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Topic: A mockup and a short film score

  1. #1

    A mockup and a short film score

    Hey! So, while cleaning out the studio the other day, I came across the score to Edvard Grieg's "The Last Spring," which was my conducting final. And I decided to mock it up...because it is slow and I could actually play it in, and use GPO the way it is meant to be used, go figure. So here's the link:


    I used all solo strings. For anyone not familiar with the score, there are the standard 5 string parts, which divisi at times and then return to unison and divisi again, so mocking this up is not really possible unless you have a tool like GPO with enough individual string patches capable of playing in unison with eachother. To increase the fullness of the sound (or was it to cover up the mistakes in my playing), I put two players on each part, to make 4 1st Violins, 4 2nds, 3 Violas, 4 Celli, and 2 Basses. And I actually played each part (I deserve a trophy full of steak'ums). I'm not a very good pianist; luckily this was slow. I played to a click.

    I did very little in terms of adding in CC data after the fact. There are no bow changes. I haven't yet learned to work the pedals. It's all one huge downbow. The orchestra ordered special 20 foot bows just to perform this. (There's no re-taking in Grieg!) I corrected a few (ahem) wrong notes and I messed with the pan and the volume a bit to make it sound more intimate. And I used (I think) the ballroom 1 setting of Ambience. Took me about four hours from start to finish, did this over a couple of days.

    This next piece is something I've been working on for the last few weeks. It is for a comedic film trailer. There's no actual film, just a trailer. The director wanted exactly what was in the temp, but "more dramatic." The temp was Carmina Burana.

    Yeah, right.

    So, I did my best. I would like some feedback here regarding the mix. I feel like it's pretty clear, and pretty balanced, but I have listened to it a gazillion times, and I just can't tell anymore. Sounds like music... I could use a fresh ear. Hopefully the director won't have too many changes. Finale has a cool plug-in called "count entries" or something to that effect, and turns out this little 4-minute piece has approximately 16,000 notes. I wonder if that qualifies as "too many."

    I used a ton of instruments: Piccolo V, Flute V and Ens 1, Ob Mod Solo 2 and 3, E-horn 2, Clar Ens 1 and 2, Bass Clar, Bsn Solo 1 and Solo 2. Horns 1 Ens 1-3 and 2 Ens 1-3, Overlay f, and ff, Trumpets 1 Ens 1 and 2, Trumpet 2 Ens 1 and 2, Trumpet Overlay, Trombone Ens 1-3, Bass Tbn 1, Tbn Overlay, Contratuba Solo, Tuba Overlay, Timp, Cym, Snare, Bass Dr, Toms (Roland), Glock, Chimes, Xylo, Marimba, Harp 2, Piano, 24 Voice Choir (the voices are real, but the singers are not).

    For the strings, I actually had several divisi sections so added a section of solo strings to play the divisi part, and then in unison with the rest of the ensemble, and I think it blended quite well (another testament to ensemble builder). I used string sections Lush, Shortbows, Trem, Pizz, and Trills (except for the basses), then augmented the sections with 5 solo violins to add to the 1st section, 4 for the 2nds, 3 for the Violas in their halls of stone [...okay nerd moment over], 5 celli, and 3 basses (the basses were added for sonic consistency even though there is no divisi). I think that pretty well covers it. Oh the guitar bass and drums are from my Roland keyboard. They are processed to some degree, but I tried to keep everything as natural as possible.

    Sorry if the levels are wacked out, but I'm still learning about mixing. Questions, comments, moans or groans are welcome. Enjoy! (There's about six seconds of silence at the beginning).


  2. #2

    Re: A mockup and a short film score

    Top stuff man. I love Grieg and you did a pretty good job to make it vivid.

    Also your filmscoring tune is very well handcrafted. It did not touch me as much as Grieg but hey I think we all look old compared to the norwegian master....;-)

    10 points. Saved on my HD.

  3. #3

    Re: A mockup and a short film score

    Really good pieces man!

    I would love a shot at adding some finishing touches to this. The programming is top notch... just needs a little mastering.

    Good work.
    Alan Lastufka | www.BelaDMedia.com
    Producer/Artistic Design | Content Producer

    20 Things

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Re: A mockup and a short film score

    These are great!

    The Grieg piece turned out really lovely. Great dynamics too. I think it will become a real gem if you make some corrections to it.

    Your short score is excellent. Great use of textures and instrumentation (ie the guitar part is really surprizing, very refreshing) and the transitions are smooth too. Overall though it sounds kind of quiet? Could be just me though....But again, great work!!!

    What did you use for the voices???

  5. #5

    Smile Re: A mockup and a short film score

    Both pieces are really great. Of course, Grieg is fantastic.
    But I for myself have to say, that the second cue (your one) touched me more. But that is a result of composing (too) many tracks in this movie style But what shall I do, these tracks are my favourites ....

    However, you did a great job.


    "Time is the best teacher. But unfortunately she kills all her students ..." - Terry Pratchett


  6. #6

    Re: A mockup and a short film score

    Sorry for the delay in posting, but I was out of town for a family reunion. Miraculously, I made it through without a hangover. Well... kind of...

    Thanks everyone for listening! It is much appreciated. Tough if not impossible to compare myself to Grieg, but thanks for doing so, GigaLove. His melodic writing is really incredible, for as chromatic as it is, each part is melodic in and of itself. The harmonies are incredible, and playing each part twice really reinforced a quick study of the piece. And Alan I'll see what I can do to get you a MIDI file. Heck I may just post so anyone can get a good laugh at how I played this in...

    Dimora those voices, umm...AAAAHHHH! the voices! those hideous voices! AAAAHHHHH! ...were sadly my own. Buried in the mix says you? With good reason says I. I sang each part six times, and panned each voice to create the illusion of a choir ("he wasn't a very good illusionist"). Although it is not consistently 24 voices; some of the tracks had a semi and an ambulance driving past which went unnoticed at the time of recording, so they were muted occasionally. Needless to say, I wish I had VOTA or something (something that can actually sing); I can hardly wait for VOCI.

    Glad you enjoyed it, Blackster. I worked very hard on it. I have already spoken with the director, and he has agreed to allow me to post the film, or an excerpt, on my website once it is completed--which will hopefully be in the next couple of weeks; I'll keep you posted.

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