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Generic film scoring question for Logic X???


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Hello,

 

What is it like to do film scores in Logic X? I know this is a very generic question, but, I was wondering if there are any advantages to scoring in Logic X compared to, say, using DP8, Cubase, or Pro Tools?

 

Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Logic is a great tool to use for this purpose, though it's not without its disadvantages, which may still be overcome. It's possible that sometime in the near future that the developers may refine Logic even further so it can really shine here.

 

Digital Perfomer seems to be the other way to go. It's more popular amonungst score writers, but it too has its issues. However, I can annoy really talk about Logic

 

Logic does come with a fairly decent arsenal of instruments and effects as well as lots of prebuilt patches. It doesn't have everything, but neither do any other DAWs. You will have to supplement it with other 3rd part libraries if you want depth and detail in your music. All the good ones will work in Logic.

 

VSTs aren't supported, but, there is so much compatible with AudioUnits it's not worth the worry. The only plugins that aren't AudioUnit are most of the freebies that are out there made by college students or the like.

 

AudioUnits are quite capable and since the technology is developed by Apple as is Logic and OSX, you can imagine that it gets great performance. One setback though is if you're using virtual instruments when you play or record live, that entire chain is put into Live Mode which means it runs on just one CPU thread. I think this was done to minimise latency. What it does mean to us, though, there is a limit to how much effects you can put on your "live" instrument before you start to get audio dropouts. You can run Logic with a higher I/O Buffer, or at a lower sample rate to help combat this, but that does incur more latency. So it's a fine balance.

 

My method is to do very little with the way of effects as I write and record, unless it's integral to the composition. Such as a rhythmic delay or guitar distortion. I usually leave the bulk of effects to the mix stage. This also helps me make better mix decisions, because if you get too used to hearing an instrument with a certain effect, it becomes harder to be objective about it when sculpting the mix later.

 

Logic also doesn't do multi-timbrial instruments well. It has really good memory management when you assign one non-multitimbrial instrument per track, but you don't have to do it that way, it's just more efficient if you do. They are also easier to freeze that way. You can't freeze just one channel from a multi, the whole lot will have to be frozen. You can however, Bounce in Place, so that's a way around that. Multis so have their own dedicated busses, so you don't have to use up your contingent of 64 global. Which I think is a little bit limiting of late, hopefully Apple will up that limit soon.

 

The AudioUnit specs have been changed recently and is capable of up to 256 midi channels per instrument not just 16, I just think Logic and/or the 3rd party plugins need to support it. So currently it still only supports 16 channels per instrument/multi. That should change in the near future though. I understand Digital Performer is better in that sense

 

Logic has great editing features with FlexiPitch & FlexiTime, Take Folders and Quick Swipe for easy comping, region and track based automation. When mastered, Logic's features can really speed up the workflow. Clever use of creating your own custom patches and templates can really speed things up as well. Then there is the increased control you have over all things MIDI.

 

You can import a movie into the timeline, slide it around in order to reposition it, but you can't edit it. I think being able to trim the start and end time would be a useful feature. Logic can also switch from a Musical timeline to a Time based timeline for easier workability. You can spot sounds into place and lock them in place so if you adjust the tempo or anything, they stay in position relative to the movie.

 

Logic doesn't really handle FinalCut XML that well, many pros have forked out the dollars for X2Pro to help with compatibility. Hopefully Apple will get on top of this. The other way is to work with multitrack QuickTime movies, you can then import the audio straight to the timeline, although all of the audio edits will be rendered.

 

Logic is used quite successfully to score to film, it's also great for mixing and mastering. ProTools isn't really required, that's just an old mindset people have that stems back to early days.

 

Hope this helps, even though it's extremely wordy

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This is great. Thank you for taking the time to write it. Very informative. I actually demoed DP8 for 30 days and absolutely hated it...with regards to MIDI editing, that is. Even worked with the head tech at MOTU for DP8 regarding workarounds and there simply weren't any. It seems those loyal to DP are the ones who have been using the application from the very beginning...some twenty years ago. Understandable, I guess.

 

I've also spoken with a couple of film scorers I know here in Los Angeles regarding what it's like to work in the film scoring 'business'. And, they all said just that...it's more of a business than anything else. Also, everything is freelance nowadays, apparently. Furthermore, the competition is extreme...for lack of a better word. I think I'll stick to my present day job and pursue it as a hobby. Makes the most sense.

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What you need to do is slowly build up some credibility by doing smaller projects.

 

Even go out, shoot and edit your own short film, documentary or any idea. Although you may need some help with that, but take the initiative.

 

Also develop a style, that is similar, or comparable to what is going on today, but with your own unique spin or slant to it. Because you will find out that you need to do something that is different to stand out, but not too different that makes you unsuitable.

 

It's a fine line.

 

Learn what your strengths are, what your advantages are and exploit them. Stay away from your weak aspects, we all have them.

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Thanks. When you say to develop a style that is comparable to what is going on today...what exactly do you mean? I guess what I am asking is...what is the style that is going on today? I honestly do not know. It seems like everything is EDM based nowadays...at least when you turn on the radio, that is. I know film scoring is different, but, perhaps they are related???

 

Best,

Deckard

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Well... It does depend on what movies you end up watching!! But we are probably talking about the same thing, except I wouldn't call it EDM, although there is some influence there.

 

I think the main difference is a lot of it does have a pulse of some kind injecting energy into the scene, most of it wont be too detailed because it's played underneath scenes and so needs to disappear into the background. So melodies would be bad there, too distracting.

 

The pulse a lot of the time is synthesised, or it could be strings or percussion and then the score builds on top of that.

 

That style is very popular, probably done to death, but it's probably what many people would expect, but it does depend on the style of film. You wouldn't do much of that for a romance, a little bit could help sell it though, add more energy to an otherwise dull, dragging scene, but then that would depend on what the director would think.

 

Anyway, the point is to take some of that on board, check out Hollywood's top composers, listen to what they do, look at how it works with the scene, learn from it as a basis and THEN...

 

Build your own personality and style on top of that.

 

As long as it compliments the visuals. It adds energy but doesn't distract overall from the scenes, but comes to life and the fore ground when it needs too.

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Well... It does depend on what movies you end up watching!! But we are probably talking about the same thing, except I wouldn't call it EDM, although there is some influence there.

 

I think the main difference is a lot of it does have a pulse of some kind injecting energy into the scene, most of it wont be too detailed because it's played underneath scenes and so needs to disappear into the background. So melodies would be bad there, too distracting.

 

The pulse a lot of the time is synthesised, or it could be strings or percussion and then the score builds on top of that.

 

That style is very popular, probably done to death, but it's probably what many people would expect, but it does depend on the style of film. You wouldn't do much of that for a romance, a little bit could help sell it though, add more energy to an otherwise dull, dragging scene, but then that would depend on what the director would think.

 

Anyway, the point is to take some of that on board, check out Hollywood's top composers, listen to what they do, look at how it works with the scene, learn from it as a basis and THEN...

 

Build your own personality and style on top of that.

 

As long as it compliments the visuals. It adds energy but doesn't distract overall from the scenes, but comes to life and the fore ground when it needs too.

 

Many thanks. Any opinions on my favorite film composer...Vangelis (most notably his soundtrack to 'Blade Runner')?

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Funnily, as big as he is, Im not familiar with much of his music. But have you seen this cat play??

 

https://vimeo.com/80936319

 

Oh yeah, I've seen that before...blew my mind when I first saw it. If I am not mistaken, he is improvising the entire thing...something he is very well known for. I can't imagine how much that rig costs! Custom-built, I presume. :D

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While I can develop an idea in my head, almost to its entirety, complete with most of the arrangements, i still can't play them all at once!!

 

Sheer genius!!

 

Although Id rather not tell him. Many people probably have so this dude just may already have a big enough ego ;)

 

Apparently, he is a very private man (i.e. 'avoids the media')...not ego'd out or anything like that...but, still hard to get along with on a professional level. At least that is what I have both read and heard. Understandable, I would imagine, especially since the film scoring business is pretty much that...a 'business'. I think Vangelis is more of a musician/composer. Just my opinion, of course.

 

By the way, did you know he has no formal musical training/education? He can't even read music. All the more incredible. :)

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