Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Member since: May 10, 2010
Tracks in portfolio on MusicRevolution.com: 437 (click here to hear all tracks) http://www.musicrevolution.com/search?artist=212
aaronmusic productions is a one-stop music and audio company run by veteran Canadian musician Aaron Saloman. Aaron has composed for video games including American Idol Mobile and Critter Crunch PSN (Best Downloadable Game, 2010 Canadian Video Game Awards), and his music has been used in shows including NCIS (CBS), Jersey Shore (MTV), Gone too Far and Teen Cribs (MTV), Departures (Outdoor Life Network, National Geographic Adventure), American Pickers (History Channel), The TO Show (VH1), Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), The Bitter End (Canadian web show), Get a Life/Grouille-Toi (TVOntario), The Imploders (TLC), Party Down (Starz), Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best (WE tv), Chris and John to the Rescue (OutTV, MTV Logo), and Gourmet Adventures with Ruth (PBS), to name just a few. He has also produced recordings by Lukas Grant, Eleanore Altman, Lakeport Auto Electric, James Blondeau, and many others. Aaron works from the musical and artistic hotbed of Montréal, Québec, Canada.
Aaron is fluent in several genres, with a focus on styles requiring live instruments. His background as a singer and guitarist in both rock and acoustic settings lends his tracks in these genres a particular authenticity that is rare in production music. Listen to a few tracks and you’ll also find compelling examples of jazz, ambient electronic, post-rock, and many more.
–High profile projects or clients you have worked for?
Back when I was at Berklee, I produced and sang backup vocals on a song for a friend. Esperanza Spalding came in to play the bass. The song was just a piano & voice demo to start. We came up with a nice arrangement with a full band. A couple years later, I’m sitting on Twitter, and Esperanza’s name starts filling up my feed! Turns out she won the Best New Artist Grammy. So that was pretty cool to have a track I produced with her playing.
When I was living in Boston I worked doing live sound and stage crew for Berklee. Depending on the day, I could be mixing a show for Pat Metheney, setting up the stage for James Taylor or Paul Simon, doing lights for John Mayer, security for Henry Rollins….we bounced around between roles depending what needed to be done. So I got to work with & for lots of great musicians in that job.
I also did the music for the hi-res versions of Critter Crunch on PSN, Mac & PC. Critter Crunch was the breakout indie title for Capy Games, and they’ve since gone on to produce a lot of really well-regarded work in the independent gaming world.
I’d say guitar and vocals in roughly equal measure.
–Favorite music-making piece of gear or software you currently use?
I love DrumCore for making convincing drum tracks. Some of my tracks on MusicRevolution have Matt Cameron (Soundgarden) or Alan White (John Lennon) on drums thanks to that software!
–Piece of gear or software you wish you owned?
I wish I could keep current with my versions of Pro Tools and Reason. As it is, I’ve stuck with a combination of old versions that work and I run them on a partition with an older operating system. If I had kept buying every upgrade, my music licensing work have just paid for software!
–Film score or song you admire? Why?
This isn’t a film, but I really like Kevin Schilder’s music for Heretic back in 1994. We’re really spoiled these days with the quality of orchestral samples in all sorts of software. He was working with MIDI files, which would be played by whatever onboard sounds were in the end user’s computer sound card. At that time, it was usually a SoundBlaster 16 or something along those lines. It was a string and timpani-heavy score, and the sounds on those synths were not great. But he managed to make the best of it, and that music consistently creeped me out. I’d be playing the game in a dark basement, and actually get frightened by the music. The cheesiness of the synth sounds just disappeared – the music was so effective you forgot they were there.
–Music education background?
I was self-taught for several years, and started teaching guitar and music theory to people while I was in high school to make some money. I took guitar lessons with my friend’s Dad for about 6 months, but I wasn’t ready for all the jazz stuff and notation at the time – I had to come to that gradually. After I started performing a lot in bars in Ottawa (where I grew up), I started taking voice so I would have the endurance to get through long nights singing. I did that for 2 years.
During all this, I was starting to get into recording. I really enjoyed being in the studio, and tried to learn everything I could working with producer/engineer Jay Ruston, who has since gone on to mix all sorts of great records from his studio in LA. At home, I would record my own demos and some stuff for local bands, and graduated from a reel-to-reel 8 track to a digital 4 track (or regressed I guess, since that’s 4 tracks less).
After high school, I followed up on my technical interests by doing a Bachelor of Music in Music Production & Engineering at Berklee in Boston. While I was learning the more academic end of things in classes, I was getting a trial by fire as a live sound engineer for the school. I’d often be mixing 3 or 4 shows a day, in different halls, with very short setup and turnaround times. So that was a great way to lose some of the “preciousness” that can come with studio-only experience. It’s amazing how great things can sound in less-than-ideal circumstances. That was a great lesson for what I do now, where I’m often recording albums for clients in living rooms and closets.
