Tom Holkenborg On Scoring Terminator: Dark Fate

In the latest of his Studio Time series, Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL) discusses scoring Terminator: Dark Fate.

Holkenborg discusses taking inspiration from the original 2 films’ composer, Brad Fiedel, and the iconic Terminator theme. He also dissects a track and discusses his sound design, the mariachi influences, ‘full-contact’ composing and why he thinks John Williams fans may hate his score.

In the second film in the series, Holkenborg discusses his use of acoustic guitar in the score:

In the next video, Holkenborg discusses sound design for the REV-9 Terminator:

In the fourth video in Holkenborg’s Terminator Dark Fate soundtrack discussion, he breaks down scoring the final action scene:

In the fifth video, Holkenborg discusses sounds of the soundtrack:

The last video in Holkenborg’s series on Terminator Dark Fate is a ‘fly on the wall’ look at one of the recording sessions for the orchestral score:

12 thoughts on “Tom Holkenborg On Scoring Terminator: Dark Fate

    1. Taste is subjective, but I enjoyed the movie and found the score to be one of the highlights. I watched this video prior to seeing the movie and I caught some details I might have otherwise missed.

      ‘Dark Fate’ feels like the third movie in a trilogy with the first two films. It doesn’t really bother with explaining timeline differences with the last three Terminator movies, and that’s just as well, because the last three just don’t feel canonical.

      Dark Fate is not quite as good a movie as the first two, but is a solid bookend, much like The Return Of The Jedi was to the original Star Wars trilogy.

      We saw Dark Fate at a theater that showed clips from the first two Terminator movies and something that really jumped out was that the original soundtracks are definitely of their time. They sound like classic low-budget 80’s soundtracks, but the arrangements would feel out of place in a modern blockbuster.

      Holkenborg’s score does a great job of using some of the original’s main themes and doing it in original ways. One example he talks about in the video is transforming the main theme to give it more of a Spanish feel. This works surprisingly well, and feels completely natural in the context of the film.

      Whether or not you like Hokenborg’s approach, he deserves props for taking the time to make these videos. There’s literally no other film composer at his level doing this, so Studio Time is an amazing free gift of Holkenborg’s time.

      1. >Holkenborg’s score does a great job of using some of the original’s main themes and doing it in original ways. One example he talks about in the video is transforming the main theme to give it more of a Spanish feel.

        The most innovative thing to add to his tunes imo would be to add some real melody, harmony, motifs, and cut down on the prosaic and cliched percussion and the drones all the time.

        > he deserves props for taking the time to make these videos. There’s literally no other film composer at his level doing this, so Studio Time is an amazing free gift of Holkenborg’s time

        I see it as marketing and a cringe worthy one.

        1. “I see it as marketing and a cringe worthy one.:

          That’s a sad, jaded take on things, especially since other synthesists are not his real customer – it’s film producers and directors. And nothing in Studio Time is for that audience, it’s for synthesists and composers.

  1. sounds like general midi device doing a soundtrack for a softcore porn.
    Tom basically has every synth ever made I’m confused

  2. This soundtrack would have to be done exclusively on DSI Tempest. A perfect machine for the job, no bells, whistles and violins – distorted synth with AM and basic, short old school raw samples. Tempest packed with tons of character. It unpredictable and scares me from time to time, just like the terminator should do.

  3. sounds very 80s cheesy and pathetic. this might fit well for the movie ( havent seen it yet) I prefer more minimalistic aproaches with a cleaner focussed sound design, not the orchestral wethroweverythinginwehaveinourstudio bombastic approach. but the vid is great

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