What would be in the interest of preventing an otherwise formidable instance without the means.
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Notes to live by
Assignment Mark (Formative)
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.