Steve Jablonsky scores Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Posted on June 18, 2009 by Dan Goldwasser

Last month, composer Steve Jablonsky recorded his score to Michael Bay’s highly anticipated summer action sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Scoring took place at the Sony Scoring Stage in Culver City, where Jablonsky and his team recorded the score with a 71-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony.

Nick Glennie-Smith conducts Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Composer Steve Jablonsky and additional scoring engineer Jeff Biggers

Conducted by Nick Glennie-Smith, the score was recorded in sections, typically with strings during the day, and then brass in the evening. A percussion session was recorded early on in the process, to allow for Jablonsky to create intricate and compelling rhythms that are used in the score.

Concertmaster Endre Grenat and the strings

The French horns

The brass

Themes from the first Transformers film – such as the Autobot, Heroic and Decepticon themes – return to this new score, but Jablonsky has gone further and created new themes, whose musical suites were recorded over the course of the sessions. The new themes include "The Fallen", "The Symbols", "Prime" and others, some of which appear in suite-form on the score album.

Nick Glennie-Smith conducts the Hollywood Studio Symphony

Though there were a few synth-only cues, for the most part the score contains the blend of orchestra, choir (recorded in London at Air Lyndhurst) and percussion that has been supplemented with electronics and even some rock aspects. The popular band Linkin Park wrote a song for the film, "New Divide", and they worked with Jablonsky to integrate their melody into a few score cues.

The cello section

With over 110-minutes of score, and a tight post-production schedule, there was a lot to get done during the scoring sessions. Scoring engineer and mixer Alan Meyerson was only at a few of the recording sessions, and was typically situated back at Remote Control Studios in Santa Monica working hard on the final score mix, and engineer Jeff Biggers handled a lot of the score recording duties at the Sony scoring stage.

Alan Meyerson mixes the score at Remote Control with assistant engineer Katia Lewin

Jeff Biggers and Steve Jablonsky

Jablonsky was very hands-on in the booth, giving feedback to Glennie-Smith out on the stage. He was assisted by supervising orchestrator Bruce Fowler, music editor Alex Gibson, assistant music editor Peter Snell, and pre-record playback engineer Doug Clow. ProTools recording was handled by Kevin Globerman.

Assistant Doug Clow, ProTools recordist Kevin Globerman and music editor Alex Gibson

Lead orchestrator Bruce Fowler

Pieter Schlosser, Steve Jablonsky, Alan Meyerson, Doug Clow and Kevin Globerman

There are two soundtrack albums for the film, including a score release, which will be released from Reprise Records on June 23, 2009. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen explodes into theaters from Dreamworks Pictures on June 24, 2009.

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