Saturday, December 08, 2018

Notes to live by

Assignment Mark (Formative)

Merit
Hi Andrew,

There are a lot of good ideas, and the live recordings add significant depth and make the track more organic. The style is perfect for the brief. There is definitely enough room for dialogue.

The energy of the track is quite linear overall. There are always new elements coming, but the percussive pattern stays the same (or very similar) throughout the track, with very little variation in register, dynamics and harmony. If you listen to what’s happening at 1:00 and then 4:30, the intensity is the same. There is not enough development. Instead, try to start with less elements and then build up slowly.
This makes it also a bit repetitive. Let’s assume this is for a pitch and you’re creating the soundtrack without any images or script, but only this brief. The music should tell some sort of story and have a dramatic arc of its own. First of all, the ideas and themes need to be very clear-cut. If you’re writing the music with the film in mind, think of how the director and editor are going to approach it. The probably simplest approach is the classic three-arc structure with a powerful climax. So while it’s great that your composition feels very coherent, it does need more variation and structure.
When you compose, try to think about the purpose of each section of the composition and its function within the narrative and overall structure. For example, “this is the theme’s light variation with piano and less percussion” or “this section builds up from very quiet to very loud and connects theme A and B” or “this section introduces the main characters” etc. Right now it’s more like “this is a new element and the music feels slightly different, but not clearly different”, so the audience can’t really tell where they are. Basically the tricky part is to find a balance between creating something that keeps telling something new and develops all the time, but still feels like one idea/style.

In terms of aesthetics this feels slightly more 2000-2010 than 2010-2018. Mainly because of the percussion and the saturated/distorted sounds (that being said, virtual hacker battles are a very 2000s thing). Nonetheless, this style is still widely popular, especially in library music.
A more modern example for this specific style is the soundtrack of Mr. Robot by Mac Quayle.

Be careful with the limiter. Currently the track is way too loud and compressed, losing all of its dynamics. For a pitch it can be a good idea to make your track loud enough to make sure it can compete against other tracks in terms of volume, but it should not be excessive. If the director has already decided to work with you and this is a draft or even the final version of a cue, there is no reason to add a limiter, or if so, only very little. Tracks on soundtrack albums are mastered differently than the cues actually in the film, so you shouldn’t use their loudness as a reference (again, unless you’re releasing a soundtrack album).
Eventually, this is the composition’s main problem: everything is more or less equally loud, the music doesn’t go in any direction (building up, slowing down etc.) but remains static.

Matteo

Research: 6/10
Creative: 6/10
Technical: 6/10
Practical: 6/10

Matteo Pagamici's Summary:
Overall, the production quality and the style are excellent, but the music needs more development.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Stoya

 I think アンドリュー・ベルウェア is my name in Japanese.
I think that little dot between my first and last name is maybe something standard-ish for foreign names in Japanese. I dunno though.
 Gesamtkunstwerk the total artistic synthesis.
 The Artwork of the Future.

Simple Rules to be followed blindly by composers for motion pictures.
I should paste this critique on a note on my monitor: "Overall, the production quality and the style are excellent, but the music needs more development."

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Notes on notes

Fast is Netflix's speed-check alternative.


The Tamarind Seed. Watch the montage scene as a good example of creating a whole thing. Or in the words of my tutor: "Andrew, just found my Tamarind Seed notes, for the montage I talked about. 1:34:04 - 1:39:48 of DVD (Ch. 11) So about six minutes. Airport Montage" Noiiz is out of the UK. Vaughn Williams Symphony number 5 was a thing Goldsmith was listening to. Dig Jack Cookerly. Trombonist and organist. And made a whole bunch of sounds for things like Star Trek.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Wigglewhumpus

Immersion in sound.
Wavemaker is novel writing software.


Film mixing.
Alex North biography.
Optimizing Kontakt. This is a YouTube video for an older version of Kontakt so I don't know how much is still relevant.
Cinematic Studio Strings sound great.
Reading orchestral score.
2016 Stereo Room by Eventide Clockworks. VST plugin.
I don't know I'll ever keep the Strauss' in my brain.
Ear training.
Moar ear training.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Wigglesnork

Cinematic Strings.
Evolution Media Music briefs.
Chicago citation generator. I really don't understand how to use it more than just entering things in by hand.

Auto Hot Key.
Pasting text without formatting using Auto Hot Key.
I'm still using notepad myself.



Friday, October 05, 2018

Wordslike

Heed the Call.
artefact
normalisation

Those are a couple words I'm likely to spell incorrectly as I am writing papers using UK English.

I am prejudiced toward Chicago Style, I admit, but I have to say that MLA (with all those in-line citations) is harder to read (Bellware, 2018.)

Mourning and Music in Blue Velvet.

One big thing I have learned whilst working on my Master's degree is where the bar is. I get so up in my own head that I can't hear things. And just having a tutor once a week to tell me if I'm standing on an island or sinking in the middle of the ocean is really incredibly helpful.





Saturday, September 29, 2018

Aforetain

My first assignment is due on Monday. Oddly, it is a graded assignment, yet it does not count toward my grade. Indeed, there is a lot of work which is ungraded.

To try to get better at this kind of work I'm going through the Thinkspace seminars on Orchestral Mixing with Jake Jackson.

Things:

ProTools finally allows you to apply "gain" to individual clips. That's pretty much all you can do with the individual clip, but at least you can do that now.

