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Music for Film Update 19/11/13

Effects for the Bells Delay

Effects for the Bells Delay

So I have not worked on this for about a week and half now due to my attention going to the sound design project which I posted last time. Not to much has been done, first off I decided to track the bell track and duplicate it and deleting the bells that needed to be separated from the FX that was going to be applied. As you can now see above the bells that would have FX applied to it is now an audio file while the other is still a midi segment.

I decided to add a delay first and then add a echo afterwards. The delay can be seen up above. The echo can be seen being applied down below. I was thinking about having the bells echo even after they stopped playing but at this point I am not sure if I will do this, but the thought will be there still just in case I do it.

Effects for Bells Echo

Effects for Bells Echo

I have added an extra pad to the intro which can be seen down below, this pad is an atmosphere pad though an extra one more may be added. Not to much can be said other then it gives it a thicker texture while it plays but is not there to divert the listeners attention, the stabs and the incoming synth and cello are.

Intro Another Pad Added

Intro Another Pad Added

For this part I added something that is filler, a string part that is creepy and eerie which in turn may have to be replaced with something else as this scene has no scary part though it does lead into it so maybe it will stay. As the composer I need to think if I want it or not but it does sound good.

Silence followed by Creepy Strings

Silence followed by Creepy Strings

As you can see from below there is not much going on in this part, I decided to add a dark bass as filler in-between the points where the bells stop and start again. The reason is simple to why I did it, at this point the scene should be in a dark cave and in that cave there should be some footprints but in the cave there is not one but two which seem to lead back to the ship for the next event.

Tense Bass

Tense Bass


Start of A Sound Design

OK so I started working on this one while also doing the other task which only involves music. I have only chosen a few sounds so far and those sounds have made it onto the sound design trailer. As the sound designer of this trailer things may stay or go depending on how I feel at the time or if something better comes my way. As this is only a start the tracking is very small and only some of the trailer has sound happening which you will see below in the screenshots.

Terminator Shotgun Scene

Terminator Shotgun Scene

As you can see I have only two sounds going on at the moment.

I choose to focus on the shotgun shells being ejected from the shogun and I also choose to put a dog barking in the background. Watching the scene over and over made me think what would one hear if they were in this area, buzzing of a lamp post, possible footsteps, maybe a bin falling over. As I thought many ideas over which I may use due to some or many of them sounding like good ideas. After that little list the idea of a dog barking came to mind, just like in a rough neighborhood one would hear a dog barking when something walks by or hears something close to it. A guard dog perhaps or just a noisy dog in general. I then had to think wait a dog is nice but which type of dog would it be, a big one a small one or a middle sized one. At this point I had to think and as the sound designer I decided to go the big dog to middle sized dog route. The sample could be played around around with to give a big or middle sized dog sound off.

After a little play around with the dog sounds I moved onto the shotgun part, so far there are no shotgun blasts and only the sound of the shells being ejected and dropped to roll on the ground. Why did I think of this? Well while I was watching the scene over and over I noticed and counted how many shots were fired. In the scene the terminator was using a shotgun, a shotgun could only hold 2-8 (roughly) shells depending on the shotgun type. I then thought when a shell is used it is exposed of and this made me look for a sound based on shotgun shells being ejected. As you can see above the shell ejection sounds are in various lengths as shots are fired again, some closer then others. I also decided to give the ejection sounds a little lag to give realism.

Frozen City Scene

Frozen City Scene

In this scene only three sounds are present but more will come.

First thing I thought when I saw the scene was the sound of the wind, everything was freezing over and so a sense of wind had to be there throughout the whole scene. I am thinking about layering other wind sounds on top to give it a thicker and harsher sound to fit the scene better. The strength of the wind gives the listener a sense of how strong the wind is and will try to give them an idea of how cold it is and how strong it is if they were out there themselves.

When I watched the scene again I wondered if it was a climate change clip or just a winter clip. Upon seeing it was more of a disaster like clip I decided maybe the sound of wings flapping would fit in. Realistically animals have a sense of when things are going to change and will leave accordingly. But I thought I would try and make it seem like the climate change happened to quickly for all the animals to leave. I felt as I designed this part of the trailer that the wing flapping would give the clip a little more life towards it and having it with the wind would give it a thicker sound. As you can see the flapping sounds only happen twice, I may put a few more in or I may keep the two to show that very little living animals are around and only a few are trying to escape it.

