Sound Libraries: Stephen Arnold's Vault is deep and customizable
Issue: September/October 2020

Sound Libraries: Stephen Arnold's Vault is deep and customizable

Stephen Arnold Music’s ( production music arm, The Vault, features more than 200,000 tracks, produced either in-house or through one of the company’s many creative partners. The library from the McKinney, TX-based company is notable for its high production value, utility and range, which spans virtually every genre, mood, application and subject matter. What really sets them apart, however, is their hands-on service. 

Clients of The Vault have access to Stephen Arnold Music’s creative and production teams, who assist with everything from track selection to customizations. The Vault team can edit, remix, augment and even write lyrics, transforming an existing piece of music into something unique, memorable and on target.

“As a sonic branding agency with more than 25 years of experience, we provide a deep level of support to our production music clients,” says VP of music services, Whitney Arnold. “We don’t simply provide great tracks; we collaborate with our clients to produce great work.”

Gearbox Software, developer of the hugely popular Borderlands and Brothers In Arms game franchises, is a long-time client. In addition to composing original tracks for use in games, Stephen Arnold Music created Gearbox’s sonic brand mnemonic, featured in Borderlands 3, as well as its downloadable content.

Gearbox is also a frequent user of The Vault. Audio director Mark Petty explains that they use production music tracks to supplement custom compositions. He notes that his team is invariably able to find something appropriate, even when they need something beyond the fringe. 

“The Borderlands 3 DLC, ‘Bounty of Blood’ includes a segment called ‘Creature Features.’ They’re like something out of a 1950s Godzilla movie that plays in a theatre inside the game,” Petty explains. “I was worried that we’d have trouble finding the period-specific pieces we needed in the library, but there was an abundance of great tracks that fit perfectly. The Vault does a wonderful job of adding themes and work from new vendors and composers. It’s growing all the time.”

Petty adds that many tracks are available with stem breakouts, or in multiple delivery formats, allowing for flexibility when doing music edits. 

“That’s super useful from a design point of view,” he says. “The Vault has been a good resource, a time saver and ultimately a tool that helps tell the story.” 

WTVT, the Fox affiliate in Tampa, recently turned to The Vault for music for an image campaign promoting its mobile app for local news. The campaign is built around the line “Everywhere you go.” 

The Vault staff worked with the client to find a vocal track that fit the mood, style, and pacing required, as well as provided the desired lyrical message. They then custom edited the song to the client’s specification for the various spot versions. 

“We really enjoyed working with the team at Stephen Arnold Music,” says WTVT VP of creative services, Mike House. “They were able to quickly adjust and tweak tracks to meet our needs. The result was just what we were hoping for and the music really is the heart and soul of the spots.”

The Vault has provided similar customizations for many clients, including CBS Dallas-Ft. Worth affiliate KTVT, Fox News/Fox Business, the Denver Nuggets and the Kansas City Royals. 

“Very often what starts as a simple production music license turns into a custom branding piece or a customization of an existing work,” says Arnold. “It’s an efficient way to create something that fits and elevates the project.”