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Michael J Copley At a Glance

#1 - Original Composition

"Michael is a hard worker, a gifted musician... It is through his songwriting that Michael truly shines. His lyric writing is mature and speaks to a wide range of topics with insight and clarity. His fabulous voice always does justice to his compositional intentions."

                                        -CARAS/The JUNO Awards & MusiCounts 


In the summer of 2008 I began the long journey of recording an album. I purchased my first computer and began to record on GarageBand. After a negative dating experience I wrote music and lyrics for this track Downstream. Originally this song was 6/8 with a driving rock piano foundation.


In August 2009 Kirk Tasseron and I revamped the angry rock 'n' roll version into a peaceful acoustic arrangement. We used an

M-Audio Fasttrack Pro with condenser microphones to record all audio. I used a direct line to record all of the electric guitar. Kirk 

played acoustic guitar, electric guitar effects, and ukulele. I wrote 

lyrics, vocal melodies, and harmonies. I also played glockenspiel, 

keyboard, hand clapped, and directed the recording process. 

After, I arranged the different audio tracks  adding reverb, delay and compression.


Realizing that I was limited in my editing ability on GarageBand, I bounced each stereo track separately into ProTools. I edited and compressed the audio files further. The meticulous editing included fixing peaking, and removing excess bass frequencies from each instrument and vocal. To make the recordings more 3-dimessional I added stereo delay, reverb, and raw doubled tracks. I also converted all mono audio into stereo tracks. 


With a nearly completed product in 2012 I sent the song to Mossy Rock Productions who further edited frequencies. To finalize the song Ben McMullen mastered the recording which is the final product you hear. In May 2012 I was entered as a finalist in the Calgary Folk Fest Songwriting Competition with track 

Downstream. Downstream was featured in my debut album titled "What's In Your Head" released August 2012. 

#2 Radio/Television News Cue

Multicultural Theme

The concept behind this project was to create usable background music for a news station. I created an overall theme which comprised intro, ourtro and inner-loop (referred to as a doughnut). From the completed theme I made 7 cues including; 1. Theme & Outro 2. Intro & Short Doughnut 3. Doughnut & Outro 4.  2 minute doughnut 5. 7 second bumper 6. 3 second bumper 7. Bumper #3.


The news station could then use the needed cue for any given situation. Within Protools I used midi instruments to create all the sounds except electric guitar, which was recorded live. The guitar was edited using the plug-in Guitar Rig 4.


As you listen to Multiculturalism above listen for the three parts within the song and imagine a Broadcaster speaking over each part. There is a sense of urgency that accompanies news station themes. The project is 100% original and independent. 

To view the Protools file which includes all 7 cues click HERE (also includes other original portfolio files) 

Click HERE for original Leadsheets, ProTools,  and GarageBand files.

No Country For Old Men - Tension Filmscore

#3 - Filmscore

No Country For Old Men (Tension/Suspence Cue)


This college project started with picking various points in the video imagery I wanted to emphasize (eg. The lightning strike or gun shots). I chose 7 points from which I picked a click track that lined up with all the noted points. From there we listed moods and instrumentation to elicit emotion. I selected guitar and castanets to elicit more of a western feel.



In my project I picked three major sections and divided them up. The first segment is fear. The high-string cluster voicings helped create anxiety. I also used pizzicato strings to create tension. The second segment is adrenaline. The character runs for his life under a booming timpani and building strings. The third segment is hope. I was intending to imitate the consistency of a smoothly flowing stream. The harmony is less dense in structure which leaves breathing room for your hope that the character will survive. The idea previously was to surprise the audience with random, yet planned, percussion hits. This section has a consistent and predictable percussion loop, which is more settling. The strings are playing a major third over a minor melody juxtaposing a glimmer of hope with his previous near-death experience. 

The version posted below is the 4th revision after 4 weeks of classroom presentations and sessions of constructive criticism. This project was also created on ProTools using primarily Kontact 4 plug-in.

To view the original ProTools file click HERE.

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