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G&E Delivers Fresh Tracks By Kids, For KidsDoes scoring and sound design for PBS KIDS promotional package (October 20, 2004)
A recent project for PBS KIDS had G&E Music writing a multi-instrumental score, composed almost entirely of vocals...by kids! PBS KIDS wanted to refresh their existing animated promotional package, a substantial station-wide update that involved around 30 different interstitial components and spots, with animation provided by San Francisco-based Wild Brain, Inc. G&E took on the scoring and sound design of the entire re-packaging project, with composers Glenn Schloss and Erik Blicker enlisting the help of their own children, nieces and nephews to pull it off.
Over the course of the project, G&E worked closely with PBS writer/producer Nadira Isaacs and Wild Brain senior producer Amy Capen. "Music plays an especially important role in an animation package like the PBS KIDS one," notes Isaacs. "Though our animation is really great, the package relies heavily on customized music and sound effects to bring it to life." Once the finished pieces of animation were delivered to Isaacs, she handed it over to G&E to see what they could do. "I gave them my overall take on where the package was currently and where I'd like to see it go," she adds. "They took it from there and everyone was very pleased with the end result."
G&E created soundscapes using nearly all vocals, recording the sounds their kids made for certain actions or objects they saw animated. "We'd coach them in some cases," explains Schloss, "asking them what wind sounds like, or a moving truck--and in other cases just had them play around and make different sounds, then we used the technology to bump it up to the next level."
Schloss and Blicker dropped all the organic 3-6 year old kid sounds they recorded on DAT into Reason, which they used in conjunction with Pro Tools to create the score. "We made compositions using those kid sounds to emulate instruments, for instance running a "boop" sound through the sampler to create a horn line," describes Blicker. "All these different sounds became our own unique instruments, using Reason to add reverb and delay. For the percussive sounds, we used the Re-Drum drum machine in Reason, creating a virtual drum set--using a 'te, te' for a high hat and a 'boom, boom' for a kick drum, for example."
From the beginning of the project, the guys worked closely with Capen, sending her click tracks, and then composing and sound designing to boards they'd FTP back and forth. The campaign involved heavy sound design as well, which G&E's Brian Quill handled, in addition to mixing the entire project and laying it back to Digi Beta. Both Wild Brain and PBS were pleased with G&E's work. Capen offers, "G&E's sound design enhanced the playfulness of the animation. Their tracks not only stayed true to the existing graphics package but also added a whimsical freshness that will help distinguish these spots from those previously produced."
Isaacs adds, "G&E, once again, exceeded my expectations with their creative and their service. I know that sometimes it's hard for vendors to get into the "head" of PBS KIDS because the package has such a unique look, sound, and feel. Because G&E's musical tastes are so varied, it allows them to create an end product which is gratifying to a wider variety of people. It always amazes me how they can come up with a selection of tunes that all sound totally different, yet they do it so quickly."
For more information about G&E Music visit www.gemusic.com or call 212-673-9274.
Related Keywords:G&E Music, PBS KIDS, Wild Brain, scoring, sound design, Glenn Schloss, Erik Blicker, Nadira Isaacs, Amy Capen, animation, soundscapes, Reason, Pro Tools, Brian Quill,