The last part of this scene is the sound of something scrapping against the floor. Within the given trailer this scene as a bit where two men are walking in the snow, after a brief moment of looking they start to move on, but this time they are in a rush. But they have something heavy to pull behind them. The sound would be of it scrapping against the floor. I may combine the sound with a slushy sound to create a better a effect or maybe the sound of snow being pushed out of the way as the object is pulled. I think I will keep this seen kind of minimal as for the most part it looks empty, if music were here it would also be minimal as well as give off a empty and cold feeling.

Tom Cruise Visual Scene

Tom Cruise Visual Scene

OK for this part I have not done to much, I was watching it over and over and at this point I thought I may create the sounds in this part though have some recorded sounds as well. As you can see so far I have only put in a coughing sound. In this scene the main character is looking through some files using a virtual interface, something seen in a Sci-Fi/Futuristic genres. That part sparked the idea of creating sounds, the main character was not alone in the room as for a moment you see them do something. When he was off scene I thought to myself about what could I do here and then thought maybe a few random sounds could be heard. So far only the coughing sound was inserted to see how it went. I liked it and because of that will stay, I won’t use it more then once as I feel the one time works best. The idea of a buzzing sound came to me or maybe the sound of air conditioning in the room.

All in all I have plenty of ideas I want to use, I will do the sound samples first before creating my own for the parts that need it like the alien part at the start, the large shot sound in the shotgun scene and so on.

The Trailer Process continued (An Update 6/11/13)

Just a quick update on what I have done since the last post, once again not too much as I only keep what I like the sound of or if it fits for any part of the trailer then it goes there.

Before the Quake

Before the Quake


The shot above shows a build, the build itself fits but some or all the instruments present in this shot may change to something else. Also a pad may play under it, something like an atmosphere pad or moving pad. I chose to use a dark sounding string VST with double Cello’s backing the string after a bar which is the followed by a woodwind instrument and then a brass instrument. But like I said a moment ago some of the VST’s may change. I am also starting to feel a pad should happen throughout except for the silent parts which will be down last.


A Tense Moment-Bare Bones Shot

A Tense Moment-Bare Bones Shot

I don’t seem to be following the chosen things I chose to do for certain hit points, I am not sure if it is because I feel what I am doing at this point is better or if it is laziness on my part. The idea was to make a dark and tense sound using a mixture of orchestra and synth VST’s. Nothing is set in stone and changes may happen as a better idea my pop in my head, still the Alien like theme has not kicked in or better to say something that  was used to make the Alien theme sound good as not yet be exercised in my piece.

I will wrap this up so I can go back to the trailer and add and remove things  so the trailer works in the way I want it too.

The Start of the Trailer Process (Am I going Backwards or Forwards)

The trailer process has started and as the title suggests I have no set way of doing this and to show this I have some screenshots of me starting at the start and at the end. Surprisingly putting them in synch with the image is not hard due to Cubase’s hit points, so far everything sounds right even though very little has been done at this point.  I have decided to do the orchestra and electronic theme from Robocop and will use the quiet, lonely and empty feeling from Alien giving it a scary feel or so I hope. This won’t be in-depth and is here to show what has been done at this point of time. Overall this is more like an update then anything else.

The Opening

Screenshot 1-The Opening

The opening does not have much going, as you can see the pad does not keep going but will most likely change if it sounds better being connected and on going. I also added some stabs, the stabs are OK and are better then some of the others I tried or found (Sample from I was going to use four stabs but the last one was taken out as I felt it was not needed like the first three. The start feels kind of minimal but that will change as the trailer goes on as things will change.


The Ending

Screenshot 2-The Ending


Here I did the ending and like the start not much is happening as a pad plays as the trailer reaches its climax, but instead of just ending it there I decided to add some bells to give a mystery feel off making you wonder if they made it or not. The layout and sounds may change when the track starts to get more meat on it. Also since it is the ending not much should be going on or the listener will feel there is more coming. The ending has a minimal feel to it.


Analyzing Music from a Film 3 and The Woodwind and Brass Track (25/10/13)

Film: RoboCop

Robocop "The Future Of Law Enforcement"

Robocop “The Future Of Law Enforcement”

Media: Music

Platform: Youtube


Genre: Sci-Fi/Action/Crime

Tempo: 142BPM (Not 100% on that though)


Human Side-Orchestra

Robocop Side-Electronic

Some of the orchestra has a punkish feel to it though the track I have does not show you this.

