Featured in Campaign’s Cannes Special.

Featured in Campaign’s Cannes Special.

JWM was featured in ‘Sync Story’ in Music Week!

JWM was featured in ‘Sync Story’ in Music Week!

Wimbledon starts today! And perhaps unsurprisingly, Brit Andy Murray claims ‘90% of players listen to music before they go on’. What music gets you in ‘the zone’?

It’s hard to know how much talent some artists really have these days… Can anyone be made into a vocal superstar? It’s not like you even HAVE to sing live any more, miming is almost becoming acceptable…

The Death of the Live Musician?

East West - Complete Composer's Collection

Saw this on my facebook feed today. East West, the company who I believe make the best sounding virtual instruments in the business, have released a hard drive containing seven of their top libraries for a fraction of their original cost.

I started with the original East West Composer’s Collection a good few years ago now - I couldn’t believe the realistic sounds, they were so much better than general MIDI! They, of course, sound pretty terrible compared to what East West are producing now. And sampled sounds, from many different companies, are getting better and better. Whilst they can’t of course ever replace real live musicians, they’re not far off. The introduction of ‘legato’ instruments, higher quality recordings, and the rapid development of computer processing means that realistic sounds are available to pretty much everyone. I can’t always tell the difference between sampled and real, and I’m not entirely sure I always believe those who can spot a sampled instrument ‘a mile off’.

But is this a good thing? Working musicians are getting worried. Bedroom composers are getting excited. Much like the recording industry, there are now hundreds and thousands of composers who can create good-sounding music without leaving their house. Some programs even do all the rhythms and melodies for you… (I’m looking at you, Action Strings).

Film soundtrack music by live orchestras is also so heavily processed in the studio that they begin to sound like these libraries - I’m certain Hans Zimmer used at least 80 horns on the Inception soundtrack. The over-prduced sound seems so popular at the moment. Personally, I’d hate to see purely fake orchestras used in Hollywood soundtracks. It wouldn’t feel right. 

Technology is advancing so quickly these days, it can’t be long until we get a ‘Complete Composer’s Collection 3’. These libraries are so close to the real thing, but I guess they’ll always lack that human quality, whether it be slight timing issues, intonation or split notes. 

As a composer, these advances excite me. I’ll never get the opportunity to record with a world class orchestra, but at least I can PRETEND I did.

Paul Mitchinson

Lykke Li makes me particularly proud to be Swedish; she’s an incredible artist and performer who manages to be mysterious and accessible at the same time. Her well-crafted, punchy songs will always have a place in my playlists. 

I love The Tallest Man on Earth’s songs but unfortunately find his voice slightly grating. In a live setting however, it’s much easier on the ear. And this is a song I could listen to all day. 

A slightly controversial choice today: Roxette ‘Fading Like a Flower’.

I, like almost every other Swede of my generation, grew up listening to this band; I know every word to every song and i’m not ashamed to say that I love so many Roxette songs, it took me over an hour to decide which one to post! 

My fifth instalment comes in the form of Little Dragon’s ‘Shuffle a Dream’. What can I say…..it’s jaunty! 

It seems most people don’t know that Neneh Cherry is Swedish so I always take great patriotic pleasure in pointing it out. Although she’s known mainly for Buffalo Stance, my favourite song of hers is actually Manchild (ignoring the strange video!).