Update: Epicomposer teamed up with Master The Score to offer you an exclusive 25% discount on the Trailer Music: Modern Styles course! You can find the code and info at the end of this article.
Today we will be reviewing a brand-new online course from Master The Score – Trailer Music: Modern Styles. This course, taught by László Maródi, is the follow-up to his previous course Trailer Music: Elevation which focused on the basics of trailer music. László Maródi is a successful media music composer. His music was featured in many blockbuster trailers and he worked with renowned companies such as Warner Chappell, Universal Music Group, and Brand X Music.
While the first course broadly depicts the art of sketching and producing trailer music for beginners, this new course dives in detail into 3 particular modern styles: fun/pop percussion, EDM-inspired, and creepy horror trailer music. Throughout the course, László takes you through everything you need to understand to start writing in these styles, with the help of a guided walkthrough and specific tips and recommendations.
Trailer Music: Modern Styles is available through the Master The Score website, among many other classes. The course is streamable through all personal devices and has lifetime access once purchased. It spans through more than 12 hours of content, with assignments and walkthroughs of 3 different complete tracks.
Trailer Music: Modern Styles is organized into 4 main sections, with each section made up of several hours of video content, plus a few text references as well. As usual with Master The Score, purchasing the course also gives access to an exclusive Facebook and Discord group, where students can interact with their peers and with the instructor himself. Quite a lot of exchange happens in these groups and it is refreshing to see people applying what they have just learned or helping each other out. As a side note, purchasing the course also gives access to student discounts for many virtual instrument/plugin developers.
Let’s have a look at these different sections in more detail.
Section 1: Essential Theory and Mindset
While Trailer Music: Modern Styles is aimed at composers who already have a good grasp of the basics, the course starts with a reminder of the principles of trailer music creation. László recaps essential trailer writing guidelines, as described in his first course, and goes a bit beyond by explaining his method to create catchy tracks.
László also talks about the common traits between music and language, and how all of this relates to different genres. He also talks about the advantages associated with trying to write in different styles, and how it can ultimately end up making you a better, more flexible, composer.
Section 2: Fun Percussion/Pop Trailer Track
This section starts with László presenting a typical publisher brief asking for a fun percussion trailer track. The discussion revolves around the important requirements related to this genre, such as typical tempo ranges, instrumentation, and melodic content. A lot of track references are also given for students to get a better feel of this music style.
László then starts what he calls a hybrid track walkthrough. This approach combines the best of both worlds: we get to dive into the finished track, but we still see important composing methods, as László rewrites particular parts from scratch, right in front of us. This way of teaching is engaging and very effective.
This section also features László’s template presentation and most importantly his writing method, with a focus on effective hook writing and general trailer structure. The hybrid walkthrough goes into the production of each part of the track in detail, over several hours. A couple of exercises are also given to students, to better put into practice what was taught. It is actually very impressive to see how quickly the track starts to sound nice, while László provides a very clear explanation of what has been done along the way.
The walkthrough covers all important steps, from the first sketch to mixing the final version. Here again, László shows in detail which effects and plugins he uses on his instrument groups and buses, with extensive discussion about the hows, whys, and dos/don’ts.
Section 3: EDM-inspired Trailer Track
This section deals with an exciting and totally different genre than the previous one. It is laid out in a similar fashion to section two. László starts by presenting his vision of this musical genre as a way to establish important writing guidelines. He shares his views about this music style’s essence, with a big focus on instrumentation choice and theme crafting.
The hybrid walkthrough then starts with László creating the main hook. We get clear explanations about his musical choices, while he shows his DAW piano roll to illustrate his points along the way. Students then get deep explanations about harmonic structure and instrumentation. A lot of focus goes into synthesizer choices as well, which is one of the core features of this music style.
By the end of this chapter, we get a good grasp of what it takes to create an electronic trailer track. As before, a few assignments are given to allow students to create their own track, and László encourages them to share them on the Facebook/Discord group.
Section 4: Spooky Horror Trailer Track
For this final section, students are presented with another genre in the trailer industry: horror tracks. László explains how popular this style is and how useful it can be for media composer careers.
As before, this chapter starts with a typical brief and a discussion of the genre’s essential characteristics. László gets into the nuances of carnival/spooky horror music versus straight scary music and the difficulties in navigating the line between absurd and horror.
Students get plenty of clear explanations about typical harmonies, instrumentation, and even imperfect playing styles, all contributing to a convincing track. László then leads us into the creation of his main theme, intro, build-ups, and climax. A particular area of focus throughout is sound design, which is so important for this genre. One of the demonstrations of this is the creation of a stretched vocal riser, used as a very effective creepy background drone during the intro.
Later on, László presents more advanced techniques, such as the addition of “exciters”. These are small musical elements that give the track a more engaging vibe, and they can range from accelerating clock sounds to random tempo elements peppered throughout.
As a bonus, this section ends with a few sound design creation videos, where László explains step by step how to recreate popular sound effects related to horror music.
All in all, Trailer Music: Modern Styles is a very thorough course, totaling 12+ hours of video content. It gives us a detailed guide on how to create tracks in three popular music styles. Tutor László Maródi knows his craft and gives clear and generous explanations on how to plan, start writing, and structure compelling tracks. Sound design and MIDI editing tips are also talked about along the way.
With this level of detail, this course is aimed at intermediate-level composers, who already have a working knowledge of trailer music production. The different chapters are very comprehensive but the delivery and pace make it very easy to follow it all. The hybrid walkthrough method is very engaging, and seeing László work is very inspiring. The various assignments will surely give students a big motivation to craft their own tracks in no time.
As usual with Master The Score, the production quality is top notch and the learning environment is very well done through their learning platform and discussion groups. A big plus is the range of styles covered here, which represent three in-demand genres, and which are genuinely different from each other.
A slight drawback is the price of the course. At $449, this course is in the more expensive range for an online course. However, considering loyalty discounts for owners of the previous course, and the wide range of tutoring offered, composers going through the full course should have their money’s worth of information and educational content. Also, instead of making a one-time purchase, you can split the payment up into three payments of $149.60 per month. All in all, Trailer Music: Modern Styles gets a clear recommendation from us.
Trailer Music: Modern Styles is available for a one-time purchase of $449 or 3 monthly payments of $149.60 each through the Master The Score online shop.
EXCLUSIVE 25% DISCOUNT CODE
Epicomposer teamed up with Master The Score to provide you with an exclusive 25% discount on the Trailer Music: Modern Styles course! By entering the code EEPICCOMPOSER25 in the coupon code field during checkout, you can save a whopping $112 on your order.
Visit Master The Score to get started today, learn from industry experts, and elevate your trailer music game to a new level!