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Why Music Makes the Difference: That Studio’s Atmospheres

One of the biggest headaches of producing independently is trying to come up with good quality music for your production. Now there are a lot of different places out there selling music and there are a lot of places that have it out there for free. The problem tends to be lack of quality, music that sounds generic or music that just doesn’t fit your production, a problem fixed by That Studio’s Atmospheres.

I recently worked on a short film that’s about the mundane life of a young woman. One of the scenes for the short was shot down in the LA Subway. This scene wound up on the cutting room floor, so I’ve used it as an example of how much of an impact the right music can have on production. In the video above, I show just a little bit of this scene with no music so you can see what I started with. So the scene is pretty bland, but it was supposed to be. It was supposed to show how mundane her life is, demonstrating how unhappy she is, and I think it does that just fine. But what if we wanted to create something suspenseful? What if we wanted to imply that she might be in trouble…perhaps she’s being chased? Maybe she’s chasing someone? Or perhaps she’s stolen something or committed a crime and now she’s suspicious of everyone.

Beyond reshooting this, the most effective way to change the mood and evoking emotion is through music. Again, there’s a lot of different music on the market, but the best we’ve found has been from THAT STUDIO. What you get is 50 Custom Tracks for film and television composed and produced by Jesse James and the folks at That Studio. The thing that makes this music collection unique is that along with the produced tracks, you also get STEMS which are the individual elements you’ll find in the tracks, such as drums, strings, guitar and much more.

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Once you purchase ATMOSPHERES VOLUME ONE and download it, you’ll find it comes with 2 folders, the Atmospheres and the Stems. In the Tracks folder, you’ll find the tracks broken down by different genres including ACTION, COMEDY, DRAMA, HORROR, SCIFI and SUSPENSE. Each genre has from 5 to 10 tracks each, and each track runs from 2 minutes to about 2 minutes thirty seconds.

The second folder, the STEMS folder,  comes broken down by genre and has about 20 or more stems per genre. Examples of some of the different tracks can be found in our video review above. So once we decided on a track to use for our subway scene, we play it back and see what it does for the piece. You can hear the before and after above, where you can tell with just that one track, it’s already transformed a rather mundane scene into something more interesting. But we didn’t stop there. We went through and utilized some of the STEMS that are available.

Now the cool thing about all these files is that they are .wav files. So Premiere or your NLE will treat them just like any other file, so you can set your in and out points, and then just insert them into the timeline. Beyond the initial ATMOSPHERE track we added about ten additional STEMS to create an original composition, tailor made for this scene. So you have full control over the score and you know it won’t sound like anyone else’s.

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With THAT STUDIO ATMOSPHERES, we were able to take a rather mundane scene and craft something that was not only unique, but transformed the sequence into something dark and edgy just by simply adding a track and ten stems. Was the subway going to crash? Was she about to get killed? Was she about to kill someone? Who knows? The point is there was a new feeling of impending doom that wasn’t there before, thanks to That Studio Atmospheres.

That Studio’s Atmospheres goes for $99 and is available exclusively from the THATSTUDIO.COM

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Written by Clint Milby

For more information, go to his website at


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