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I am Daniel Licht composer for Film, Television and Video Games. (Dexter, Silent Hill, Dishonored, NBC's Deception) Ask me anything!

I am Jon Licht, singer/songwriter and composer. I have written numerous original songs for TV and Film including songs for Dexter, Silent Hill and most recently the end credits song for Dishonored "Honor for All." Ask me anything!

EDIT Proof...


Thanks for all the questions! Not sure what's goin on with the downvotes but apparently it's been taken care of!

EDIT AS of 2pm (PST) we are still here answering questions...Keep em comin and we'll let you know when we're all done. Thanks!

EDIT: We are taking a break but will be back later to answer some more questions. Thanks everyone for the questions!

EDIT: Thank you all for your questions we are officially signing off now! This was a lot of fun! Cheers!

Comments: 125 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

DarkllPassenger12 karma

Hey Daniel! Huge fan of your work. Some of my favorites in Dexter include "Blood Theme" (obviously), "Love Your Wife", "The Truth" and "Nurse Dexter". Your work in Dishonored also perfectly captured the atmosphere of the game.

How do you prepare for composing these pieces which perfectly fit the atmosphere of the scene? Do you watch the scene first and then create your piece around it? Or is the scene described to you and then they use the piece you created and mold the scene around it?

I've always been interested in your musical process and just wondered if you could give me some insight.

danjonlicht9 karma

I almost always have a piece of film to compose to. Occasionally especially in video games I will be given a script or story treatment to work to because the pieces aren't done yet, but I will almost always check it against final picture. The main theme for Dishonored I wrote before the game had even been animated. My assignment was to help them pitch the project by creating a menu theme. -dl

here_we_go_7 karma

Hi Daniel! 'Hide Your Tears" is one of my favourite tracks of all time. The composition is absolutely genius and gives me chills every time (the fact that it's Dexter's post-murder background music may have something to do with that, though).

I don't really have anything to ask, just congratulating on all the success, mate.

danjonlicht5 karma


vittu6 karma

Have either of you played any of the Silent Hill games?

danjonlicht11 karma

I have played Silent Hill. I played a little of the original on ps2 I think. and Silent Hill Homecoming -dl

Salacious-4 karma

I'm no musician, but it would probably be really hard to write music for it without playing it to get a feeling for what it is like.

danjonlicht8 karma

Yes I did play through Homecoming to get a feel. And I looked at walkthroughs which are very helpful for checking out the atmosphere if the gamer isn't talking too much!


riskyplissken5 karma

Daniel, I just want to thank you for the Dexter soundtrack. I always listen to it when I'm driving around with a lot to do. It's just really good stuff.

What have you got on your plate right now?

danjonlicht4 karma

I am working on a series for NBC " Deception" Mondays nights 10pm/9C check it out!

screamingtree5 karma

Who is the composer you would each most like to work with?

What upcoming project are you most excited about?

How long have you been recording/playing?

danjonlicht12 karma

I don;t generally work with other composers but if I had to say I would like to work with Thomas Newman, Gabriel Yared, Gustavo Santaolalla to name a few. -dl

dcaspy75 karma

What's was the most fun soundtrack you made?

What's your favorite soundtrack?

danjonlicht2 karma

I think the most fun was Hellraiser Bloodline. I recorded it in a big church in Seattle with a full orchestra and Choir. I don't have favorite soundtracks but favorite cues from work I've done. If i had to pick one I think it would be King Solomon's Mine. -dl

Krogane3 karma

Did you guys work on Silent Hill 4 Soundtrack? If not, what Silent Hill Games have you done? Also, Why is everyone getting downvoted?

danjonlicht4 karma

We did silent hill - downpour and silent hill Book of Memories -dl

Laterface3 karma

How much has "Peter and the Wolf" influenced your work?

danjonlicht3 karma

I love Tchaikovsky!


tina_hearts_paula3 karma

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

danjonlicht6 karma

In my deadlines :) I usually key in on the mood of the scene or try to get an overall feeling for what i want the project to feel like in a musical sense.



