You’ll Love Composing
Music to Films
its core, there are really only two things that a composer needs
in order to write music for films:
a reward for producing a successful film score, there are two core
things that a composer should get:
sense of self-satisfaction;
Concentrating on the top two bullet points, a
film is available from a film owner that is interested in your skills
as a composer. The film must be displayed on a screen or monitor
in order to be seen by a composer. These days, the film is usually
imported into a composer’s recording program and displayed
in a setting that allows music to be composed within the program
while the film is being displayed.
This brings us to our second point. A composer
needs instrumental sound at his or her disposal in order to create
a soundtrack. These instrumental sounds can be acoustic
, or midi instruments (synthesized or created from
real sound samples).
are recorded into a sequencer/recording program with studio or mono
microphones that are hooked up to an exterior mixer.
Midi sounds are bought and installed into a computer as a resource
for composers that either cannot afford the cost of live musicians
or choose to use midi as a preferred sound source for a particular
software that I am most accustomed to for film music composing is
called Cubase. Although there are more recent versions than the
one that I am currently using, I have found Cubase SX3 to be very
responsive and effective as a recording and mixing program.
course, the other option is for a composer to concentrate on the
composing of a score and allow an established recording studio to
do all of the technical work with their chosen computer setup and
software. This is a viable option, as long as a composer budgets
studio time and technical processing into his composing fee.
for the writing of the music, the oldest trick is to make the music
fit the action. How to do this depends on training and talent. Composing
music for film is a process of sharing and a rewarding meeting of
minds between composer and movie director. With proper chemistry,
composers are likely to get repeat requests from the same director
for services in film projects.
a final note, composing for film can be a detailed and time consuming
process. A composer has to repeatedly watch the movie that needs
the music. Then, a mapping out process of where and for how long
the movie needs music takes place. A composer must be prepared well
before he or she walks into a studio, as wasting time in a studio
is not professional.
ensure that a composer is ready, directors will repeatedly meet
with composers to make sure that the proper amount of time and the
mood of the music is contained within a film score. In this regard,
a composer of film will usually have a midi or piano reduction,
and a recording of his/her intended film score readily available
for a movie director’s review (the fully scored
music with added live instruments comes later in the final studio
recordings). In this way, a director can have an audio representation
of what the composer has planned for his/her film before the final
studio work and recordings take place.