Friday, October 2, 2015

New version of launched today

Dear friends, users, visitors of

This weekend we are launching the newly redesigned Shockwave-Sound website. We hope that you will enjoy using it. The new site features a slick, new design, more modern and perhaps more pleasing to the eye - although, of course, that is a matter of personal preference. new site 2015

More importantly, though, the new has functional improvements beyond the purely visual. "Under the hood", the handling of database queries such as browsing, searching etc. in the music catalogue is better optimized and uses more cache features, which means that everything should be faster, more streamlined.

The new site, compared with the old one, features:

  • Faster browsing and page loading.
  • Faster search, much less load on the server.
  • Fully Adaptive/Flexible design that works well on screens of any size, including tablets, cellphones, etc.
  • No Flash, all HTML5 built.
  • Choose between Standard or Condensed View in all track listings (Condensed view shows less details of each track and a preview sound player for only the "Full track" version of each track).
  • More track sorting options including "Most sold forever" and "Most sold recently".
  • A simplified and easier accessible Advanced Browse functionality that lets you combine different criteria such as Moods/Emotions, Music Genres, Tempo, Instrumentation and more, to find your perfect track.
  • "Find Similar Tracks" feature which automatically pre-fills the Advanced Browse page for you, to enable you to find more tracks that match several criteria from the track you just heard.
There are many other smaller improvements, which hopefully you will find along the way as you start to use our new site. We hope you enjoy it.

A bit of history

Just for fun, we decided to dig out some pictures of older versions of, going back to 2001. Actually, the site itself was started in April 2000, but we don't have any historical images of the site until February 2001, when the first picture below is from. Looking at the pictures below, you can see that we have pretty much operated with the same core design / look since 2002. That's 13 years, without a major overhaul of the look and design. I guess it was about time! Although I have to say, that the "2002 design", made for us at the time by Gert Duinen, combined with the core programming work and database connection created for us in 2005 by Richard Davey, has served us extremely well., 2001, early 2002, 2003, 2008, 2014

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Three amazing new album releases: Ambient Mysteries, Lite Rock, Spirit of India & Middle East

I wanted to take a moment to stop for a moment to make a bit of an announcement of the three great new stock music / production music albums we have released over the past week or so here at

Ambient Mysteries Vol. 1 represents a new series for us, being the first volume of albums with this title. The music chosen for this album and subsequent volumes are Ambient music that goes away from the "blissful, relaxing" new age music often connected with the word Ambient, and more over into the kind of cold, eerie, mystical music often heard in the new wave of Scandinavian crime dramas, as well as mystery / suspense films, TV series such as "Breaking Bad" and more. It's Ambient music that lends itself towards the "darker side" of productions, but without actually stepping into horror territory, if you see what I mean. We actually considered calling this album "Nordic Ambient, Vol. 1" because we feel some of the music has a Nordic / Scandinavian feel (anybody familiar with some great Scandinavian crime series like "The Bridge", "Wallander" and "Forbrydelsen" which was released in English under the name "Those Who Kill"?), but in the end we decided to go with the somewhat less specific title, "Ambient Mysteries".

Lite Rock, Vol. 10 contains ten tracks of friendly, fresh, uplifting and heartening, melodic rock tracks, 8 of which composed and recorded by the undersigned, and two additional tracks by my good friend Dan Morrisey. I hope you'll enjoy this one. Our "Lite Rock" collections are always quite popular; I think the music lends itself well to many types of media projects, including commercials / advertising, adventure sports / outdoor activities, fun and holidays, even corporate / business presentations.

