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Topic Requests

Discussion in 'Info, Requests, etc.' started by Mike Verta, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Is there a particular topic you'd like me to cover in a future class? Post it here!
  2. Well you know its coming, so just to get it out of the way: Howard Shore - Lord of the Rings.
    And another one I think has some really interesting parts for dissecting is Benjamin Britten - Peter Grimes.
  3. I would simply love a class on John Barry.

    His music is from an era that I love. The Bond Movies are pure film music gold. The cue Flying Over Africa is sheer poetry.....

    He was messing around with synths before it was mainstream, and made very simple melodies sound beautiful.

    He was born just up the road from me in York, where his father owned a number of cinemas.

    O.K. Mr. V - You have your orders - we don't tolerate failure at Redbanned.com

    (Incidentally, if you have Amazon Prime you should download David Arnold's album Shaken & Stirred (it's free with prime) - He takes a lot of classic Bond music and updates it. Not always totally successfully but it's always interesting. John Barry apparently loved the album and that's how David Arnold ended up doing the Bond gig on Barry's recommendation.)
  4. It would be interesting to have a class on SYNTH and "rock" based Scores (from Vangelis to Zimmer, Carpenter, Goblin, Tangerine Dream, Goldsmith, etc). Also, my main request would be "The Classic Hollywood Sound", a class about Korngold, Steiner, Waxman, Alfred Newman, etc.
    Daniele Nasuti likes this.
  5. I would love to see a class on how to get that vintage golden age of tv sound and style ala 50's Superman, Columbo, etc.
  6. I could go a bit more modern - what about classes on:

    • Emotions/cliché (what is evil? What is childlike?)
    • Alexandre Desplat
    • Alan Menken
    • JNH
    • Or slightly outside films: Theater, Musicals?
    • Newman
    • Korngold is nice :)
    • Or even: A Masterclass of Composers and their classical influences and lifts - like going through some composers and pick a few films each and see where they come from - giving us a wealth of scores to explore their classical roots with concrete examples
    I bet there could be more - but there are also already great ideas here in the thread :)
    David Scott likes this.
  7. Publishers. I know I'm a new guy and this is probably covered elsewhere, but there are other new guys I'd love to recommend this place to and that'd be a good start.

    If this is too off-topic let me know and I'll quit my bitching...
  8. #8 Aaron Olson, Jul 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
    I'd love this too, even though it's already a recurring theme in Mike's classes.

    Other ideas: more genres (e.g. sci-fi, westerns), classic film score tropes, motivic development (maybe this is covered already), and a live/interactive transcription session.

    edit: This might be a little too audience-specific, but I'd also love a class devoted to some of the earlier videogame composers, especially Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) and Koji Kondo (Mario and Zelda).
  9. I just thought I would chime in an offer my 2 cents. It seems to me one big gap right now, if someone wanted to use these tutorials to get a foot in the
    films scoring world, would be "Working with Directors".

    In my experience directors are looking for the "perfect composer for my film". Whatever compositional chops have or don't have only matters in that context. While I am now "only" an orchestrator for films, back in the day I do recall this was always the biggest X factor. When I was mentored by Christopher Young he stated to me numerous times he felt that was one area that really set him apart from younger composers looking to break in.

    Here are some bullet points on things I would suggest as being vital.

    - Establishing working rapport with the director.

    - Director Archetypes: Some micro-manage and call you at 2 am, others just want you to do your thing and make it sound great.
    Student/low budget/passion projects vs Studio projects. The big dreamer Ben Hur / Howard Hughes director vs the director who makes videos only when they know enough market interest is there to make a profit and runs things like a business. (ie. educational films, sports docs etc.)

    (*** as perhaps an aside I would say in my own experience the larger budget films I have worked on the better all around team I have worked with. This includes communicating to other departments ... i.e. sound design, editor, or whomever.
    Student films, or really low budget means only one bridge in the town, and actually some of the most aggravating I had to go through)

    - Translating the communication: Directors can be very nervous working with a composer as this is an area they really can't control.
    Some directors will feel uneasy about the technical vocabulary to describe the sound they want...... but they know what want.
    Often the conversations about the music will be purely about the dramatic intent. The composer need to figure out how to write the music to convey
    this. Some emotions might be very easy (cliche) Love theme, Shock... but some films and emotions can be more nuanced, and some directors will have a large emotional vocabulary. (ie. this scene should be very stoic), or they intentionally want the music to provide a psychological element that is not in the visuals, or intentionally play against the scene etc....

    - Spotting the film well: It does not matter how hard you work if you head in the wrong direction.