–Memorable “Aha!” moment during your musical education?
There were a lot of them. Probably some of the best were when people would come up to me to say how great a show I was mixing sounded, and I hadn’t done anything. It was all the sound of the artist and their equipment.
–Most embarrassing music-related moment?
Oh there have been many. A few years ago I played this little showcase for a bunch of people I wanted to impress. I hadn’t been singing a lot, but I went into it as I normally would. Turns out I should have warmed up a bit more…. I was singing Jeff Buckley’s “Everybody Here Wants You” and had a giant voice crack at a key moment. And it wasn’t one of those things where nobody notices. So yeah, don’t try to sing Jeff Buckley songs if you’re not keeping your voice in shape.
–If you had a time machine and could record or perform once with any artist, who would it be?
John Lennon? Sure, why not.
–Moment you first knew you would be a musician?
I guess when I was 14 and started playing shows. It was a pretty good feeling at that age.
–Advice you would give to a younger family member interested in a music career?
–Five songs or albums you’d take with you to a desert island?
Jeff Buckley – “Grace”, Nirvana – “In Utero”, Mark Berube – “June in Siberia”, The Beatles – “The White Album”, Rufus Wainwright – “Want One”
–If you could master another instrument, what would it be?
Maybe drums or piano.
–Favorite time of day to work in your studio?
--Any studio collaboration you experienced that stands out in your mind?
See question 1.
I also had a lot of fun working on some of my music with drummer Scott Manley and bassist Tim Paul Weiner in Boston. I like working with players who are way too good to be playing the music and then making them really hold back. Something cool always happens when players could be letting loose, but aren’t.
–Some of your favorite tracks that you would want us to feature in the blog.
I’ve been liking a new track I did called “In Love with the Idea”. http://www.musicrevolution.com/search/?trackid=43740 It’s a really simple piece that just uses the arrangement to build throughout. I put some wordless vocals at the end, which I think worked out nicely.
“Morning Rain” http://www.musicrevolution.com/search/?trackid=6973 is a kind of heart-warming track that starts with solo banjo and then transitions into a nice acoustic arrangement. It’s funny cause I was just doing it as an experiment when I started doing production music; I wanted to test all my equipment and make sure all the software I wanted to use worked together, so I just played this simple folk progression and layered a couple things on it. The whole track took maybe an hour. And now it’s all over a bunch of TV shows and sells more than any other track of mine on stock sites.
“Sunset in Six” http://www.musicrevolution.com/search/?trackid=13449 is a lonely, meandering track in 6/8 with a slide guitar melody. That one’s always been a favourite of mine.
“Decarie Overpass Theme” http://www.musicrevolution.com/search/?trackid=44390 is a fun new synth-y post-rock thing I just did. I wanted to experiment with synth textures a bit more, and came up with something that falls somewhere between The Weeknd and Phil Collins.
“Closed Course” http://www.musicrevolution.com/search/?trackid=13443 . I did this track in my second big batch of compositions for licensing, in 2010. I had a bit more experience with licensing by that point, and was trying to make the mixes and production a little more refined than my first batch of tracks. This one was another experiment, and it ended up coming out as this perfect corporate advertising or car-commercial track, which I wasn’t really expecting. But people seem to like it. It just got picked up for a big radio ad campaign in Washington DC.
And finally…..”Punk in A” http://www.musicrevolution.com/search/?trackid=6961 . This is another fun experiment I did when I was just starting out with licensing. I think I have tracks in this same style where the mix or the performance are better, but for some reason people keep coming back to this one, so I guess there must be something appealing there. It’s an all-out noisy punk tune which has been licensed for lots of TV, including “That Metal Show” on VH1. It’s kind of funny, cause Matt Sorum has been on the show, and guess who plays the drum loops that were used to make the track? Yep: Matt Sorum.
Thanks MusicRevolution for asking me to do an interview, I’m happy to be a part of the site!
We thank Aaron Saloman for sharing some of his musical background with us and for contributing his tracks to MusicRevolution.com, the Royalty-Free Music Marketplace. The next time you need anything from rock and acoustic to jazz and ambient electronic, check out aaronmusic productions on MusicRevolution.com.
Chris Cardell is the co-founder of MusicRevolution.com http://www.musicrevolution.com, a royalty-free music marketplace with over 28,000 tracks online where media producers, video producers, filmmakers, game developers, advertisers, businesses and other music buyers can license high-quality, affordable royalty-free music from an online community of professional musicians. MusicRevolution.com also provides custom music production and custom music streams. The entire MusicRevolution.com production music library is available for third-party distribution and bulk licensing for background music for retail, restaurants and businesses, and for other commercial applications. Cardell has been involved with digital content and E-Commerce since the mid-1990′s.