[tab:Background and Soundfonts]
It Started with a Complicated Score and Soundfonts
In December of 2002, I worked with John and Jeremy Scott and helped produce the score for the Director’s View Film Festival 2003 Feature Short, Our Town.
John Scott, Jeremy’s father and manager at the time, mentioned his son’s score won the honor of being part of the upcoming feature film festival short, yet getting the final production was an open end at the time they got on my radar.
Part of the issue was complexity – in that the level of talent that Jeremy exhibited exceeded that of most of his musical peers. Thus having the high school orchestra perform his score, somehow seemed like a formula for frustration.
The alternative idea of hiring numerous pro-studio session players was also not attractive having just spent substantial five-figures recording Jeremy’s critically acclaimed album, Finally Unfinished.
Enter soundfonts and my audio rig.
Once I learned that Jeremy scored his sheet music with a computer, and with a software program that could export his score as midi data, the lights went off with a great solution – which was to import his midi tracks into a multi-track audio program, then assign high-quality soundfonts to said midi tracks, and voila – export finished high-quality wav file to be used in the film.
Here is a midi-to-audio version that while not ultimately used in the film score, still sounds very believable as orchestral score:
The file above = mp3, approx 7.5 megs
Next We Tried a Live Performance
With the first effort not 100% satisfactory, Jeremy opted to try a different approach and that was to play the score via a live keyboard synth into the computer.
After exploring various patterns, timings, arpeggiators, Jeremy selected the Korg Triton’s Strings of Silk combi pattern and went from there.
This was also the winning track that was used in the short:
The file above = mp3, approx 10.4 megs and starts off very softly
Take Three – We Try an Acoustic Guitar Track
Jeremy’s third track in this post is an acoustic version of a different song that he recorded in my Ridgefield Studio.
At this point the decision as to what mix should be the final for the film festival short was still a bit up in the air.
So I dropped some mics on his acoustic guitar, tracked his vocals and one or two takes later we had this third song you hear, called Un-Done.
Technically I loved Un-Done. While maybe not quite right for this short, it is still an awesome song and was fun to produce – enjoy!
The file above = mp3, approx 6.7 megs
Our Town and Un-Done Appeared on Sampler CD
Both the live performance of Our Town (the final score for the film festival short) and Jeremy’s acoustic version of Un-Done, aired on a CoolTea Sampler CD that was distributed at the Jan 28th 2003 Sneak Preview Event.
Thus the following clip was the intro to that Sampler CD but also has some details about Jeremy’s musical efforts, along with his dad’s, that I think are relevant as additional background fyi thus include here with this post.
The file above = mp3, approx 5 megs
Note the original wav files (plus other formats) can be found on the Internet Archives