Carl Sondrol

Composer and music producer

Auto-Correct Love Song

Here’s a song I produced for my friends at CollegeHumor. Directed by Ben Joseph, lyrics by Streeter Seidell, and VFX by the wizards at Gloo Studios.

Before I talk about the track, I just want to give major props to the two amazing singers I brought in for this one: Maurice Smith and his friend Dejah Gomez. I can’t thank them enough for taking the time to bring their world-class musicianship to this ballad about cell phone technology.

You may remember Maurice from his amazing vocal work on the demanding Boyz-II-Men track we worked on a while back. Maurice was one of the first singers I worked with after moving to LA.. and was a real wake-up call to how insane the level of talent is out here. Here’s one of my favorite live clips of Maurice:

Dejah is equally stunning… as you’re read in her bio, she’s sung with Justin Timberlake at the Grammys, Al Green, Smokey Robinson, Mariah Carey, and the list goes on. Here’s a hilarious clip of her signing a duet with the great Stevie Wonder:

Making the backing track was fun, too: music-wise, Streeter wanted a RnB slow jam with a sort of sung-spoken approach to the vocals. So, I listened to a bunch of Usher songs and R. Kelly’s infamous ‘Trapped in the Closet’. Usher-y arrangements seems to be all about keeping the drums very tight/dry sounding, and the arrangement pretty minimal as most of the activity is in the vocals. This actually worked out really well in our case since we have a LOT of lyrics in this track and want to make sure they remain the focus. I threw in a musical accent here and there (piano, claps, whooshes, etc) and that seemed to do the trick.

I made a scratch track with some vocal melody ideas but Maurice and Dejah’s parts were largely ad-libbed. Directing world-class singers when you’re not a singer is equal parts embarrassing and hilarious :)

edit: as an added bonus, check out this video Maurice just released: