Saturday, February 25, 2023

Pictures of Loud


Dialog act 1

Dialog act 2

Dialog act 3

Dialog act 4

Dialog act 5
Who among us has hand-mixed even remotely within tolerances for LKFS? Not me, because I was supposedly metering the dialog at the time. 

Dialog act 6
Looks to me like:

2 has to get quieter by 2dB
3 has to get louder by 6dB
5 has to get quieter by 2dB

Ugh. This is actually 3 dialog. Numbers above are updated.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Squid squid squid

Arturia MicroFreak Review and Tutorial


Why Does an Edit Feel Right?  

Building a USB-C microphone:  

Our movie Earthkiller in German:

Different reality

 The Stranger (1946)

The Naked City

The Ernst Toller Gesellschaft


Here is a Chat GPT screenplay from the prompt "Write a screenplay about a cop who has to change realities in order to solve a murder."



We see a bustling city street with cars honking, people rushing to get home and street vendors selling their wares. Suddenly, we hear gunshots and people start running in all directions. A man falls to the ground and a pool of blood begins to form around him.



DETECTIVE JACK, a grizzled cop in his early forties, is sitting at his desk with a pile of papers in front of him. His partner, DETECTIVE LISA, enters the room.

DETECTIVE LISA: Hey, Jack. You hear about the murder last night?

DETECTIVE JACK: Yeah, I heard. Another one of those gang-related shootings.

DETECTIVE LISA: No, this one’s different. The victim was a scientist who was working on some kind of parallel universe experiment.

DETECTIVE JACK: What? That’s crazy.

DETECTIVE LISA: Yeah, and get this. The lab was ransacked and all the equipment is missing.

DETECTIVE JACK: Sounds like someone’s trying to cover their tracks.

DETECTIVE LISA: That’s what I was thinking. We should start investigating this right away.

DETECTIVE JACK: Agreed. Let’s get to work.



Detectives Jack and Lisa are examining the crime scene. There are papers scattered all over the floor and broken test tubes and equipment everywhere. Suddenly, Jack sees a glimmer of light coming from a small machine in the corner.

DETECTIVE JACK: Hey, Lisa. Look at this.


DETECTIVE JACK: I don’t know, but it looks important.

Jack approaches the machine and starts tinkering with it. Suddenly, the machine emits a bright light and Jack disappears.



Jack finds himself in a different reality. The world is bleak and desolate, with no signs of life anywhere. Suddenly, he hears a noise and draws his gun. A figure emerges from the shadows and Jack realizes it’s the killer.

DETECTIVE JACK: Freeze! You’re under arrest.

KILLER: Ha! You’ll never catch me.

The killer runs away, and Jack chases after him. They run through a deserted city, over abandoned buildings, and through dark alleys until they come to a stop on the edge of a cliff.

DETECTIVE JACK: It’s over. You’re trapped.

KILLER: No, you’re trapped.

Suddenly, the killer pushes Jack off the cliff and he plummets into the water below.



Jack suddenly reappears in the laboratory, drenched and confused. Lisa rushes to his side.

DETECTIVE LISA: Jack! Are you okay?

DETECTIVE JACK: What just happened?

DETECTIVE LISA: You disappeared for a few seconds. What did you see?

DETECTIVE JACK: I saw a different reality. It was desolate and dark. The killer was there, but I couldn’t catch him.

DETECTIVE LISA: We need to find out more about this experiment. Maybe it’s the key to solving the case.



The detectives find the lead scientist on the experiment and interrogate her. She reveals that the experiment was designed to open a portal to a parallel universe, but things went wrong and the portal was unstable.

DETECTIVE JACK: We need to go back. We need to catch the killer and bring him to justice.


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Owl notes


Dramatic pivot

Dramatic escalation

New scene/transition

Character stand in



Narrative change (story within a story)

Whose film is it?

A non-comprehensive list of places music might go in a film.

Scene transitions

Changes in liminality dramatically -- narrative change “play within a play”

Realizations -- When someone says the name of the film-- usually a realization

Realizations -- ours. Reveals. 



Actor beat or change -- DRAMATIC PIVOT -- Escalation of emotional reality

Foreshadow (our realization) Presage 

To pick up the pace of a scene

Underscore emotional reality

Illustration to reinforce emotional reality

Stand-in for character or object -- character stand-in

Pauses after beats

Silence can be a cue

Music emphasizes or underlines the emotional content of the narrative.
To increase pace

I was born in 1965 as the youngest of four children and grew up in the idyllic little Borough of Metuchen in New Jersey. I have vague memories of the Vietnam War on the news. 

In 1980, in the 10th grade, I became so disillusioned with school that I simply quit. Oddly, I found my father to be strangely sympathetic to me. 

I went, instead, to Solebury School in (or near) New Hope, PA. My parents spent a lot of money putting me in private school, but I was actually educated there. 

2020 I completed a masters degree in composing for the media.

2020 directed and produced the podcast Earthkiller.

2021 I created the video game Scampr

For students nearing to completing their PhD within the next year, please see below for the new PRAB dates which is the Awards Board:

PRAB Dates

Friday 30th September 2022

Friday 28th October 2022 - to meet the awarding deadline for Winter Graduation

Friday 9th December 2022

Friday 27th January 2023

Friday 31st March 2023

Friday 28th April 2023

Friday 2nd June 2023- to meet the awarding deadline for Summer Graduation

Friday 30th June 2023

One can land on either side of a decision or realization, or right on the nose of it. It tends to work as the character’s realization if the musical underlining is before or on the actors’ moment. It tends to work as the audience’s realization when the music lands afterward.

