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Harry Gregson-Williams' Kingdom of Cubase

Film composer's new facility centered on Steinberg's Cubase SX (September 08, 2005)

Film Composer Harry Gregson-Williams has scored Ridley Scott's recent release "Kingdom of Heaven" and completed scores for two new releases; Tony Scott's "Domino" as well as "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" by director Andrew Adamson at his new production facility, Wavecrest Music. Steinberg's Cubase SX, Gregson-Williams' DAW of choice, was not only used to score the films, but is the center of this new production facility.

Based in the artsy seaside community of Venice, California, Wavecrest blends a creative atmosphere with cutting-edge technology; both key ingredients in today's world of film scoring. The two story building houses composition and editing rooms and well as live recording and meeting spaces.

Steinberg's Cubase SX not only serves as Gregson-Williams' main composition and arranging palette, but is also command central for the various sample libraries, VST Instruments, and outboard gear in his vast arsenal of creative tools. However, Gregson-Williams was not always composing on the bleeding edge, "I didn't own a computer, let alone use a computer for music, until I came here to L.A. I made that transition simply because it seemed that this was a way I could help express myself."

Gregson-Williams, a veteran of Hollywood dubbing stages (Shrek 2, Man on Fire, Spy Game), notes that computers have made it possible for film makers to get a near-final impression of the score early on in the process, and can manipulate it far faster (and less expensively) than in the past. "Its music made to order. With the advent of reasonable sampled libraries, one can get a really decent mock-up going. There is plenty of room to express yourself, but it's really a collaboration. Computers in music allow one to include the film makers in your thought process."

He also notes that providing realistic and effective scores demands a talent for the medium combined with knowledge of the tools. "You can be using the best library in the world, but you still have to know how to manipulate it to make it sing and dance."

Stating that variety in the films he works on helps "keep me on my toes", Gregson-Williams relies on the flexibility and speed the workflow in Cubase SX gives him. On a film such as Domino, a "band-oriented" score with a lot of guitars, drums and electronics, he must work very fast and keep pace with the films aggressive editing. Conversely, on The Chronicles of Narnia, where an open, sweeping orchestral score is called for, Cubase lends itself to the intricacies of the orchestra and can be called upon for instant arrangement changes.

Summing up his experience in converting to computer-based composition, "I was a computer virgin when I came to this and Cubase was my first. Cubase is my tool for composition without it I feel a bit naked."

About Harry Gregson-Williams
Born in England, Gregson-Williams earned a scholarship from the music school of St. John's College in Cambridge at the age of seven been a soloist on over a dozen records by age 13, earning entry at the Guildball School of Music and Drama in London. He started his film career as an orchestrator and arranger for composer Stanley Myers. He went on to compose his first major scores for Nicolas Roeg's "Full Body Massage" and "Hotel Paradise." His early credits also include a series of shorts for the BBC, the independent "White Angel," and "The Whole Wide World," for director Dan Ireland. Today, Gregson-Williams is one of the top composers in Hollywood and has recently been called upon for Shrek 2, Man on Fire, Spy Game, and Kingdom of Heaven.

About Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH
Steinberg is known the world over for its professional media solutions. The company has been developing, manufacturing and selling software products for musicians and producers in the music, film, post production, and multimedia industries since 1984. Steinberg products are used by Grammy® and Oscar® award winning composers, engineers, and producers.

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Related Keywords:Steinberg, Cubase SX, Harry Gregson-Williams, Wavecrest Music, DAW, recording, VST Instruments,


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