Renowned film and television composer Richard Marvin has been putting his PMC MB2S main monitors through a gruelling work schedule in recent months, completing the music for the final episode of NBC’s occult detective police drama, Grimm.
Marvin, who works from his own studio in Los Angeles, has been an integral part of the hugely successful Grimm production team since the first series got underway in 2011. Since then he has composed the music for every episode, including the much anticipated final 123rd episode that aired in the USA in March 2017.
“With 35-40 minutes of music per episode, I’ve composed and performed over 70 hours of music for Grimm – and most of it on my PMC monitors,” he says. “I also recently completed Season 2 of The Years of Living Dangerously for National Geographic, which is a fantastic eight-hour documentary about climate change.”
Marvin’s studio was built 17 years ago, but was upgraded in 2013 to incorporate a live room that houses his Bosendorfer 290 piano, drum kit and various guitars and basses. His control room is equipped with an Avid S6 control surface and 5.1 surround sound monitoring based on a PMC MB2S system. He also has a pair of PMC twotwo.5 nearfield monitors, plus a master keyboard and four video machines in his writing/playing set up and 12 computers in his machine room.
I bought my PMC monitors four years ago, after my engineer [Grammy Award winning] Tommy Vicari convinced me to listen to his PMCs,” Marvin says. “Maurice Patist [PMC USA’s President of Sales and Marketing] brought over the smaller IB1S and then the MB2S monitors, and I was sold. I marvel every day at how much I love them. I haven’t got tired of them or gotten used to them – they constantly amaze me.”
After starting out as an A-list synthesist in the studios of Hollywood in the 1980’s, Richard Marvin is now one of the most in-demand composers for TV and film. His credit list is phenomenal and includes programmes covering a broad range of genres, from 3 Ninjas and Six Feet Under to Without A Trace, Surrogates and U-571.
One might think that composing 40 minutes of music would take a long time but when Marvin is composing for television he works very fast.
“I usually have about a week to complete and deliver one episode,” he explains. “To begin with, my music editor and I sit down with the producers and director to “spot” (watch) the movie or episode. We discuss where the music should be and what it should be in reference to the temporary music the picture editor has put into the show. After composing the music and recording into ProTools, I deliver multiple stems to my music editor and he edits and prepares these for the dub stage.”
Marvin composes into Digital Performer with multiple slave computers, which house all his sample libraries. He also plays various instruments and, in the case of Grimm, he performed all the music as well.
With Grimm and The Years of Living Dangerously now completed, Richard Marvin is taking a short break to work on his own music before commencing a new project later in the year. Once again, his trusty PMC MB2S and two.two.5 monitors will play their part, faithfully reproducing the music he creates so that he can hear every nuance.
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