The sound mixer who worked on films like Gravity staring Sandra Bullock and Netflix natural history show Our Planet has told Pocket-lint that advances in computing tech over the last seven years have been such that it would have been much easier to produce the Gravity soundtrack today - especially if that computer was the new Apple Mac Pro.
"Technically it would have been easier to do the Gravity soundtrack today because we could have used less computers, but creatively I don't imagine we would have done anything different because we were creating something at the time," explained Gareth Cousins in an interview with Pocket-lint for the Pocket-lint podcast.
Cousins worked closely on Gravity with composer Steven Price. The pair had to use three Macs to help process the sheer volume of sounds that went into making the very distinctive sound of space.
It was that work that that enabled Price to win the Oscar in 2014 and Cousins a Cinema Audio Society award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures - Live Action in the same year.
Clearly excited by the possibilities the new flagship Apple desktop computer will offer, Cousins says: "The Mac Pro that's just come out is so way beyond anything we need right now. That high-end model is going to have so much head room, so much processing power that we are going to be able to do something incredible with it and the software companies will start to realise that and they'll be writing stuff, they will be giving us opportunities."
It's something the sound engineer has seen before. "Every time a new bit of hardware is created, or software created, we get to use our imaginations in a way the manufacturers wouldn't have imagined. We can be more original, we can make more things happen, we can try and push the edge of the boundary, we can try and make it, so they are catching up with us and us not catching up with them."
Cousins, who has just completed the soundtrack for a new Warhammer 40,000 game, says that while he enjoys working on big budget films that give him access to full orchestras and more, many films and TV shows today use music created entirely within the computer due to time and budget restrictions.
"If I’m working on a smaller budget project, I need to create something that sounds incredible but [with] less resources. For less money. So, I don't have musician time, I don't have studio time, but I can do all that on a Mac," explains Cousins while giving us a tour of British Grove Studios in Chiswick.
"I can use virtual instruments; I can use plugins of hardware that I like to use. Yes, the answer is that you can do it all within one box, in fact you can do the whole job within the box to a very high level. Of course, when you're composing [a big budget project] you know you are going to be putting a real orchestra on, you make sure what you are doing sounds realistic or appropriate anyway, but you can do that [in a computer], and quite a lot of people do. The majority of music that's produced for film and TV has a large element of it produced within a computer."
But Cousins does have one warning: "You can't trick everything; you can't polish it up if it's not polished already."
You can listen to the full interview in the latest episode (ep.10) of the Pocket-lint podcast out this Friday.