Composer Chris Haigh talks Animato, scoring movies and Spectrasonics

Chris Haigh
Chris Haigh

If you’re a regular T+S blog reader or a visitor to some of the most popular music production forums, the chances are you’ve heard about the sample library that is currently as much in demand as Take That tour tickets were last Friday. Ok, so maybe not quite that in demand, but Zero-G’s Animato is certainly one of, if not the best selling sample library of 2010 for Time+Space.

Last week, Animato’s producer Dan Graham, blogged for us about the making of the library, and this week I’ve been talking to Chris Haigh, the composer responsible for the product demos and numerous other media projects who also happens to be a Spectrasonics user. Here’s what he had to say…

Hi Chris, please tell us about yourself. What’s your background?

I have been composing orchestral cinematic music with virtual instruments and live players professionally for about 3 years. I starting scoring short films and Independent features for directors worldwide and have done soundtracks in lots of different genres, from Sci-Fi Action to Horror to Lighthearted comedies even African and Middle Eastern styles etc.

Over the last year or so I have been heavily involved in writing Music for production libraries for Motion Picture, T.V and games advertising, such as Sonic Symphony (L.A) Gothic Storm (UK) Immediate Music (LA) Music Candy (NYC) to name a few.

Chris Haigh movies
Movies featuring Chris's scores

Which projects have you worked on?

I have been lucky enough to have some of my Trailer music cues recorded by Players of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic String Orchestra and Choir. These were recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool (where such artists as Coldplay and Elbow have recorded) for an Epic Choral Album I recently finished for Dan Graham’s Boutique trailer library Gothic Storm.  I have worked on numerous albums of Epic Choral, Hybrid/Rock, Epic Horror, Huge Percussion, Emotive Drones, Intense Riser cues etc.

Over recent months I have had extensive licensing from BBC Radio 1 from an album I composed called Fresh Hell and even more recently I had one of my music cues placed in the International Trailer Campaign for M. Night Shyamalan’s DEVIL .

You created the demos for Zero-G Animato sample library, how did this come about?

I have been working for Dan Graham (the owner of Gothic Storm) for about a year and have worked on every album that the company has released so far. So when he told me about Animato, first of all I was so happy that someone was going to release a sample library with the capabilities that Dan was striving to do because this is the kind of product I myself had been wanting to add to my toolbox for a long time and also I was really excited to be able to use this library in my future trailer cues. Animato

Dan then asked if I would be willing to compose a few short demos for the official Library to which I was happy to do. Dan has created an amazing quality sample library that is so versatile and is an essential tool for many genres of music.

Tell us about your hardware set up

My setup is pretty simple, I use a PC (would love to integrate to mac) but for the time being my PC works great. I’m running Windows 7 64bit I have 12 Gigabytes of Ram and about 6 terabytes of hard disk space (for all my libraries). I have a pair of Adam A7 studio monitors and Beyerdynamic DT911 headphones. I use an M-AUDIO Pro fire 610 soundcard and an M-AUDIO Oxygen 88 midi keyboard. I have several Guitars, electric and acoustic as well as Drum Pads and a set of Roland V-drums. For any vocal recordings I use the SE Electronics Z5600A II Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone.

You use Spectrasonics Trilian and Stylus RMX, what do you like about these products and which elements of them do you find most useful in your productions?

I have used both of these products heavily in my productions and they are such an integral part of my composing arsenal. RMX has been a great help for some of the rhythmical backdrops to my cues as it is so easy to manipulate to get a rhythm you are looking for or sometimes a great toy to play and experiment with and stumble on to unique rhythms.

Trilian and RMX

Trilian is the only Bass library I use. I have quite a few other bass libraries but nothing has ever competed with the lush tones and quality this library gives you. Also as with RMX, Trilian make it so easy for you to manipulate to get the exact sound you want plus the default sounds are perfect too. I first bought Trilogy which was amazing and as soon as I heard that they had upgraded to Trilian I just had to have it.

You also own Vir2’s Electri6ity, Zero-G’s Dark Skies and ProjectSAM’s Orchestral Brass Collection – what are your favorite features or sounds from these titles and how have you used them?

I have only recently discovered Electri6ity but I’m so glad I have it in my tool box. This library is such an amazing tool, I love the key switches and how they have taken care of every aspect of guitar playing. I used this library extensively on an album I have just finished producing, which is an Epic Death Metal Trailer album and the Electri6ity added together with my own FX and amp plug-ins sounded awesome.

Dark Skies, Electri6ity, Orchestral Brass ClassicProjectSAM’s Orchestral Brass is a must have library for every Film/T.V/Games composer. As I compose mainly Epic Cinematic music, Brass plays a huge role in getting that larger than life sound and Orchestral Brass is my first choice when it comes to loading up a VI. It is a wonderfully expressive as well as powerful library. I love the default ensembles and that you can add to, to create even bigger sound as well as how it fits perfectly with the rest of my VI orchestra.

Dark Skies is a great tool in my collection for creating huge backdrop soundscapes to some of my tracks. All the samples are amazing quality and are usable straight out of the box. It is wonderful for creating horror textures but this library doesn’t just pigeon hole it’s self in just that category.

Click here to find out more about Chris’s work

Posted by Melanie Doidge

Having worked in marketing for over fifteen years with experience in various industries, Time+Space and the world of music production continues to be the most exciting of them all. With our brands consistently pushing the boundaries of technology with their products, the terrific DJs, Composers and Producers using them and the feedback from magazines and our customers, there's always plenty to tell the world about. Musical experience? I reached Grade 6 in piano back in my school days and am currently in the throes of trying to resurrect my abilities!


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