I'm finding that sometimes the picture wants a little reverb on some dialog. Like when we're very far from her and she's onstage -- the sound wants just a kiss of "theater" reverberation. 10/18/2022

  1. Library

  2. Ice Nymph

  3. Phoebe

  4. 1401

  5. Camera

  6. Camera

  7. Camera

  8. Audio interface

  9. Headphones

  10. Mod Duo X

  11. Kemper

  12. Keyboard

  13. Mouse

  14. Streamdeck

It is your time to work out what the music needs to be saying in the scene. When the music starts and finishes is also important: the entry or exit of a cue can add significance to that moment in the film.

The Professional Composer’s Guide p132

Paul Thomson

Spitfire Audio Books 2022

Great Britain

ISBN (eBook): 978-1-3999-1884-8

Recording music for film

Over the weekend we recorded the music for The Drowned Girl. We recorded using students from the Bard Conservatory at Bard's Chapel of the Innocents in Upstate New York.

A version of the paperwork we used as a guide.

Decca tree

I put an AEA R84 ribbon as the center microphone with a pair of Neumann omnidirectional mics on either side. The upside is that ribbon always sounds amazing. The downside is that the lighting caused a large buzz in the ribbon microphones. We figured out what circuit it was and turned those lights off, but it made it somewhat harder to see when the sun went down. 
As always, most of the sound is from the tree. 

Harp; Tammam Odeh, flute; Rea Ábel, piano; Pei-I Hsu, cello; Chris Van Zyl.


Cello and piano got ME-1 personal mixers (not for any particular reason other than the cable runs were easier that way). Harp and flute got little Donner headphone amps driven by a pair of auxiliaries on the A&H SQ5. 
I wore my Sennheiser headphones (600? 650? I forget actually) and I had a little condenser mic on a boom with a mute switch so I could talk to everyone on headphones without yelling. That, I think, worked out quite well. 
Cables or netting? This is the mess between the conductor and the orchestra. It's actually fairly well organized there's just lots of it. 


We put the AKG C12A aimed (sort of) at the cello. As always, the music stand is in the way. I'm not quite smart enough to figure out a way around that. But again, the tree was most of the sound. 
Andrew Bellware wonders what exactly the computer is saying to him.


I was just going to put an Oktava 012 on the harp. But at the last minute I added my kit U47 clone as a second microphone. Together they're kinda nice I think. I spread them out in the stereo field a little, not all the way. Again most of the sound is from the tree but sometimes you just need some closer sound. 

View from the piano to the front of the church with a dorkus at the mixing board.


For a long time I wasn't going to put a separate mic on the flute because, I figured, it was so close to the center mic of the Decca tree. But I put an Oktava 012 overhead. And then forgot to patch the microphone to the USB output that feeds the computer. Because I am a dope. However I haven't really run into a place where I'm really screaming internally for that mic. 
We had a bit of an adventure where something went massively wrong with the mechanics of the alto flute on the first day, but a new one was borrowed for the second day. 
Decca piano recording method. 

The piano 

The piano is a nice Mason & Hamlin grand piano. 
I will admit I read a book on recording classical music to prepare for this recording. And apparently the Decca method of recording grand piano is to have these two mics almost parallel shooting right along the strings from the far end of the piano. So I figured I'd try that with a pair of Schoeps hypercardioids. 
But I didn't fully trust that that would work because I'd never tried it before. So I put a pair of AKG 460's right over the harp of the piano, with the Blue ribbon mic in the center. 
The piano had its lid removed when we showed up, and I figured we'd keep it that way just to avoid reflections off the lid. Also that makes it easier to put those close mics in there.
Verdict? The Decca pair sound very natural and mix really well with the tree. Sometimes, though, the huge warm sound of the three close microphones sounds great too. So having those options is very helpful in post (unless you're trying to limit your options, which is also a legitimate way to think.) But 5 mics on the piano gives you both the "classical" sound and the big "soundtrack" sound too. 


At one point I thought I was going to put outriggers on the Decca tree. Ha ha! No. Not with a tiny quartet. So instead we put Rode NT1's in the hinterlands -- one at the back of the church sort of facing up into the ceiling aimed at the back, and the other way in the (what's it called?) the very front part of the church (also aimed up and toward the wall.) 
So far that's pretty fun. But that's only with me having mixed about 1/4 of the material. 

Does a Decca tree work with such a small ensemble? I think so. The weirdest thing about my microphones is that the more expensive they are, the noisier (or rather, the more susceptible to noise they are).

The whole soundtrack should go up on Bandcamp, no? Anyway, that's for later. 

Friday, February 17, 2023

Lobell, Stahel.

 Dig Elliot Lobell. He does some beautiful animating and illustration. 

One of Elliot's sets.

Groove to the awesome Christoph Stahel's blog

Andrew Bellware, Laura Schlachtmeyer, in 2007 on the set of Angry Planet.

The German version of Earthkiller is online for free.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Late night thoughts.

Dig it. Chrissy Cunningham has a blog. I got my apartment from her! So read her blog. Do what she says. 


TC Electronic makes some interesting hardware/software. I liked my M5000 a whole lot. It was really nice. It finally died. It had two engines. I feel like an old guy talking about his car as a teenager. I mean, I was in my 30's when I got it. But you know what I mean. 

Handbuilt tube consoles. With DIY options available. 


I feel like one could make either a box or a plugin that would make an audio source have that 3D "depth" that we tend do like from old, mono, large diaphragm microphones. You know how a single microphone sounds like it's coming from beyond a speaker? That special depth from a modern source is what I'm after. I suspect it has to do with phase weirditude. Perhaps strange adjacent EQ's boosting and cutting.