By Kevin Zimmerman
(PGA Golf on CBS, NFL on CBS and NCAA College Basketball)
Though he’s also composed for the likes of Jeopardy! and Access Hollywood, Dachinger’s made his mark in sports television. “As a kid, I spent countless weekend days in front of the TV watching sports -- especially football -- and that meant NFL Films,” he says. “The cinematography, voiceovers and music scores were iconic and must have planted some seeds in my mind!”
As an adult, he began his career as a recording engineer/mixer. “One of my clients was a composer who wrote for NBC Sports,” he recounts. “After he discovered I had a background in composition, he encouraged me to write in addition to engineering. I enjoyed the creative thrill I got from composing for sports on TV, and that began my new path.”
Though a woodwind and piano player by training, Dachinger today usually composes on a keyboard, utilizing Pro Tools to get different sounds. “Even though I’m not a guitar player, sometimes I’ll use a guitar to start writing an idea,” he says. “It’s a somewhat unfamiliar playing environment, so unique ideas sometimes evolve from the process.
“TV sports composing is a very specialized niche,” he adds. “It really helps to be a sports fan. My suggestion is: Watch sports, study how the music works, learn what it does and doesn’t do. Every network has its own sound and musical preferences. Within the sports genre, the music used can run the gamut from metal to country to Hollywood film score, so versatility is key.”