Recording - December 2010 - 38

Theme Music for TV—A Production Report
The same goes for the electric piano chords that come in for the first half of the piece on the two and for the second half of the piece on the one, signifying foreshadowing and then the arrival of something mysterious. Each chord was copied, reversed and panned opposite the track and then moved back a measure, letting the reversed chord fade into the actual chord. The show takes place in a coastal town so I ran the electric piano chords through a rotary speaker simulator to give it the slightly aquatic sound that it has. I also found a sample for a “boat bell” that is mixed in at the top of each measure to give a little “harbor” effect. The violin drone track is panned hard left with a very distorted electric guitar doing the same thing hard right. The violin melody line is shadowed and verbed by my vocal track singing behind it. Even the banjo, which is way far back in the mix at this point, has an acoustic guitar on the opposite side for balance and mirror. There are two shaker tracks, one on the eighth notes and a longer quarter note shake going from the 4 to the 1. The electric guitar tracks at the end are directly related musically to Leah’s end vocals. So, throughout, subtle as some of it is, there is a sense of something emerging and something being revealed and a sense that many tracks have a slight otherworldly version of themselves. Percussion was a combination of canned and homemade samples. The kick, snare and toms were played on a Roland V-Drum set using a kit of my creation. The banjo (a surprisingly loud instrument) was double-miked, using an AudioTechnica AT4033 on the drum and a small-diaphragm on the neck. The small-diaphragm track turned out later to be unnecessary and was eliminated from the session. Acoustic guitar, same thing, large on the hole, small on the 12th fret and dialed in through an ART MPA Gold pre. Electric bass was DI only. Some electric guitar tracks were done DI with amp simulators and others were amped and miked with a Shure SM57. Leah’s vocals were all done with the AT4033 (again, through the MPA Gold), a little eq, some comp and bussed to a plate reverb.The electric piano is from my Kurzweil and tracked through a DI into the Digi 002. Bruce’s violin was built by violin maker Harry Smith from Fort Worth, TX, and was tracked using a Sterling Audio sST66 tube mic into a PreSonus Eureka channel strip, through a Mackie Onyx 1640 mixer/interface and into Steinberg Cubase. The violin was miked close, closer than usual, about 6 inches away with the axis toward the left sound hole. I wanted a really intimate violin sound and Bruce’s approach was right on target. Are we there yet? The second episode (the first with my music) had a hard intro coming right in on the downbeat. By the third episode I had gotten another request for a softer intro, so the version they are using now actually starts with the reverse electric piano, a violin lick and then it goes into the main melody. Once the violin parts were in and all the main parts were there, I bounced everything out as stems, created a new session and did all my mixes and edits using the stems. Those stems were also turned in later to the Music
38
RECORDING DECEMBER 2010

Editor so they could do what they wanted with them, which turned out to be minimal. This was all done on Digidesign (now Avid) Pro Tools 7.4, with a Digi 002 interface, on a Mac G5 tower (which has since died). When I was going back and forth with Sam I was bouncing out demos as MP3s and just sending them via email. Once it got serious with versions being sent that were being considered for use, I switched to full 24-bit/48 kHz stems and sent them via YouSendIt. If you wish to hear it, by the time you may be reading this there could be excerpts all over the internet, and you can always check out www.syfy.com/haven. If you go this route If I could recommend anything to composers trying to get into TV and film it would be “Prepare, prepare, prepare”. It doesn’t really matter what gear you have or how large your mic collection is (I only have four), it’s what you do with it. Don’t wait until you have the ideal setup to start work. Use what you have and start composing. Besides, most listeners are not going to care what mic you used, or if your room is perfectly treated or if your computer is the newest and the latest. An engineer friend once told me, and I think this pretty much sums it up, “you can’t whistle a mic pre”. In other words, it’s the performance that the listener responds to, not the gear.

