuller and it’s just so much better, more cinematic and, um, yeah. It’s yeah, it’s amazing how much, uh, it’s hard.
Um, I’ve grown as a composer over the last like year it’s, um, it’s insane. Yeah. Well dude, like I cannot communicate how much joy they can. I are getting from the fact that, you know, we’ve managed to get you a placement. Um, but as much as I would like to put this off, Nick and I, and our amazing course, he says with, uh, with modesty, uh, this is so much about you and the work you put in, because no matter what course you do, it’s not, it’s not going to get you to the place unless you put the work in and you have always put the work in.
And, you know, I particularly like your journey because you emailed me right, right before the course started. So I’m not sure if I’ve got the chops for this. And it was like, Nope, you have let’s do this. And then in week one, UML B after week one saying like, I was why, because I think your first track was off brief, which isn’t bad.
It’s just off brief. So it was off brief. And I think you were like, oh no, I’ve messed up. I’m not mine. And I was like, continue, just keep doing it. Keep pushing. And you know, since then you’ve rushed, you know, from the. What he dark noise stuff of, uh, unknown speak and, uh, your own hip hop stuff. You’ve now been sort of working with, uh, solo violin players.
You’ve been doings of piano stuff, and really add focusing on like the diversity of your portfolio is it’s huge. So let’s just go back to that trailer. The wonderful thing about that trailer that you landed for the Netflix show, uh, the course that, that produced that track was the electronic sound design.
Yeah. Now I love electronic sound design and we, we focus on the core saying, look guys, when we’re doing electronic sound design, we’re going to focus on TV spots or at least shorter trailers. And they have to be punchy. They have to have character. They have to be kind of bunkers and grab your attention as exactly what your track did.
And then seeing the track and seeing how it was used on the track. it’s really, it was really like. That’s exactly the progression of the track that we talked about. Um, now the interesting thing is when we thought about you email me being like, dude, like, I’m not sure I can hear my track.
So, uh, tell us about this experience because this is quite a common experience. It’s not that your track isn’t there it’s that it was used. So, yeah. Yeah. I mean, look, I’m grateful though, it’s it? It is there. Um, but when I, when I first listened to it, I was like, like, it wasn’t structured the same way as when I made it.
So the editors obviously just chopped up bits and pieces of my track and used it sort of how he saw fit. Um, which is cool. And like you said, I guess that gets done all the time and it’s not really about that. It’s just about, you know, celebrating, you know, the achievement, um, the track. Um, but I think that’s something that is going to happen all the time.
I just need to adjust to that. I think, like you said, it’s, it’s happened to you a million times. Um, it happens to everyone, so it is what it is. Um, so if you get a placement and you come here, you’re tracking that don’t worry it’s in there. It’s just being chopped up. Yeah, good. It’s a really strange experience.
Isn’t it? Because as a musician, we kind of carry it tremendously, large ego brackets insecurity. Um, and we produce this air quotes, art that we give to the world. That’s our kind of untouchable, you know, don’t touch this. This is, this is the thing I’ve, I’ve slaved over going to an industry that will actively chop your music to pieces.
It’s the, it’s the strangest thing because you’re like, well, Wasn’t my track, not good enough. You know, what, why? And then there’s the whole, like, why would you dare touch my music? There’s this whole like ego battle of insecurity and, uh, arrogance battling on, I think I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cut you off.
I think you just, within this field, you can’t be emotionally attached to your music. I think you need to just make the best music you can make, um, and forget about it and just move on to the next one. Just keep making really good music and move on. Um, don’t get emotionally attached to it at all. You know, just, just do it and get on with it.
Move on to the next one. Yeah, listeners. That is exceptional advice. Uh, and it’s often not talked about the emotional attachment to your music, but you in production, music, library music, you know, Even when you deliver, when you’re delivering a service, you have to just see it as a service. If you get emotionally attached to your track, it will become a much more stressful.
The whole process will be stressful. The feedback will be stressful. Even landing a place will be stressful because you’ll just go, well, I touched my art, you know that. And if, if you find that too hard to let go of, perhaps, you know, look at another way you could approach this, but, uh, it’s, it’s a learning curve in itself.
