This month I have been working on my "tentpole" trailer cues (the big trailers basically). This has meant that I have been spending much longer on each cue rather than churning out loads of cues quickly.

This is not my usual way of working and it is taking me some time to settle into this new tempo but I am enjoying sitting with a track for longer. It has given me a chance to get to know the cue a lot better and in some cases see more clearly how it can grow and improve.

In case you are wondering, you are reading my Trailer Music School newsletter; monthly content focused solely on Trailer Music for Trailer Music Composers. It's the accompaniment to my Trailer Music podcast and my Trailer Music YouTube channel.

Trailer Music Monthly

I don't know about you but this teaser has gotten me very excited about the new season of The Witcher. I love the heavy reliance on choirs and vocals it makes it feel archaic and also important.

You can also understand my excitement when I saw the official trailer. As per the last few Witcher trailers, it feels like a premium reimagination of an existing song, filled with tension, explosive drums, expansive pads and huge third acts.

So I decided to do a breakdown of the track as it is used in the trailer.

8 Trailers Worth Watching

There is still love for calm, ambient piano-led first acts as this Appl TV trailer for Hijack affirms. Also, check out the really cool signature sound too.

  1. This one, Poor Things, is a wildcard. The music is quirky, classical, magnificent and odd all at once. I particularly like the build-up to Mark Ruffalo getting slapped in the face.
  2. The Delete trailer has some amazing-sounding string patterns layered brilliantly with classic horror string effects.
  3. If you were ever wondering how to take a song and successfully trailerise it then The Summer I Turned Pretty teaser will be some excellent research. Pay attention to how the stop-downs really allow the trailer hits to explode from nothing.
  4. The eerie vocal in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart teaser is an excellent showcase of taking a tried and tested sound (creepy horror vocals) and giving it a unique character
  5. The EDM sound design mix on The Idol trailer gets me very excited. It is filled with a cool swagger and confidence you get from commercial releases and yet delivers the production music action drums perfectly.
  6. For those of you working on hard-hitting action sound design cues with a bit of Hip Hop swagger then check out how it is used in this Hidden Strike trailer (especially the first minute or so)
  7. The trailer for Warrior: Season 3  proves why I love strings and beats and the world of Epic Hip Hop and why it is great music to produce.

Trailer Music Tool of The Month

Image courtesy of Air Music Technology

The Riser by Air Music Technology is an amazing little machine that produces excellent risers on the fly. In my breakdown of the Witcher Season 3 trailer music, I talk about the risers that are used throughout the trailer to create easy builds and quick ramps in tension. I use The Riser to create layered risers for both the ramp-ups at the end of an act and also within the stop-downs.

Advice for Trailer Music Composers

The space between (or before) placements can be a daunting thing and can sometimes get you down. My friend and fellow trailer music composer Ciaran Birch labelled it perfectly when he called it "The Quiet Panic". Don't worry, you are not alone, we are all there and have all been there!

New Placements

A superb remix of my track Treason is used throughout this trailer. This is a great example of how you can take neoclassical string ideas and trailerise them to bring class and impact to a trailer. I particularly like the synth elements in the third act.

Practice Brief

If you are one of my Silver or Gold tier subscribers. Each month you get access to a practice brief and professional track feedback from me.

If you want monthly practice briefs and track feedback from me then sign up below.

I'm excited about this month's practice brief.

This post is for subscribers with any of the tiers: Silver or Gold

Sign up now and upgrade your account to get access to the post.

Sign up now Already have an account? Sign in