You may have recently seen the 911 Audio Technica ad for their ATH-WS55 (Solid Bass Headphones) starring dancer Marqueese Scott. What you may have not know is that the music 'Reanimation ' was produced by fellow FL Studio producer Lenny D’Orlando. We caught up with him to learn more about the project.
'Making of'. Cued to Lenny's interview
Tell us about yourself and how you got into music & FL Studio?
Hi, My name is Lenny D’Orlando; I am a 23-year-old professional music producer and sound designer based in Atlanta Ga. I started off by getting into music at a very young age by listening to my dad’s music collection. He had all sorts of styles from ethnic and traditional all the way up to modern day pop. From there I picked up the guitar, eventually moving onto the piano and saxophone. By then I was truly addicted, and I grabbed as many instruments as I could get my hands on.
About the time I was a junior in high school, I discovered electronic dance music. A local college station would play re-runs of Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance, Carl Cox’s Global Radio, and even John Digweed’s “Transitions”. When I first discovered this new sound, I couldn’t get enough. I delved as deep as I could into these newly discovered genres spending every waking moment analyzing, dissecting, listening and understanding everything I could about the structure and sound of EDM. That’s when a buddy of mine gave me a demo copy of FL Studio- that’s when I discovered that art of producing. From there on, I was hooked. I immediately got the full version and I locked myself away in my room and spent day after day and night after night learning everything I could about the art of producing EDM in FL Studio. It’s been about 5 maybe 6 years since I started producing, and now I feel like I’ve just about mastered the program. I can get it to do whatever I need to in multiple ways. I remember just getting into the program and thinking this was quite possibly the most complicated thing I’ve ever used, and now- I’m grateful that the possibilities are so vast within it. The flexibility along with the intuitive interface is bliss. I’m able to sit in my kitchen, eat a sandwich, have an idea pop into my head and minutes later have a bangin’ track coming from my monitors, all because its so quick and easy to get ideas down. You can go from a rough demo to a polished piece of art all in one piece of software. It’s fantastic and really gives the user an unbelievable amount of potential to grow, with out having to utilize tons and tons of different resources.
How did you get the gig for the Audio Technica ad?
I landed the Audio-Technica ad by way of a video production company I had worked with in the past. They’ve always kind of had this progressive edge to their style of work, in which I would generally accompany their videos with either electronic music, or music that had been inspired by edm. It always seemed to gel quite nicely. With that said, they called me up one day and asked if I could come to a meeting and sit down with a potential client to hash out some ideas. I of course said yes, and made my way down there. I sat down and minutes later Marquese, known to me as that guy in the ‘pumped up kicks video’, walks right through the door. Now, I’m not the kind of person to be start struck or become overly excited when I come across someone big, but when the idea of me writing a custom track was possible for this guy, in my mind, I started to get pretty excited.
So we sit down and speak with Marquese along with his manager and start brainstorming. Everything from dance moves, lighting, ambiance, emotion- all that jazz. As the conversation moves through all the visual and camera stuff, it eventually makes its way to audio and particularly music. They start bringing up tracks and bands/artists they wanted to use. First thing to pop up was the idea of using commercial music from artists like Skrillex, Datsik etc. That was quickly shot down due to the potential of licensing fee’s being crazy expensive (our budget for the project wasn’t very high). Then Marquese brings up the fact that his friends produce, and everybody was really digging the idea of incorporating Marquese’s friends into the mix.
Reanimation Dubstep Project (click to see large)
So we listen to some demos of his friends’ work and it wasn’t really matching the feel of what we wanted- so that’s when I chimed in and said, “ Hey, I really think I can do this. I can match the feel and emotion of the story and even incorporate some hospital ambiance/sounds into the mix.” I look up and felt a bunch of eyes staring at me, I could feel a little apprehension, like they weren’t too sure they’d want to put all their eggs in one basket, but they willingly said ok… and even seemed somewhat excited about it!
Oh… Did I mention I only had 10 days to make the track before the video shoot? The pressure was on, so I holed myself up in my studio and started hashing out ideas and riffs. I spent the first few days trying to get melodic ideas to fit the overall tone of the video. I took a lot of inspiration from video game sounds and fusing them with modern sounds. I played with the idea of synthetic versus organic (seeing the music as synthetic was bringing a human back to life) and tried to fuse the sound equivalent of that idea into the song. When I got the initial melodic riff down, I moved onto designing basses. That was the hardest thing to do out of the whole project. I probably spent the better half of a week designing bass sounds all utilizing native FL plug-ins, no 3rd party plug-ins (outside of distortion). It was so much fun and rewarding. I was creating sounds I never dreamed of making. From there I started piecing the song together sending of demos as I went along. Eventually after many different arrangements, I finished it, and sent it off to my boss who then sent it to the client. They promptly called me back screaming about how much they loved it, and how excited they were to be using it! And that’s how Audio 9-1-1 came to be more or less.
Note: You can ask Danny questions about his project here.
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