Today we’re taking a look at an online course called Trailer Music Mastery, offered by Trailer Music Academy. The course is hosted by Swedish composer Daniel Beijbom who currently works as an assistant of Tom Holkenborg / Junkie XL, and has licensed his music to various major movie trailer campaigns including Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: Rogue One, Aquaman and many more.
Trailer Music Mastery is geared towards composers and music producers, who want to learn the art and craft of creating massive sounding trailer music for movies, videogames, and TV shows.
I was kindly offered to take part in the course by Daniel and TMA founder Christian Baczyk (End Of Silence). In the following review, I would love to share with you what I learned.
Trailer Music Mastery is a paid online course featuring over 14 hours of video tutorials. Over the course of this program, you’ll not only learn how to create a full hybrid-orchestral trailer piece from scratch but also how you approach various essential production-related tasks including mixing, mastering, and stem delivery.
During the whole course, host Daniel Beijbom provides you with a close over-the-shoulder look on how he creates trailer music and his way of achieving a powerful, unique sound.
Trailer Music Mastery can be divided roughly into 7 chapters, not counting a series of short introductory videos. After welcoming you to the course, Daniel provides you with access to the student-only TMA Facebook group (more on that later) as well as a free trailer SFX pack created by trailer composer and sound designer Maks Piszczek.
After that, we’re going straight down to the nitty-gritty with Trailer Music Mastery‘s first and largest chapter: Creating A Track From Scratch. Here’s a quick overview of the course’s overall content:
- Creating A Track From Scratch
- Walkthrough Of 3 Licensed Trailer Tracks
- Orchestral Production Tips
- Stem Delivery
- Daniel’s Equipment
- Mixing Tips
- 3-hour Interview with Daniel Beijbom & Christian Baczyk
In this review, we’ll briefly go through each of these chapters, their content and what I think students at any level will be able to take away for their own productions.
Exclusive 10% Off Coupon!
The awesome guys at TMA provided me with a special discount code on the Trailer Music Mastery which I am happy to share with you! By using the coupon code below, you get 10% off of the purchase price. Just enter the code during checkout and save $29.90 on your order:
About The Instructor
With over 100 track records and having his music featured in prominent trailer campaigns (Avengers: Endgame, Our Planet, Aquaman, Bumblebee, Breakthrough, Shazam, Star Wars: Rogue One, Spiderman: Homecoming, War For The Planet Of The Apes, Deathwish, Logan, and many more) Daniel Beijbom has teamed up with Trailer Music Academy to create a fun and authentic course for aspiring music creators worldwide.
Creating A Track From Scratch
In the first, 9-part chapter of Trailer Music Mastery, Daniel Beijbom takes you through the complete production of a hybrid-orchestral trailer track, starting from scratch. He guides you through the layout, sample libraries and plugins he uses frequently and shows how he came up with an easy DAW template that allows him to capture his ideas quickly.
In the following 7 hours, you can witness Daniel going from a simple musical idea to a fully-fledged structure and arrangement. You can look over his shoulder as he constructs layer after layer of his composition while narrating all of his decisions, ideas, and goals.
As the arrangement of his track “Redemption” is coming together, you’ll occasionally see Daniel deleting entire blocks of his arrangement and filling them back up with other structural ideas or melodic lines. I really like that these decisions are kept in the videos as it shows how during composition, nothing is set in stone and that you should always be brave enough to get rid of parts that just don’t work. Even to the very last steps of production.
This first chapter of the course shows you without make-up how even a seasoned, professional composer will struggle with doubts, frustration and writer’s block from time to time. However, Daniel also proves that if you just keep going, not holding on to ideas to firmly, you can and will create great-sounding music eventually.
Walkthrough Of 3 Licensed Trailer Tracks
Since his beginnings as a composer for various trailer music labels, Daniel Beijbom was able to license his music to an amazing list of international, large-scale movie trailers. In this chapter, he takes three of his music pieces licensed to advertising campaigns for War Of The Planet Of The Apes, Logan & Spiderman: Homecoming, and shows you how he composed them track by track.
This chapter grants an incredibly helpful look into what makes a trailer track licensable. Daniel addresses not only the importance of giving trailer editors as many options for cutting as possible but also guides you through other techniques he employed to raise the chances for his music to be used.
Orchestral Production Tips
In the following chapter “Orchestral Production Tips“, tutor Daniel walks you through the personal techniques he applies when arranging for strings, brass, and percussion sections. This module focuses on quick, easy-to-grasp tips you can use to kickstart your own arrangements and to achieve a more powerful cinematic, trailer-ish sound.
Topics include the spreading of chordal voices between different (brass) instruments, creating compelling and driving string ostinatos as well as assembling percussion instruments that complement each other in frequency and tone.