I find the style here insteresting and would most likely use this sort of thing for my Sci-Fi piece.


Just like in Alien a lot of high pitch sounds are used though low sounds are used when the texture changes from thick to thin. High pitches are the main pitches one would here when listening to the theme of Robocop.


The range of the dynamics changes a lot just like the Alien score as the score has its loud parts and quite parts. I feel the dynamics quite well as the heroic theme sounds more important then the rest and the dynamics seem to show this when the track is played.


This piece of music has no silence whats so every and the closet to quite it gets is when the low sounds are played during certain parts after the brass has stopped playing and the low sounds normally plays with the string part.


The text like in Alien changes throughout the piece though unlike Alien is very Brass heavy in sound with strings and electronic sounds in the back. The brass instrumentation seems to be the lead instruments for the score though does not play throughout. The hero sounding part has a thick sounding texture while the low sounding parts have a thin texture to it as not much is happening for that particular part.


The start gives a feeling of tension or at least for me it does but the mood does not stop there as the feeling of heroism is present after a while. Certain parts feel like sadness is also present but everyone has there ow take on what they think is and is not there. I also feel there are elements of darkness involved and possibly conflict but once again is something I think is there whether or not you agree or not.


Though the theme is not directed at the character as it is an opening theme it does give off a heroic sound. It makes you think that the main character will now take on all crime in any shape or form and win while we are at it even if it is just barely. The theme relates to the character though the character himself is complex due to what happens to him before and after becoming Robocop.


Brass-Heavy focus


Electronic-Sounds at points

Hit points:

0:00-The first hit point is here where the stabs could be heard, is this really a hit point? I would say so even if it is the start of the track.

1:33-Has its second hit point where the music becomes heroic.

1:53-This is where the third hit point is and the use of low sounds and pitches are present.

These are probably the three main ones I would of picked up on or two if the first does not count to you.


Just like with the dynamics the timbre changes due to the change in the score as parts are soft and other parts are loud but in no way harsh like in the score alien which is in the Analyzing a Film 2 which is a post or two away from this one.


Starts off with an Ab before the C chord starts to happen. Db soon follows with the F and Eb following behind and this sequence is for the opening part.

Fm, Eb

Fm, Db

Fm, Cm


Then to the heroic sound

Fm, Eb, Fm, Db

Fm, Eb, Gm, C

I have only touched upon the chord progression a little and while on that subject not sure if it is 100% correct, there is a a 10%-30% chance of it being wrong though 10% is more likely from what the site tells me.





The Brass and Woodwind Track

The Screenshot:

Brass & Woodwind Screenshot

Brass & Woodwind Screenshot


Present Instrumentation:

Mute Trumpet (Best Instrument in my mind)

Alto Sax

Bottle (Third Best Instrument)

Woodwind Section (Name of VST)

French Horn (Second Best Instrument)

Former Instrumentation:

Mute Trumpet

Alto Sax

Bottle (x3)

Woodwind Section

French Horn

Oboe (x2)

Tenor Sax (For variation or to replace the Alto altogether)

Flute (x2)

English Horn

Clarinet (x2)


Structure: A/B Though the structure is in A/B form the track did not start out like that and so that meant it was all over the place.

Texture: Thin or lacking. Though this was the final outcome though simple at first look the piece was massive and had at least 15-16 instruments in it before being moved or deleted on this save copy. Though not much texture is there the soulful mute trumpet would still be the leading instrument.

Pitch: For the most part the pitch is in-between the mid and high frequencies. The lowest pitch would of been made by the French Horn because of how low I placed it in the octave. It was either on the third or fourth octave.

Mood: Soulful, whether I pulled that off or not is up to you to decide but with the soulful mute trumpet I feel I pulled it off even if the trumpet stops after the first A/B section.

Theme: I feel there is no real theme, I did not think of one and if there is one then that is there unintentionally.

Hit Points, When, Where, Why and Will it Stay the Same? (23/10/13)

This post will be about the hit points I choose to do stuff on, various screen shots will have what will happen when and I will explain why I choose to put it there or here.

Movie: The Last Days on Mars

The Last Days on Mars Poster

The Last Days on Mars Poster

Genre: Sci-Fi/Space

Media Type: Trailer (Video)

Role within Media: To put music to the trailer as FX’s are already in place.