Spirit of India & the Middle East, Vol. 5 deserves a special mention. It contains 11 wonderful World tracks with the sounds, flavor and styles of the Orient / Middle East and India. Composed by Wael Mhanna with production support by his brother Jad Mhanna, who live and work in Lebanon, this album features music composed and recorded in the Middle East, unlike most "World" music you would get from a production music library which is actually composed in places like UK, Germany and America! Wael and Jad put together an ensemble of live human performers from Lebanon who played their traditional instruments on top of studio / sample arrangements made beforehand on computers. The result is a combination of programmed and real live human performances that just sound great. This collection has music representing the regions of Arabia / Persia - The Middle East, India and North Africa, including (but not limited to) Iraq, Syria, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Order #200,000 placed at today

We are very happy to be able to announce customer #200,000 today in our online shopping cart system / database. Well, it's not actually customer #200,000 but rather order #, because we have a lot of repeat customers and there won't be 200,000 different customers, but a total of 200,000 orders placed through our online shopping cart system since the current database went online in April 2005 (about 10 1/2 years ago) at the time of writing. (In fact, as a stock music / royalty-free music site was started already 5 years before that, back in the spring of 2000, but it didn't have a real online order database until April 2005).

The screenshot shows the top of the order log, with the most recent orders on the top of the list, as it looked this morning. We've blurred the names and email addresses in the interest of privacy, but I can say that order #200,000 was placed by a gentleman from Finland, and he bought the 60-secs version of the track We Are Young composed by Evgeny Emelyanov.

We here at want to thank you all for your amazing support and all the business you've done on our site through the years, allowing us to continue to bring you great music composed exclusively for us by amazingly talented composers from all over the world. Bring on the next 15 years!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Special release feature: "Secret" by Peter Cavallo

We don't write a blog feature about every new track or album we release here at Shockwave-Sound, because our poor readers would not be able to keep up with the constant stream of new music tracks and collections being published. For example, over the past 7 days we have released five new albums, with about 10-12 tracks on each - these are now all available as individual tracks in our track catalogue, and as CD-collections / albums in our "Collections" area.

However, once in a while we release something that we feel is a bit special and deserves a closer look, and a little bit of a "splash". Our very latest, the album Secret by Peter Cavallo, is such a case.

"Secret" is an album of 12 astonishingly beautiful, haunting, delicate and considered pieces in neo-classical or classic film soundtrack style. Made completely without any electric or electronic sounds, this is an album of timeless music that will go just as well in a film 50 years from today, as it does today - and indeed would have done 50 years ago.

I strongly recommend you listen to these amazing Individual Tracks by Peter Cavallo as well as this album release titled "Secret".

Having listened over and over to this music over the past few days, I felt the need to get hold of composer Peter Cavallo and find out a little bit more about his background, and the background and story behind this amazing music. So I decided to make a little bit of an interview, and here goes:

Peter Cavallo in his studio

Your music is very accomplished, very detailed, you are clearly not a beginner. Have you released any album or soundtracks previously?

"You are right, I am not a beginner. I am a self taught musician that simply loves to write music and it has been that way from the first instrument I picked up. I have two previous albums to my credit. The first, which was an instrumental solo Piano album was released on audio cassette (remember those?). It won an award and didn't do too bad in sales. The second was a contemporary instrumental album featuring some friends of mine who were working as session musicians at the time. Again this was a audio cassette only release and was a major flop  as it was released at the start of Australia's recession period. Not a good time to release a new album, but I did manage to pick up another award, which I think was because I was the only idiot to release an album at that time :) I am yet to do a film soundtrack, but I have written music for television which was quite easy to get into as I was working as a Television producer for a few years and just used my own music in the show. If there are any directors reading this... well, you know the rest."

The music on "Secret" seems very deliberate, very thought-through and with attention to detail. How long did it take you to put together this work? I'm guessing it wasn't done in a week…

The selection of tracks on Secret were written over a period of one year, in between all the other music I wrote. All of these tracks were selected as they seem to have a theme that tied them together. It was if the album was writing itself over time. Every time I would sit at the piano, which is my main writing tool, these melodies would flood through and within an hour I would have a finished sketch. While it was still fresh I would put down a piano only track of the entire piece, then sit back and listen to the orchestra in my head. The rest is total organised chaos, a flurry of activity and frustration trying to get sample libraries to emulate what's going on in the symphony in my head. This is where the time factor comes into it. I spend a lot of hours on a track just getting the sounds to be as authentic as possible. The tracks themselves were composed very quickly but the orchestration takes way longer for two reasons. 1. Samples libraries are like balancing an elephant on a bar stool. 2. I don't know what I'm doing. Am I happy with the final result? Of course not! But you cannot dedicate your life to one piece of music when there is so much more waiting for you to connect with.

