Live musicians record score for DXL men’s wear spot

Four well DXL-dressed dudes

In this age of electronic music and music licensing, Greg Allan’s Sonixphere went retro for its long-time client, The Richards Group of Dallas.  Not only was Sonixphere’s score for Richards’ client Destination XL (DXL) original — it was performed by 23 live musicians.

“You’re Looking Good,” a national 30-second spot with several versions, which recently started airing, is about four big guys’ transformation from “average Joes” into “towering icons of style,” as a result of donning stylish designer clothes sold by the largest one-stop shop for men’s apparel, in waist sizes 38 and up. 

“The storyline shows these guys emerging from a store’s dressing rooms like the heroes they always felt they were inside, warriors going out into battle,” says agency copywriter Joey Googe. “We wanted the music to have an epic, heroic feel, like you’d hear when four astronauts walk out to their rocket ship, or heroes marching forth into battle.”

Most all of the 23 union musicians hired for the session regularly play with local orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony. 

“What’s nice is when you have a budget that can afford that number of such high caliber musicians, which makes the track come to life,” Allan notes. 

Sonixphere producer-composer Tony Elfers led session recording the score in CRC’s big Studio 4, engineered by CRC’s Mat LeJeune, with the Richards Group creatives and their DXL clients in attendance.

Violins, violas, double basses, cellos, trombones, French horns and the trumpet were isolated in separate rooms to provide more flexibility in the final mix process. 

“On the seventh take, everyone in room just looked at each other and we knew this was the magical track we’d use. What ended up being the final music mix was equivalent to a 40-piece orchestra,” Allan comments.

“By using the programmed parts of tympani and snare drums and adding the live players on top of that, the results were amazing.”

The final audio was mixed by former Chicagoan Matt Cimino, at 3008 Editorial, Dallas. See the spot here.

Brendan Hearne directed for Radical Media, DP was Tim Hudson.

For The Richards Group: CDs, Danny Bryan, Todd McArtor; copywriter, Joey Googe, AD, Rodrigo Maycotte, producer, Dan Calhoun.  Post: 3008 Editorial, Dallas.