Daniel & Jon-

  1. What are your core software and hardware components? i.e. DAW, vst/au, any external gear or crazy vintage stuff?
  2. How did you break into your career in TV/Film/Games?
  3. What professional sound libraries do you find yourselves using most often? (EWQL, ProjectSam, etc)
  4. Who are your inspirations? What do you listen to to get you "in the zone," if anything?

Thanks for the AMA! :)

danjonlicht6 karma

I use logic with a 12 core mac pro- lots of Kontakt instruments - alchemy omnisphere - VSL - Sam all of them. I find the best sound for a scene. and record live! even if its a melodica. I got my break doing student films which led top my first films.


sanguinekorrin3 karma

Dishonored was amazing, and Honor For All at the end made it 1 million times better. Thank you for that! You captured the feel of the game perfectly. It's one of my favorite video game songs ever!

Questions: did you play Dishonored? Are you going to be working on the new Dishonored game they are planning? How surreal is it seeing your music attached to such critically acclaimed media (Dexter included)?

danjonlicht8 karma

Thanks for the compliments. I am hoping there will be more Dishonored and I will be involved.

It's great to have my music attached to great projects. and it is fun to play and hear my music.


danjonlicht6 karma

Really glad you enjoyed Honor For All! I did play Dishonored. It's a great game. It's really cool to see my music attached to a great game like Dishonored and a great show like Dexter. It's really surreal and I'm really happy to have the opportunity to contribute to these amazing projects. -JL

phillyeagles5403 karma

What is the most challenging project you've worked on?

danjonlicht1 karma

I did a 2 part 4 hour miniseries "Maneater" and had to finish it i three weeks. It was a fun project though.


ColossiKiller2 karma

How does making a music for a game work, did you play the game to get a feel for it before you started or was it more of a separate process?

Loved both the game and the soundtrack!

danjonlicht1 karma

Games are not done while composer is working on them. as far as I know anyways.


aschrage292 karma

I love the work you do on Dexter! What is your favorite song that you wrote for the series? Do you ever go on set?

danjonlicht9 karma

I think maybe the love scene with Trinity and his wife in the Bathtub is my favorite. Very twisted love theme. I go on set sometimes. Mostly to help if there are musical questions. Jon and I played in the wedding scene at the end of season two. Look for us.


danjonlicht5 karma

Those are great shots! Thanks. Stealing now...

jacobglasner2 karma

Would you consider writing pop music? do you think your skill set would enable you to do that?

danjonlicht1 karma

Jon writes pop music - or "alternative" I like to listen to contemporary music and work with singer songwriters often as I have time for. -dl

Jeanna_MC2 karma

I'm so sad I missed this, I love Dexter. Stupid class :(

danjonlicht1 karma

I'm still here!


Ful_Stop2 karma

Hey Daniel! Love your work on Dexter and Dishonored! I'm a music composition student who has dreams of scoring for the screen, especially for games. My question is, what is the best advice you have for someone in my position? Thank you!

danjonlicht1 karma

go to Berklee or USC and study film scoring. Move to LA and work for a composer. Score many many student films. Study filmscores of the past and develop an original sound! See comments below


dcaspy72 karma

Any recommendations of other soundtracks? (not from you guys)

danjonlicht2 karma

Check out Jerry Goldsmith - Alien, Poltergiest, Logans Run, Alex North - Spartucus, anything by Tommy Newman , Christopher Youung - The Fly ii, Hellraiser 2,


dhoward12 karma

What would I have to do to get you to score a short film for me? I am willing to do almost anything. Love your work.

danjonlicht1 karma

Pay me? ha! Thanks, I appreciate the support. There are many talented composers out there. Put out a notice and you will find 25 people ready to score your film. Or pay me or Jon. :)

100horsesizedducks1 karma

I would like to ask you a question, and I am sure that just judging by my user name you will already know what I am about to ask.

So my question is, are there any in-jokes or things that you put into your music that no one would know about unless you pointed it out to them?

