How to create a sound palette?

edited November 22 in Composition and Production

I am new to media composing and I have no idea where to start so I thought learning about creating sound palettes would be a good start, Other suggestions are welcome and will be incredibly appreciated.

is there a specific technique I can use to be able to create a sound palate for a certain short film or video?

Best Answers

  • Christian Rockström
    Accepted Answer

    I've never scored anything official so I can't offer you any professional tips. What I can do is let you know how I practice and maybe it's something that works for you as well.

    There's lots of movie trailers on Youtube with all the music removed. These are really useful for practice.

    To "simulate" working with a director I usually ask my wife to decide what she likes for the trailer and then communicate it with me (works with a friend of course, doesn't have to be a partner). If she's not happy with it it doesn't really matter what I think since she's "the director".

    Another thing I do for practice is, after finishing a practice cue; I start from scratch with the intention of writing the "same" cue but in totally different way. Other tempo, other instruments, other choices completely. This pushes me out of my comfort zone and I'd like to think I learn a lot when doing so.

    Not sure if this helps at all? Just thought I'd give you my two cents since there's no replies to your question just yet. Hopefully a pro can enlighten you in ways I can't :)

    Either way; good luck!

  • Angus
    Angus admin
    100 Answers 500 Comments 250 Likes Spitfire Employee
    Accepted Answer

    Hi @Hassan,

    Often the most inspiring and unique soundtracks will use a bespoke sound palette (sample library) made for that film. Hildur Guðnadóttir made the soundtrack for Chernobyl by melding field recordings made at nuclear powerplants into the soundtrack. Hans Zimmer slowed down the Piaf's Non, je ne regrette rien in order to create the brass elements of the Inception Soundtrack. More recently Ludwig Göransson used reverse synth sounds to represent the reversal of time motif in the soundtrack for Tenet.

    What do these soundtracks have in common? They all use bespoke sounds and sound design to help tell the story.

    So my advice would be; use a basic template for your go-to orchestral sounds, but always leave room to add something unique to your project, whether it's sound design or a new sample library that makes you compose in a different way.