4+ Hours, MUSIC FOR FILM 4+ Hours

14 lessons. 20 minutes average per lesson.

Spanish & English, MUSIC FOR FILM Spanish & English

Lucas and his team speak both languages. Subtitles available in the opposite language.

In any device, MUSIC FOR FILM In any device

Streaming directly from your browser and favorite devices.

Lucas Vidal


Lucas Vidal and his team open for the first time the doors to their studio and allow us to fully experience their film scoring process. From the beginning phases of writing a theme on a piano to the use of libraries and templates in a DAW, the orchestration and the creation of realistic mockups.

ABOUT Lucas Vidal

Lucas Vidal is one of the most important young composers of music for film and television of recent years. With his studios in Los Angeles and Madrid, he is the author of soundtracks such as for example the Hollywood blockbuster Fast & Furious 6, The Raven, Cold Light of Day, Paradise Hills or the acclaimed Netflix tv show Élite.

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Lesson plan

  • 01 INTRODUCTION Lucas explains the different phases of preproduction, production, and postproduction in cinema and what is the role of the composer in each one of them. Starting from the spotting session to the final mix, Lucas details the whole process of a soundtrack composition and allows us to see how he implements the use of a piano, an orchestra, and software in his work. Additionally, he also highlights the importance of team work and his relationship with his orchestrator, technical assistant, and mockup artist.
  • 02 WRITING A THEME Lucas sits at the piano and composes a new idea or a motif from scratch. He does it thinking of three fundamental elements: melody, harmony, and rhythm and he uses these techniques to transform the motif into a complete theme. Lucas explains how to use leitmotivs and textures in order to define different characters or situations.
  • 03 PRACTICAL EXCERCISE: IMAGINING A SCENE Thinking of an imaginary scene, Lucas composes a new theme starting with harmony and then explains how to transfer it from the piano to the orchestra. In order to do so, he covers the fundamental concepts of orchestration: the different families and voices, the use of foreground, middleground and background, and the way in which orchestration relates to the image and drama. In conclusion, Lucas talks about how to transfer the same theme and sound to different scenes.
  • 04 STUDIO EQUIPMENT AND DAW Lucas details all the equipment he uses in his studio, both hardware and software. He also explains how the video and the DAW are synchronized through timecode and the use of time signature, tempo, and marker tracks. Furthermore, he shows us his template and how he organizes his audio tracks and virtual instruments and how he uses his tablet as a control surface.
  • 05 TRANSLATING IDEAS TO THE DAW PART 1 Lucas explains how to transfer the idea he previously composed on the piano to the computer. He begins by recording the foreground on an oboe and explaining the use of MIDI control signals and quantization techniques, and he continues by recording the background with strings, adding harmonic interest with the piano, vibraphone, and harp, and ends by recording the middleground on a solo cello. To conclude, Lucas talks about how to use shortcuts in order to make the workflow easier.
  • 06 TRANSLATING IDEAS TO THE DAW PART 2 To enrich the melody and bass, Lucas uses voice bending techniques. Additionally, he enriches the piano part and shares his mixing and sound design tricks. After the mockup is finished, Lucas explains how to export the audio efficiently and how to reuse this same sound in future scenes of the film.
  • 07 THE ROLE OF THE COMPOSER Lucas explains how does his relationship with the director work, and the role that a composer has within the director’s vision. He also talks about the work of the music supervisor and his relationship with the composer. Finally, Lucas explains what the writing and editing rights consist of and how the composer charges royalties for his/her music.
  • 08 MANAGING YOUR VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS Matthew Leeds, Lucas’s technical assistant and additional music composer, explains how to work with Vienna Ensemble Pro and be able to manage templates with many instruments, both on a single computer and on several computers connected in the same network. Matthew explains how this not only makes the computer much more efficient but it also avoids long loading times when switching sessions.
  • 09 THE TEAM AND ADDITIONAL MUSIC COMPOSERS Matthew explains what the role of an additional music composer is within a team that works for a main composer. Based on a pre-existing original theme, Matthew composes the music for a new scene and explains the concept of “a root cue”.
  • 10 THE MOCKUP ARTIST: PURSUING REALISM PART 1 Evan Goldman, mockup artist on Lucas’s team, explains how to create mockups thinking as an orchestrator. In order to do that, he shows his orchestration tricks and teaches us how to get the best from each sound library.
  • 11 THE MOCKUP ARTIST: PURSUING REALISM PART 2 Evan talks about modulation control and volume, and the best way to use those in order to create realistic mockups. In addition, he reveals the most commonly used techniques to create great melodies, richness and warmth of the chords, and the bigness that characterizes the orchestral sound in Hollywood.
  • 12 THE ORCHESTRATOR: WRITING THE MUSIC SCORE Daniel McCallum, Lucas’s orchestrator, explains what the orchestrator’s main role is. Starting from the mockup previously created by Lucas, Daniel explains how to create the score of those instruments that need to be recorded. In addition, he details the techniques he uses to enrich the composer’s original music.
  • 13 THE COPYIST: WRITING THE PARTS Once the score is finished, Daniel explains how to prepare the parts for each of the musicians and make them as clear and readable as possible. He insists on the importance of putting ourselves in the shoes of each musician and working hard on the details of the writing for each one of the instruments.
  • 14 THE CHALLENGES OF A BIG SCORE Daniel shows his work in the Olympic Games anthem for the TV channel ESPN, which has made Lucas won the Emmy award in 2017, and details the challenges of facing a score of such magnitude.

The most important thing is to fight for you ideas and for what you like, work on yourself and keep learning. Never let anyone cut your wings.

Lucas Vidal

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