So you’ve, you’ve talked about all these of learning points in your career and how all the way through you’ve kept your music going whilst you’ve changed jobs bought and sold business, you know, not bought started and sold businesses. Uh, and now you’re in this world of production music, which I, I just want to highlight the listeners like Sean has only actively been in this production world since Stein project.
Really? Maybe like a month or two before. Totally. So first placement in that length of time is phenomenal. It’s great. Uh, and it’s kind of expose you to a whole new world, uh, you know, producing your own stuff to your own brief is completely different. So what creative barriers do you see as a trailer composer or as a production music composer?
What creative barriers do you see other people will have to overcome or that you have had to overcome? Um, wow. I can give you some examples if you won’t show them. No, no. I mean, I guess creative barriers would be like, um, overthinking, um, and being super critical. Um, I think, um, Trying to make something new and different and original, um, trying to be like creative, I guess that is the, that’s the barrier that I guess we all face is just trying to do something cool and different.
Um, and I mean, the way I kind of deal with that is I just get in front of the computer. I press buttons, I just press buttons, press keys. And until something happens, um, and if something’s not happening, um, just walk away, go like play with your kid or, um, you know, play with your dogs or go for a run, whatever you do.
Um, but if it’s not happening, it’s not happening. You’ve got to give it some time. Then when you come back, It’ll happen. Um, cause it’s happened to me so many times I’ll be working on a track for a break and I’ll be like, oh, it’s not happening for me. And then I’ll just leave it and it’ll come back and then I’ll play around and something will happen.
And then you just build from that. And, um, that’s kind of, I guess that’s kind of how I get around those creative blocks. Um, but I mean it’s gonna happen regardless. Yeah. Um, I think taking a break and listening to music, that’s another thing I’ll do a lot. If I’m, if I’m really struggling, I’ll listen to stuff.
It doesn’t have to be trialing music. I’ll listen to anything. Um, just to kind of refresh my mind, gets me inspiration and um, and then that might spark some kind of, you know, some kind of creativity and, and just from that, you’ll be like, yeah, cool. Like maybe I can play around with this and, and make that.
And you know, and then just turns into something it’s just kind of how it happens. We had, but. Yeah. Does that make sense? It makes perfect sense because so much of what we do is play. And when you forget about the play again, you start overthinking things and you start getting overly critical and then it becomes an unendurable process.
And then when you’re not enjoying the process, you don’t produce the work that lights you up. I want to touch on something you mentioned right at the start of the year. If you you’re on someone, you said about like being original, authentic, and authentic, or being original and finding stuff that, um, it’s different.
And the thing I have noticed is when the students have protege follow their own instincts and do the stuff that they love, that’s how that is. Even if they’re on the same brief, you know, you’ll go, oh, that’s Sean strike. Oh, that’s on his truck. You know, you’ll hear it in the submissions because you are adding yourself to the music.
And it’s a really annoyingly, intangible thing to talk about. But even, even just the way that you would use the same plugin, you know, I’m sure you’ve listened to all these shows, you know, that we all use the same libraries. We all use the same effects. I mean, even you guys have watched me do exactly like step-by-step, this is how I do it.
You’ll do something. And even if you do exactly the same as me, it will sound different. Yeah. And, and that’s the thing to remember that if you just do the stuff that lights you up and like you said, find a sound that excites you we’ll get into that place, then you will just let yourself run with it. Yeah.
So, um, what advice would you give to people who want to get into, you know, not just trailer music, but the, the wider world of production music?
Um, think outside the box, um, experiment, um, learn, study, keep learning, keep studying, keep growing. I’m still learning. I’m still, still, I’m always going to learn. I’m always going to be studying. I’m always going to be listening and trying to get better. Always. I’ve always been like that. Like I’m always just trying to get better at something.
Um, and I think you have to stay like that. You have to stay on top of that. You have to keep learning all the time. Um, Get into it, like I just do in 40. Yeah. So congratulations. Thank you. Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard. So I wait for him to got into it like a little bit, like, and I’ve said that a lot. I said, it’s in my wife.
I said, it’s Alexa as well. I’m like, I wish I had, I just got into this like 10 years ago, because maybe I’d be at a different spot, but I mean, things didn’t pan out that way and it didn’t work out that way, but if you’re young and you’re interested in it, then definitely get into it now. Um, yeah, I guess all the things you need to do is watch lots of trailers if you want to get into the trailer world.
