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Live Composing - When You Don't Feel Like It

Discussion in 'RedBanned TV' started by Mike Verta, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. If there is any questions I can assist with as an orchestrator I am happy to do so. I have been orchestrator on three Lions Gate Films, and the showtime series "The Affair" to name a few. Perhaps in another thread.

    Few examples below

    T.j. Prinssen likes this.
  2. If I'm using an orchestrator, it is reluctantly, and basically as score prep/proof readers. I would no more have an orchestrator "orchestrating" than I would be having them write the melody. I'm just extremely particular about my choices, down to the smallest detail, and have never once had an orchestrator make a contribution independently that I didn't immediately undo. That said, I can think of two people who either understand precisely what motivates my decisions, or know my work well enough to realize my intent. The reason I would sooner take time in a detailed mock-up than sketch is because it serves the dual purpose of hand holding the director, and if it's the kind of gig where any of this is going down, it's going to be necessary.
  3. That's great. Makes perfect sense.

    Just one question: Why not farm out the mock-up and focus your energies on making the score/parts for the real players ?
    This would ensure you can have your smallest detail just as you want for the session. I know both people you mentioned, and they are great choices.

    I know Robin farms out the mock-ups when he can for his own composing, or simply uses something like note performer. This is a subjective question, and
    of course your method works a treat. For myself I hate mock-ups and samples so I simply would prefer, or get more energy, by focusing on the notes on the page....... but maybe that is why I only get gigs as an orchestrator/score prep guy than composer.......hmmm. I am happy with that.
  4. I actually talked about that in my response to Eric- the reason I don't farm-out the mock-ups is because the most important part of the mock-up is not the sound - it's the performance. I perform my mock-ups so that you can truly tell the articulations I intend from them and that again is something I really can't trust other people to be able to know. They can't read my mind. So while farming it out will certainly yield more realistic sounds they will not yield more accurate performances of the intention. And for me that's what sells my mock-ups when I'm working with directors anyway. It's really not the sounds, it's the feel.
  5. Cool. Thanks for the clarification. Best wishes
  6. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for posting your “Live Composing When You Don't Feel Like It” video series. Very useful and informative.

    I’m working on doing a mockup of your piece but I’m not able to get HW strings to sound like they do in your video. As you know, HW strings has about a zillion articulations, where some dynamics are controlled by velocity or cc1 or cc11 or by some combination.

    It appears in your video that you are using your modwheel (cc1) to control dynamic cross fades for all of your instruments.
    Which HW violin sus articulation did you use to get that fatter, richer sound?
    Besides Altiverb Teldex, did you use any plugins or added processing to augment the basic articulation?

    I used
    1st violins 1 NV NV NV VB RR NI (2) – cc1 controls both dynamic cross fades and vibrato
    1st Violins Tremolo Ni (8) – cc11 controls dynamic cross fades
    The tremolo violins sound right but the sus violin articulation I’m using sounds much thinner.

    Any info you would be willing to share would be greatly appreciated.


  7. I don't have my template in front of me right now, but I can tell you that most of the time, yes I'm using modwheel-controlled sus patches and that sounds like the right violin patch.. EXCEPT that I use both the VL1 and VL2 versions of them together, layered on the same MIDI channel. Not sure if this makes all the difference or not, but that is one thing I do for sure. So every articulation for VL1 is doubled and triggered at the same time on VL2. I don't recall there being a ton of EQ, but I'd have to check.
  8. #48 Wayne Bacer, Sep 15, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
    Hey Mike,

    Thanks for your feedback. Good idea using both HW Violins 1 and 2 on the string lines.
    I’m not sure if that added the fullness that I think I’m still missing but it helped.

    I used Berlin Woods, Spitfire Perc, Adventure / SM Brass and HW strings.
    Just to see if it would work, I used Orchestral Tools, Orchestral String Runs for the fast string run. Started off with 1/16 note octatonic and ended with Major. It kind of gets the vibe.
    On a reverb bus, the only plugin I used was Altiverb – Teldex.

    This is the first time I tried not locking to a quantized grid. Much better, like you said, it really lets the music breath.
    Anyway, if you get a chance, take a listen and let me know what you think. Your feedback is always greatly appreciated. Thanks



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