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Studio Time with Film Composer Junkie XL

studio time junkie xl

In his highly popular Youtube video series Studio Time With Junkie XL, the Grammy-nominated film composer also known as Tom Holkenborg takes you behind the scenes of his work for some of Hollywood’s most popular movies in recent times.

Junkie XL, who composed film scores for Hollywood blockbusters like Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool, Tomb Raider or most recently Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines, shares his secrets on workflow and how his soundtracks came to life. Spanning almost 50 episodes and 25 hours of video material to this day, Studio Time With Junkie XL has already become an encyclopedia of cinematic composing advice.

In the various episodes, Tom Holkenborg takes you to his studio, a creative sound lab full of vintage analog gear, rare instruments and his famous modular synthesizer wall to show you his working practises. The studio’s centerpiece is Holkenborg’s multi-computer composition rig he uses to craft his film scores.

Junkie XL is known for his use of extensive sampling technqiues and extraordinary sound design, combining samples, analog synths, heavy rock guitars and traditional pacific percussion with huge live orchestras. In his free Studio Time With Junkie XL series, he shares his personal workflow, gives tips on cinematic music production and also valuable career advice. You’ll also learn how to make a great Spaghetti Carbonara, so what are you waiting for?


Tom Holkenborg recently released the third season of Studio Time With Junkie XL, in which he shines a light on his compositional work for Mortal Engines, a movie set in a post-apocalyptic world where cities roam the land on wheels, consuming each other to survive. He also lifts the veil on his freshly updated, 2000-instruments composing template and gives a track-by-track overview spanning multiple episodes. You can watch the whole season 3 of Studio Time With Junkie XL below:


Season 2 of Studio Time With Junkie XL is centered around the composer’s huge array of rare and vintage analog synthesizers and samplers. Across 22 episodes, you’ll learn about modular and analog synthesis, the joy and dread of using analog samplers, how to create lush, cinematic ambiences using guitar effects pedals and much more. Some of the movie soundtracks discussed include Brimstone, Mad Max: Fury Road and Batman V Superman. Watch out for the special “Kitchen Time” episode to learn how to cook a magnificent Spaghetti Carbonara!


Studio Time With Junkie XL season 1 is all about the creation of Tom Holkenborg’s incredibly intense soundtrack for the equally intense movie Mad Max: Fury Road. Over 11 episodes, you’ll learn how JXL crafted all the powerful string, drum, electric guitar and big action percussion sounds for the score and also gives insights to his complex composition template. Season 1 also includes a collection of side-episodes calles Gear Of The Week” in which Tom talks about his favorite pieces of hardware synths, samplers and drum machines.

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