Um, I guess the main thing is studied. Learn, grow, build, and keep doing that over and over. Um, and do the produce I cost. Pretty much end of podcasts.
Yeah, no, definitely. Um, it’s changed my life. Um, I mean, I’ve like, I’ve evolved, I’ve grown so much and learned so much. Um, not only with your course, you know, doing the, you know, doing all the composing and stuff. It’s the back end stuff that Vick teaches you as well. That’s like invaluable info that can’t get anywhere.
Um, you know, so there’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot to take in and I think it’s, um, it’s definitely a good investment if, you know, if, um, if you want to go down this path, this career. Can we just, can we just touch a little bit on the, on VIX courses? Because there’s so much focus on protege, like learning the skills to write in however, 30 different styles or 25 different style, you know, there’s so much focus on the composition and production side of it, but actually Vic teachers each week, a course as well.
Can you touch on those a little bit? Okay. So what Vic basically takes you through is the backend stuff, the stuff that you don’t really know, the stuff that you can’t really just find information about online. Um, there’s no tutorials about that kind of stuff. I mean, there is now because Vic’s doing it, but you can’t just fund them really.
You know what I mean? Um, so he’ll touch on everything from what a producer and a publisher does to how to email libraries, you know what to say, what not to say. Um, man, he’s done so many courses, active listening, you know, how to listen to music properly and, and, uh, examining you know, how to figure out what’s the right kind of music.
And, um, you know, obviously if I’m listening to, to try the music, I’m trying to make, to chart, try music, it’s listening to a trailer track and examining it, listening to the structure, listening to all the different sounds, coming in at different times, listen to the build, um, listen to the sounds and the production, um, all that kind of stuff.
So there’s a wealth of knowledge, definitely in the composition side of things. But then in the, um, like in the, I guess it would have be the business side of things. Would you call it? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Knowledge of the music industries. Yeah. And there’s tons. I mean, this, I feel bad cause I can’t remember all of this story, many courses and it basically teach you everything even like, um, you know, information on, um, money nearly like, and just lifestyle, you know how to look after yourself.
And it’s just a bit of everything there’s so much in there. Um, that is just, just a wealth of knowledge. Like Vic nosy, shit, you know your shit. Got you all you guys know your shit, like, sorry, I don’t mean to swear. Sorry. What does the sound of a chicken or something over the top?
So yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s amazing. Yeah. I can’t say enough about it. Um, and look, I think. I think like you deserve a big, thank you. Like all of you guys do. Um, and I think I can speak on behalf of all the students and be like, thank you so much just for being just an amazing, um, mentor and teacher role model.
Um, just having cool courses where you just, they’re just fun to watch. They’re not boring, you know, you just like. Um, so yeah, man, like thank you. Like you’ve done so much. Um, so I can’t thank you enough, dude. It’s an absolute pleasure and I’m glad my maniacal rumblings, whilst I’m trying to produce a track are entertaining for you.
And the thing is like, you’ll just be like, you know, just saying funny stuff and just making like a fire, just a beast track. I’m like, how is he doing this? Like smashing this track out in like no time. It’s yeah, that blows my mind. It’s it’s next? Just smash out some of these tracks. I’m like, Aw man, how does he do that?
That’s awesome. Hats off to you. Thank you very much. So yeah, I have to say, you know, that the whole like writing and talking whilst you’re writing that sent me a long time to get to grips with it’s. I don’t know how you do it. Oh, wow. Uh, I almost find it hard. Not talking now when I’m writing, I was like, oh yeah, this old cheeky, Jake.
Hello. You know? Um, but so yeah, on, I did, um, I’m so, so pleased. You’ve got so much out of the course, you know, and, uh, it’s so nice to have another amazingly talented producer within the world of trailer music and the wide world of production music. Uh, because I’ve talked about this a lot, you know, people ask us, you know, why aren’t you just training your competition and stuff?
It’s not like that at all. Like there’s so much work around and seeing you succeed, seeing other people succeed is the reason they can I doing this. And the reason I do this podcast, the reason I do the trader music school is because I want to help and fake wants to help. We want to help you guys because yeah.
