PMA Academy Series – Finding Your Voice: Sound Design with Tom Holkenborg [AKA Junkie XL]

This very special tutorial is led by one of the most in-demand film composers in Hollywood: Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL).

If you’ve ever seen films like Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool or Alita: Battle Angel (just to name a few), you’ve no doubt felt the impact of Tom’s mastery of sound design. Known within the industry as a “full-contact composer”, one of Tom’s biggest calling cards is that he does so many things himself—including creating vast sound libraries all his own for nearly every project he works on.

This webinar covers Tom’s unique process of sound design; a process that’s helped craft one of the most recognizable and signature sounds in modern day film scoring. The goal? Getting you informed and inspired to craft your own unique voice as you grow as composer and producer.

Topics include sampling, sound exploration, building your own libraries, modular synthesis and much more.

PMA Academy Series – Taking a Closer Look at Production Music in Advertising

All media has been impacted with the expansion of digital services, and the advertising industry is no exception. This panel will dive into how these changes relate to production music usage, what’s changed in this sector of the industry and what the future looks like for production music in advertising.

recording studio console and equipment

Digital Demo Derby

The Digital Demo Derby serves as an opportunity to get quality feedback from industry experts. Each quarter, we will utilize a different set of requirements for submissions, including but not limited to: genre, placement purpose (ie. for advertising, video game, documentary, sports, etc.).

In each round, we will select three composers to be reviewed by 2-3 industry experts. Each reviewer has the opportunity to select one of the three entrants for a 1 on 1, 30 minute meeting. Those selected will be notified by email.

Requirements for Q1 submissions:

  • Tracks must be no longer than 3 minutes in length.
  • Tracks must be in a playlist, whether on Soundcloud, Disco, or similar.
  • Tracks must not be represented by a third party licensing entity.
  • Tracks must be done by and/or feature a female composer
  • Deadline to submit your work is March 30, 2022. Selected participants will be contacted by April 10, 2022 and will be reviewed and met with prior to April 30, 2022.
  • Please contact Morgan McKnight at with any questions.

PMA Academy Series – Avoiding Legal & Reputation Problems From Sampled Loops, Beats, Tracks & Hooks

“Does this work include samples, yes or no?“

Have you ever seen this question in a contract or submission form? Has it ever given you pause? Most production music composers realize that they can’t sample unlicensed music from other recordings. And, they know that they’re usually safe using sampled instruments from their favorite piano and orchestral libraries. However, many don’t know about the serious problems from using even LICENSED pre-composed loops, beats, tracks and sample packs which have recognizable hooks and phrases, for example vocals, instrument phrases and complete grooves. Not only do some sample library End User License Agreements (EULAs) outright prevent many sync uses, but even where there are no legal restrictions automatic tune recognition software is triggering copyright claim clashes between different publishers, causing infringement accusations and reputation damage for composers and publishers. They are also unpopular with publishers and clients because they lack the originality that they expect. In response, production music publishers are increasingly banning these type of sample uses, so it’s important to know the facts.