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best way/tool for filmcomposer to calculate tempo, timing of cues?
Old 27th March 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 

best way/tool for filmcomposer to calculate tempo, timing of cues?

so title mainly says it.
so i got hired for my first feature film and i started sketching ideas, but i was wondering what are the common ways to find ways to connect sync points in a scene to find a tempo/timegrid or something like somesort of calculator that will give me several pulse options?
im right now trial and error but is there some sort of tool for it or how are some ways to go about it?

thx in advance
Old 27th March 2012
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Combination of tempo counting and using "identify beat" function in Protools to massage the conductor/tempo ruler into shape.
Old 27th March 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
minister's Avatar
Best? How about one that works for you?

I do a more manual method of playing against picture, once I get the feel I record it and massage it into place and figure out where the hit points needs to be. Or, for a more static tempo, I pull out the metronome or the click in PT and adjust it until I get the hits I need. Sometimes I do have to mark some frames and work back from marking them and build a tempo map.

There are many books on Film Scoring and years ago I read the Earle Hagen book and used his method for years. Mostly, with a stop watch and the counter on my VHS deck (ha ha). I wasn't punching holes in film, but building tempo maps in MIDI after I mapped it out on paper and stopwatch.

See if this works for you:

Frans Absil Music - Film Music Tempo Calculation Tool
Old 27th March 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
celticrogues's Avatar
 

I love Digital Performer for this. Its got a great feature where you can set markers where you want your hits to fall, and even prioritize them by importance, and then calculate a tempo that allows the greatest amount of markers to fall on beats.

Like minister said though, its all about finding what works for you.

Cheers!
-Mike
Old 27th March 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 

I used to score to picture on Digital Performer. I remember using this:

MOTU.com - Find tempo

Awesome tool.
Old 27th March 2012
  #6
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minister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by celticrogues View Post
I love Digital Performer for this. Its got a great feature where you can set markers where you want your hits to fall, and even prioritize them by importance, and then calculate a tempo that allows the greatest amount of markers to fall on beats.
Studio Vision Pro used to do that too.....*sniff* ... I remember using that feature a number of times, and tempo mapping was easy.

That's right, I switched to DP in about 2000 for a few years and then just went to PT for everything. For me, it is just a typewriter... much better MIDI programs than PT, but I use it just piss people off....and I why I am more manual now.
Old 27th March 2012
  #7
watch the scene or sequence a few times, then pick up the phone or take a meeting with the director and talk to him/her.... then talk to the picture editor. then watch the scene again.... the director and the editor, if they are any good, will have a tempo in mind for the scene or sequence... a pacing that was either planned or created by the editorial and action.... why are you just determining via technology what the pacing of the scene should be? Sure that works to a degree.. but how about working as a team to develop the pacing for a scene and the overall film with the people who have already done that...


cheers
geo

PS: sorry.. it irks me to no end that, especially in the indie film world, directors, picture editors, sound designers, composers, don't seem to get that this is a TEAM sport and perhaps they would create a better picture if everyone didn't work in a vacuum...
Old 27th March 2012
  #8
Gear Nut
 
DrummerMan's Avatar
 

Not to answer for the OP, but even once a general pace and tempo is decided upon by all concerned parties, one still must fine tune the tempo to try and make it hit the points of action or changes of shot that we, and all parties involved, want it to.

But yes, do a spotting session or two (I like to do one with the director and one by myself afterwards to focus on any other little things I want to hit that aren't necessarily things the director is worrying about). Figure out the timecode for these moments and make a list. I'm sure there's some version of this in a lot of production software, but in Sibelius, I know you can make your list of "hit points" including the time code (make sure you're at the same frame rate as the video), then input your general desired tempo. You can then see exactly where in each bar each hit point lands. Then you can fool around with the tempo in small increments like even decimal points until you (hopefully) come to a place where the really important ones are close enough to the beat to make a go of it.
Old 27th March 2012
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia View Post
... if they are any good, will have a tempo in mind for the scene or sequence... a pacing that was either planned or created by the editorial and action....
Plus, there's the possibility that they did the cut using temp music of some sort, which they may not be sharing with you.
Old 29th March 2012
  #10
Gear Head
 

first of thx.

well in my case we did a spotting sessions and a few rough layouts, and im in constant contact with the director just trying to work the layouts to the picture. plus we did the spotting session when the picture wasnt locked, so frames have been moved and so did the sync points.
as of now im now moving the tempo around and try to find the spot in increments but its just trial and error and it takes quiet some time, hoped there would be some tool, like the link posted quiet a few posts earlier as a plug in or so.
im in logic btw.
but at least now i know that im not wasting time for something that could be done easier unless switching to DP or scoring in Sibelius, which seems silly mid project.

cheers
Old 30th March 2012
  #11
I absolutely agree with Georgia; film is a team effort, and music is there to serve and contribute to the film. Most of the time, the editor will cut the sequence or scene in a particular rhythm (with or without temp music); therefore, communication is essential.
In addition, the beauty of scoring motion pictures is that you can fluctuate in tempo to accommodate the action on the screen. As someone mentioned before, getting to know scene/sequence in and out, as well as playing over it to determine where the hits are, will result in desired music cue. I remember, long time ago, a film composer whose classes I was attending, would often say: "Composing music for film is a different kind of beast..."
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