There’s so much work to be had that it’s like, guys, let’s just share the love. This is awesome. And, and it’s so nice seeing your journey from, uh, from the start of the year to now. So I’ve got a couple of nerd questions to finish up on. Uh, yeah. You know, the listeners will, as much as we like talking about that, the way we things will I do them anyway.
Uh, we all want to hear about what gear everyone is using. I’m not talking about outboard gear, you know, I’m not that type of, you know, I don’t, uh, I’m not even sure. I know how to plug in the outboard gear in, to be honest with you. Um, but we all like to hear what, what stuff we are using. If anything, it’s just a reassurance that we are using the right gear and also any good recommendations, like for instance, the Valhalla reverbs, um, hello.
That is very hard. Isn’t it? Yeah. So, so Valhalla comes in quite a lot. Uh, and the pro Q three, there’s some gear that people just say, sound toys. That just happen to be used by everybody. So let’s go through the quick fire round short. Okay. What’s your, uh, workstation of choice? Digital digitalized. Okay. On Keybase go-to piano library right now.
It’s not open. No. I mean like, what is your go-to as it? Like, what would you go to, to use straight you’re like go to your piano library on Keybase right now. I’m like, dude, I’ve got like my studio. Computer’s not on like I can’t right now. Come on, play some music.
Sorry, man. Um, okay. Uh, piano, um, uh, man, well, I mean, you’ve pushed the lesions. Sorry much that I use that so much. Um, there’s also not the one I really like, which is, um, a wave alchemy. I think it’s think it’s called like Stefan and they’ll find or something. It’s cool. Cool. Like piano sounds. Um, so I really like that and you know, maybe like layering, the two is cool.
Definitely. Awesome. Yeah. I’ve not heard of that one and this is the thing, this is the thing I love when people bring up a library, I’m like, oh, I didn’t even know about that company. Like I know my ways, but you know, I don’t, you know, sometimes there’s a company I don’t even know about, so. Okay. So what about string library?
Um, uh, look, I like really dirty gritty. Um, like I’m not one to. I’ll try and stay in my lane. Yeah. Like I’m not a massive ORC orchestral dude or Kestrel dude. Um, I like electronic sound design as you know, I love that stuff. So when it comes to strings, I like to just use like really dirty GRI, um, sounds and one I’ve found, which I really like is the Spitfire alternative solo strings.
I think it is. Um, that’s got some gritty, really nice gritty sounds that I love to use. So yeah, that one is cool. Alternative solo strings. I don’t know about that. I’ve got one of their libraries, which is the London. Yeah. I’ve got that one too. That one’s cool. Yeah. Uh, London or CA uh, orchestra or whatever that one is that one’s cool too.
But this alternative solar strings is like, Just gritty and dirty and then like you just smash it, smash it with compression and, um, and saturation just distortion in those strings down ustedes. Beautiful. Let’s check that out. That’s how that’s how you get most cool, cool, cool. String sounds obviously, there we go.
Okay. Uh, I know you’re not a big orchestral guy, but we, we all need to have some bras in our life. So brass library, uh, look at the only one I’ve got is, um, tell us, is it okay? That’s the only one I’ve got. I mean, actually I’ve got, um, Abbey road one, the Spitfire Abbey road one. So I’ve got that and I use the browser on that as well.
Um, but that tell us it’s cool. It’s got some cool, like deep, dirty. I mean, uh, bras sounds like the cool. So yeah, I mean, that looks, that’s what I’ve got to work with. So I’ll work with that one. Yep. Okay. So it’s limitation is often the best way. And as you say, stay in your lane, you know, if you don’t want sort of beautiful coral bras, don’t use it yet.
Okay. Right guys. See pakasha I know this will, percussion is a difficult one because the it’s a pretty huge spectrum. Are we talking big drums? I’m talking like, generally, if you, if you needed a trailer, percussion, what were you going to use? Oh, man, I guess like the go-to all around is like the damage which everyone uses.
Um, yeah, I’d say like just a, just a general around is going to be damage. Um, there are other really good drama libraries out there. Um, but I think that would be, you just you’d go to, um, server-less is cool. Um, There’s a few really good ones, but like, I guess like the go-to would be damaged. And then with drums, it’s tough because they all sound so muddy.