Overall Production: I feel I may take a page from Robocop which used a mix of Orchestra, Synth and possible Rock instruments, the last being a big maybe but the other two will be something I would want to do.

Hit Points:

((A simple and basic Hit Point timeline, things may change as a idea may pop into my head as I go so nothing is set in stone, also this was all done in an hour. It pretty much flew by like nothing as I worked in it before the room was used by another class.))

Hit Points created and done in Logic X (10)

1st HP:

Hit Point 1

Hit Point 1

The image above as a small bit of text of what I was going to do. Silences is something I am thinking about as it gives you an empty feeling, there is nothing and since the first sequence is of space it would work. The use of silence and stabs came to me as I watched the trailer a few times over. The above image, a spaceship, it taking off and the production company name appears within a small space of time. The use of a stab motion would grab someones attention, acting like something important is going to happen. But then again what about a drone like pad or very spacey synth to start things off. The possibilities are endless for a start that could grab the viewers attention or at least peak interest with the given few sounds heard at the start.

2nd HP:

Hit Point 2

Hit Point 2

This is where things start to happen so the idea of a build up popped up in my head, the build up could go anyway I wanted it to as I could have a string part for several bars before bringing in a Brass or Woodwind instrument in followed with either the one I did not use or a synth for the atmosphere. I feel the atmosphere pulls one into the movie a little more then just the music itself though the music gives more emotion then just a silent part would. Once again I mentioned the drone pad which would fit in, it could be a continuation or something new that fits in with the incoming build of orchestra instruments.

3rd HP:

Hit Point 3

Hit Point 3

I thought I would use this hit point to get ready for the next hit point. The music would be built, the track would have a thick texture, a technique or two used and to give the listen a hint about something that is going to come up. It won’t be anything big but it will lead straight into the next part.

4th HP:

Hit Point 4

Hit Point 4

For this part I thought the use of silences would be good. Nothing is heard except for the door closing. I feel this will give a little tension as the music  as suddenly stopped for a brief moment making the viewer wonder what will happen next.

5th HP:

Hit Point 5

Hit Point 5

After watching this part a few times I got the idea of using techniques to create emotions like how in Jaws a theme starts which causes tension, fear and part excitement. As this scene has something about to happen and I thought I would start to create this tense , excitement, Action and epic score to make the viewer excited as well as feel as something is happening.

6th HP:

Hit Point 6

Hit Point 6

For this part I though “How about we do a little moment where the music becomes nothing more then a blend of despair and mystery because of what just happened. It won’t be to long, just a bar or two if I remember correctly but things can be adjusted if things are wrong. There is nothing more to say here.

7th HP:

Hit Point 7

Hit Point 7

Now for this short moment I thought silences would work as this part has a little bit of isolation as the person is  lowered into the ground to find where the person from the last scene had gone after falling through the ground after a earthquake or more like Marsquake. The voices and FX will do the job for this point. I think films use to much music, not that it is a bad thing but the use of silence can really make a differences. Music can give many feelings off but silence does isolation and emptiness the best.

8th HP:

Hit Point 8

Hit Point 8

Something has happened here, footprints are seen and they seem to lead somewhere. I feel the use of a curiosity, alarm and distress would fit here as it leads to the next scene. What technique or instrumentation will be used is still undecided. I feel what I want to do here will work and will give an nice sense of what is happening if one was only listening to the music and not watching the trailer.

9th HP:

Hit Point 9

Hit Point 9

Just like the other time the door is opened/closed I will use silences before bringing in the next part of the instrumentation. This is only a short lived point and so the music will jump back in after a second or two, possibly three if it is that long. As I said before silences has its uses and so does music but somethings do a better job then others. But then again the use of low sounds could be used if I wanted and is something I could consider when doing the music to the trailer.

10th HP:

Hit Point 10

Hit Point 10

I feel the use of high sounds would work here, after watching this part several times I feel it will work as the dark tones are played. The high notes would accompany dark parts as the trailer builds to a point where tension and darkness is the main focal point. The dark sounds will probably be low sounds so the high and low have there own roles and so they can have there own identity. 

