Relevance of Playback Medium for Film Scoring

Always be conscious about what medium you’re writing music for. The audience has a different focus on the story, the visuals and the music when sitting in a dark cinema staring at a huge screen as opposed to watching a blurry Youtube video on a tiny smart phone screen with tinny sound while doing something else on the side.

This influences not only the possible dynamic range of the sound and music but also the intensity of the scoring. In cinema, scores can be way more subtle and create the same effect as “on the nose” scoring for TV or internet, while transfering this “on the nose” scoring to cinema would feel very quickly over the top. Of course on many projects you might simply not know how the audience will eventually consume the score. But in cases that are targeted specifcally for a way of consumption (e.g. ad campaigns, youtube channels etc.) you should be very aware of this.

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