Recently, I was talking about The White Rabbit Project with a friend at work, and he mentioned how much he liked the opening credits. He said the music was really good. I hadn’t noticed the music, so I went back and watched the titles again.
The opening credits really rock, and I wanted to find out why. So this weekend I recorded the intro, dropped it into Reaper, and started breaking it down. Using Kontakt, Massive, and Battery, I was able to create a pretty good imitation of the musical portion of the theme.
But when I listened to the music alone it felt lifeless. It starts with a single note on the piano with a low pass filter removing the fundamental frequency, then it moves on to a simple beat made with a bass drum and snaps/claps. It’s basic, even cliche stuff. Even when the synths take over, my music-only imitation seemed to have none of the vivacity in the original.
So I watched the intro again, and this time I listened to all the stuff that isn’t made with synthesizers or drum machines. The intro actually starts with some technobabble type foley, then uses explosions, thunder claps, and glass breaking to punctuate various moments. The foley is really interesting because it is neither strictly “foley” nor is is “musique concrete”; it is neither strictly synced to the video, nor is it strictly synced to the music. The sound effects are used as foley at times, then as musical punctuation at other times.
The sound effects are the glue that hold the piece together. They being together the rocking theme and the badass visuals. Notice that there are more sound effects at the beginning of the track. They act as an introduction to the sound world of the piece and allow the kicking lead synth to land with full impact when it finally comes in.
Here’s my final remake on SoundCloud.
I used almost exclusively Reaper and Native Instruments plugins in this remake. So the source material consists of three Massive patches, one Battery kit, and several audio files from freesound.org. Here’s the source material for my remake of the White Rabbit Project Theme bundled as a zip file: White_Rabbit_Project_Source.