Thursday, 20 February 2020

Paulette Vassell Teaches Music Composition

Paulette Vassell
Paulette Vassell from PV Music Services visited Escape Studios recently to work with our MA students studying Storyboarding and Previsualisation.

Paulene came in to assist with our students on their storyboarding projects, composing bespoke music for their short films using Logic Pro.

Music and sound design are important parts of the film-making process. Successful films from Escape Studios such as BAFTA-shortlisted Jerich0 have paid close attention to music and sound design, with excellent results.

Paulette Vassell
About Paulette Vassell
Paulette Vassell is an experienced musician with a long track record in the music industry. She is a graduate of Goldmiths College in London, where she earned a Master's Degree (M.Mus) in Music Composition. Paulette is skilled in Music Technology, Logic Pro, Audio Recording, Sound Design, and Music Composition.

Logic Pro 
Paulette worked primarily with Logic Pro, a digital audio workstation (DAW) and MIDI sequencer software application for the macOS platform. Logic Pro was originally created in the early 1990s as Notator Logic, or Logic, by German software developer C-Lab who later went by Emagic. Apple acquired Emagic in 2002 and Logic was renamed to Logic Pro.

Logic Pro screenshot
Working with students at Escape Studios
Paulette worked with a number of our students at Escape Studios, including Anastasia Gurova (see photo above).  Paulette demonstrated how music clips can be imported into Logic, and how music can be created sync with the video animatic - an organic and intuitive process which helps our board artists to better understand the process of music composition and sound design.

Why animators need sound design
For our student film-makers, it's important to remember that the visuals are just 50% of the experience; the rest is audio. The audio experience is made up of music, sound effects, dialogue and - sometimes - narration.

Occasionally, good sound design means having no sound at all, or very little. But there is usually considerable work to be done.

Jerich0 - original music and sound design
Who needs Sound Design?
Good sound design brings a huge amount to any project. Sound design is not just about the quality of recording itself, it's about music, sound effects, foley, and the final mix.

Sound heightens our experience of a film and brings it to life. Sound design is something that animators at a big studio take for granted - because someone else does it for you. But when you are learning and studying animation, you will have to do it yourself.

Getting started
What sound work is needed for your shot? Do you need sound effects? Voice narration? Music? If music, does it need to be an original composition (lots of work) or some library music (much less work). If there is voice narration, you will need to find an actor, and record their voice(s), or do it yourself. Start off by making a list of what you will need.

Free sound effects
There are many places on the web to find good sound effects. Free sound effects can be found online at - for example - and

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt starting in September 2020, follow this link.   To apply, visit the offical page here.

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