From his days as leader of the infamous band Oingo Boingo, to a masterful career at scoring films including modern classics like Spiderman, Batman, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Edward Scissorhands, Men In Black and Beetlejuice, Danny Elfman is a living musical legend.
The new Middle East-focused thriller The Kingdom (Universal) was scored by Danny Elfman. The movie features Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper and Alias star Jennifer Garner.
Longtime Elfman technical expert, orchestrator and musical associate Marc Mann, mentioned that there was a lot of Spectrasonics software used on the score including Atmosphere, Trilogy and Stylus RMX.
Marc Mann told us, "The Kingdom was a departure from the large
orchestral scores we usually do, such as for the recently released Charlottes
Web. The Kingdom score relied more on synth textures, with orchestral
colors added. For the synths and percussion beats, we used Spectrasonics software
in a VST shell running on a PC. There were 4 different computer rigs running
at one point in the writing and preparation process, and having the software
synths have the ability to transfer patch setups was helpful, so the sound palette
would be consistent on any setup.
Mann continued, Stylus RMX was used to create a lot of percussion textures that were used throughout. Atmosphere is very aptly named, as it created some very atmospheric pads and synth beds that were beautiful and mysterious. Atmosphere was a very useful tool for this project, as was Trilogy for some of the active pulse cues. The consistent user interface and easy to understand controls made these quick and easy to use and produce great sounds. Youll hear a lot of these in the score, and these made a real contribution to the Elfman palette.
In addition to Marc Mann, other programmers who assisted on The Kingdom included TJ Lindgren and Ernie Lee. Marc Mann, added, TJ made custom Atmosphere and Stylus RMX patches while working on cues for the movie, and also assisted with synth recording. Ernie helped with computer setups and software installations and music tech support. As always, doing a film is a real team effort, and both TJ and Ernie use and recommend the Spectrasonics virtual synths.