I probably need to deal with mixing stems right back into the project. I haven't been doing that yet. in my life.

Man, they spend a lot of time dealing with the inherent limitations in ProTools. I forgot what a pain in the tuchus it is to just add a reverb to the end of a bit of a track. Holy cats.

Guy Michelmore's pedagological sense really works for me. Technically it's his sense of androgogy or some such. But he's able to articulate pretty much everything. You know I have this whole thing about the difference between a "master" of something and, say, a "journeyman" is the ability to teach the thing (er, disregarding the sexism in the terms.) It's his ability to articulate complicated ideas that works for me.

Interleaved stereo -- apparently the mastering person at AIR thinks they don't sound as good as separate tracks. I suspect that ProTools just sucks.

Convolution reverbs -- I'm gonna guess that most of the differences between different convolution reverbs is the impulse responses they use but there's probably some maths differences too. I suspect it's a case of everything else mattering first.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

We're not the best people in the world

The Citation Machine makes citations. I think JSTOR does too.
University of Oxford online library system.

Okay. So I have two weeks to do the first assignment. But these first three assignments each are from a pool of 6 possible choices. So I kinda need to figure out which of these six in the pool I'm doing for each formative and for the summative assignment.
Interestingly the assignments are different from the chapters in the module. And the chapters in this module are actually in a course I took over the summer in order to do a better job on the portfolio I submitted.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Required Viewing

I've seen all these movies but one. The Social Network.

Obviously, I'll be watching them all again, I just thought that was interesting.

Required Viewing (for both Film Music in Practice Modules)

American Beauty. (1999). [film] USA: DreamWorks SKG: Sam Mendes.

Batman. (1989). [film] USA: Warner Bros: Tim Burton.

Casablanca. (1942). [film] USA: Warner Bros: Michael Curtiz.

From Russia With Love. (1963). [film] GB: Eon Productions: Terence Young.

Gladiator. (2000). [film] USA: DreamWorks SKG: Ridley Scott.

Gravity. (2013). [film] USA: Warner Bros: Alfonso Cuarón.

King Kong. (1933). [film] USA: RKO Radio Pictures: Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack.

King Kong. (2005). [film] USA: Universal Pictures: Peter Jackson.

Lawrence of Arabia. (1962). [film] GB: Horizon Pictures: David Lean.

North by Northwest. (1959). [film] USA: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM): Alfred Hitchcock.

Psycho. (1960). [film] USA: Shamley Productions: Alfred Hitchcock.

Skyfall. (2012). [film] GB: Eon Productions: Sam Mendes.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. (1980). [film] USA: Lucasfilm: Irvin Kershner.

The Adventures of Robin Hood. (1938). [film] USA: Warner Bros: Michael Curtiz.

The City Lights. (1931). [film] USA: Charles Chaplin Productions: Charles Chaplin.

The Dark Knight. (2008). [film] USA: Warner Bros: Christopher Nolan.

The Godfather. (1972). [film] USA: Paramount Pictures: Francis Ford Coppola.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. (1966). [film] IT: Produzioni Europee Associati: Sergio Leone.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. (2001). [film] USA: New Line Cinema: Peter Jackson.

The Mission. (1986). [film] US: Warner Bros: Roland Joffé.

The Pink Panther. (1963). [film] USA: Mirisch G-E Productions: Blake Edwards.

The Social Network. (2010). [film] USA: Columbia Pictures: David Fincher.

There Will Be Blood. (2007). [DVD] USA: Paramount Vantage: Paul Thomas Anderson.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Day one

I can confirm that Andrew does have an unconditional place on the following course:

COURSE: MA Profession Media Composition

START DATE: September 17th 2018

END DATE: September 17th 2019

MODE OF STUDY: FT1 (Full Time - 1 year)
COST: $12,950


Today was the first day of induction.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

New monitor, bun card

Sceptre 43" Class 4K (2160P) LED TV (U435CV-U)



Out of the box, as a computer monitor, the text is rough - even turning Sharpness down in the menu only helped a bit. The key is getting into the factory menu - Press "Menu" then the numbers 7343 while at the main menu - and changing the Sharpness curve to 0 across the board.

My monitor is dying a horrible death. So I had to order a new one from WalMart. I know.  Anyway, those instructions above are from a review on the WalMart site. Monitor is $189 plus tax.

I like Postable for sending fun cards for birthdays. I made my own design for this year. Will probably draw another animal for next year.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Demented 6th Chords

I think this is right: If you find yourself on a IV chord, Option one: put it in the 1st inversion (b) and play it. In C the IV chord would be F major, in first inversion the bottom of the triad is A, the middle note is C, and the top note is F. Then you get to make an augmented sixth! Just lower the bottom note of that triad (this would be an A going to A-flat) and raise the top note (F to F#.) Now you have a triad that's Ab, C, and F#. This is the Italian augmented sixth. It resolves (by step) to a I or a IV chord. Alternatively, do all the above steps and add a flat seven to the chord (this would be an Eb.) That is the German augmented sixth. It normally resolves to a I because it's hard to avoid parallel fifths resolving to a V (because that Eb makes it hard.) Option two: there's the French aug 6. That's on a ii chord. The ii chord (say, Dm) is put in the 2nd inversion (c) such that the triad is A, D, and F. Lower the bottom (A becomes Ab), raise the top (F becomes F#) and add in a flat 7 (this is a C because we're flatting the seven of the ii chord) and resolve to the I or V.