November 2021 - 65

NOVEMBER 2021
TAXI's Virtual Road Rally 2020
How Music Makes It Into TV and Film With
Music Supervisor Mason Cooper, Part 3
Interviewed by Michael Laskow
Picking up where we left off in Part 2, Mason
explained how budgets for music have come
down in both films and TV shows, and the following
response is what he does to help make
up for that. -Editor
Mason Cooper: What I try to do is make
up for the lower sync fees by the quantity of
uses I get for those people. I'll always try to
go back to the [people I've worked with
before] if you are that easy to work with, and
[get them more placements].
Mason responding to a question about source
music (music that comes from a source in the
scene, like jukebox in a bar or a car radio) that
he saw in the live chat during the interview:
Source music is a way in [for musicians].
Everyone uses source music differently. Sometimes
you head into a scene and the edit hits a
bar [location]. You leave the scene, and it just
becomes background music the whole time. I
like to bookend scenes, so I might use the
transition where you actually hear the vocal.
It's full, it's not filtered, and it comes in the
scene either with a hard cut or a dip-it-down
at its source. And then, emotionally, if it
works right, I lift it up at the end, so it
becomes featured on the two sides of the
scene. Bookends.
And every project is different; every director
or showrunner has a different aesthetic for
that. It doesn't pay more or less; the budget is
what the budget is. And yes, if your song can
become a [featured] montage song, [it will
pay more].
I warn people when I'm gonna use their song:
" Don't go tell all your friends and your
mother and father to watch the show and listen
for your song. " But they often do, and
then they're like, " I didn't hear it. "
Michael Laskow and Mason Cooper during TAXI's Virtual Road Rally
It's painful. I get those emails and phone calls
from members. They're so psyched, and they
invite their mom, their dad, their wife, their
kids, the next-door neighbor over. They order a
pizza, they're sitting in the living room, and
when the song comes on, basically you hear the
hi-hat and maybe a little bit of the vocals,
because it's down so low in the mix.
But I'll tell you this, though: As low as your
song is and nobody could " hear " your song, if
we had it and we just took the song out, the
scene will sound empty. So just know that
your song still helped that scene become what
it was. Even if it's not very audible, it still fit
and helped that scene become full and more
effective than if your song wasn't in there. It
doesn't help your ego, but it is a valid part [of
the scene].
You know, when I did the film, Jobs-about
Steve Jobs-we featured a lot of songs,
because there are montages there, or they
were scenes in certain time periods. But even
though they were more featured, I still have
to make sure that it's about the scene, and not
about the song. And that was hard. There
were some songs in that same time period
that were just distracting; somehow you just
became focused on the song. It had to be the
right energy, the right size, the right frequencies,
the right rhythm that just felt you
pulsing through the scene, as opposed to it's
a music montage. So even where it's featured,
we still have to be careful about the song distracting
the viewers from the story.
I don't want to notice the wardrobe, the makeup,
or the setting or the music, I just want to believe it's
all really happening... that it's all real. And having
music that's so faint you can't really hear it, adds to
the realism. If it's not in there, you'd notice it, even
though it's so low in the mix you can barely hear it.
And if a viewer notices a song and says, " Hey, we
danced to that song at our wedding! " that's not
good. It pulls you out of the scene and the story.
I understand that. When I quit making records
and transitioned to audio post, we'd use room
tone-like the sound of air conditioning or a
computer's fan running faintly in the
background, because dialog doesn't happen in a
vacuum...
Continued on page 66
RECORDING November 2021 65

November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November 2021

Fade In
Fast Forward
Studio Upgrade Roundup
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: A Crash Course in Atmos
Plugin Outlet: Slate Digital MetaTune
KRK Systems: KNS 8402
Southern Avenue and the Modern Memphis Sound
Plugin Outlet: Raising Jake SideMinder ME2
Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
RECORDING Show and Tell: Studio Upgrades (2021 Edition)
Plugin Outlet: bx_console Focusrite SC
Novation Circuit Rhythm
Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 11: Home Mixing in Home Studios
Mackie: Onyx16
Alclair: Electro 6 Driver
Plugin Outlet: Arturia FX Collection 2
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: workflow-focused programs and plugins
RME Fireface UCX II 40-channel USB Interface
Readers' Tracks
Fade Out: Studio Feng Shui
November 2021 - Intro
November 2021 - Cover1
November 2021 - Cover2
November 2021 - 1
November 2021 - 2
November 2021 - 3
November 2021 - Fade In
November 2021 - 5
November 2021 - 6
November 2021 - 7
November 2021 - Fast Forward
November 2021 - 9
November 2021 - Studio Upgrade Roundup
November 2021 - 11
November 2021 - 12
November 2021 - 13
November 2021 - 14
November 2021 - 15
November 2021 - 16
November 2021 - 17
November 2021 - 18
November 2021 - 19
November 2021 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: A Crash Course in Atmos
November 2021 - 21
November 2021 - 22
November 2021 - 23
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Slate Digital MetaTune
November 2021 - 25
November 2021 - KRK Systems: KNS 8402
November 2021 - 27
November 2021 - Southern Avenue and the Modern Memphis Sound
November 2021 - 29
November 2021 - 30
November 2021 - 31
November 2021 - 32
November 2021 - 33
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Raising Jake SideMinder ME2
November 2021 - 35
November 2021 - Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
November 2021 - 37
November 2021 - RECORDING Show and Tell: Studio Upgrades (2021 Edition)
November 2021 - 39
November 2021 - 40
November 2021 - 41
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: bx_console Focusrite SC
November 2021 - 43
November 2021 - Novation Circuit Rhythm
November 2021 - 45
November 2021 - Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 11: Home Mixing in Home Studios
November 2021 - 47
November 2021 - 48
November 2021 - 49
November 2021 - Mackie: Onyx16
November 2021 - 51
November 2021 - Alclair: Electro 6 Driver
November 2021 - 53
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Arturia FX Collection 2
November 2021 - 55
November 2021 - 56
November 2021 - 57
November 2021 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: workflow-focused programs and plugins
November 2021 - 59
November 2021 - 60
November 2021 - 61
November 2021 - RME Fireface UCX II 40-channel USB Interface
November 2021 - 63
November 2021 - Readers' Tracks
November 2021 - 65
November 2021 - 66
November 2021 - 67
November 2021 - 68
November 2021 - 69
November 2021 - 70
November 2021 - 71
November 2021 - Fade Out: Studio Feng Shui
November 2021 - Cover3
November 2021 - Cover4
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