Peter Cavallo at the piano

Are you inspired or influenced by classical music composers, if so which ones, or more by contemporary film soundtrack composers?
I would have to say the composer that has influenced my thirst to write music would be Rachmaninoff. He was one of the most innovative and passionate composers I've heard. In the movie soundtrack world it would be Ennio Morricone, Thomas Newman, Max Steiner. Some smaller but very influential composers have been Bill Brown and Steven Gutheinz. I don't actually listen to much music unless I want to study it and learn from it.

Do you use any live instrument recordings for your productions, or are you just very clever with samples and simulated instruments?
I would love to use live instruments all the time. As good as sample libraries are they are still no match for a real player, full stop. I used a violin player in one of my tracks simply because it wouldn't work at all with a sample violin library. That track is called 'In the Tears'. This touches on a very frustrating aspect to my composing. What I hear in my head and what ends up as the finished result is actually a very poor comparison of what it could be. Because what I hear has no boundaries and I am frustrated by my lack of ability and knowledge of music to fully be able to articulate precisely in a score of how it should be performed.This is why over the last 8 months I have been studying music with a Canadian Composer called Alain Mayrand who is slowly teaching me that music has colour, emotion and rules. Music paints pictures in the mind of every listener - the challenge is to get every listener to see the same thing when they hear your music. Music has emotions - chords, harmony, pitch and rhythm. When used with purpose can make you cry and laugh in the same measure. Rules can be broken but with correct knowledge. I can say with certainty that one day I will compose with true clarity and purpose and hopefully with real players.

If you could go back in time and compose the musical score for a any major movie from history, which movie would you have liked to compose for?
I love movies and a great score is hard to find these days. Recently I read an article about Max Steiner and how he was given a project to do with a very limited budget and no one was sure it was even going to work as a film. The film was 'King Kong'. Max Steiner composed a wonderful score but his budget was so small he could only afford a hand full of musicians. When they recorded the tracks he had musicians and himself changing instruments in mid score. He was one of the first innovators in film music and that really inspires me. Not that I could do anything like Max Steiner's work but I would have loved to give King Kong a go. No sample libraries just the raw material that makes music real and live!

Can you tell us a few words about yourself and your part of the world, that has nothing to do with music or your compositions? 

I live in Canberra, Australia. Canberra is the Capital of Australia, not Sydney as many think it is. Canberra is the smallest of the capital cities in Australia and is where all political decisions are made. It is a like a country town, nice to live and bring up a family and 2 hours drive to the snow (winter) or beach (summer). I have an adventure motorcycle that allows me to escape and go travelling and one day I hope to, with my partner do a world tour on motorcycles. I have hit a kangaroo while riding my motorcycle, which was something I do not wish to try again. We both survived, thankfully, with a story to tell. I have the most wonderful partner who supports me fully in what I am trying to do in music and she is the best part of my life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A video for Isha Erskine Project - Falling Down

One of our regular writers / musicians Isha Erskine submitted a new track for licensing this week, a really great vocal ballad, with a certain Enya / Clannad / Moya Brennan kind of vibe and with a superb female vocal performed by Michelle Lockey.

We put together a music video of sorts to mark the release of this great new track. Here it is:

The music track was composed by Isha Erskine (real full name Elisha D Erskine) along with Michelle Lockey and the track is available to license as stock music / production music for your own media projects, be it film, video, stage event, commercial etc.

For me, listening to this track makes me think of serious drama, crime drama, perhaps something melancholic and eerily mystical, perhaps Nordic, wintery or damp. It really gets my imagination going. I could easily see this track be used as the theme music, for example, for a BBC Crime Drama series. I hope you'll like it too.

The track, Falling Down, is also available in an Instrumental version, as well as an Underscore version (a version with all "lead instruments" removed) and various shorter versions, loops etc. You can listen to all the different versions and buy a license, by following this link.