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Old October 12th, 2004, 08:27 PM   #1
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How do YOU score your music to your digital video projects?

With all of the wonderful choices available to the film composer (professional and non-professional alike) made by quite a few software and hardware options for film-score composing & recording, I'm just curious how YOU score and/or record YOUR music to your digitial video projects.

Do you use midi? If you do, are you still using external tone generators or are you using "softsynths" for your midi-based music score??? What digital-audio/midi programs do you use (for example, emagic's Logic, Steinberg's SX, etc.)?

Do you record strictly live musicians?? If you do, is it computer-software based?? If this is the case, what programs do YOU used (for example, Sony's Vegas, Pro Tools, Steinberg's Nuendo, etc). OR!!! Do you record your live musicians using some form of reel to reel???

While I'm asking all of these questions, I might as well ask more.

Who here makes a full-time living as a film-composer? Do you do this exclusively (act only as a film composer) or do you score DV (film) projects as part of the overall DV service that you provide (in other words, do you shoot and/or direct the video, edit the video, score the video, etc)??

Who here does not necessarily make a full-time living as a film-composer, but still does a lot of film scoring work??

Now my final request. This is not question-based. Here it is:

SHARE YOUR STORY!

Why am I asking this? Just curious.

Looking forward to reading your stories. :)

Respectfully,

Ted
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Old October 13th, 2004, 10:13 PM   #2
 
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I'm not a full-time film composer, but have done a little film. You can view my credits at http://www.spottedeagle.com/credits.htm It's not up to date though.
Depends on the job for me. A fast "Need it now/cheap" job means scoring as much in ACID or Sonar as I can, then starting to add MIDI instruments/softsynths when I need something that's not regimented. Then I'll do a few tracks in RW over that. (real world)
Just taking a few drumloop tracks in Sonar or ACID, then playing a real shaker or hat, or other noisemaker over top of it makes the whole thing seem real, like it's got a swing to it. Add a real track or two over top of it, you're done and it sounds organic.
One trick I regularly use is to create 90% of my symphonic works in MIDI and then use 3-4 tracks of a violinist and 2-3 tracks of a cellist. These two instruments are very easy and inexpensive to hire, and make a reasonably good MIDI string section come to total life.
I'm a freak for all the Spectrasonics Softsynths, VSampler, and ACID, using Sonar and ACID for compositions, recording in Vegas using a MIDI lockup.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 01:34 AM   #3
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I have been composing for television and I am using Digital Performer. I have used midi and for now I am using the Garritan.com orchestra and then the audioease.com Altiverb that mimics halls very nice (and it is also very useful for post production sound effects).

I also have h/w synths but I do not use them as much since I also have a software sampler MachFive by motu.com.

Today I am incorporating movie making, sound design and music. It is great fun to have control over it all and really understanding it. It is much easier to bounce back and forth and correct whatever is wrong.

I would always go midi first before recording live instruments it is not really that much more work than piano only.

While running Digital Performer I get the full control between the in movie sound tracks, sound design and music all in one. Works like charm.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 08:02 AM   #4
 
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Welcome to the forum, Bjorn!
Stockholm is a musical hotbed. I used to play the Waterfestival there every year til they stopped doing it, and still play in Folkared, Gothenberg, and at the market in Jokkmokk each year.
There is so much great music happening in Stockholm and Sweden overall that it's surprising.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 08:28 AM   #5
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Thank you Douglas!

Yes, Stockholm was also estimated to be the most studio dense city in the world some decade ago. It is a lot of fun happening on the music scene.

Basically the Water Festival died when the air show, associated with it, had to quit.

You really do have travelled all over. From the home of seafood, via the grand capital to the northern mosquito (not the airplane) land.
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Old October 15th, 2004, 12:41 PM   #6
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I'm a dinosaur. I still use pencil and paper. Actually, I've been using Sibelius alot to do my notation although I also do notation directly into SX, but I prefere Sibelius for notation. Sometimes I'll just start by playing in a them and going from there directly into the sequencer, but I prefer to at least have a written sketch first.

I do pretty much everything Native, but I'm a hobbyiest (at least until my carreer in quality adult entertainment takes off). I've used Logic and SX and prefere SX. I'm just starting to learn Nuendo and am very impressed by it. All of them allow you to import the video to a track in the sequencer and lock to either midi or SMPTE. My hardware is minimal MOTU interfase, Mackie control & Mixer, Mackie and Fostex monitors, midi controller keyboard, some mics, instruments, etc.

I use a lot of soft synths. For orchestral I use the East West Quantum Leap Orchestra - very nice if you want a "Hollywood" sound. I agree with hiring one or two live cats it makes a big difference. I also love the Spectrasonics stuff. Especially Trilogy, which has the best acoustic bass I've heard (and I played acoustic bass for almost 20 years). Atmosphere is great as well. No good sax patches you need to record that in live.

I'm also a huge waves fan for processing, I think they make far and away the best pluggs. That's one of the reasons I'm not so high on logic. They're giving you a great value in their bundle, but I don't really care for their plugs and use other ones.
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Old October 17th, 2004, 02:20 PM   #7
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Everyone. Thank you for your responses.

Matthew - A few months ago, I found and read old film score music I wrote during my music college days. I remember all of the math involved in figuring out clicks per second for a click track, and where those clicks correspond with a specific event in the film and where those click may correspond within a particular measure, etc, etc, etc. Yep! Good ol' pencil and paper! Of course this was all before digital video, midi and just around the time the the PC's were coming out in the market.

Thank goodness for technology!! It's so much easier to plan, write and record film music scores with all of the software/hardware available today.

Yet! I still write down and develop ideas on musical manuscript paper. It takes a bit more time but I find that develop and organize musical ideas better this way. Just old habit, I guess.

Thank you all for responding to my thread, here.

Ted
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