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Topic: Practice videos for composing?

  1. #1

    Practice videos for composing?

    After searching around this forum for a while I couldn’t find the answers I was looking for so I’m sorry if this has been asked a million times before.

    I’ve been composing music for a long time, but now I want to be able to practice my skills composing to picture. Where do I find videos with basic audio like voice, etc, but no music? I don’t really have any video editing skills to make my own videos or rip them from dvd. Plus I don’t really have the time to become a whiz at video editing either.

    Surely everyone has used plenty of practice videos. Where do you get them? Did you have to rip/edit the videos yourself? Did you have to edit out all audio except for voice? If possible I’d also want the videos to sound complete with voice and sound effects as well. But I don’t really want to have to create the sound effects of top of composing because that is already my day time job. (I’m an in-house sound designer for games)

    I remember a couple of years ago there was a sleepy hollow video floating around these forums that someone made. Searching does not uncover it I’m after pretty much any video that allows creativity.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    New York City

    Re: Practice videos for composing?

    See the Quicktime movie trailers on Apple's site, as well as Windows media found here:


    Just take the sound out and write your own score! Enjoy.

    Edit: Just re-read your post -- not sure where to find visual media with voiceover and or sound effects without music track. Perhaps seek out DVDs with multichannel output that has isolated music tracks.

  3. #3

    Re: Practice videos for composing?

    I'm not sure what they are right now, but there are NUMEROUS places on the internet where aspiring film makers post their home made movies...some better than others.. You should easily be able to find some stuff. A lot of it will have cheesy music unfortunately, so just keep looking until you find some where the director brilliantly thought the movie would be better without any music and then fix it for them.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  4. #4

    Re: Practice videos for composing?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterW
    ...I’m after pretty much any video that allows creativity...
    That means almost anything goes!

    I recommend contacting people at local high schools and colleges and letting them know that you want to score to picture. You might just find some people who would like original music for their videos. It doesn't matter if the video isn't great, or your first cues are rough. Just do it for fun and experience!

    Before jumping in, you should give some thought to genre. Do you want to score action pieces, romances, suspense, general underscore or what? The music needed for a sports piece will be completely different from a practical joke spot or an abstract animation. By deciding the range that you're interested in, you can make the right connections and avoid the wrong ones.

    I started writing music for my son's films when he was in high school. Today, we have a small company and make regular releases on the 'net.

    From a composer's point of view, it doesn't matter that his work isn't on 35mm film shot on location in Greece with name actors. As long as the video tells a story, you are presented with the problem of how to best support it within the constraints of timing marks, dialog, foley and sound effects. In fact some of the most challenging material I have written for has been the stuff that was least well edited - and somehow the music ties it all together into a seamless narrative. It's really rewarding.

    You can see/hear our works here: http://colonelcrush.com In particular I recommend B for Vendetta, Mobsters and the Trailer and first Webisode for The Sword in the Stone - OF ACTION!

    BTW, parody is a great vehicle. Let's say you want to score an epic piece about a giant monster that threatens to destroy the human race. You can just as easily set that music to low and close shots of a toddler trying to catch the family cat. The irony makes it funny, and the very best way to score it is as a serious epic cue - playing straight man can be much better than writing "funny" music. Same thing for a huge romantic swell - over a slow motion video of two dogs playing in the yard. You can even write music about a Banana on the attack!


  5. #5

    Re: Practice videos for composing?

    Also, the web is full of sites with down-loadable films in the public domain. Have a go at Night of The Living Dead, Carnival Of Souls or Metropolis!!

  6. #6

    Re: Practice videos for composing?

    Have a look to that...


    you can also win... some money!!..

    All the clips are very expresive..

    "God is Love"

  7. #7

    Re: Practice videos for composing?

    Thanks for all the suggestions and info guys. It's been a great help. I downloaded the video Godsend from that windows media link and I started messing around with it. I think this style of video suits me very well. Some quick editing of the audio and 95% of the orginal music is gone with all the voices still sounding ok. Well fine enough to write some good music too it anyways.

    JonFairhurst, Cool videos and very well composed. I'm sure you have alot of fun with them .

    As far as the style of music I like to write. Anything from slow moody to action. However lately I'm prefering something like drama because i'm a big fan of emotional type music. The instuments I mainly go for are strings, piano, woodwinds and percussion.

    Thanks guys!

  8. #8

    Re: Practice videos for composing?

    D.M thanks for the link. I would have entered if I lived in one of those countries!

  9. #9

    Re: Practice videos for composing?

    Hey .. Jon... Very Well done Movies...!!!,

    i liked so much.. Nice Efects, and Gags.

    "God is Love"

  10. #10

    Re: Practice videos for composing?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterW
    D.M thanks for the link. I would have entered if I lived in one of those countries!
    I´m sorry for that..,

    is the first time, that are allowed guys from otuside from U.S.A;

    i´m from Spain., so i can play, ...hope you can next time.

    But i recomend you try to score some of the clips, the expresive of the actors, are amazing.. and helpfull.

    "God is Love"

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