Marco Frydshou interview

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Tell us a little about yourself and what you do for a living?

My name is Marco Frydshou, I’m a composer and producer. My first meeting with music was playing records on turntables in a nightclub in my late teen years. I got very excited about producing records, engineering etc. So I started practicing on my own and took some piano lessons. I’m currently writing for documentary’s, shorts, TV commercials and cue’s for various TV Show’s and are trying to keep developing and getting better by studying scores, harmonies, playing and listening to others.

What is your niche or speciality, that makes you stand out from rest of the audio professionals?

It’s hard getting away explaining, you have something, that others don’t. Regarding niches, I sure have a weak spot for scary, dark, haunting and sad music.

Can you give us a brief summary of the equipment you use regularly?

Mac Pro, Logic 9, RME Fireface800, Studiologic VMK 188, Kontakt 4, loads of plug ins, 414 AKG Mic, Universal Audio 710 Preamp, various funny and ethnic percussion, Yamaha upright Piano.

What are your go-to plug-ins and software? (virtual instruments, audio processing etc.)

Kontakt 4, using Projectsam, 8DIO, sonokinetic and Soundiron for orchestral. Spectrasonis and Arturia for electronic shaping and synthesis + my own personal samples. I use 2 UAD cards and Waves for dynamic processing and mastering.

When do you find you are most creative?

Hmm, it’s hard to answer. A few years ago, I could hardly compose anything in daylight. I’ve changed since then. Some days I can sit and bump my head against the wall, other days my hands are out of control. If I’m in lack of inspiration, a long walk and a good cup of coffee always makes things a little clearer.

What is your usual process for creating audio content for games, films etc.?

I usually sit with the script at my piano and try to come up with a theme that goes well with the story/character/concept. Sometimes I start doing a notation of it with harmonies, just to get a form. After spotting notes, I will create tempis and signatures and get things organized in the arrangement in Logic.

Are there any particular secrets to your creativity?

Schhh… The way you express yourself, comes from your emotional (and lack of) experiences in life, I believe. So if you have some creative gift from the nature of god, I will leave it there, unexplainable! Inspiration is something we are all surrounded with, we just need to find out what hits us, touch us and motivates the most.

Do you have any audio creation techniques that resulted in something interesting?

Sure! But I don’t remember any of them. I just use them. Haha. But I think creating music in DAW’s you also have to think carefully about the mix and stereo image. When you load in an instrument, it is often in stereo. Means in the end, everything is in stereo. When you record a band, ensemble, whatever you’ll end up with a lot of mono tracks, so you will have to pan things yourself to get a real image in the mix. Also use the pre/post function for effects sends on you tracks to get the depth.

Any specific “lessons learned” on a project that you could share?

It’s not just about creating great music. It’s also the art of communicating in an emotional language with the directors, which can be quite difficult as they tend to express themselves different from musicians.

Any tips, hints or motivational speeches for the readers?
I would highly recommend the Pacific-North-West-Filmscoring program with Hummie Mann, if you are just getting started.  Buy and read “On The Track” a guide to contemporary film scoring by Fred Karlin wouldn’t hurt your career and knowledge about the business either.