So start composing! And listen! Listen to anything you can. Today’s score draws on everything and everyone, from Bruckner to Artie Shaw to PFunk to 50 Cent. Get familiar with all approaches and practice working in all these different areas so when your big job comes, you are ready to step up, both in a musical capacity and in a production capacity. Also, and I can’t stress this enough, if you have someone on hand that is better than you at something, i.e. violin or vocals, use them! Draw on the talent available to you to make your offering the best it can be. Andre Fratto (fratto@recordingmag.com) is a composer, producer, and recording engineer, based in New York City. Haven promotional photo courtesy Syfy. Andre Fratto photos by Silvia Di Spigno. Leah Siegel photos by Geoff Stanfield.


http://www.syfy.com/haven

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - December 2010

Recording - December 2010
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Recording’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide
Theme Music for TV—A Production Report
Royer Labs R-101 Ribbon Microphone
Recording SFX—A Career Option?
Primacoustic IsoTools
Avenson Audio IsoDI
Getting Your Music Heard In Today’sCommercial Culture
Preview: Yamaha AvantGrand
It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights.Chapter 9: Trademark Basics
Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack Model 1and FourTrack 4.0.1
Readers' Tapes
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - December 2010 - Recording - December 2010
Recording - December 2010 - Cover2
Recording - December 2010 - 1
Recording - December 2010 - Fade In
Recording - December 2010 - 3
Recording - December 2010 - Contents
Recording - December 2010 - 5
Recording - December 2010 - Talkback
Recording - December 2010 - 7
Recording - December 2010 - Recording’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide
Recording - December 2010 - 9
Recording - December 2010 - 10
Recording - December 2010 - 11
Recording - December 2010 - 12
Recording - December 2010 - 13
Recording - December 2010 - 14
Recording - December 2010 - 15
Recording - December 2010 - 16
Recording - December 2010 - 17
Recording - December 2010 - 18
Recording - December 2010 - 19
Recording - December 2010 - 20
Recording - December 2010 - 21
Recording - December 2010 - 22
Recording - December 2010 - 23
Recording - December 2010 - 24
Recording - December 2010 - 25
Recording - December 2010 - 26
Recording - December 2010 - 27
Recording - December 2010 - 28
Recording - December 2010 - 29
Recording - December 2010 - 30
Recording - December 2010 - 31
Recording - December 2010 - 32
Recording - December 2010 - 33
Recording - December 2010 - Theme Music for TV—A Production Report
Recording - December 2010 - 35
Recording - December 2010 - 36
Recording - December 2010 - 37
Recording - December 2010 - 38
Recording - December 2010 - 39
Recording - December 2010 - Royer Labs R-101 Ribbon Microphone
Recording - December 2010 - 41
Recording - December 2010 - Recording SFX—A Career Option?
Recording - December 2010 - 43
Recording - December 2010 - Primacoustic IsoTools
Recording - December 2010 - 45
Recording - December 2010 - Avenson Audio IsoDI
Recording - December 2010 - 47
Recording - December 2010 - Getting Your Music Heard In Today’sCommercial Culture
Recording - December 2010 - 49
Recording - December 2010 - 50
Recording - December 2010 - 51
Recording - December 2010 - 52
Recording - December 2010 - 53
Recording - December 2010 - 54
Recording - December 2010 - 55
Recording - December 2010 - Preview: Yamaha AvantGrand
Recording - December 2010 - 57
Recording - December 2010 - It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights.Chapter 9: Trademark Basics
Recording - December 2010 - 59
Recording - December 2010 - 60
Recording - December 2010 - 61
Recording - December 2010 - Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack Model 1and FourTrack 4.0.1
Recording - December 2010 - 63
Recording - December 2010 - Readers' Tapes
Recording - December 2010 - Advertiser Index
Recording - December 2010 - 66
Recording - December 2010 - 67
Recording - December 2010 - 68
Recording - December 2010 - 69
Recording - December 2010 - 70
Recording - December 2010 - 71
Recording - December 2010 - Fade Out
Recording - December 2010 - Cover3
Recording - December 2010 - Cover4
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