Likes: Star Wars, Coffee, Craft Beer, Good Music, Good Movies
Dislikes: Bad Music, Bad Drivers
Favorite Food: BBQ
Favorite Quote: Do or do not. There is no try- Yoda
William Brumbach is a professional composer, producer, and guitarist currently residing in Los Angeles. A graduate of the prestigious Thornton School of Music at USC, Wil has studied with the likes of Pat Martino, Pat Kelley, Richard Smith and Steve Trovato. With influences ranging from Paul McCartney and John Mayer to Hans Zimmer and John Williams, Wil’s eclectic taste in music is apparent in his composition and performance style, fusing all of his influences into a unique palette. He has composed and produced music for the USC Viterbi school of engineering videos and podcasts.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) of choice
Favorite Media Composers
John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, Henry Jackman, Michael Kamen, Alan Silvestri, Christopher Lennertz, Marco Beltrami, Dave Porter, Brian Tyler
Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Avengers, Medal of Honor Series, The Dark Knight, Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean, The last of Us, Uncharted
Discuss your personal creative workflow
First, I start with a cup of some fresh black coffee. Next, I start by listening to any briefs or temp scores that are provided to me. Then, to get a sense of the vibe and atmosphere that is needed, I may do some transcribing to get familiar with the functionality of the harmonic structure. Usually I outline the piece on either the guitar or the piano and build from there. Once I have the meat of the piece completed, I will build the percussion section( if one is needed). Then, I just layer things in as they come to me. I try my best to mix as I go, but I always make adjustments at the end. Throughout the process, I am always A/Bing to the briefs to make sure that it is still fitting the needs of the client.
Define you personal sound
Most of what I write usually falls into the dark, emotional and epic categories. I really enjoy writing big emotional tracks and cues that is usually a hybrid of some sort. I love combining traditional orchestral elements with guitars and synths, especially in the Americana genre. I like to think of myself more as a chameleon composer, as I do anything from funk/rock to orchestral.
Outline your approach to scoring to picture
First, I watch the entire picture from start to finish. I like to make notes about characters and their role in the film, what struggles they face, as well as what they are dealing with. I then start to work out themes and ideas before even trying anything to picture and then go from there. I also like to come up with a custom template of sounds for each individual project, which evolves as I start writing each cue. Once I am working to picture, I try working out a general outline, but sometimes that doesn’t always work. Once I finish a cue, I always send that snippet to the director for notes and suggestions and then adjust accordingly.
Describe how you tackle a creative brief
See Creative Workflow
Discuss the theme of your Artist Series album
This album concept was inspired by my love of Band of Brothers, The Pacific, and Saving Private Ryan. I have always been inspired by the music from these films, and I wanted a chance to write my own World War 2 themed music. As a kid, I would play all of the Medal of Honor video games, go the WW2 museums, and read many history books on the various battles. While watching these movies or playing the games, what was most inspiring to me was the music that was written for them. I always loved the emotion that was conveyed in this music, especially the themes similar to Hymns.
Discuss gear that is important to your workflow
My core setup includes my Mac, UA Apollo Twin and Logic Pro X. I use an assortment of both UA and Waves plugins, as well as my new favorite plugin called ShaperBox. My go-to libraries include Damage, Strike-force, Reali-Banjo, Omnisphere, Spitfire, Cinematic Studio Strings and Sound-Iron Emotional Piano.
Offer any advice to fellow artists
Be patient and humble on your path to being a composer, and continue working on your production chops. I believe that this is what helps separate some composers from others. Most importantly, just enjoy where you are and don’t focus too much on where you would like to be or think you should be.
I can’t stress enough the value of making your own sounds and samples, as they are the only thing that can sometimes separate you from someone else. Plus, it can be really fun! (Except for cutting everything up and putting it into Kontakt)