11 HP:

Hit Point 11

Hit Point 11

Once again I choose to do silence here but I can’t remember why until I watch it again, there was a reason but until I remember what it was I have not much to say. What I can say though is that the use of low sounds could be used instead of silence if I choose to follow this, maybe using both silence and low sounds could work at certain points in the trailer.

12 HP:

Hit Point 12

Hit Point 12

I choose to do something big here because of what is happening and so no build will happen. There will be a large texture part here though the tone or pitch is still undecided until the creation part of the track. I though after the big moment of sound I would break the instrumentation up into several parts making it sound bare. Why I have thought this has not come to me, but I seem to like the idea of it but will it work? That remains to be seen. I may throw in some atmosphere which will keep give a sense of the danger and tension present.

13th HP:

Hit Point 13

Hit Point 13

For this part I thought I would add a sound of dread as the phase “Its infected his bloodstream.” Just those words makes you wonder what is wrong with that person? Can they be saved? What will happen to them? and so on. Those words sound like bad news and so I think the music should reflect that. After this part the scene pretty much ends but I won’t actually stop there as I will explain what I plan to do at the next part.

14th HP:

Hit Point 14

Hit Point 14

Though nothing is happening and the screen is blank I thought I would continue on with the little time I had left. I wanted to use a bunch of high notes played every second or two. I feel the use of some echoes could help as well making the listener wonder what has happened to the people after the few parts are shown. I feel the sense of mystery will be there if I do and maybe a chill could be felt if I did this though this various person to person.


Well that is it for my hit points, like I mentioned on top things may change, I may think of new things or add a new hit point part to the track if I feel it needs it or works.


Analyzing Music from a Movie 2 (17/10/13)


Alien (1979)

Alien (1979) “In space no one can hear you scream”

Music: ALIEN Main Title (User’s video is not showing up even with the right web link, had to text link it instead)

Genre: Sci-fi/Horror

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith





Tempo: Slow-Mid Slow

Time Signature: This is hard to say due to the way the track plays and with the disadvantage of having no musical listening training.



The brass instrument in my mind leads the whole piece even though it comes and goes a lot between the ambient like sound to the parts where nothing is heard.


The strings accompany the brass and so in my mind they help carry the theme when played which is not always.







The timbre of the score is quite soft during the piece but there are loud/harsh sounds ever so often such as 1:11-1:24. (Link above)


The track seems to have a thin and thick layer to it as at parts things build up and get louder. I felt like the start between 0:00-0:13 had a monophonic sound to it before another sound came into the mix. I also felt that the use of Homophonic and Polyphonic were used at points as well. (May need to revise or ask someone else if they agree with this.)


The pitch for the piece mainly tends to stay in the high region but has elements of low in at certain parts.


The dynamics of the track change every so often making parts either louder or quieter as it goes a long, mainly the score is at low volume.

Hit Points:

The use of hit points is used a lot in the track which triggers some form of emotion such as tension or suspense. For a film such as Alien the hit points are a key element as the music makes things sound much more scary then just by the visuals alone.  One of the hit points is when the music gets loud like something is about to happen or is happening which is only an example of one of the hit points.


The track itself has no real theme, I feel the score is used to make you feel what the movie is about which is about survival in a futuristic world where a group are pretty much hunted and killed off as the movie goes.

Musical techniques used and not used:

Since I am not musical trained I may be wrong but I felt no real technique was used though if there was it would be something to do with the string section.

Other Points:

-The use of dissonant’s within the score gives it a dark, tense and somewhat of a bleak sound.

-No use of arpeggio’s are present and maybe that was a good movie on the composers part as the film moves slowly and so a more soundscape feel works better.

-There is no real hook in the main theme, nothing grabs my attention except for loud parts of the track which happens every so often.

-The use of silence is used every now and again or very little is heard such as the part in 2:49-2:58.


The String Based Work:

This piece is more about technique then being a piece of music that flows well together.

Strings Layout (Cubase 6.5)

Strings Layout (Cubase 6.5)


F Major


Start: Drone Pad

Second Section: Cello

Third Section: Cello

Forth Section: Pizzcato

Fifth Section: Violin

Techniques Used within the Piece:

-Pizzcato (Plucking Sound)

-Divisi (Stings section playing different notes)

-Staccato (Detached in sound-May need to look this up again)

-Trill (Playing various notes fast)

Only so much can be done through synth based strings, but in the end it was all about trying sounds I could do and so far my favourite part is after the drone section where the cello is heard.