Composizione Digitale shared an article from Pocket: Joseph Trapanese scores “Oblivion” in Sibelius

Composizione Digitale shared with you:
Joseph Trapanese scores “Oblivion” in Sibelius
Every composer has their distinct compositional process. Joe initially focuses on sketching a whole cue front to end, using only a simple piano patch in Logic. “This allows me to hone in on the notes rather than getting lost in tweaking sounds and arranging,” Joe said. After that, he takes the cue and arranges and mocks it up to present to the director, which is often only a starting point. “Sometimes it takes just a few round of revisions; other times we don’t nail it until version 18! When working on a big film like Oblivion there are a lot of details and notes to address, not only from the director, but from the producers, studio, and sometimes Tom Cruise himself.”

Composer Joseph Trapanese conducting the recording sessions for ‘Oblivion’ on the Fox Newman Scoring Stage in Los Angeles Photo by: Photo: Thomas Miskuiz After the cue is approved, it’s orchestrated (Joe orchestrated the entire score to Oblivion himself), and then it’s time to record. “I make sure to be present at all times,” Joe said, “and I relied on Booker’s presence in the booth to alert me for anything I may have missed while conducting. His presence as well as having his staff on hand for any last second part changes was invaluable. I’m also present throughout the music mix.”

Booker offered some his favorite Sibelius techniques he uses in the orchestrating and music preparation process. “I use the Explode Music plug-in a lot [Sibelius 7: Note Input > Explode; Sibelius 6: Plug-ins > Composing Tools > Explode] when I’m composing and arranging, as I can voice out a soli section and then have it explode to four staves. I’d love it if it would explode to more than four voices; 7-8 voices would be fantastic. Also, my favorite program feature is still the option (alt) key as it clones whatever is selected. This is a fantastic feature.”

Technically speaking, Joe’s advice is to not rush the MIDI cleanup step of the process. “It will save you plenty of time and frustration later on.” He prefers to do MIDI cleanup directly in the sequencer rather than in Sibelius: “Do a ‘Save As’ and create a file specifically for this. Quantize, Force Legato, and Normalize Parameters are your friends!” Once you export the MIDI file, Booker added, “Sibelius’s MIDI file interpretation is pretty good, and I think much better than Finale’s, but it still needs help with tuplets.”

Once he gets to working in Sibelius, Joe is a purist. “I don’t need Sibelius to be anything more than an engraving program. I hope programmers realize that most of us use sequencers for plug-in hosting and mockups; it seems that all the focus [in notation software development] is on bells and whistles while the engraving capabilities are either staying the same or in some cases getting worse. I want the engraving capabilities to continuously get better all the time, but sometimes the bells and whistles get in the way of making a great engraved score.”

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