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Topic: Metronome or not?

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  1. #1
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    Smile Metronome or not?

    When it comes to picture for film, does anyone here ever wing it without a meteronome? Just wondering. I just started scoring a scene in an indie film and I found that I really like what I was coming up with as a freestyle piano piece. It is very simple but also loose, intentionally. Is there any reason I should not work this way? It's probably just a matter of taste but I wanted to hear some opininons. Normally I work with one to make quantizing and editing easier.

  2. #2

    Re: Metronome or not?

    I think it depends on whether you're eventually going to have musicians play your music. Having the deliniation of time is helpful when transfering your MIDI mock-ups to printed music. On the other hand, if it's an electronic score then you might eschew the metronome. I did that for a couple cues on a film score a few years back.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Metronome or not?

    If I want to go freeform, I do that, and then lock up a measure grid to it after the fact. I think all sequencers do this in some fashion. I use SONAR, and it allows one to enter and edit a click grid, which is then converted to measures and tempo once you've gotten your "entered" click properly edited.

    A very freeing way to work, indeed, but with the best of both worlds. It is certainly nice to have the grid there, should you start out feeling all improvisational but later want to do some tight writing which benefits from all the amenities of having a nice grid in place.

  4. #4
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    Smile Re: Metronome or not?

    Both good points. You're right Bruce. Cubase does have a tap tempo that I could use after the fact to get things lined up. Sometimes it seems like that dang click just sqishes my creativity. Lol. I've worked on this particular cue some more tonight and I'm loving the casualness (if that's a word, possibly a Bush-ism I know) of the piece. It's nothing overly special but I think it benefits from being relaxed sounding. Tempo is one of the things that still scares me a bit when it isnt really obvious where the beat is. I've played rock keys for about 20 years and now bass so I understand rhythm but in the orchestral sense, it sometimes eludes me. Especially on sparse and slower pieces. Thanks to the both of you for your response.

  5. #5

    Re: Metronome or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    If I want to go freeform, I do that, and then lock up a measure grid to it after the fact. I think all sequencers do this in some fashion. I use SONAR, and it allows one to enter and edit a click grid, which is then converted to measures and tempo once you've gotten your "entered" click properly edited.
    How do you do this in SONAR? I can't figure it out. Am I missing something obvious?

    -Ranietz-

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Metronome or not?

    Search the Help file for "fit improvisation" and you'll get the whole skinny.

  7. #7

    Re: Metronome or not?

    Hi Eric

    More power to your click-less elbow. For a certain type of cue, lots of people work this way, and as Bruce says, DP, Logic etc all have facilities to create a click map after the event. If you're going to have string players playing to the click you have created do take care to smooth it, and make it as musical as you can, to give them a fighting chance of staying with it. FWIW the majority of the incidental music for Band of Brothers was written this way, as well as lots of Gabriel Yared's music.

    All the best

    Michael Price

  8. #8

    Re: Metronome or not?

    To expand on the question, how many here tend to compose two versions of their works? I've found that lately I end up doing a sloppy version that just comes together a bit at a time, and then a second version that takes the best ideas from the first effort and is done more cleanly.

    Often the thing that forces a change from the first to the second version is the tempo. In some cases I started off rubato and then went with a fixed click, and in other cases, I decided to loosen it up from a fixed click.

    I would imagine that people with more practice and skill get it right the first time more often than I do. But for me the first pass is often an exploration, the second pass is the real deal.

    -JF

  9. #9

    Re: Metronome or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    Search the Help file for "fit improvisation" and you'll get the whole skinny.
    Thanks!

    I've realized that SONAR is a great tool and I don't know how to use half of it. I'll guess it's time to dig up the manual and start learning...

    -Ranietz-

  10. #10
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    Re: Metronome or not?

    I do that a lot... First I just get down as many ideas as possible, don't stop, don't worry about lousy playing or sounds, just keep going and throw in as much as I hear... Then I go back and start thinking about tempo, execution, deleting laughable musical ideas, thinking about this would sound better with this instrument as opposed to that instrument... In the end, I wind up with something that sounds like music...

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    To expand on the question, how many here tend to compose two versions of their works? I've found that lately I end up doing a sloppy version that just comes together a bit at a time, and then a second version that takes the best ideas from the first effort and is done more cleanly.

    Often the thing that forces a change from the first to the second version is the tempo. In some cases I started off rubato and then went with a fixed click, and in other cases, I decided to loosen it up from a fixed click.

    I would imagine that people with more practice and skill get it right the first time more often than I do. But for me the first pass is often an exploration, the second pass is the real deal.

    -JF

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