    - What, and how to present: The director is coming over to listen to your first few themes..... what to do and not to do.

    - Handling negative feedback: You thought you nailed the scene, very happy with what you wrote; director....nah. Do it again.

    - How to keep from killing the motherfucker: Delivered late now your 6 weeks is 2, micro-managing, that scene you wrote XYZ for is now cut or totally changed.... oh, did I tell you I want the whole score to be a bossa nova ? Get that to me tomorrow ?

    Scoring Session: How many chefs in a kitchen ? Handling last minute, or on the spot revision requests. Also how to organize the files for the session so you are not wasting time/money. Did you get everything you need.

    Wrap up: Delivery of materials, archiving your files, keeping in touch for the future etc.
  10. Some kind of Instrument Series would be great. A Masterclass on String writing. One on Brass writing. Etc

    Obviously much can't be covered in a single Masterclass but perhaps if they are geared towards the needs of a Professional Media Composer, so going through what the instruments sound like, Their ranges, part writing, what they can and can't do when using Samples (and yes Samples never compare to the "real" thing but it's what most people use daily to get the job done). I guess all this stuff can be learnt via own study and reading but where's the fun in that if there's Mike Verta teaching it?

    I think the single biggest problem with people's music sounding bad (when using Samples) is not understanding the instruments. I am guilty of this but at least I'm trying to learn. It's like wondering why your Drum Programming sounds lifeless and Robotic and not realising a drummer plays Ghost notes. And when realising that, you still don't realise that if the Ghosts are too loud, the part sounds ridiculously bad. And you learn that by understanding the perspective of being a drummer (change "drummer" with any type of instrumentalist) and ultimately listening. Which is why I get how Transcribing is so important but being taught some fundamentals about what to listen out to would help. For example, some of the sounds a Violinist can make are outrageous and at times I despair thinking "WTF did they just do? I have no idea" and then I spend forever running around in circles trying to find out what that play style is.
  11. Ha, I'd absolutely love a Menken/Disney thing. But I honestly cannot see that one happening ;)
  12. [QUOTE="Michael Antrum, I would simply love a class on John Barry.[/QUOTE]
    You beat me to it, Michael. Zulu — fabulous, stirring stuff!
    And while we're at it with the Brits, what about Ron Goodwin (633 Squadron, Where Eagles Dare), or Richard Addinsell (Warsaw Concerto, Gaslight)? Ah well, I can dream...
  13. Yes Alan Menken and Walter Murphy as the Family guy stuff is so cool! And I would also like to see how people score to picture with SMPTE, Tempo maps, etc.
  14. I suppose I could do this, but it wouldn't be a "Working with Directors" class, it would be a "Choosing your Director" class, because every one of your concerns is within our power to choose or avoid from the get-go, not something we have to "deal with," unless we've pre-determined that we're at the mercy of the gig and not the other way around. Admittedly, if we've prioritized "working in film" over "working," then maybe that's the case. We've decided we're slaves and the only thing left on the table is how much we'll be bought for. I think I'll talk about this tonight -this tiresome, depressing thing which comes up about 900 billion times a day. :)
  15. Okay so thinking about this more (like at all), there are two things I'd like to get out of it, each of which might make for a fun class:
    1. the usual musicological treatment of people's favourite themes, and
    2. a discussion of how to write well for video games.
    The first one could be an unleashed-style discussion of audience-chosen themes (from video games, TV shows, whatever), especially standalone themes that aren't interesting/important enough to warrant their own class.

    The second one could talk about writing music that's meant to be heard a zillion times without getting as boring, music whose emotional content and pacing might need to change at any point, or even music written for small ensembles (reflecting the limited number of voices available on older game systems).
  16. This would be great! A masterclass all about video-game scoring basics, techniques, structure, tips/tricks, etc.
  17. Another transcription challenge like galaxy quest would be great :)
  18. Battle music and how different instrumentation and techniques are used for the different ages and the technologies being used.
  19. I listen to your Nasa Score @Mike Verta almost daily and I'm always impressed with not only how fast you created this amazing sounding music, but how your ideas flow so effortlessly. It honestly makes me wish I could've been a fly on the wall throughout that whole 21 hour composing marathon. All this to say that I'm thinking it would be awesome to just have a class where we watch you compose a full piece of music from beginning to end with little to no dialogue so you don't get distracted. We could even do a poll where we select the type of music, a story, a scene, whatever for you to write the music to. I don't know if that idea has been mentioned here but I'm sure some of us would pay for that lol
  20. What about a class about choir? How to get different type of texture, moods, effects and so on.

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