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 🙂

Optimal Range for Timpani

Timpani sound best between the f below middle c and the f one octave lower. Even though their range exceeds that limit, in the very lowest register the membrane needs to lose so much tension that the sound gets muddy and unfocussed. Inexperienced…

First Chair Simulation in Mock-Ups

A good way to make loud brass chords in the same family (e.g. a triad in the trumpets) sound more realistic in mockups, is to have the top note playing with a slightly stronger dynamic than the other notes. In real orchestras, this effect will also…

Subconscious Plagiarism

Another issue that bothers practically every composer once in a while is to subconsciously plagiarize existing music. Everybody writing music knows the feeling of asking oneself the question of whether that isn’t something everybody knows…

“Bridgeing” Hit Points

When you need to score a scene that has several important points you need to hit and highlight, it is a quite effective way to first create a proper tempo map for the entire scene. So before you write a note, you should have the cue and hit points…

Waiting for Feedback

Every well planned work schedule with lots of planned in buffer time for edits and perfect work discipline can get absolutely chaotic when you need to wait forever for feedback on cues. Some clients have just so much to do during the post production…

Dynamic Shaping of Sustained Brass

Brass instruments have the greatest timbral change over their dynamic spectrum. Therefore swells, crescendos, sffz, fp are highly dramatic and very effective on them. If you use long sustained brass chords or tones on key parts of your score, consider…

Key Change Dramaturgy

Key changes can be not only effective musical tools but also very effective structural elements. Trying to build towards a climax in a piece that persistently stays in one key might not be the most interesting thing to do and approaching the climax…

Presenting Ideas to a Client

Finding the right thematic material and having both parties (you and your customer/director) agree on it can take quite some time. When you present possible themes/ideas, it is common today to present them in their best shape as directors very…

Hiding Behind Orchestration

Having the sound of a full symphony orchestra at your fingertips to play with is always exciting and opens up endless possibilities for interesting soundscapes. However, orchestration should never be a tool to compensate for a weak composition…

Choir Recording

When you’re adding a real choir to your music, in most cases it is recorded seperate from (and after) the orchestra has been recorded. There are three main reasons for this: A choir needs to rehearse and can’t really sing music prima vista. Even the best…

Search

Tags

orchestration general composition technical film scoring filmscoring business melody dramaturgy daw recording chords theme climax balance recording session dynamics mock up harmony volume contract communication mockup samples brass deadline strings tension hit point mixing score sheet synchronisation spot mic build-up networking concept music mix accent decca tree modulation production client intonation sample microphones complexity repetition sustained note real orchestra balancing orchestra organisation mixing engineer field of depth reverb melodic writing motif panning rhythm pitch compensation workflow assistant orchestrator workload frequency range divisi substance runs string chord click track tutti harmonics midi mockup c11 piano texture scales realism mix melodic arc synchronizing notation contract negotiations negotiation misunderstandings sound design frequency context website working for free temp track controller drone excitement theory scoring session work print trumpets pressure melodic tension plagiarism feedback work attitude woodwinds action scoring key change delivery textures dominant presentation demo experience lawsuit live recording sustain wrong brief work load orientation real musicians stems cadential harmony target chord chord progression creative decisions brassy exploitation wrong promises block chords organ effect fee negotiation cuivre fortissimo spotting session salary danger money title credit credit high notes french horns entrances performance protocol take payment theoretical approach studies academic background music theory hit action bass rumble horror thriller bass frequencies autodidact hit points collaboration team book tips film making music maximum cue length long structures development wall to wall cue separation film analyzing legato forte business opportunity simplicity commercial success hairpin accents articulation extension gaps portfolio big picture readability harmonic structures film mixing audio track sound designer appealing multi layered composition character motivation storyline overview incomplete movie contracts representative getting projects agent 8vb 8va avoid questions credit roll