• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Topic: Scary piccalo runs... notation?

  1. #1

    Scary piccalo runs... notation?

    In 2 weeks I am doing a sampling session with a Hollywood orchestra woodwind player to record an asortment of woodwind effects (he is bringing a bunch of exotic insturments) for a film I am scoring. A big chunk of this session is going be dedicated to high freequency shrills, mainly picclo runs (simular to those you hear quite ofter in John Williams' scores). We are recording at a big composer friend's studio with a seasoned recording engeneer (both who wish to remain nameless) on his Protools HD rig in 24bit. I eventually plan to release this as part of a sample library geared twords horror orchestral effects. The question I have is does anyone know how to notate these kind of runs? I am a self taught musician and dont know how to notate (I do everything via midi). I have found several of these in musical pieces that I can play and have the player mimmic (he has done this kind of thing in his line of work). Also If anyone has any suggestions on things they would like to see In this kinda library I would love to hear them. I hope this makes sense.


  2. #2

    Re: Scary piccalo runs... notation?

    Why don't you print out the score from midi ? Even if the times are not 100% correct he will get a rough idea of what you want him to play
    Theo Krueger - Composer


    Kontakt 2 Scripts

  3. #3

    Re: Scary piccalo runs... notation?

    Often the runs are not notated with discrete notes. Instead one often uses glissandos, which are notated as a line between notes. Sometimes the lines are straight, sometimes squiggly and sometimes with "gliss." written nearby. A composer can also simply write "improvise" or something like "overtone effects". In each case, it's up to the player to interpret the meaning. If you want to specify it tightly, discrete notes and text are about as exacting as you can expect to get. Of course, you could just play or sing what you are looking for, since you will be face to face with the player.


  4. #4

    Re: Scary piccalo runs... notation?

    Jon Fairhurst's comments hit the mark. But also bear in mind that the runs Williams and others use are probably simple major and minor scales or chromatic runs ie. every note played damn fast, up and down. Performed fortissimo and at extreme octave ranges, these scales sound more scary than they would appear on paper. In fact, what makes them scary is the harmonic/melodic orchestral context that they're used in.

    If you've got the time, and your player loosens up a bit, get him/her to ad-lib like crazy as much as possible. Do some really wild stuff because that way your sampled runs will sound a LOT different to the woodwind runs already widely available (Advanced Orchestra, VSL etc).

    Good luck and do flag this board if you decide to release the results publically. I'd love to hear/have them!


  5. #5

    Re: Scary piccalo runs... notation?

    Hey, Tmon! Lucky man! I wish I could score for a film... Also remember that if the notation is not correct the piccolo-player might not perform the phrases the way you want them to sound. You actually would have to use a good score-program like finale or cubase to have the correct dots and stuff (. p pp ff) in your score, or you would have to take the score to a friend who knows notation and can help you type the markings with a pen. Unless you know the person who will perform the phrases and knows that he don't need a score to perform short phrases, I would recomend that you prepare a score just in case...

    A man/conductor once made a joke about a symphony orchestra who were going to play three notes (or a very easy harmony) to backup a choir:

    "I don't know if the orchestra will be able to play this on such short notice without a score", and he was actually not joking...

    Some orchestra-guys becomes addicted to notation and eventually cannot perform "anything" without it... But I said some, not all!

  6. #6

    Re: Scary piccalo runs... notation?

    I guess another thing you could do is get hold of a few Williams scores and ask him/her to play a specific run from some of them.

    I have The Lost World score in front of me now and it shows some Trombone and Harp Glisses, and some fast (demi-semiquaver) ff Flute scale runs.
    - SCA - Sound Studios -

  7. #7

    Re: Scary piccalo runs... notation?

    I would love to see these... any posibility of showing them off?

  8. #8

    Re: Scary piccalo runs... notation?

    Thanks for the responses. Yea, I talked with my composer friend who records his scores with a full real orchestra and he told me that there is some kind of notation for this but his orchestrator is the one who does the sheet music. He will relay this question for me. The player I am working with told me he can listen to a part and mimmic it. I plan on doing each run in different keys and getting 5-6 takes of each key so that they can be mixed and mached in unlimited ways (for ultra flexability). I will also have him do a bunch of wild improv stuff. I' ve budgetted for about 8 hours of the players time (which he told me should result in a large ammount of material). I have already recorded a bunch of other wierd, scary, and unusual sound design elements that will work well for horror and suspense type of scoring. I guess the next question is later on down the road if I were to package up a bunch of these samples into a small library geared twords horror and like genre would anyone be interested in buying it? It would be pretty specialized. The main reason I ask this is because I would buy something like this in a heartbeat if it was available (but thats just me).


  9. #9

    Talking Re: Scary piccalo runs... notation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcussen
    I would love to see these... any posibility of showing them off?
    As soon as I can get them recorded and edit the samples and create a piece using them. This project is just in the infant stages. I'm just as anxious... beleive me.


  10. #10

    Re: Scary piccalo runs... notation?

    Ah yes....I know...thats why I was refering to the JW scores which Scott quoted...sorry I wasn't very clear

Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts