Judging from the overwhelming volume of positive tweets about our new site, one of the most heralded features is our Mobicopter.
The Mobicopter system allows you to control an onscreen helicopter, in real-time, from your mobile device.
I was extremely excited to design the mobile user interface for the system. But, as exciting as the concept is, I wanted to give the user interaction just a little push beyond the ordinary, to take the experience to the next level.
After a bit of thought, I realized I had to create the Mobicopter Theme Song to end all Mobicopter Theme songs – to take users on a journey down the proverbial highway into the zone of danger.
But Why? How?
As an Art Director I spend most of my days pushing pixels & sketching out ideas for new UI’s – a job that I’ve found more & more to be my passion in life. However, I have a strong belief that all creatives, no matter the discipline, can learn from each other’s formative process. I’m a photographer & musician in addition to designer. I’ve found that those disciplines have helped to feed new structure, discipline, and thought into my daily work.
I’ve played the guitar since I was 13. I actually began my college years with the intention of becoming a jazz musician, before entering the digital design world. So, the opportunity to stretch some musical muscle was particularly exciting for me.
Creating the Mobicopter Theme
As a child of the 80’s, the word “helicopter” is inextricably linked to the TV show, Airwolf.
The Mobicopter Theme is a thinly veiled homage to Airwolf’s main theme. I made sure to keep the intervals & key different than the original, and I threw in a turnaround to mix it up a bit.
I use Apple’s Logic Studio as my workhorse for ideation, recording, mixing, and finishing touches on a song. All guitar processing is handled by Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig 2. Logic is a great piece of software that I’ve come to think of as my sonic Photoshop. It can handle light sketches of musical ideas, while still allowing me to develop those same ideas into fleshed out and processed compositions.
Ideation + Recording Guitar Parts
When sitting down to record something, I dial in the initial guitar tone, find the tempo that feels comfortable, and set up kicks on quarter notes as a base groove. Logic allows you to set up a desired interval to loop and then record different takes within that loop seamlessly.
Recording different takes is extremely important to my workflow. Concentrating on the nuances of phrasing, the different takes allow me to pepper subtle variance throughout the performance. It also enables me to come up with entirely new parts while improvising ideas. When you stumble across the perfect take, you want to make sure it’s laid down to a track.
Guitar Synth – Main Theme Leer más “Get to the Choppa! Composing the Mobicopter Theme”