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Chris Merritt's Blog (16)

Studio Makeover

Studio Makeover

We recently went through a pretty big makeover in the main studio. It required unplugging and moving out EVERYTHING, so they could put in our new wood floors.

First Realization - There are a heckuva lot of cables in a music studio.

Second Realization - Pianos are VERY heavy and do not care about your lower back pains.

Third Realization - 10 year old boys and teenage… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on April 29, 2011 at 3:23pm — 3 Comments

My studio setup

Merritt Music - The Studio

I've had many composers here ask me my setup, so I figured I should save some typing and make a blog post about it!

So here it is!

I use a custom built (by me) PC running Vista 64 bit and Sonar 8 64 bit.

The PC is thus:



Added by Chris Merritt on September 2, 2010 at 11:30am — 6 Comments

Do not buy from Impact Computers!

Warning to all computer parts geeks, like me!

Do not ever buy from and here's why.

My wife's laptop had an unfortunate martini incident that left its keyboard screwed. So I ordered a replacement from I specifically looked up the product number (507092-001) on HP's website to insure that I got the one with backlit keys. I found it on impactcomputers and ordered and paid for it. I checked the site and… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on July 22, 2010 at 2:48pm — 4 Comments

String trio on a pop song

Sometimes I'm hired to add strings, synth, drums, or produce tracks for singers. There are a lot of great songwriter / singers that just play guitar and can't really add much more to their mixes, but they know they need it.

This song came to me as a vocal and acoustic guitar track, and the songwriter said to do whatever I wanted to it. So I decided to go with a string trio - Violin, Viola and Cello.

I used 'Vienna Instruments' for the sounds and played in the parts on the… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on January 16, 2010 at 12:53pm — 2 Comments

Test your hearing.

I read an article on sound in Discover magazine where the author pointed out a site that lets you test your hearing. If you have pretty accurate speakers (not just computer speakers) or headphones and a decent audio interface, this can help you figure out your personal curve - frequencies that you hear better or worse than others. Here's mine:…


Added by Chris Merritt on October 5, 2009 at 1:38pm — 5 Comments

Inspiring Music

I just discovered Henryk Gorecki. The Symph no 3 was playing on our local NPR station. It's amazing. Long periods of nothing but sustained notes or chords, very slow and evolving, modal. So extremely well done:

This video uses it as a score about the Holocaust, which apparently Gorecki did not want associated with this piece so much. I don't like how this… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on September 1, 2009 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

We need it yesterday. (Composing for TV.)

Most of what I compose is for TV - usually promos for cable networks.

Here's a recent example that aired on TLC:

TLC's Father's Day Promo Campaign

TLC called me up with an emergency. They had purchased the rights to use this song, but not the RECORDING (that's a separate right) and they needed it to fit the standard 30 second format. It's a country song by Keith… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on July 7, 2009 at 3:00am — 1 Comment

Building False Studio Walls

Building studio false walls

Like many of you, I have a lot of instruments in my studio, and I love having them close by and ready to be played or recorded. But it really does create a lot of clutter, so I…


Added by Chris Merritt on July 1, 2009 at 12:00am — No Comments

Chris and Sharon in Scotland!

April 2008

(Chris and Sharon are quite awesome.)

Custom music composer - Chris Merritt - teams up with his wife, Sharon to visit SCOTLAND! And yes, they tried haggis!

"It tastes something like a mix between sausage and cat food," Sharon noted. Chris agreed, "I think I just threw up a little..."

(Getting the 'courage' to try haggis.)

Our… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on April 22, 2008 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

I'm in Scotland!

Yo! I'm sitting here in Staffin on the Isle of Skye in Scotland listening to the accordion music piped through the walls of this cafe. Scotland rocks! Scotland has a lot of rocks, I mean. I bought a chanter and a pennywhistle. I almost bought an accordion but they were sharp and I didn't want to have to get them tuned... I will blog about this trip when I get back next week! I already met Paul Wilkie and Ray Kemp - thanks for meeting with me, guys!

More about Scotland to… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on April 17, 2008 at 2:47pm — 1 Comment

MMP Scores Big with Josiah

Here's the web version:


Custom music company - Merritt Music Productions LLC - teams up with American Idol contestant, Josiah Lemming to create “Anything Beautiful,” a new song for an international client.

“The client wanted an original song to reflect their new USA campaign - something emotional, intimate, uplifting and hopeful,” said Chris Merritt,… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on February 13, 2008 at 11:30am — 10 Comments

What I do...

I've been asked to describe what I do. So here it is!

Usually I’ll talk to the producer of the spot for a bit to get the feel of what they want. It’s rarely about specific styles or instruments, but more often about mood. They describe what they are trying to accomplish with the spot and we discuss ways that the music can help – like give it more energy, or make it “bigger” and so on.

I usually don’t write any music until I get some form of video. Often, the video… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on January 9, 2008 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment

Universal Collaboration Vol. 2

Here's the version that I am talking about in this blog:

Download merrittmusic-UCB-CMX-GM140.mp3

(Right click on the file name and save it to your computer, then play it from there.)

For the beginning of this piece, the strings have to sell it. They have to be alive. Here's what I did.

For each part (VLN, VLA, Cello, etc..) I loaded a full section patch and played it… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on June 30, 2007 at 3:00am — No Comments

Universal Collaboration Vol. 1

I thought it might be cool for a lot of you to follow along as I compose a piece. It's the intro section for the "Longest Through Composed Piece" that we are all working on (see the "Groups.") Let's take a look...

Here's my restrictions: It has to start in C Major at any tempo and end in G major at 140BPM, so the next composer can blend his piece in, and be less than - or about - two minutes. I figured this should be on the "serious" side of things, and maybe a little "badass" or… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on June 28, 2007 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

Enough of this!

I'm so outta here. Goin' on vacation for a week at the beach in NC (Outer Banks.) We're supposed to have wireless net access at the house we rented, so I should be back on here in a day or two.

It's awesome that there are so many composers here now! Go to the groups section and join some groups, go to the forum section and reply or start some discussions. Go outside and see the sun once in a while...

Added by Chris Merritt on June 8, 2007 at 2:21pm — 5 Comments

Composer Forum Begins!

Hi all!

I started this social network as a way for composers to meet and learn from each other. There are already many great sources online for composers, email lists and such, and I encourage you to join them all and actively participate. This "Composer's Forum" is designed to have many groups within it, for specific locations or discussions.

I compose mostly for TV. ( And composing is my full-time job. Feel free… Continue

Added by Chris Merritt on May 29, 2007 at 3:30am — No Comments

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