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 Posted:   May 2, 2024 - 9:25 AM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

The last few years I've been learning to work with MIDI and I recently started recreating various pieces from different scores, a few of which I've posted in other threads here. The latest, and most challenging so far, is Herrmann's "The Road and Finale" from Fahrenheit 451.

https://on.soundcloud.com/Krbx2Fbv1v5NxyyB8

I know other people are doing things like this, but I'm wondering if this is a viable option for producing film music where the recordings may be lost or prohibitively expensive to license for release, since something like this could be done for much less money than a recording session with full orchestra. Obviously, having actual musicians play scores is always preferable -- and if I were doing this for real, I would hire a few musicians to overdub parts and mix in with the MIDI -- but given the costs involved in producing a full score I was curious what everyone here thinks.

Another thing to keep in mind is that film scores today often contain MIDI elements with recordings of real musicians recorded and mixed in to bolster the sound and give a greater sense of realism, and depending on the budget some scores may be all MIDI.

The trick, of course, is using good libraries and programming the dynamics in properly for nuance and expression, which I can testify to being a painstaking process. The example posted above is admittedly not perfect and I could keep tinkering with it to make it better, but it was more an exercise to see what I could do, just working on it as I had time over the last couple of weeks.

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2024 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

Bumping this. Surely someone here has an opinion on this. (I know: don't call me Shirley).

Someone in a Bernard Herrmann Facebook group yesterday blasted me, saying he "can't abide MIDI" and being pretty unpleasant and condescending in general before blocking me. I'm happy to take constructive criticism but I'm mainly interested in starting a conversation around this idea.

 
 
 Posted:   May 3, 2024 - 9:00 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I see no reason to berate you about this project. That guy on Facebook sounds way off.

Recreating unreleased scores or other music via MIDI is certainly a nice way to get a 'general idea' of what it is, even if obviously won't replace an actual, proper recording.

I remember for years, the only way we could hear John Williams "Fanfare for Michael Dukakis" or "Fanfare for Ten-year-olds" was via MIDI recreations done by some fan. Eventually, we found other sources, even if they remain unreleased on a commercial level. Live footage (from which one could extract an mp3) of the Dukakis piece was found on a website, albeit in a terrible performance, while I personally contacted Charleston Symphony to get an early demo/studio recording of "10-year-olds". These would then supplant the MIDI versions. But I'm very thankful that we did have those MIDIs for -- I think -- close to two decades.

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2024 - 11:41 AM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

I see no reason to berate you about this project. That guy on Facebook sounds way off.

Recreating unreleased scores or other music via MIDI is certainly a nice way to get a 'general idea' of what it is, even if obviously won't replace an actual, proper recording.

I remember for years, the only way we could hear John Williams "Fanfare for Michael Dukakis" or "Fanfare for Ten-year-olds" were via MIDI recreations done by some fan. Eventually, we found other sources, even if they remain unreleased on a commercial level. Live footage (from which one could extract an mp3) of the Dukakis piece was found on a website, albeit in a terrible performance, while I personally contacted Charleston Symphony to get an early demo/studio recording of "10-year-olds". These would then supplant the MIDI versions. But I'm very thankful that we did have those MIDIs for -- I think -- close to two decades.


Thanks, I appreciate that.

Yes, nothing will ever replace real people playing real instruments in a good sounding space, led by a good conductor.

I'm most interested in things that may never get recorded for whatever reason, or even generating interest in something to say "Here's an idea of what it could sound like" as a proof of concept. Bill Wrobel on his Film Score Rundowns channel on youtube has done a good bit of Bernard Herrmann that's unreleased and in some cases unrecorded, and we all know of examples of other scores where the recordings are lost but the manuscripts still exist.

Anyway, just kicking this around. Here's another for the curious who may not have seen it in the other thread: "The Stars" from Herrmann's score for "The Lonely" from the Twilight Zone.

https://on.soundcloud.com/JsnQhjDcN3QCweoU8

 
 
 Posted:   May 3, 2024 - 11:51 AM   
 By:   MichaelM   (Member)

I must say your sample sounds surprisingly good.

The strings sound very real, more so than in other recordings that use samples I have listened to in the past.

As technology improves we will eventually reach the point where you can't tell the difference between a live recording and a recreation using samples, although I certainly prefer the former.

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2024 - 6:54 PM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

I must say your sample sounds surprisingly good.

The strings sound very real, more so than in other recordings that use samples I have listened to in the past.

As technology improves we will eventually reach the point where you can't tell the difference between a live recording and a recreation using samples, although I certainly prefer the former.


Thanks. I would definitely prefer to use actual musicians but this is a good way of learning my way around the scores. I'm hoping to work soon on some pieces that have never been re-recorded or even released properly.

Here's the Prelude from Fahrenheit 451, with maybe a tiny bit too much reverb.

https://on.soundcloud.com/2S6m5x9FWaUSNnaS8

 
 Posted:   May 9, 2024 - 8:16 AM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

One more from Fahrenheit 451, "Reading."

https://on.soundcloud.com/QSqTXJY78hfQbkry5

Next up will be a Herrmann piece with a section that doesn't ever seem to have been recorded.

