Often times when people think about composing music for picture, their mind immediately wanders to the world of film or television, and they often overlook a massive pillar of today’s audiovisual industry: Advertising.
Contrary to film, projects in advertising move at an incredibly fast pace, demanding music be produced in a period of typically 2 days, and it has to sound like it could be played on the radio.
Ignacio Zas, a young producer working for the established SOUTH Music and Sound Design gives us insight into what working in the business of making music for advertising is like.
Besides being a Music Producer, Mr. Zas is also a talented composer, transitioned from the world of rock n roll bands. “I’ve always wanted to write music to picture, even with it’s constraints, there’s something very liberating about it to me. Coming from a place where I had to write music in bands, the empty canvas started to get a little overwhelming. Not that I don’t like that, of course. I love being able to have no creative boundaries, but the contrast of writing something that supports something else is very satisfying. Getting to switch between the two is something I love, and feel fortunate to be able to do”.
Ignacio describes the initial transition from having flexible deadlines to very tight turnarounds as a challenge, “When I first started, I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I was going to have to write music, record it, and then mix it and master it in very short amount of time, ranging from 1 day, to, if we’re lucky, 3 days.”
But, working in such a hectic environment does have its rewards. Ignacio describes being able to work with incredible singers and players as one of the most satisfying parts of his job, “That is definitely one of the highlights, having incredibly talented singers or players come in to play on a song you wrote. It’s absolutely invigorating, when I see the life that music I write takes when it’s sung or played by someone else, when someone gives it their spin, their perspective, it’s what keeps music fresh and what drives me a lot of the time”.
Another challenge about his line of work, is when brands request music that sounds retro or vintage: “Sometimes we’ll get requests to write songs that sound like they were recorded in the 60’s, which forces me to constantly discover and reinvent the way I’m producing, it’s a lot of fun and it keeps things very dynamic. One day we’re recording a 1960’s soul jam, another we’re recording a slick sounding modern pop hit”.
There’s much to be learned about the fascinating world of music production and we’re thrilled to have gotten an inside scoop into what writing music for ads is like.