• ‘Hoed en de Rand’ Podcast about Filmscores & Synths

    In this latest Dutch podcast of ‘Hoed en de Rand’ I was invited to talk about filmscores, synthesizers and more;

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  • Catastrophe music library

    In every recording session you probably have collected a ton of unique sounds and samples for your film. You choose the best parts for the master project, and probably left all of the ‘faulty takes’ on your hard drive to slowly die. It is when you are asked to do another movie in a similar music style, that you are searching through all your old projects to find the stems of this awesome sound that aren’t there anymore. But why would you, if you had the possibility to easily collect all of these samples, and create your own sound library? Some reasons why this would be a good idea:

    • Create your unique sound to distinguish yourself as a composer – music producer
    • Play your samples instead of dragging them into your DAW
    • Create order in your chaotic music sample folders
    • Borrow unique instruments to use it forever!

    It is because of these reasons, that every time I finish a movie, I build a virtual instrument based on the music recordings of that particular movie. Lets check what I have done in the latest library I created. It is a cinematic string quartet library with convolution reverb and the option to toggle between microphones. It uses the samples that are recorded for the film Catastrophe.

    Mic positions
    For Catastrophe we recorded a string quartet with 6 microphones. Four Neumann KM184 close to capture the attack of the strings. And two AKG 414Cs in MS setup high above the players somewhere close in the room. The cool thing about this setup is the flexibility in adjusting the microphone position in Kontakt later on. So every sound I collected for the library, had two versions (close and room). Whenever you press a key, you probably would not notice the multiple microphone placements that the sample has. Though, if you play the sample again with the room button closed, you will definitely notice the change of placement. It now sounds like if you are really close to the string players. Though, whenever you will do it again with the room button open and the close-button closed, it sounds like you are further away from the players. Now, this choice in position is very useful. The option can intonate scenes in a total different way. The load of a scene can change by the choice of microphone placement.

    Key switches
    All the samples are ordered and are given some nice tabs to choose from. The categories include: runs, staccatos, staccato cellos, marcato cellos and clusters. Every category is linked to one of the keyswitches down at your keyboard (C-2 to G-2). In this way it gives the option to also activate the tabs without clicking. Keyswitches are coloured red, and the active one is coloured green. Only the blue keys have playable samples.

    Convolution reverb
    The convolution reverb in this library is nothing but an extra option. As you know, the reverb gives the option to make the input sound ‘wetter’. For instance, an impulse in a church has a wetter sound than an impulse in your bedroom. In this way you can trick the audience by faking the place where the recording is done. We usually like to record dry, and fake the reverbs in the mix. This way we have the option of a wide range of different reverbs. This would not be possible to achieve whenever you recorded the source wet already.
    The convolution reverb is a reverb that simulates the reverberation of a space. In this particular reverb, an audio file is used (impulse response) that is recorded in a real space. This impulse response is loaded in an engine that makes it possible to use this reverb digitally. There are lots of plugins that support the convolution reverb, so the option within the Catastrophe library is only for fun. Though, the reverbs supported here are recorded by me in some very cool places in Amsterdam; Haitinkzaal in the Conservatory, the Burcht in the plantage, and my apartment hall. Download the instrument here:

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