And like, I, I do so much processing on my drums. Um, and I’ve had a few people hitting me up throughout the course being like, what are you doing to your drums? Like, what are you doing? Tell me. I’m like, eh, like I’m just using the same libraries you’re using, but I’m just processing them the way I’ve been pro.
Like I’ll be making hip-hop for 20 plus years. I’ve always been focused on drums. So I just process them how I process them. That’s just what I do. Um, but yeah, I guess, um, yeah, damage would have to be, sorry. I went on a rant, um, date. I’m going to have to push into that round because your drums always do sound fantastic.
No matter what brief you’re doing, whether it’s trailer brief, whether it’s self advertising, whether it’s TV, school type stuff, the drums you use always sound like you can hear it. But you know how to work a drum kit, you know, you know how to carve that kick in and not even just the kick, even the hats and the snare, which sometimes it’s just so tempting just to put them in there and just be like, that’s where they sit, because I know I do that.
I’m like, I’m not gonna spend any time on that. It’s a good put in the, uh, I mean, you know, I would personally be very keen to see your process because you are so good at it. Um, yeah. I mean, look, I’ll be happy to show you like how I, how I go about it. But, um, yeah, it’s a lot of processing. Like I don’t have a go-to like kick drum or a go-to snare drum that I just use every time or high hat, or I just kind of use what I feel sounds right at the time.
And then I just go to work on it and do whatever I have to do process wise to try and make it sound how I want it to sound for that particular track. Um, yeah. Sorry. I was just going to say, yes, don’t worry. Don’t actually need to give me the old plug-in chain. But I am curious though, because obviously you use trailer drums, but is it drag and drop samples or is it assembled packs or is it a kit?
Like, is it battery or like, I used to say I use like damage and that, but, um, are you talking about like when I’m doing hip hop drums, but when I’m doing tribal drums? Uh, well, I’m pretty sure if you, if it was going to traily or you’ll be using damage, if we’re going hip hop or even, it’s not like, you know, even when you’re not doing hip hop, you will throw in drums that basically cheeky hip hop drums.
So what kits are you using there? Um, I will, I’ve literally got thousands of drum samples that I’ve been collecting over the years. Um, and I will just go through and. Pick a cake. That sounds cool. I mean, I’ve got battery and I’ll load up sounds in battery. Um, look, even some of the stock native instruments sounds in battery.
Cool. Um, not all of them there, but some of them are cool. They just need some, they just need some tweaking needs. I mean, look, every drum out there, like I think they all need processing. Um, no matter where you get it from, you can get the best sample pack in the world and you, you, you put that kick in there and try and mix it with your track and it’s not working.
You need to process, you need to do something to, uh, tweak it a bit to make it sound right. I don’t think there’s ever a drum that I’ve used and I’ve just slapped it in and it’s been like, that’s perfect. Let’s move on. No, it’s better. If we could sound cool. Like you’d better work on that sound and mold it and shape it and, and, and, um, just put some time into that to, to make it massive.
Um, yeah, and I just love drums. I love just massive drums and. I don’t know, it could be a bad thing. Um, I don’t know, because sometimes it might not work, but, um, I just seem to always go over the top when I do stuff. And drums is one of those things that I just kind of get enough of just massive drums.
Just smashing you in the face. I love it. Massive drums can make a track like guaranteed. If your drums sound well-produced the rest of the track almost just falls into place. If you’ve got weak sounding drums, it’s it just completely deflates the queue. So drum production is absolutely huge. Uh, you know, and drum production terrifies me, terrifies me.
Yeah. Terrifies me because, and I’ll make a course for you. I’ll hold you to that. So, um, but yeah, it terrifies me because. It’s it’s one of those things I’ve always been told, oh, your drums don’t sound big enough. Oh, for sort of like, I’ve got this like long list of people criticizing my tracks because of drums.
So, so if, if I’m ever doing any drum stuff, I just, I just pull up my library of negative thoughts and just like, oh no, you done good plaque. All of your drums in all your tracks. Sound good. I didn’t think, I mean, obviously they, like, when we hear them behind the scenes, like within the course that hasn’t been mixed and mastered, but I can still hear they, they work.
They sound good. Um, so I think after they get a good mix and Masa there, they’re fine. Like, oh, y’all don’t know. I think the drums are good. Yeah. Well, that’s very healing for me too. So thank you. But a little sidetrack on drums then. Uh, so what about since now? We’ll just go self since, because, uh, you know, that’s a whole nother world, really out board game.
