Filmmakers Network: Community Spotlight with Mattias Holmgren

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Community Spotlight

Mattias Holmgren

Creative Director, Composer, Sound Designer


I am currently working mainly with educational content and building a creative YouTube Channel. In my videos and articles, I cover music production, software, hardware, ergonomics, and much more. All in an inspirational creative format. My goal is to inspire folks to get going in music and sound.

I run a media production company, Morningdew Media, since 2003. Previously I was writing music for games, film and commercials, but I’ve always had one foot deep rooted in tech, and I love to share what I’ve learned through the years.

I still do some occasional scoring and sound design projects. But my primary goal is to work on the educational videos and content for the community. My YouTube recently hit 10k subs, and it’s growing rapidly so I am very happy my videos are reaching out and are well-received. I put a ton of effort into producing relevant content to the audience.

I do release epic post rock music under my name, Mattias Holmgren. And, also, some EDM / Future Bass / Melodic Dubstep tracks under the name, Gelhein.

Of course, I tend to begin most production work with some kind of brainstorming stage. Where I just flesh out basic ideas. The first thing that comes to mind. It’s the same whether it’s a musical project or a design project. It all begins with collecting reference and tossing up quick ideas.

For a specific film, the first step, after watching the film and talking with the director, can be creating sounds. Selecting a sound space. Recording weird tools or sources to use as core content for a song. Ok, I’m gonna go with Omnisphere for this one. Or, granular sounds for this one. Etc. Getting a palette for the project. As we select a color palette for a painting. It’s the same.

In game and film scoring, you are often asked to score very different genres, using region specific instruments etc. It can be a real challenge. Especially if it’s a genre far from your home. I’m from Sweden, and I was once asked to score a South Korean film called, Bag of Bones, and some scenes were directed to have region specific instrumentation and melodic phasing. Usually we composers might just think, oh, it’s Asia region, let’s bring the flutes, dizi, bawu, etc. and koto, and call it a day. But when the demand from the director is that it’s region-specific, you have to be really alert and find out what’s really going on in the instruments, harmony and melodic phasing from certain regions.

It’s a life-long struggle as a composer, you learn new things in each project. Each project begins as a nightmare, but it’s very rewarding when you learn these new tricks and skills.


  1. Kill your darlings. Don’t add too much sounds / instruments to your arrangements. It’s so easy to go overboard. Uninstall Vienna Ensemble Pro. Just kidding… But I did just that. And work with smaller instrument setups.
  2. Find your own sound. Don’t be afraid to create your own library of samples and sounds that you use in all your projects. As a trademark and also a way to force you into new territoriums. Hey, check out granular synthesis. Use your own voice.
  3. Space is also sound. Leave space in your melodies. Make one strong motif, small variations go a long way. Repeating that key melody makes it stronger and more memorable.
  4. Use your voice, to find a melody that works. Singable melodies tend to be more memorable.