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Topic: when is a cue no longer a cue?

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  1. #1

    when is a cue no longer a cue?

    so here i am getting ready to build the cue sheet for my latest project, and i have stumbled upon a philosophical question on par with "if a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?".

    okay, not that deep, but hopefully people have some helpful opinions: when is a piece of music short enough so that it is not considered a cue? i've got parts for this film that are - for example - just a single synth tone with 3 seconds duration. or a single piano chord strike. in some instances i even just supplied a synth tone or two for the sound designer to use at his discretion.

  2. #2

    Re: when is a cue no longer a cue?

    I think it has less to do with the length and more to do with the effort involved. If you've invested the time into tweaking that sine tone to make it convey exactly the emotion you want at that point in the film, I'd call it a cue. After all the right two chords placed at the exact right point in time have a powerful effect, even if they only last seconds. If you said, "it should have a beep here," and pulled a sound out of a library without really thinking about it, then it might not be a cue.

    I'm not sure if ASCAP, BMI, or the like have formal definitions.

  3. #3
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    Re: when is a cue no longer a cue?

    Quote Originally Posted by scientist View Post
    sand i have stumbled upon a philosophical question on par with "if a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?".
    What if there is a person standing next to it and they're completely deaf?

  4. #4

    Re: when is a cue no longer a cue?

    I would always think of a cue in terms of how you present it to the editor or sound dub guy. If it's one chord and it's a separate sound file it's a cue. If you presented a sequence that has stops and starts for dramatic purposes, a pause here, a note here, a piece of passionate melody there - if it's one file or track specifically timed to fit a scene it's a cue.
    That's my understanding of it, although sometimes you'll get a cue list back from someone who has been through the episodes and numbered everything they heard musically to their own scheme. This doesn't need to concern you - as long as it's on the list for royalty purposes!!
    I wonder if the term 'cue' came from theatre land - something I did quite a lot some years ago - in that context the 'cue' is the actual piece of music, and 'cueing' it is the act putting it in the right place - a bit like sync!

    My little 50 Euros worth!!

    best

    Barrie

  5. #5

    Re: when is a cue no longer a cue?

    thanks all, good advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by BarrieB View Post
    if it's one file or track specifically timed to fit a scene it's a cue.
    sounds good to me. my understanding is that the PRO will decide how much weight to give each cue, so i'll just throw everything in and see what happens.

  6. #6

    Re: when is a cue no longer a cue?

    There are strict rules on this.

    I believe there has to be more then one musical event.

    For example - 1 Glockenspiel note - hit and hold - does not count.

    I know from experience

    For my music editor, also a member here, would not give me cue sheet for it!

    LOL

  7. #7

    Re: when is a cue no longer a cue?

    Quote Originally Posted by KingHenrik View Post
    There are strict rules on this.

    I believe there has to be more then one musical event.

    For example - 1 Glockenspiel note - hit and hold - does not count.

    I know from experience

    For my music editor, also a member here, would not give me cue sheet for it!

    LOL
    I'm not absolutely sure about this KingHenrik - I think there are people around who THINK their rules are the only ones

    There are no international 'rules' that I'm aware of - just common sense.

    So if the single Glockenspiel note isn't a cue - what's the rule for a single low cello note say, hit and hold for 30 seconds? Is that not a cue? Can we ignore it for cueing purposes?

    Put it this way - if there has been silence in the music soundtrack for a period of time and something happens musically - however brief - it's a cue in my humble opinion.

    I promise not to get obsessed with this!!

    best

    Barrie

  8. #8

    Re: when is a cue no longer a cue?

    Scientist - why do you care?


  9. #9

    Re: when is a cue no longer a cue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gesticulator01 View Post
    Scientist - why do you care?
    see my first post. basically i don't want to turn in a cue sheet which leads anyone to question the inclusion of "xyz cue - duration 0:02".

  10. #10

    Re: when is a cue no longer a cue?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
    What if there is a person standing next to it and they're completely deaf?
    there's about a 1 in 36 chance the tree will fall on them.

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