If so, what are they?

danjonlicht2 karma

Once I wrote a song about my last name, I'll have to get around to posting that somewhere. -JL

Derpiderp1 karma

The music is what puts the 'awesome' in the sentence 'Dexter is fucking awesome!' Really, well done. Thank you!

Question: Do you write music for a specific scene, or do you make upfront multiple compositions in a Dexter-theme from which the directors can choose what is best for which scene?

danjonlicht2 karma

Thank you! I write for each scene although the directors and editors do pick themes I have already written into scenes often. If I like the way they work there I will leave them, but if I think it needs a new theme I will write one. -dl

Spaceycoww1 karma

Do you also watch Dexter? If you do, what was your favorite season or favorite character? (apart from Dexter)

danjonlicht4 karma

I always watch every eprisode before I score it. Trinity of course my favorite character


frodaddysteven1 karma

Hope im not to late, i love your guys work on Dexter and my 2 questions are: 1. On the Dexter soundtrack, the song "Die This Way" (#25 i believe), who is it on vocals? And 2. How did that song come about?

danjonlicht2 karma

That's me (Jon) on vocals. This track came about when I got the idea to remix Dan's blood theme. I started playing around with it and Die This Way was born. I played it for Dan and we souped it up a little bit together and the record company that released the soundtrack decided to put it as a bonus track on the CD.

Deerhoof_Fan1 karma

What advice would you give to a young aspiring songwriter?

danjonlicht1 karma

Just write write write write and keep writing. Listen to a lot of songs and just keep practicing.

so-called0 karma

Some of the songs that can be heard in Dexter were not included in any of the released soundtracks.

Assuming there is going to be another soundtrack release (for season 7 and/or 8), is there any chance that some of these unreleased tracks from previous seasons could be included as extras ?

For example, the theme that plays in the first episode of season 2 around the 35 minute mark when the divers discover the bags under the ocean. Or the one that can be heard in the background in episode 10 of season 5 around the 30 minute mark while Dexter and Lumen are searching Alex Tilden's house. (it is used multiple times throughout the series)

I apologize if I am asking the wrong person, information about who decides which tracks should be included in the soundtracks is not publicly available.

danjonlicht1 karma

The underwater piece was released as extra content on the first soundtrack release "The Fortune". If you check all the I-tunes releases you should be able to find most of the music. I am always open to requests to release so I'll look for the piece you are referring to.


Salacious-0 karma

What game (that you didn't work on) had horrible music that you think you could have vastly improved?

danjonlicht5 karma

Can't think of any offhand. I think i wouldn't play a game that had horrible music. I would just stop. -dl

elmronse0 karma

Dexter has a great opening song.What do you think of the opening credits song for House of Cards?

danjonlicht1 karma

havent heard it yet.

Skywise87-1 karma

No questions, I just want to say I love "Photos" and "Astor's birthday party".

danjonlicht1 karma

Thanks! :)

rlyx6x-1 karma

Dude, I loved the dishonoured soundtrack, thank you.

danjonlicht2 karma

Your welcome. i am playing the game myself right now.


IAmAtWorkAMAA-1 karma

No question, I just wanted to say that the dexter title song is my alarm clock ring tone. So thanks for making sure I get to work on time

danjonlicht2 karma


farmerfrugal-1 karma

Are you be making music for the next dishonored if it becomes a franchise?

danjonlicht4 karma

I believe they will ask me to. I hope so anyway.


natskedat-1 karma

How many times were you rejected before you got your first big break? What was it?

danjonlicht5 karma

I am still waiting for my big break. Kidding. One has to be ready for a lot of rejection in this business. You should never take it personally. I can give you three keys to success in music for media: 1.Do the best job of whatever you are working on. You never know who might hear it 2. Pursue every opportunity or connection you have no matter how remote. 3. Go to where the work is. LA , NY , Austin, Nasheville, etc... 4. Associate with other composers, you will get work from them. -dl

ejrobin33-2 karma

What is a soundtrack to a show or movie that you wish you came up with?

danjonlicht2 karma

schindlers list