Score Bindings in Recording Sessions

When you’re preparing score sheet material for a recording session by yourself, avoid ring binding. Especially plastic ring bindings create a lot of noise which multiplies especially on string sections when 7 or 8 desks turn pages at the same time and very easily spill on the microphone. Hot glue bindings is not great as well as it tends to fold back.

Also, with film cues usually not being much longer than two to three minutes it is usually best in most cases to avoid any sort of bindings for the conductor. As you will most likely give him/her a score in a large format like A3, turning pages is even noisier which is not what you want anywhere near the Decca Tree.  The best way to go is actually leaving individual sheets on short cues (where the parts fit on one page) or taping parts together on longer cues. In many such cases, you also should prefer sngle side printing so the sheets belonging to each cue fit next to each other on a stand and are attached by tape so there is no chance of sheets flying around.

On even longer cues, go either to double sided printing and taping or one sided printing and taping every sheet next to each other so after reaching the amount of pages that fit next to each other on the stand you can turn over all these with one movement and have another set of as many pages as fit next to each other instead of needing to turn every page. There’s also staple binding for parts which is useful and not noisy for long cues as well.

For the conductor go for taping every cue independently and not providing a big book with all cues. This is also helpful to fit in a last minute edit on a cue.

The most important part: page turn noises are really annoying on a recording and you might want to take this to a minimum even though bindings might look better. So if you also do the job of copying, really spend some time to optimize the parts for page turnings. Remember that this is just a very basic breakdown of the work of a music department and there are many more details to consider when doing copying work.

I personally prefer outsourcing this work as it takes up a lot of time and is pretty repetative while still needing to be very concentrated which is usually not the state of mind you might be in prior to a recording session.

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