Um, man, um, There’s so many, you can treat him like one that’s more synth specific as in the sound synthesis and one that’s more sample-based um, look, I’d probably just go with Sarah. Um, like Sarah Omnisphere, they’re both, you know, awesome. Um, I’d probably navigate to, or I’d probably go to, to Saram over Omnisphere.
Um, yeah, I think I’d probably go Sarah on that one. So popular choice. Okay. This one I know is going to get, uh, uh, I, I’m not concise answer because this one always, always, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a contentious one. Uh, most use top three effects, plugins. Shit. Okay. Um, um, uh, SSL, um, compressor, um, obviously sound toys.
I mean, it kind of goes without saying, um, and the black box black box is, I love that thing. The black box was slow. It’s like, man, it’s going to change a life. You’re going to love it. Um, it’s a saturation kind of distortion plug in. It’s beautiful. It’s really nice. I’m just Googling it.
Black box analog design HD two. Is that the one? That’s the one? Yeah. Get some of that in your life. Rich dude, it looks, it looks pretty. Yeah. I mean, you can pretty much do everything with, you know, decapitated. I mean, that thing is a based as well. So you don’t really need the black box. I just like the black box.
Yeah. I use both. Don’t get me wrong, especially when I’m doing some like crazy noise music. I’ll throw every distortion and I’ve got at that. Um, yeah, like that, um, like that brief we had with, uh, you know, where I did like a noise track where it was like a, was it the surprise brief? I think. Um, yeah. And I thought Vick was going to just Tammy a pot and you’re going to hate it.
And, um, and he was like, no, man, this is awesome. I’m like really? Okay, cool. Yeah. Um, so with distortion stuff I like to throw, or if I’m really getting into distortion, I’ll throw it away. Free every distortion of gut at it, everything gets in there. Nothing is scary because it completely changes the lecture.
Oh man. Yeah, just destroys it. Yeah, it is beautiful. Uh, uh, a good question and it slipped my mind. Okay. Um, we’ll just go to the last, uh, quick fire question. Uh, oh, nice. Nice. I thought I was, I thought it was coming back to me. So what’s your number one piece of advice to write better to really music. I’m one piece of advice to ride better.
Try the music practice learn. Do the course not as seriously, like definitely do the course, but, um, practice and, and learn and keep learning and study and listen, listen to these based composers out there. There are some amazing composers. Um, yeah, just next level composers. I listened to their stuff and I’m like, oh my God, how’s he doing that?
Um, At any particular, any particular names spring to mind? Brent Daniels is like a based, I love that dude. Everything he does. I’m just like, ah, dude, it’s so good. Um, Lex, I love everything Lex does as well. Yeah. He’s, music’s awesome. I mean, I’ve always loved his music from the first time I heard it. I got to put you in there.
Rich. You know, you got to get in there. Um, Cody’s Curt is a based, um, but can’t leave him out that dude’s a beast as well. Um, it’s Cody still. Yeah. Um, I now I’ve forgotten some, but I’m like, I feel bad. I’ll remember later, but they’re like, they’re like my top where I’m listening to their music. Just going.
It’s amazing. They all famous notes is all through. Produce their music. So finally until about the, not me too, about the other three, but their production skills. And, uh, specifically when you, when you listen to Brent sound design stuff is just like
so good. I could just listen to that all day. I just be like, yes, give me more of this. Like, it’s amazing. Um, so the, the one thing I I’ve, this is, I remembered the question. It was not really a question. It’s more of like a pondering. The one thing that people w you know, when I’m talking about trailer music, people still it’s, it’s just sits with everyone that it’s orchestral or that it’s hybrid orchestral, or it’s this just epic music.
There’s so much about trailing music that is outside of that world. And the reason, one of the reasons why the stuff you produce is so exciting is because hip hop sits in trailer, trailer music. So much more than people think, you think, you know, go watch a ton of trailers and I’m not talking about like Marvel trailers watch a ton of different trailers.
