Recording January 2022 - 32

DON'T KILL THE TALENT
WITH THE TECHNOLOGY...
What was the catalyst for you to get into film scoring?
It was these words: " Hello, my name is Francis Coppola, and
I want you to score my movie. " [both laugh] But he was responsible
for another epiphany too. So, I nuked all my competition,
one way or another, long story, but there I am, I'm now the official
composer of the movie, and I do all my cool stuff with mallets
and drums and guitars. I'm pretty much playing everything
myself, and he and his crusty old crew, the post-production crew,
are loving it, but they're like, " This is really cool, but we need
some emotion here. It's all very stringent. And so, we need some
strings. Can you give us some warmth? " And I'm going, " Oh
shit. OK. Yep, Francis, you got it-strings. Of course, how come
I didn't think of that? " And so, I called the contractor and said,
" Send me some strings, " and he goes, " Okay, how many? " And
I'm like, " I don't know! Strings! " [both laugh]
So, what was the epiphany?
A couple of things-one is that orchestras play the charts. You
book the afternoon for a guitarist, and he brings his Strat, his Les
Paul, his other Strat, his amp, his foot pedals, and you're looking at
an afternoon of fun, creative stuff. Not so with strings. They come
in, and I start giving them the rap, and they're going cross-eyed.
Finally, someone says, " You want us to play the chart? " Okay, play
the chart. [both laugh] First of all, they were done in 20 minutes. Instead
of an afternoon, they were done in 20 minutes. Of course, the
music that I'd written for them was extremely simple, you know, footballs,
whole notes, but the second thing was, " Gosh, that's pretty.
Wow, you mean if I just put the notes on the page, they'll play it? "
What was your evolution as a film
composer like after realizing that?
Over the next twenty years, I learned more and more about how
to put the notes on the page, what details to put with the notes on
the page, the articulation, the crescendi, the dynamics. I learned
more and more about adding the Italian to the melody-all those
things that shape it, that tell them how to play the notes. And so,
over the years, I've had an involuntary education in orchestration.
I use a computer a lot-it would spit out the notes and then
I'd hand those notes off to an orchestrator, who would put it
on-page. My fake synth computer orchestra actually hit the spot
a little bit better than I thought it would, but it didn't sound like
John Williams. Why didn't it sound like John Williams? And so,
I start looking at John Williams' scores and OK, I've only got
one harp, and he's got four... But no, it's all of that other detail
that he puts on the page, which took me years to learn-the
language. Not just how to write the articulation, but where the
different types of musicians look for that information-how to
put it on the page so that they understand it. It's a language.
I feel like many rock musicians consider not reading a virtue.
I would urge every musician to learn this language. It's way
32 RECORDING January 2022
easier than learning Spanish or Italian. It's a much smaller bunch
of stuff you have to learn than an actual language, and it's really
useful. It's a different approach to music-you use a different part
of the brain. In my reductive way, I've broken musicians down into
two categories: musicians of the ear and musicians of the eye. Us
ear guys, we connect with our ears, we play with our instinct and
our ears, and half the stuff we do, we're just making it up on the
spot. Musicians of the eye connect to the music by reading the
notes on the page. It's their eyes that go through their brain and
heart to their fingers, and it's all about interpreting what's on the
page rather than coming up with anything. Their self-esteem is
based on how closely and faithfully they can play what's on the
page. To the extent that they can play what's on the page faithfully,
the 50 other players around them will all merge as one enormous,
fantastic thing, called the Seattle Symphony, or the Chicago
Symphony. It all lies in how faithfully they can obey instructions.
What software do you use for composing?
I compose on Digital Performer, but I do the scoring on Sibelius,
and it all runs through a museum-quality, antique Pro Tools
rig that I haven't updated in about ten years. But I actually do all
my audio editing in Performer. I also edit the film with Adobe Premiere
in my CPU without any hardware. Pro Tools has all this external
hardware, so I wonder, why does Pro Tools make me buy
all this hardware? So, I don't. I've still got my museum-quality
Pro Tools rig, which I basically use for routing. I do the waveform
editing in Performer, but I just route it all through Pro Tools at the
end of the day. I've got the smallest desk. Those big, huge SSL
desks that used to stretch from here to the horizon, I got rid of all
that, which is leaving me a lot more room for pizza. [both laugh]
What interface are you using?
I've got a Digidesign Pro Control, but I hardly ever touch it.
The only thing I use is the master mute button, occasionally. I'll
route the drums into one fader sometimes, but I use it for routing,
basically. When I get into a real studio, and I'm watching the
engineer edit with the latest version of Pro Tools, I mean, fuck, really,
it's cool. But I would be stumped to get on somebody else's
Pro Tools rig and edit using all these incredible new aspects of
the tool. The reason I use Sibelius and Performer is because I
don't even see the app anymore. I have a desire. It is done. The
app itself is utterly transparent.
The whole challenge with technology is to get from
inspiration to creation as quickly as possible.
Inspiration to waveform, which makes it tough to change.
When Final Cut switched to a completely different paradigm,
and all the professionals using Final Cut Pro were stumped,
everyone moved over to Premiere. When I'm making my Sacred
Grove videos, and I've got Performer open, and I'm creating
images on Photoshop, and I'm animating in Premiere, and I've
got these different apps running, it's like, " Where's play? Where
is nudge to the left? " Because I'm running them all at the same
time, I have to speak three different languages all at once.
Life is hell. [both laugh]
Freddy Villano is a bass player, educator, writer, and audio
engineer living in Ithaca, New York. Freddy also works for
Glyph Technologies, makers of fine external hard drives.

