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Hey guys,


This is my first attempt at scoring music to picture. It's an entry for a film scoring competition. The picture itself is a trailer for an indy horror flick - nice and cheesy :-D. So, in keeping with said cheese, the music doesn't stray too far from typical horror soundtrack conventions (I think). It was a fun exercise and it was really useful to have to match the 'composition' (I use the word loosely), to the picture using the nifty features in Logic.


UPDATED the track with some synths to increase the tension. 



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This is well done. I think it owes something to Psycho, as do many scores in the genre

Hi, LP! You've got the suspense going, and it's scored well to the cuts of the scenes. I suggest taking it one step further, and creating some musical "hits" that coincide with the actions within each scene, between the cuts, such as a motif for the knife being raised and thrust.

Good luck with the competition! I hope you place. :)

Thanks a lot @Gav & Janet. The thing I found hard was matching up the hit points. Who ever had cut the trailer had used different amounts of time between each scene change so it was really tough to get a consistent number of bars and tempo. It also made it difficult with the phrasing, so I had a mix of 3 and 4 bar q and a phrases. I think I got close(ish) to matching things up, but then when I did try to go in and match up certain actions (like the knife slash) it looked wrong because I had tried to tempo match the whole piece, so elements that strayed from this sounded out of place. When I say tempo match, I mean, when I marked up the track and subdivided it, I adjusted the tempo to get the neatest division of bars to create a workable structure. How else can you go about it?

I haven't composed for this genre, and I don't know what the "standard" way of scoring for this is. That said, I might start by scoring the "hits" first, and then compose around the hits. Since you've already got most of the work done, there might be a way to add in the additional hits that fit, perhaps by using a combination of dynamics and "sliding" into the hit. For example, a violin could come in softly and on a "proper" beat, and suddenly/quickly slide up in pitch and increase in loudness as the as the knife is lifted each time; perhaps a different percussive sound at the expected moment the knife would be plunged... These hits would be treated more as sound effects, and could be overlaid, while the underlying music continues as is.

Are the requirements of the competition that there be a written score, playable by musicians? Are electronic instruments/sound effects permissible (like "Reason")?

As for getting a consistent number of bars and such, it's important to keep in mind that the composer can write whatever s/he wants. Changing tempi, mixing meters, unbalanced phrases are all okay if it "sounds" good. The trick to notation is to write it in a manner that a performer can understand, to translate it into the sound you want.

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