​Analyzing Trailers & Their Sound

Analyze Trailers

Previously mentioned and recommended in this course is watching and analyzing trailers. It should become a daily habit for you- especially at the beginning of your journey.

In this course, we've summarized all the important points you need to know about trailers and trailer music.

However, by actually watching and analyzing trailers you will learn even more. As with learning how to orchestrate properly: Once you start listening and analyzing scores you will understand its "language" more and more. It is the same with trailer music.

I had a break from composing trailer music for quite a while because setting up my own trailer music company was the priority. In the meantime, I was listening to a lot of trailer music - not only public trailer music released on YouTube but also, of course, productions of composers working with us in the company. Due to my work as a director, one of my jobs is to figure out trends. This requires me staying up to date with modern trailers and analyzing them.

After several months I decided to write a trailer track again and guess what? I noticed a tremendously huge improvement in my compositions and productions! I had not even touched my keyboard during the time I was busy setting up my company. What happened?

It seems that I have unconsciously absorbed all the ideas just by mindfully listening and watching tons of trailers!

Hence, you should absolutely make a habit of watching a few trailers or tv spots on daily basis. A few trailers each week will be enough for you as a composer - more if possible!

Interesting Chord Progressions

Whenever you analyze trailers and their music you should definitely pay attention to the harmonies, or specifically the chord progressions, used in each track. We looked at some of the most common and recurrent chord progressions in the lecture of chord progressions. You will most probably hear them over and over again in different keys.

However, there are a lot of chord progressions out there that you can use. Some of them can be really outstanding and interesting. Try to remember them each time you write a new track.


Listen to 10 trailer music cues that you like and that are successful, and write down the main chord progressions heard throughout. Write them down on a piece of paper, or in a digital document and print out, hang it on your wall and reference to them when you are writing your own music. Learn as many great progressions as you can and your tracks will become a lot better.

Interesting Edit Points

The same thing regards edit points. To be honest with you, it took me quite a while in the beginning to really figure out how edit points actually should be like - what editors are looking for.

Watching trailers helped me tremendously. Whenever I saw or heard an interesting syncing point in the trailer, I listened to it for a few couple times until I pretty much knew what was going on and what was transversely original with it. Immediately after that, I tried to recreate that syncing point using my own samples.

With time, you will have a pool of edit-point possibilities ready in your head - only waiting to be incorporated into your newest trailer track.

In fact, it's quite similar to learning a new language, edit points being a part of the vocabulary.

Incorporating good and interesting syncing points that already did well in other tracks will help to increase the licensability of your track!

Sound Trends

Watching trailers does not only help you in learning new chord progressions and good edit points, but also sharpens your sense for the newest trends. As long as you are working within the entertainment industry it should be your daily bread and butter to keep a look out for new trends.

You might, for example, realize that sound design tracks are slowly but steadily going into a more minimal but very massive direction. Well, adapt your productions to that specific style if you're into sound design trailer music and want placements. Hearing more orchestral texture in trailers? Add some to your upcoming tracks.

Always make sure to keep the sound of your trailer tracks as modern as possible. Watching trailers on daily basis and adapting your compositions will help you achieve a more trendy, and consequentially, a more licensable sound.