Daily Film scoring bits

Welcome to the Daily Film Scoring Bits. On this page I post on a more or less daily basis little tips, tricks and advices about film scoring in general but also more specific topics like orchestration, composition, working relationships, business advices etc.

Use the search bar on the right to find specific topics or click on the tags to filter posts by specific topics.

Please don’t hesitate to comment on the bits, a lively discussion with different points of view is desired 🙂

“Real Orchestra” Problems

Coming from a sampling background, many young composers are surprised about what main problems usually arise in “real orchestra” recordings that are practically non-existent in the sample world. When recording a real ensemble,…

Mock-Up Weaknesses

If you can not mock-up an instrument convincingly in a piece (that eventually will end up without recording of real instruments in a score) due to the lack of decent libraries or just out of the fact that this instrument can not be simulated convincingly, you should rather leave…

Diminished Chord Function

Diminished chords usually serve the function of a dominant seventh chord, usually targeting to a chord a with a root a semitone higher. For instance the chord C#dim (C#-E-G) wants to resolve to a D or Dm.
The reason for that is that the structure of the C#dim is actually…

Musical Humor

There is a very thin line between funny scoring and silly scoring. Inexperienced composers tend to overwrite funny scenes by composing silly music. Not every character who has a clumsy side needs to have a score that points its finger at that. Usually, the humor is more…

(Re-)Scoring Blockbuster Scenes

Many especially young composers are looking for film material to practice scoring. And due to many of them wanting to write so-called epic music, it becomes even trickier to find footage as it’s not particularly easy to find amateur or student films…

Scale Run Structures

When writing runs for any instrument that is capable of playing runs, you should stick to plausible scales. Instrumentalists practice their whole life to play scale runs in any form – upwards, downwards, starting on different scale degrees etc. However, if you write…

Protools in the Film Scoring World

No matter what DAW you use to work in and produce, when working in the film scoring field you should have at least elementary knowledge of using Protools. Most recording studios run on that software providing nothing more but a Protools session file…

Melodic Tension

Melody writing has a lot to do with melodic tension and proper resolution. Usually, the degree of tension is determined by the underlaying chord. An f in the melody over a C major chord has a strong tension and wants to resolve stepwise upwards…

Ethnic References

Ethnic references in the music can be a very sensitive issue. When they are stated inappropriately, it might quickly feel like a racist musical remark even though your intentions were purely to “localize” a character. In general, avoid scoring any sort…

Watch Your Ego

Watch your ego! Working on a major project is a great experience and many people shaking your hands congratulating you for your work is a true ego boost which of course feels great for everybody. However, never let this get to you. Falling into an attitude of “I know it all, I’m the best.” is the worst…

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