And I will guarantee you will find some type of hip hop beat in one of them. At least one of them, if not half of them. Yeah. Like look at fast and the furious and like, uh, like that, um, uh, what’s that boxing one? Um, Rocky, Rocky, but you know, like no one, uh, I forgot what it’s called. Um, This time. Yeah, there’s tons, tons of hip hop.
Um, there’s tons of drone music. There’s, there’s tons of like piano stuff. Um, there’s so much of everything that the whole try the world and advertising music world is massive. And I quickly learned that, um, within the course from doing everything from neo-classical to dramatic PA piano, to hopeful acoustic, um, man, there’s so many different courses, so many different genres, and I know there’s probably so many more as well that we probably didn’t even touch on.
Is that true? Or did we just cover like the main, uh, there are so many more, we didn’t touch on. We, we, we had to. Like pick and choose which courses we did because I mean, there was a ton, we didn’t even touch on Christmas music. I mean, come on to be honest, man, I’m relieved because I was actually thinking that the last one was going to be Christmas and I was like, please don’t be Christmas, please.
Don’t be Christmas. And then you’ll like epic, slow burn. And I was like, oh, that sounds really hard. And I’m telling you that track was everything. And it slowly burned me out. It was, it was brutal. It was, uh, I mean it was it’s awesome. Awesome genre. Um, but it’s yeah, it’s tough. That one’s a tough one. Um, that was good.
Good, good course. To end it on too. I say you’ll have to find guy cause it was going to be well, but you’ll like this, it was going to be hip hop Christmas. Yeah. Yeah. We were like, if we’re going to do Christmas, let’s not just keep it broad. Let’s go. Let’s go into hip hop Christmas and then we’ll right.
That two weeks for them. We were like, no, no, swap out everyone. I haven’t given everyone slow burn. I haven’t given everyone like huge epic trailer yet. So let’s do. Yeah. That’s one thing that I, you know, I, I noticed that we didn’t get, and I was wondering if we were, we’re going to get, say if we had, have got like hip hop Christmas, I would have been like, cool.
Okay. I can, I can do this. Like I can smash this, this, this will be cool. But if we hadn’t got that, like. That hybrid, like epics librarians kind of like hybrid orchestral, right? Is that yeah. Yeah. It it’s, it’s an interesting one because it more refers to the structure. So you have instrumentation within epic, slow burn can be purely orchestral, or it can be very sound design heavy, but it’s more about the structure and the way you develop the sound glass.
Yeah. I think that was definitely amazing, amazing choice to end on like that, like just mashed it. He did harm. That was awesome. Well guys, going to be listening to this. Gets in. Well, it’s on me. I did good. Yeah, definitely. Thanks. Thank you for that. Uh, hope you like the track? Um, yeah, we’ll see. Well, I will be giving feedback later on today, so we will see I’m sure it’s going to be amazing, Sean.
I’m sure. You know, every one of your traits has been immense. So I just want to say thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your story, you know, and obviously sort of giving the listener a chance to get an insider scoop on protege. Thank you. Well, yeah, you’re welcome. The thing is like, I can talk about it all day, but at the end of the day, it sounds like I’m trying to sell it.
They buy them. What I say? I’ll talk about it all day. It’s all good. I mean like, yeah man, like I’ve said it so many times it’s um, it’s evolved. Like I’ve evolved. So many ways, um, just from doing this course, so it’s definitely changed my life and I got a placement, which is pretty amazing. So yeah, it’s, um, it’s next level.
Amazing course. And, um, I kind of wish it wasn’t going to end, you know, like I’m kind of, I’m kind of happy where it’s, it’s like, it’s come this far and like, I know I’ve got a lot more to do, um, for blue Pearl, there’s going to be tons of stuff I’m going to be doing. Um, but kind of gonna miss those weekly chats, you know, seeing you guys the weekly calls, like yeah.
It’s kinda going to be sad. I feel exactly the same date. I thank you so much for coming on Sean. It’s been an absolute pleasure and I will hold you to that drum production course. Uh, so Richard continues his learning. Let’s do it, man. Do it. I’d love to. Thank you, sir. Thank you so much. It’s been an honor.
Richard SchrieberI am an award winning composer for movie trailers, I am the founder of The Trailer Music School and Protege.school. I podcast, blog, vlog and jog. I also love coffee, nachos and self-improvement.
Download this blueprint to help you create more licensable trailer music that sounds awesome.