February 21, 2019

Learn How to Create the Iconic 'Terminator' 2 Music

Come with me if you want to jam out to a great soundtrack...and hear about my childhood. 

I have been obsessed with Terminator 2 since I watched it on special edition VHS in the late 90s. I remember being in my basement with my Dad. My mom was away for work. He had cooked his famous Hellerman-hash. It was just hot dogs, baked beans, and onion...with a dash of maple syrup. My brother and I were excited. We knew when Mom went out of town that the movies my Dad rented skewed a little past the PG-13 mandate she had laid down. 

Movie night was always special in my family. It's when you turned off the basement lights, sat in the damp air, and watched havoc unveil on our box television. 

Needless to say, it was church for me, or Murch (movie-church) as I wound up calling it. 

Anyway, as I spooned nitrates into my mouth and my Dad pushed the VHS into the player, I had no idea that my life was about to change. 

When that thunderous Terminator score came on, and the metal foot squished the skull, we cried out with joy. Sure, James Cameron had made an impression, but so had Brad Fiedel. His music transported me to the future, and then back to the past, and into the world where we HAVE TO STOP THE MACHINES! 

Over the next four hours....yes, we watched both Terminators back to back....I was swept up in the world of Kyle Reese and Sarah and John Connor. 

As I pushed away my Hellerman-hash and started in on the humongous ice cream sundae I was allowed to make myself; I remember feeling a total euphoria. The kind you feel on your birthday or Christmas morning. The kind I had never felt while watching a movie ever before. 

James Cameron made my childhood complete. He has the Terminator score to thank for that.   

When Terminator 2 came out, it was a cultural phenomenon. It was a huge sequel with cutting edge special effects. Millions of dollars were spent getting everything ready for this movie. When I was old enough to tell my Mom I had seen Terminator 2, she took me to the Exton Mall and let me buy the special edition VHS at Sam Goody. The behind the scenes features made me want to work in Hollywood. It directly contributed to me sitting down and writing every day. So every time my mom complains about how far away I am now, I just tell her it's her fault. 

But check out the behind the scenes features...can you blame me? 

The one thing those Terminator 2 features don't show you is how the incredible score was made for the movie. Honestly, it's a wild story. Composer Brad Fiedel relays his vision in the following YouTube video, and it's sensational. For example, did you know he had to invent new ways to use instruments to get each sound? 

And that he couldn't loop them, so every note you hear in the Terminator 2 score had to be individually played by him, recorded, and then mashed together? 

Thank God for the rise of the machines, am I right? 

What I love so much about the Terminator 2 music is how easy it was to replicate with my brother and friends when we were pretending to be John Connor in our backyard. The low, baritone, DUH DUH DUH-DA-DUH, was easy to hum when you were pretending to slowly walk toward a neighborhood kid with a super-soaker. 

It helped you imagine the world crumbling around you as you aimed directly at their crotch and then told everyone they peed their pants. But I digress...

I'm certain the Terminator 2 score doesn't get enough love out there. So I am encouraging you to watch how the score was made, and take the lessons to your movie music. Apologies to my family for exposing our love all over the internet. Thanks for always indulging me and my imagination. Shoutout to James Cameron for those special features. I hope to ask you all about them in person some day. 

Check out the video recreating how the Terminator 2 music was made! 

And listen to the remastered Terminator 2 soundtrack on Spotify. If Judgment Day happens, I want to go out blasting this score. 

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