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Old 02-06-2010, 11:14 AM
kingof6strings kingof6strings is offline
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Default Film Scoring

I want to start recording music for film, by some of my pieces do not follow an exact tempo as they are played naturally. What is the best way to go about recording a 'natural' instrumental. Is Pro Tools the right software? One way I have thought of is to use the 'conductor track' button and constantly draw in the tempo changes for every part of the song. Is there an easier way? Also does anyone how real film scores are made, as pieces like 'Requiem for a soldier' and the Jurrassic park theme tune do not 'seem' to have a tempo and just sound natural, I can't figure out how it was composed. If anyone knows it would be of great help.
Thankyou
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:51 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Film Scoring

You can do alot with Protools but the majority of composers are using Logic or Digital Performer. They have a little bit more features that make things a little easier for that.

But you can do quite a bit with Protools. You're on the right track with changing the tempo as needed with the conductor.

One thing people have suggested that makes sense regardless of what software you're using is to create a new separate session for each musical cue. That makes it easier when messing with tempo because it's just that piece. When you've got it how you want, mix it down to a basic stereo audio track and import it into your master session. This also makes it easier if changes were made to the film and you have to redo or reedit something in just one area.

Then there are things like elastic audio which can help fine tune stuff.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:55 AM
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DonaldM DonaldM is offline
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Default Re: Film Scoring

By the way you are asking your questions it looks like you've got a lot of reading up and studying to do before scoring for media. Scoring for media isn't like scoring for anything else. Precise timings are involved, learning how syncing works is essential, understand the relationships between director and composer and the dynamics of all that, etc etc.

Even a great composer would have to learn a whole new set of skills to compose for media. I do suggest you take a look at this website and fourm and check out the forums. Several of the composers on there are working media composers.

you might also consider signing up for some classes through a media arts school like Berklee College of Music or Full Sail University or some other one. Some offer online courses for this. Your question can't be fully answered in a simple forum post!
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:55 PM
klaukholm klaukholm is offline
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Default Re: Film Scoring

It depends on the music you are writing as well as the size of the orchestra, which orchestra it is, not to mention the particular conductor at hand.

It is not a good idea to fluctuate the click in order to create "musicality". It will only achieve the opposite.
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:05 AM
kingof6strings kingof6strings is offline
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Default Re: Film Scoring

Ok thanks for the replies and advice. Do you think maybe a better route is to record my pieces then send them to publishing companies to be used in media?
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:05 AM
1ace1 1ace1 is offline
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Default Re: Film Scoring

Tempo is not an issue in film music. IF you want to record something that has a changing tempo and it just acoustic instruments (no sequencing needed) I wouln't even go near tempo in protools. Just use it like a tape machine.

If you have a scene that is 2 mins long, you must make your audio for said scene 2 mins long (no shorter, no longer!). It can be at whatever BPM you like.

As for recording pieces and sending them out..... Good to do on spec.... but I doupt that much material would be used.

There is masses of library music around for people to buy/license and use in their own media projects.

+1 on the additional reading though.

A:)
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Film Scoring

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Originally Posted by kingof6strings View Post
Ok thanks for the replies and advice. Do you think maybe a better route is to record my pieces then send them to publishing companies to be used in media?
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:31 PM
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O.G. Killa O.G. Killa is offline
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Default Re: Film Scoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingof6strings View Post
I want to start recording music for film, by some of my pieces do not follow an exact tempo as they are played naturally. What is the best way to go about recording a 'natural' instrumental. Is Pro Tools the right software? One way I have thought of is to use the 'conductor track' button and constantly draw in the tempo changes for every part of the song. Is there an easier way?
Identify beat from the Event menu is a much easier way of doing this... you can also use Beat Detectives "Bar|Beat Marker Generator" section to do this as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingof6strings View Post
Also does anyone how real film scores are made, as pieces like 'Requiem for a soldier' and the Jurrassic park theme tune do not 'seem' to have a tempo and just sound natural, I can't figure out how it was composed. If anyone knows it would be of great help.
Thankyou
I do a lot of work for film including recording, mixing and sometimes composing underscore. 99.9999999% of the time, there is a specific tempo going on even if you can't feel one. Even for long, rubato passages and such. Everything is timed to be in sync with the picture and changes/edits that happen in the picture. So while the tempo map might vary from 43.5621 bpm in 4/4 to 71.4443 in 9/8 to whatever... there is always a precise tempo to make sure the chord changes land exactly where they are landing.

The other thing that happens most of the time. The version of the picture you are seeing in the theater (the finished version) is not the same versino the composer scored the film to. There are dozens of picture changes made to the film. But in order to have the orchestral music composed, orchestrated, recorded and mixed by the time the film is ready to mix, they need to have the composer start writing music way before the picture is "locked" (meaning no more changes will happen to the picture).

Because of this, there is usually several "music editors" for each film. Their sole job is to take the music that was already recorded and mixed and tweak it to fit the new changes made to the picture and to try and make new cues to scenes that may have been added by using elements recorded for other sections of the film. Really with music editing the sky is the limit. The composer usually isn't directly involved in the music editing (although sometimes they can be).

So, for some films, the composer is hearing the music for the first time along with all the other movie goers! LOL

For example, a lot of the music from "The Dark Knight" was originally from "Batman Begins". That is why James Newton Howard is credited as co-composer on the second one even though he didn't actually work on the second one. Some of his compositions from the first film were re-used in the second. The music editors cut together a lot of the music from the first film to try and come up with music for the second film. Certain secitons were re-recorded with a full orchestra, other sections were left as is after the editing (since they were editing the orchestral recordings done for the first film, they didn't really need to re-record it again). So a piece of music written for the first film was completely rearranged and cut together to fit into a scene in the second film... pretty crazy huh?!

there are a lot of books and videos about the process of scoring for film. If you are interested in pursuing it you should definitely start with some of those. There are a lot of little technical tidbits you need to know (like how to find the tempo of a scene) as well as some more abstract aethstetics of music (which keys normally feel "sad" as opposed to "happy" as opposed to "triumphant") in film.
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