Recording January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording January 2022

Fade In
Fast Forward
Soundware Showcase: Toontrack Fields of Rock SDX
A Family of Microphones Compared: The AKG P Series
Austrian Audio CC8
Stewart Copeland: Don’t kill the talent with the technology…
Akai MPC Studio Controller and MPC 2 Software
Soundware Showcase: Boz Digital Labs Claps, Stomps and Snaps Bundle
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Drum Plugins and Processing
Avantone Pro: Gauss 7 Two-way Powered Reference Monitor
Plugin Outlet: PSP Audioware Saturator
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: The Memphis Drum Sound
Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio Hammers
API Select T12 Tube Mic Preamp
Session Log: Frank Kimbrough tribute recording session
Audio-Technica AT2040
Plugin Outlet: IK Multimedia T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection
Readers' Tracks
sE Electronics V Pack Arena Drum Microphone Package
Plugin Outlet: BABY Audio TAIP
Fade Out: Both Sides of the Glass Things
Recording January 2022 - Intro
Recording January 2022 - Cover1
Recording January 2022 - Cover2
Recording January 2022 - 1
Recording January 2022 - 2
Recording January 2022 - 3
Recording January 2022 - Fade In
Recording January 2022 - 5
Recording January 2022 - 6
Recording January 2022 - 7
Recording January 2022 - Fast Forward
Recording January 2022 - 9
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Toontrack Fields of Rock SDX
Recording January 2022 - 11
Recording January 2022 - 12
Recording January 2022 - 13
Recording January 2022 - A Family of Microphones Compared: The AKG P Series
Recording January 2022 - 15
Recording January 2022 - 16
Recording January 2022 - 17
Recording January 2022 - 18
Recording January 2022 - 19
Recording January 2022 - 20
Recording January 2022 - 21
Recording January 2022 - 22
Recording January 2022 - 23
Recording January 2022 - Austrian Audio CC8
Recording January 2022 - 25
Recording January 2022 - Stewart Copeland: Don’t kill the talent with the technology…
Recording January 2022 - 27
Recording January 2022 - 28
Recording January 2022 - 29
Recording January 2022 - 30
Recording January 2022 - 31
Recording January 2022 - 32
Recording January 2022 - 33
Recording January 2022 - Akai MPC Studio Controller and MPC 2 Software
Recording January 2022 - 35
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Boz Digital Labs Claps, Stomps and Snaps Bundle
Recording January 2022 - 37
Recording January 2022 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Drum Plugins and Processing
Recording January 2022 - 39
Recording January 2022 - 40
Recording January 2022 - 41
Recording January 2022 - Avantone Pro: Gauss 7 Two-way Powered Reference Monitor
Recording January 2022 - 43
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: PSP Audioware Saturator
Recording January 2022 - 45
Recording January 2022 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: The Memphis Drum Sound
Recording January 2022 - 47
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio Hammers
Recording January 2022 - 49
Recording January 2022 - API Select T12 Tube Mic Preamp
Recording January 2022 - 51
Recording January 2022 - Session Log: Frank Kimbrough tribute recording session
Recording January 2022 - 53
Recording January 2022 - 54
Recording January 2022 - 55
Recording January 2022 - Audio-Technica AT2040
Recording January 2022 - 57
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: IK Multimedia T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection
Recording January 2022 - 59
Recording January 2022 - Readers' Tracks
Recording January 2022 - 61
Recording January 2022 - 62
Recording January 2022 - 63
Recording January 2022 - 64
Recording January 2022 - 65
Recording January 2022 - sE Electronics V Pack Arena Drum Microphone Package
Recording January 2022 - 67
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: BABY Audio TAIP
Recording January 2022 - 69
Recording January 2022 - 70
Recording January 2022 - 71
Recording January 2022 - Fade Out: Both Sides of the Glass Things
Recording January 2022 - Cover3
Recording January 2022 - Cover4
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