Aug 2, 2012, 12:27

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Member since: March 3, 2010
Tracks in portfolio on 287 (click here to hear all tracks)

The Sound Room is based in Auckland, New Zealand and produces high-quality original music. The team of Marshall Smith and Tom Fox compose music for film, documentaries, television, advertising, games and other emerging media for clients worldwide. They also write, co-write and arrange songs for solo artists and groups.
With a “Member since” date of March 3, 2010, The Sound Room is one of the earliest participating musicians on

The Sound Room (New Zealand)

Some of The Sound Room’s Tracks We Really Like:
“Feelin Good”
“Sunday Morning”
“Open Up Your Mind (Instr.)”
“island nights”
“Germany 2008”
Some Questions We Asked The Sound Room (New Zealand):
1. High profile projects or clients you have worked for?The team has composed and produced music for documentaries for Morgan Freeman & ESPN, the BBC, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, BSkyB, Channel 10 (Australia), TVNZ, TV3 and SABC (South Africa) amongst others.
Their tracks have been featured in the USA, UK and Europe on channels like MTV, Nickelodeon, VH-1, Discovery and Fox and have been recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with David Arnold (James Bond, Massive Attack…).
2. Primary instruments?–Marshall Smith: Keyboards and vocals.

–Tom Fox: Guitar and bass, although I would have to say the computer has become my main instrument.

3. Favorite music-making piece of gear or software you currently use?–Marshall Smith: Well it’s all onboard these days isn’t it. Loving Hollywood Strings by East West, although it’s very CPU hungry!

–Tom Fox: There are so many! Anything by Native Instruments, especially Reaktor.

4. Piece of gear or software you wish you owned?–Marshall Smith: Would love to have the room and cash for a baby grand 🙂

–Tom Fox: Yes, that would be great! Also an old Neve desk would be nice to warm everything up…

5. Film score or song you admire? Why?–Marshall Smith: There are so many – but I think one of the first scores I really profoundly appreciated was Michael Nyman’s work on ‘Gattaca’. Understated, emotional and beautiful and complimenting the film perfectly.

–Tom Fox: Yes, difficult to pinpoint one. I admire a range of composers, especially the more minimalist ones like Phillip Glass, who generate so much emotion with so few notes.

6. Music education background?–Marshall Smith: I studied piano classically from age 4 but discovered synths at age 14 and bands and production when I moved to London at age 18. Everything is self taught from that point.

–Tom Fox: No formal training except for a few jazz guitar lessons. I’ve picked up some theory over the years, but generally it’s all been hands on experience. I was lucky enough to get into computer music making at the beginning and that’s always excited me.

7. Memorable “Aha!” moment during your musical education?–Marshall Smith: I met singer/songwriter Tori Amos when I was 15 when she toured NZ for her Little Earthquakes tour – she was a very inspiring musician and character – I think that was the first time I realized you could make a living out of this thing called music.

–Tom Fox: I’ve always played in bands & written songs. I was in a South African band called Bright Blue in the 1980’s and one of our songs was covered by Josh Groban a few years ago. That’s when I realized a good song can last a long time and earn some money for you!

8. Most embarrassing music-related moment?Tom Fox: Too many…and I’m definitely not sharing them with the world 🙂

9. If you had a time machine and could record or perform once with any artist, who would it be?–Tom Fox: I would like to have a funk wah-wah guitar duel with Prince….Oh wait, I don’t need a time machine for that! We could have Motown’s James Jamerson on bass….Bring on time travel!

10. Moment you first knew you would be a musician?–Marshall Smith: I loved music from the first moment I opened my eyes I think. I think I decided to really make a go of it when I headed off to London with a one way ticket at 18 – It only took another 18 years to become an overnight success!

–Tom Fox: I’m not much good at anything else! So this is my fate…and I’m happy with that 🙂 It’s hard to imagine doing anything else.

11. Advice you would give to a younger family member interested in a music career?–Marshall Smith: Do it because you love it. Write music that feeds your soul – don’t go into it expecting to be rich or famous!

–Tom Fox: Just to be open to all types of people, cultures & music…get into as many different situations as possible. You learn from all of them.

12. Five songs or albums you’d take with you to a desert island?–Marshall Smith: Albums…

Kate Bush – The Hounds of Love
Shawn Colvin – Sunny Came Home
Joan Osborne – Relish
Prince – Sign of The Times
Pretty much anything by Aretha, Stevie or Ray Charles!

–Tom Fox: Albums….
Weather Report – Heavy Weather
Bonnie Raitt – Slipstream
Kanda Bongo Man – Live at Central Park
Bill Evans – Waltz for Debby
Bob Marley – Exodus

13. If you could master another instrument, what would it be?–Marshall Smith: I would love to be able to play the guitar – My business partner Tom is such a guitar genius though you sort of get put off practicing!

–Tom Fox: Why, thank you! I’ve always wanted to play the oud! Amongst other exotic Middle Eastern instruments….

14. Favorite time of day to work in your studio?–Marshall Smith: Early mornings and evenings really. Middle afternoon is a creative free-zone for me…

–Tom Fox: Inspiration is a strange beast. It can strike at the oddest times…and you have to be ready! Late evening is my favorite time for composing.

15. Any studio collaboration you experienced that stands out in your mind? Why?–Marshall Smith: Well we weren’t really in the same studio – but we had the wonderful opportunity to have a piece recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the UK recently – it was pretty thrilling to a part of that.

–Tom Fox: I was fortunate enough to be in a band with a single produced by Ray Phiri, who did most of the guitar on Paul Simon’s Graceland album. He was inspirational in the sense that he followed no rules…..Sonically, he was experimenting all the time. So, for example he’d be laying cymbals across the piano strings, or make us hit all sorts of strange objects for percussion sounds…just to hear the possibilities. I remember that really opened my ears up at the time.

We thank Marshall and Tom for sharing some of their musical background and experiences with us and for contributing The Sound Room’s tracks to, the Production Music Marketplace. The next time you need royalty-free music for a film, advertising or corporate project, check out The Sound Room’s tracks on


Chris Cardell is the co-founder of,a production music marketplace with nearly 18,000 tracks online where media producers, video producers, filmmakers, game developers, businesses and other music buyers can license high-quality, affordable royalty-free music and custom music from a online community of professional musicians. Cardell has been involved with digital content and E-Commerce since the mid-1990’s.

Comments are closed.