As the chapter’s name suggests, this module is all about the creation of stem files – grouped collections of similar instruments – and what to look out for when delivering those for mixing or mastering.
Most of the time in today’s trailer music business, the music labels you work for have access to their own, dedicated mixing and mastering engineers. They are given the hard task to take all the music of an album, usually originating from many different composers, and mixing the tracks into one coherent audio experience. For you as a composer, this means you’re not required to fully mix and master your own trailer compositions, leaving it to the professional audio engineers to create a powerful and balanced mix of your work.
To make things more manageable for the mixing engineer and not having them deal with hundreds of tracks per song, most labels request that you group your composition’s tracks together into groups of similar sources, e.g. “short strings”, “low brass”, “percussion”, “FX”, etc. The mixing engineer will then work from this condensed version of your composition.
In the “Stems” chapter, Daniel shows you in his DAW of choice, Logic Pro X, how to quickly batch-export multiple audio files for delivery. In doing so, he distinguishes between rendering stems for mixing and stems for mastering. The tutor demonstrates both the batch-export of each and every audio file of a project for in-depth mixing, as well as how to create groups of tracks and exporting those for stem mixing and mastering.
In this short chapter, composer Daniel Beijbom provides you with a full list of his favorite equipment, including all the sample libraries and plugins he regularly uses. In a quick room tour-style video, Daniel shows you around his home studio and points out the hardware and instruments he uses for composing.
For me, the studio tour, in particular, makes a strong point for other aspiring composers, proving that you don’t need to invest a huge amount of money in equipment to be able to successfully produce cinematic trailer music. You don’t always need the hottest new sample library or fairy-dust plugin – you just need to really know your stuff and how to make the best of it.
In Daniel’s “My Mixing Workflow” video, he guides you through the processing he applied to “Redemption”, the track he composed with you in chapter 1. You are shown in detail, which plugins he uses and why he decided for certain EQ moves, compression settings, etc.
In the process, Daniel introduces you to a couple of essential mixing techniques that not only apply to trailer music but music production in general. By following his demonstration, you learn that a huge part of achieving a massive, cinematic trailer sound isn’t in the final processing, but rather comes from proper orchestration and choice of instruments at the base. In fact, Daniel is using only very little processing on his individual tracks, as he already took the time to carefully select his sounds during the composition phase.
Interview with Daniel Beijbom & Christian Baczyk
The final chapter is a 3-hour long screen capture of an interview with Daniel Beijbom, Christian Baczyk and host Austin K. Yajima, talking about a broad spectrum of trailer music-related topics. Daniel and Christian talk about their experiences in the trailer music business, current trends, personal strategies and much more. If you have some free time at your hand, this interview is not only enjoyable to follow but also holds some valuable nuggets of knowledge here and there.
Trailer Music Mastery’s Exclusive FB Group
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Trailer Music Mastery comes with its own, dedicated Facebook group that is only available to students who enrolled in the course. The TMA Mastermind Group is a great place to communicate with other aspiring composers, exchange ideas, ask questions and get feedback on your work.
Not only can you get in touch with other composers and students at various levels of their professional career, but you can also contact Daniel Beijbom and Christian Baczyk who themselves are part of the group. They provide you with tips on how to improve as an artist, give feedback to your music and try to answer your questions from an experienced standpoint. In recent months, quite a few high-profile trailer music composers have joined the group, so it’s a great place to get valuable constructive criticism on your music and to learn from experienced professionals.
To me, a huge part of establishing yourself as a composer in this highly competitive market is to connect with others, get into conversation and to take part in a friendly and productive community. The TMA Mastermind allows you to do exactly this and therefore offers a great additional value to students of the course.
In Trailer Music Mastery, Daniel Beijbom grants an exclusive over-the-shoulder look on how to create cinematic trailer music that is licensable. You can learn how a hybrid-orchestral trailer music piece is produced, what structural parts it is made of and how proper orchestration and processing are applied to achieve a massive, compatible sound.
The lessons and topics included in the course are comprehensive and detailed but never feel like too much to chew. Everything you learn feels nicely condensed and focused on trailer music. I really enjoyed the lightheartedness and passion Daniel shows when working on his music. It felt inspiring to watch someone do what he loves and I felt motivated to follow along and be more creative myself.
Trailer Music Mastery provides aspiring composers with everything they need to know to start creating compelling trailer music while developing their own style in the process. This is something I wish I had access to when I first started out doing trailer music some years back.
Trailer Music Mastery is available on Trailer Music Academy for a one-time purchase price of $299 (excl. tax) or a three-month payment plan of $99 (excl. tax) per month.
Again, I teamed up with my friends at TMA to provide you with an exclusive, 10% off coupon on the course! Just enter the coupon code ‘EPIC10’ during checkout and save $29.90 on your purchase.