VGM133 Artist Series Vol 13 – Taylor Kroff – The Storm


Album Description

On a strange and distant planet… on the most remote subcontinent… and beneath the three moons sits… the wanderer. A being so powerful and omnipresent that all she must do to defend herself is to will thought into action. Will she protect her planet from the terrible storm that seek to destroy it? Only time will tell. With this collection of epic fantasy inspired tracks we feature the talents of artist Taylor Kroff. Program these tracks when you need the perfect emotional color for your modern fantasy stories.


Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) of choice

Logic Pro

Favorite Media Composers

Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, James Horner, Alan Menken

Favorite Scores

Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, Field of Dreams, The Titanic

Discuss your personal creative workflow

I begin with a single melody line or a sequence of chords, and then build upon that. I am very meticulous with every note, and sometimes I have to rework sections over and over until they’re exactly the way I want them. This can often take a lot of time, which is why I work rather slowly as a composer.

Define you personal sound

I’m a very dramatic and passionate person, and that definitely influences my sound as a composer. I like creating epic, orchestral music with depth, drama, and dynamic variation. I love adding 2nds to chords, and I enjoy employing ornaments such as suspensions and appoggiaturas.

Outline your approach to scoring to picture

I watch the entire locked edit first, and then I start from the beginning and score the entire movie sequentially (I never skip around to different sections). Sometimes I will employ the use of the click track, and other times I’ll just wing it, letting my tempo ebb and flow with the pace of the movie.

Describe how you tackle a creative brief

I always ask the client for samples of music that possess the characteristics that he/she wants emulated in the track that I do. Do to the difficulty that non-musician directors experience in describing what they want in musical terms, I find that the sample music they choose is extremely beneficial.

Discuss the theme of your Artist Series album

The tile of my album is The Storm. It was inspired by the epic battles (both external and internal) of the characters in the fantasy series The Stormlight Archives. This music is meant to discuss some of the deep themes that emerge in war and conflict, such as as honor, betrayal, fear, and victory. My intention was to speak to the internal battles that we all face in our own souls throughout our lives.

Discuss gear that is important to your workflow

For hardware, I use a 2013 iMac (running High Sierra), two 8-inch Behringer monitors, an M-Audio Keystation88 midi controller, and a Scarlett 6i interface. The DAW I use is Logic Pro X, and the VI libraries I use are Omnisphere, EW Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra, and Spitfire Albion One.

Offer any advice to fellow artists

1) get feedback about your music from other people (especially those who are artistically articulate).
2) instead of going thousands of dollars into debt to upgrade your computer, monitors, VI libraries, or whatever else, save up for the upgrade, and in the meantime, just get really good at using what you already have.
3) don’t send a finished track to the client right after you’ve been working on it for many hours in a row. Give yourself a break (time to let your ears refresh), then come back to it later, make any final adjustments and send it off.

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