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2024 - 10:29 AM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

Here's the prelude to the Main Title of Twisted Nerve. Only the first three and a half bars were used in the film, and the rest, with the horns, harp, celeste and cymbals, doesn't seem to have been released and may not have ever been recorded.

https://on.soundcloud.com/gEbZygC8wJKKgiwBA





 
 Posted:   May 27, 2024 - 3:27 PM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

Taking on Herrmann's Outer Space Suite with the Prelude:

https://on.soundcloud.com/3dBr4HfSKcagQiYB9

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2024 - 4:15 PM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

And here's a big challenge I've been wanting to do for a while: Goldsmith's Alien Main Title (film version).

https://on.soundcloud.com/zmPzukSuEzeWK6qy9

I'm working on a video analysis related to this, so the two of you who are following this thread, please stay tuned for that!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2024 - 8:25 PM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)

Maybe it’s just me but why in the hell do I have to download the SoundCloud app in order to play these? Because every time I click on the link to listen to one of these samples, it keeps wanting me to sign up for SoundCloud

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 1:44 AM   
 By:   Grimsdyke   (Member)

Quite impressive !!

By the way, love these too but maybe you could improve them now years later with "better" samples ?





 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 6:28 AM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

Quite impressive !!

By the way, love these too but maybe you could improve them now years later with "better" samples ?



Thanks! I can do most things if I have the score, and not only have the samples improved, but also the means for controlling expression and nuance. I've also found that understanding the technology of the time, from effects and studio gear to the types of keyboards, early synthesizers and even amplifiers, helps in getting the right sound. This is particularly the case with the Outer Limits scores, but the Goldsmith and Herrmann scores I've been working with require attention to this kind of thing too.

 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2024 - 8:51 PM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

Maybe it’s just me but why in the hell do I have to download the SoundCloud app in order to play these? Because every time I click on the link to listen to one of these samples, it keeps wanting me to sign up for SoundCloud

Maybe it's the browser? I use Safari on my phone and when I tried it took me to the link without a problem.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2024 - 12:19 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Twenty years ago, keyboardist Robert Lafond and Disques CinéMusique released three albums of midi recreations of music by Georges Delerue. They were "The Unpublished Film Music Of Georges Delerue, Volumes 1 & 2" and "The Music Of Georges Delerue For The Films Of Jack Clayton." Here is a cut from Delerue's score for the 1986 made-for-television film SIN OF INNOCENCE:



 
 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2024 - 1:02 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

if I were doing this for real, I would hire a few musicians to overdub parts and mix in with the MIDI


Robert Lafond did just that for his re-creation of Delerue's score for John Huston's A WALK WITH LOVE AND DEATH, which Disques Cinémusique released in 2004. Here's the track "Héron Goes To Dammartin (Theme And Variations)."

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2024 - 1:26 AM   
 By:   Sym   (Member)

The quality of sound libraries and the articulation they are able to provide continues to improve. There are so many variables in a re-recording (the musicians / the tone of their instruments / the room / the microphone technique / the mix etc) that they would always be a companion with a different fidelity to the familiar original. Such is the same as reconstructing using a virtual orchestra. Certainly it helps with the cost of such niche projects. It can be augmented by a couple of real players too. I’d certainly advocate such an approach in the absence of a big budget alternative.

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2024 - 6:43 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

The last few years I've been learning to work with MIDI and I recently started recreating various pieces from different scores, a few of which I've posted in other threads here. The latest, and most challenging so far, is Herrmann's "The Road and Finale" from Fahrenheit 451.

https://on.soundcloud.com/Krbx2Fbv1v5NxyyB8

I know other people are doing things like this, but I'm wondering if this is a viable option for producing film music where the recordings may be lost or prohibitively expensive to license for release, since something like this could be done for much less money than a recording session with full orchestra. Obviously, having actual musicians play scores is always preferable -- and if I were doing this for real, I would hire a few musicians to overdub parts and mix in with the MIDI -- but given the costs involved in producing a full score I was curious what everyone here thinks.

Another thing to keep in mind is that film scores today often contain MIDI elements with recordings of real musicians recorded and mixed in to bolster the sound and give a greater sense of realism, and depending on the budget some scores may be all MIDI.

The trick, of course, is using good libraries and programming the dynamics in properly for nuance and expression, which I can testify to being a painstaking process. The example posted above is admittedly not perfect and I could keep tinkering with it to make it better, but it was more an exercise to see what I could do, just working on it as I had time over the last couple of weeks.



I have always thought -- and said over 20 years ago -- that the day will come when it will be possible to recreate any instrument to "perfection" electronically. That day is not here yet as far as I can tell, but we are getting closer and closer. I love real instruments and the sound of a natural orchestra, and am skeptical when it comes to recreating that sound with a "fake", electronic orchestra, but I have no doubt the day will come when no one can actually distinguish between the two by ear anymore. I enjoyed your take on Herrmann's "The Road and Finale", one of my favorite tracks from one of my favorite scores by Herrmann. It sounds very good to me (though I have only heard it here on my computer, not on my actual hifi system) and only goes to show how advanced MIDIs have become. An orchestral score fully recreated by MIDI is still a bit like a full "live action" movie without any actors, and my fear would still be that it will somehow feel "artificial". But as I said... we're getting there.

 
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