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director. One downside, says Kirchberger, is that if the director likes parts of the scratch mix, those sounds may never be refined even though they were just presented as a sketch.
Music Like the foley crew, the music personnel are a discrete department. The composer may be brought in as early as the first cut to discuss with the director and editor the general character of the music and its placement in the film.
The person who spends the longest time on the scoring is the supervising music editor. It is the job of the music editor to spot every cue, that is, to make a precise list of timings--to the split second-- for each appearance and "hit" (point of musical emphasis) of the music. In addition, the editor will log all the concomitant action and dialog during each cue. The composer then has about six weeks to come up with a score. The supervising music editor will set up recording sessions, which for, say, thirty minutes of music, take four to five days. Each set of instruments has its own microphone and track so that scoring mixers can balance them.
Apart from esthetic issues, film music composers must deal with particular technical requirements. For the sake of clarity, a film composer must orchestrate with instruments that do not overlap much with the frequency of the human voice or any dominant sound effects to be heard at the same time. In theory, composers keep in mind any anticipated noises for a sequence so that the music and effects aren't working at cross purposes. In practice, music editors often serve as master tacticians caught between the work of the sound editors and the composer who says: "Dump those goddamn sound effects!"
The scoring is also affected by the need for scratch mixes, for which the music editor has had to select temporary music. This may be a counter-productive trend. The editor will probably use music that was composed for an earlier film. As the producers and directors get used to their temporary track they often want something similar, so the composer is inadvertently rewarded for not straying far from what has already proved successful.
One of the more positive changes in scoring practices has been made possible through computer programs and synthesizers for musicians. Instead of presenting their ideas to the director at a piano, composers can now present them in a form "orchestrated" with simulations of different instruments.
Rerecording (The Mix) The climactic moment of postproduction sound is called the "mix" in New York and the "dub" in L.A. On the screen the credit goes to a rerecording mixer, but that term is rarely heard in daily parlance, says Lottman; "If we said we were going to a
6/24/04 7:55 PM