Composer strikes Gold with comedy – Post News – Steven Gold

Composer strikes Gold with comedy – Post News – Steven Gold – Biography

Marc Loftus

NEWYORK–Composer Steven Gold has been very busy lately, creating original tracks and musical cues for all sorts of comedic programming. Gold is a regular contributor to the animated skits that appear on Saturday Night Live, and is seeing steady work from a number of Comedy Central programs, including The Man Show, Crank Yonkers and Chappelle’s Show.

For Crank Yankers, which features quirky Muppet-like characters acting out crank phone calls, Gold creates :20 to :30 musical cues that introduce each character. Cues range from Indian sitar-ish to dualing-banjo country to chick rockish to war veteran-inspired.

“The music doesn’t have to point to the comedy” says Gold, “it has to support it. If the music calls attention to itself, it kind of gets distracting. You have to worry about being subtle but really hit it on the nose.”

Chappelle’s Show follows a slightly different format The show is centered around the comic’s standup routine with segues to different sketches. “It’s a great show and requires a lot of music,” says Gold. Each sketch is like a short film, he notes, ranging in length from two to seven minutes. The sketches require a combination of original and library music that is edited and sweetened. The “It’s a Wonderful Breast” sketch, for example, relied on music from It’s A Wonderful Life, along with Gold’s own original track.

Working from his New York studio, Gold employs Logic Audio software running on a Mac G4, Roland and Emu samplers, and a Mackie D8B console. He has a second G4, which he uses for delivering tracks to clients’ FTP sites, keeping the other one free.

Gold recently started working with digital pictures. Client send him CD-ROMs or have him download QuickTime files from an FTP site for visual reference.

“What’s cool is when you move your audio on a sequencer, the video changes to the exact frame” says Gold. “We deliver the piece of music with the timecode reference of the first frame where the music goes in We give them the mix and the exact timecode number to stick it in.”

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