Frank Loef: Production Music as Underscore

In the run up to the Production Music Awards 2022, Frank Loef – Founder & CEO of CosMind Production Music and award-winning composer / producer – took some time to share his thoughts on the industry post-pandemic, as well as diving into the much discussed subject of dialogue clarity in film and television. Is it the music? Is it the mix? Can we do better?

“Being asked about any developing aspects in the production music industry and CosMind’s particular point of view, we’d like to talk about something that we at CosMind pay a lot of attention to: the aspects of composition and sound that is able to bring film to life.

In the past years, but especially since the Pandemic crisis, when live gigs and events faded away, more and more songwriters, DJs, producers and musicians from other areas of the music industry started to get into production music to make a living out of it. For a successful career in production music it is most important to understand the particular requirements that audiovisual music has to meet.

In contrast to pop music, songs or classical music, where the focus of attention is either the message of the lyrics or the pure listening experience (of course in addition to marketing, brand experience and fan-cult), production music is targeted to bring audiovisual content to live. Moving pictures, a story, an emotion or simply some facts have to be carried subtly by the music without conflicting or impeding each other.

The reality today is a growing number of complaints by television viewers about bad speech intelligibility and “noisy sound” in TV programs. The reason for this is quite simple: in most cases the music which is used to underscore TV programs and promos hasn’t been produced especially for this scope.

Often the music, whether song or instrumental, is fighting against the film dialogue or voice over. The viewer is forced to listen very carefully to be able to follow the story, the audiovisual and cinematic total experience has to suffer.

To avoid this kind of frustration of TV viewers and complaints to the broadcasters, quality production music needs the expert knowledge of experienced film music producers.

In an audiovisual production you find multiple acoustic layers: original sound on tape, voice over, sound effects, dialogue and music. All these acoustic events have to cooperate very clearly with each other and create a transparent sound for the moving pictures. The music itself has to reach this transparency through carefully elaborated details, from composition to recording, production, mixing, sound design and last but not least audio-mastering.

In a major film-production many experts and their huge knowledge are needed to create an elaborated soundtrack. Regarding production music the ready-to-use tracks have to be finalized and equally elaborated to make it work in an audiovisual context. Our clients expect nothing less. The chosen production music track has to be working right away and fulfill the same function and clarity as a well-produced soundtrack.

With that in mind, here at CosMind we put great value and importance on a sound that brings films, documentaries, trailers, ad campaigns, promos or factual programs to life. Our team of experienced and award-winning film composers, producers and mastering engineers works hard to ensure that each track we release works perfectly in any audiovisual production, which is highly appreciated by our clients.

In the end we are convinced that this kind of audiovisual quality matters and helps to give high quality production music the recognition it deserves.”

Frank Loef – Founder & CEO of CosMind Production Music and award-winning composer / producer

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest