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  • New Feature Film with VSL...

    Just wanted to let anyone who is interested in film scoring know that I've been contracted to score Will Patton's ("Remember the Titans", "The Mothman Prophecies", "Armageddon", "Gone in 60 Seconds", "No Way Out") next film, "Dog Days of Summer".

    And after demoing some initial thematics, the decision from the director was made to use VSL exclusively. He was blown away with the sound and quality of the tracks and had a hard time discerning them from "the real thing". I told him that I hadn't even tweaked or finessed them yet. That's when he gave the go ahead to use this library as the final recorded score.

    I'd personally like to thank Herb and the "crew" for this wonderful library...you have truly made a difference in many of our lives!

    For more info on Will Patton go to http://www.imdb.com

  • Thanks for the kind words, and congratulations for the gig!

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Wow!!! Congrats and thank you so much!!!
    Please keep us up to date with your progress, this is certainly something we're very interested in!
    All the best, Martin

  • Dietz and Martin,

    Thanks for the words of encouragement! I'll certainly keep you posted as I progress. I can tell you right now just by being able to instantly (or close to it) demo out a thematic or a cue has been temendous!

    For example: I started creating ideas for thematics about two weeks ago and then the director wanted me to score to a rough cut of the opening cue. After finishing the first pass I decided that it just didn't hit the mark so I "scrubbed" the entire scene and started from scratch. Within and hour I had what has ultimtely become the actual opening cue. To be able to to turn on a dime and create and entirely new cue is something that I never would be able to do in the past (using live orchestra) and have an actual track!

    I'm using 4 Giga PC's and one Mac G5 riight now but am looking forward to the new VSL Symphonic Cube. Also, I just purchased "Glass & Stones" to use for this film and their added textures are perfect!

    Once I get completed cues finished and permission from the director I'll post some cues so you can hear how your library is being used.

    Thanks Again!

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    @rpmusic said:

    To be able to to turn on a dime and create and entirely new cue is something that I never would be able to do in the past (using live orchestra) and have an actual track!


    A triumph for VSL, but ultimately a sad day for all the enormously talented musicians that have made their livings working in this business. At the rate these tools are improving, it won't be long before having a full orchestra at a scoring sessions is an exotic, retro novelty.


    Lee Blaske

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    @rpmusic said:

    To be able to to turn on a dime and create and entirely new cue is something that I never would be able to do in the past (using live orchestra) and have an actual track!


    A triumph for VSL, but ultimately a sad day for all the enormously talented musicians that have made their livings working in this business. At the rate these tools are improving, it won't be long before having a full orchestra at a scoring sessions is an exotic, retro novelty.


    Lee Blaske

    You really are going to say this on a VSL forum? Seems kinda outa touch! [*-)] And congrats to rpmusic! I'm looking forward to hearing something...

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    @rpmusic said:

    To be able to to turn on a dime and create and entirely new cue is something that I never would be able to do in the past (using live orchestra) and have an actual track!


    A triumph for VSL, but ultimately a sad day for all the enormously talented musicians that have made their livings working in this business. At the rate these tools are improving, it won't be long before having a full orchestra at a scoring sessions is an exotic, retro novelty.


    Lee Blaske

    You really are going to say this on a VSL forum? Seems kinda outa touch! [*-)] And congrats to rpmusic! I'm looking forward to hearing something...

    Actually I was just thinking exactly what Lee said. While I appreciate VSL enormously, it was never intended to replace musicians entirely. And let's face it, no matter how many samples are at your disposal, it will NEVER rival the diversity of a real orchestra. I am glad that it will makes things easier for you RPmusic, but this really is a sad indication of the way things are going. Can you imagine John Williams not being able to afford a real orchestra and having to resort to samples??!

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    @rpmusic said:

    To be able to to turn on a dime and create and entirely new cue is something that I never would be able to do in the past (using live orchestra) and have an actual track!


    A triumph for VSL, but ultimately a sad day for all the enormously talented musicians that have made their livings working in this business. At the rate these tools are improving, it won't be long before having a full orchestra at a scoring sessions is an exotic, retro novelty.


    Lee Blaske

    Lee, it is a sad day, but in a way the reason for the decline of live orchestral work may be at least partly a self inflicted wound. As a former orchestral player i often spent concert after concert playing familiar work. Reasons given varied from having a season of this or that composer to 'we play the recognised stuff because it puts bums in seats.'. Now, i will qualify this with my intent to write more concert than film work. And as a compser who approached more than one orchestral administration with a score, even those with whom i'd worked as a player, the answer was invariably the same. We don't take new work, because the audience won't turn up and listen. This not from the conductor, or musical director, but the administrator, a non musician, more concerned with financial prosperity than creativity. I really wish i could say this was an isolated incident, but sadly it wasn't, and it's not just me i refer to, but several talented colleagues as well.

    Bureaucrats with their hands on the books are invariably the reason so many orchestras play a lot of the same stuff over and over again, and lack the courage to bring new material to listening audiences. Couple that with it seems the desire on the part of so many composers to write material that is interesting for fellow composers, but incomprehensible to many who pay to listen. (Which is one reason why Mozart is so popular among the genenral public. The melodies are extremely simple and singable by all but the most dire of voices)
    But now, there is light at the end of the tunnel for those who aspire to symphonic creation, or grander orchestral design for film, tv, games, etc. VSL's library is an opportunity to hear our work played, and performed as we would want it to be. There are still some restrictions, in the very nature of sample/computer construction, but we have the chance to forge ahead without having to go with cap in hand like the urchin child from Oliver, muttering hopefully to a non musical plebiscite. 'Please sir, can i get my music played?'
    I used to have regrets about this every day, and tried hard to persist with the established system, in the direct hope that my colleagues who were still playing would get enough work to survive and even prosper. The most famous of orchestras will always play, and get work and spend their tme playing the favourites, recording, etc. The whole VSL project is an ideal job for any player who wants to strengthen his chops with the repetition, intense tonal concentration, and other advantages. I should imagine those players who recorded for VSL are better players as a result with improved sustainability added to their skills.

    But the regrets have gone, and if orchestras persist in handing the prgramming of their work to accountants, and not taking risks to develop the next generation of compositional material and the writers, then they are their own worst enemies.

    I'm thrilled at the opportunity to write without having to go through the system. Indeed, if those in decision making positions start to feel the pinch then just maybe the live creative possibilities may improve again. And this from a staunch supporter of live music. Now my situation has definite possiblities. I can work hard, write and programme well, and publish my work beofre it ever gets near an orchestra. If all goes well, and the work gains some popularity, then it will be the orchestras who will have to approach me for permission to play my work, and i like the irony in that possibility.

    I think VSL and other developers have every reason to enjoy the visible fruits of their labour without regret. It's certainly not their fault (IMO) that live players are getting less work, but the intractability of the system's desire to move with the times, and play its part in fostering new ideas and ultimately work for the future.

    Rp, congratulations and good luck for the future!

    Alex.

  • having been involved in film-making for quite some years, let me add another point:
    budgets are getting tighter since a while (not only here in europe from what i've heard) and several options come on the table (of the producer).
    - record with a cheaper orchestra (prag, bratislava, ect - i'm mentioning this because many major studios are already shooting there)
    - reduce the time for rehearsals/recording or the size of the orchestra
    - looking for a basically other solution (than a symphonic soundtrack)
    each of the above is bad for (income/empoyment of) a musician.

    on the other hand one can reduce costs (better i'd say efficiently use the limits of a budget) using a basic arrangement with samples and adding highlights with live musicians.
    ... just a consideration, christian

    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Been following this thread and there seems to be a bit of misunderstanding about the use of sampled libraries and live players....maybe I can help

    I'm the first to use live players whenever I can...but the key words to remember are "budget permitting".

    As anyone who does this kind of work for a living knows that even when you have named actors in the project there are high, modest and low budget films. This film, even though with higher profile actors it is an independent film. Meaning that they have certain levels of money that they can spend on a film before they enter into the next budget plateau - then you get into having to pay higher proportional SAG rates, union crew rates, etc...it gets very expensive once you cross those "magic" number lines. So the musicians many times would never get to record these types of movies anyway. Especially, when there is no money to use full live orchestra. And as we all know, using small sections just doesn't cut it sometimes.

    I'm currently up for another film in which there is a budget for all full session...on that I'll only be using VSL for demoing purposes. Let's face it, half the fun is the interaction between you and the orchestra when you set your charts down in front of them. At least for me that's what I live for as a composer. I really can't ever see the day when live session work for film (large budget) will ever go away.

    Anyway, just wanted to set everyones mind at ease that even if this technology becomes indistinguishable from the real thing...I think we'll all still use the real thing....budget permitting.

    Thanks,

  • I agree that the "sad day" has already come and gone years ago, in terms of musicians losing work to samples/electronics/whater. It's hardly a new VSL development. Tons of films have non-live-orchestral scores.

    Change is hard and sad. (not said sarcastically!) But I'm always reminded of 1 fact: every lauded composer of yore used the highest tech available to him. They were pushing the envelope. Whether it was getting a harp that could play any key or piano technology or violin mfg secrets or whatever. In terms of tech, the orchestra reached a calcified state about 100 years ago. That makes its atrophy not surprising.

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    @rpmusic said:

    I really can't ever see the day when live session work for film (large budget) will ever go away.


    I can, not in the next 2 or 3 years maybe, but within the next 5 to 10 years, no doubt in my mind. If not even the most refined ear will be able to tell the difference, why then pay the big money for a real orchestra, at least for recordings of film music? Orchestras will always have the edge on live performances, the live sound of real instruments will never be matched by machines, and aesthetically speaking also, the visual aspect is part of the show, and that's where we'll see them more.

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    @rpmusic said:

    I really can't ever see the day when live session work for film (large budget) will ever go away.


    I can, not in the next 2 or 3 years maybe, but within the next 5 to 10 years, no doubt in my mind. If not even the most refined ear will be able to tell the difference, why then pay the big money for a real orchestra, at least for recordings of film music? Orchestras will always have the edge on live performances, the live sound of real instruments will never be matched by machines, and aesthetically speaking also, the visual aspect is part of the show. and that's where we'll see them more.

    Simple answer; snob value. Even if the clients can't tell the difference, they will want to tell people "Oh we had a 70 piece orchestra for our score". If you want to see an example of this have a look at Sky News [8-)]

    DG

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    @rpmusic said:

    Anyway, just wanted to set everyones mind at ease that even if this technology becomes indistinguishable from the real thing...I think we'll all still use the real thing....budget permitting.


    Actually, it's been my observation that when the results are indistinguishable, producers will no longer be able to find budgets to do things in a more expensive way. It's inevitable.

    We've been going through a period of enormous change in the music business. Larger studios continue to close at an alarming rate. If you can deliver quality quickly and economically, producers will lover you. What I see for the immediate future is projects where the bulk of performance is done using libraries like VSL, with the addition of some live players.

    The elimination of large orchestral sessions with real players won't be the only change. Traditional centers for music production, will cease to be as important as they once were. With rapid communication of content anywhere on the globe, composers living in any corner of the world will have an increasingly equal crack at landing important scoring work. In fact, composers living in areas where the cost of living is less will be able to undercut fees charged by composers living in larger metropolitan areas.

    Sometimes I also wonder how much longer orchestral music will be prominently featured in important films. These days, it seems like the "score" in a lot of movies is just the glue between the pop tunes. How long before orchestral music is viewed as a tired cliche? You don't see many young people at orchestra concerts these days. Orchestral music is increasingly not something that the up and coming generation relates to.

    It would be very ironic that at the very point in time when a large number of us attain the capability to singlehandedly produce high quality sampled orchestral music, it may cease to become a marketable commodity.

    Lee Blaske

  • Lee, your comments are too good to pass up! I agree-that "concert hall" music seems to be less relevant to modern culture. The Orchestra as an instrument took 400 years or so to evolve, was perfected, then it stagnated. What happened in the meantime was electricity - in amplifying live music, and reproducing it.

    As soon as you could amplify a guitar, you no longer needed 14 violins in a section for a composer to make something that is audible to a crowd. So creative energy starts to move towards what is accessible and it being new and crazy doesn't hurt either. Then the nail in the coffin was hi-fi LPs and now CDs. Every little town in Europe used to have an orchestra (many still do) cuz that was the only way you could hear the hits of the day. Orchestras were the music distribution system and home theatre of that era. Now all you gotta do is hit play on your ipod.

    All that means is that the societal function and purpose of the orchestra no longer exists. It's been replaced. The fact that it is the most beautiful sound ever yet devised by human beings is but a sad footnote.

    VSL is not driving this change, VSL is allowing the beautiful orchestral sound to still be an option for modern music. VSL is like a zoo for animals who would otherwise be extinct.

    p.s. i really have no idea what i'm talking about! [H]

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    @rpmusic said:

    I really can't ever see the day when live session work for film (large budget) will ever go away.


    I can, not in the next 2 or 3 years maybe, but within the next 5 to 10 years, no doubt in my mind. If not even the most refined ear will be able to tell the difference, why then pay the big money for a real orchestra, at least for recordings of film music? Orchestras will always have the edge on live performances, the live sound of real instruments will never be matched by machines, and aesthetically speaking also, the visual aspect is part of the show. and that's where we'll see them more.

    Simple answer; snob value. Even if the clients can't tell the difference, they will want to tell people "Oh we had a 70 piece orchestra for our score". If you want to see an example of this have a look at Sky News [8-)]

    DG

    Or, make believe the producer of your movie you are going to need a 70 piece orchestra. Next time you see him, some 3 weeks later, tell him: "Prague was great, the musicians were fabulous!" Then go home with the entire dough for yourself! [:D]

    You'll have to make up 70 Czech names for the credits. I do this all the time... kidding! [[;)]]

    *Dramatization was done for the purpose of senseless posting.

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    @metrobot said:

    ...VSL is not driving this change, VSL is allowing the beautiful orchestral sound to still be an option for modern music. VSL is like a zoo for animals who would otherwise be extinct....


    [:)] I love that idea; VSL as conservationists. The VIs is VSL releasing their animals back into the wild.

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    @metrobot said:

    ...VSL is not driving this change, VSL is allowing the beautiful orchestral sound to still be an option for modern music. VSL is like a zoo for animals who would otherwise be extinct....


    [:)] I love that idea; VSL as conservationists. The VIs is VSL releasing their animals back into the wild.
    But under strictly controlled conditions, after all you can't allow samples to roam totally free [:D]

    DG

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    @metrobot said:

    ...VSL is not driving this change, VSL is allowing the beautiful orchestral sound to still be an option for modern music. VSL is like a zoo for animals who would otherwise be extinct....


    [:)] I love that idea; VSL as conservationists. The VIs is VSL releasing their animals back into the wild.
    But under strictly controlled conditions, after all you can't allow samples to roam totally free [:D]

    DG

    Dg, agreed. We don't want a rogue G sharp stac to start killing small children, do we........ [[:|]]

  • "just wanted to set everyones mind at ease that even if this technology becomes indistinguishable from the real thing...I think we'll all still use the real thing....budget permitting." - rpmusic


    This is yet another statement of the same concept I have argued against repeatedly. That samples are nothing but a replacement for what you really want but can't get.

    Samples can be an art form in and of themselves. If you use them for their own qualities, as a painter uses his colors. I am tired of this repeated assumption. Not everybody using samples is pining away for "the real thing." I've had the real thing and in many cases it was bad. As when music is slaughtered is by a mediocre orchestra - student or studio, what the case. A sample library can purify the art of music to a level never before reached, in the right hands. In the hands of someone who thinks it is merely a temporary substitute for a live orchestra, it will be just that.