Creative sampling techniques for making thematic film scores

Regardless of whether you make music as an artist or as a composer for media, most of us are trying to tell stories with our sounds.

How can we continue to advance ourselves on this journey? Tom Smith of sample label Soundsmiths recently sat down with us to share how he used samples creatively to tell stories in the score for The Sparrow, a film that sheds light on one of the many struggles immigrants face on a day-to-day basis in modern Britain. In the tutorial video above, he begins by walking us through the essentials for setting up a scoring workflow in Logic Pro X. From there, he dives into how he transformed the sounds of various birds into textures and instruments using tools like Alchemy, iZotope’s Trash, and more.

Have you ever tried using unexpected sounds to craft interesting musical ideas? What are your go-to sound design tricks and techniques for film scoring? Let us know in the comments below.


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May 2, 2021

Harrison Shimazu

Harrison Shimazu is a composer, content strategist, and writer who’s passionate about democratizing music creation and education. He leads the Splice blog and creates music as Namaboku.