• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Topic: Advice on Scoring Silent Movie

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Advice on Scoring Silent Movie

    Hello all. I'm new to the forum but have been using GPO since it came out. It's great and has inspired me to attempt writing some music for a silent movie that I have on DVD.

    My question is how I should go about syncing the movie on DVD to the music I'm writing in Cubase SX. That is, can I import a 90 minute movie into Cubase as an MPEG file and have the entire film on a video track. Or, can I have the movie play in a media player of some kind on my computer screen and play the music from Cubase as the movie plays in the media player. OR, is there a good editing program that can handle the music and video end of this at the same time.

    I've been doing music with computers since the 80's on my Atari 1040 ST, but I'm just now thinking of writing music to accompany a film. I've just started researching how to do it, so any help you all can give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    West Seneca, NY
    Posts
    11,075

    Re: Advice on Scoring Silent Movie

    Check out Sony Vegas 5.
    Styxx

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Decatur Illinois
    Posts
    901

    Smile Re: Advice on Scoring Silent Movie

    Jackadoo, I've done this before but it's been a while. THere are some freeware programs to rip the video off of the DVD and put it onto your hard drive. Once it's on your hard drive you have to get it converted to a file type that cubase can import into a project like Quicktime or AVI or MPEG. I'll take a look later and see if I can come up with one of the aforementioned freeware programs and get back to you on this post.

    Eric

  4. #4

    Re: Advice on Scoring Silent Movie

    Quote Originally Posted by neoTypic
    You should be able to import it into Cubase, but I'd imagine there are some programs better suited. Sorry I don't know much about this.
    What platform are you using? Mac or PC?
    What video format is the movie in right now? I know that Cubase SX imports Quicktime mov. Mpeg Video, AVI video, and DV video files. (mac version). I imported a short clip and it created a .mov file for the video track. You go under the FILE menu and under IMPORT, you will see "VIDEO" as one of the options.

    Not sure what the exporting features are for Cubase.

    There are others here who are far more experienced at cubase than I.

    Hoped that helped a bit.

    Jerry
    MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5ghz 4GB Ram OSX 10.5.8
    Korg TritonLe & MAudio Oxygen 8
    T3, Logic 9, DP7, K2, GPO4, Strad, Gofriller, C&MB, Finale 2010

    My Website!
    New Film Scores!
    Also, Ever think about having your very own personal documentary? See my new Website!
    http://www.mylegacyfilm.com


  5. #5

    Re: Advice on Scoring Silent Movie

    Thanks for your replies.

    Eric, I suppose getting the movie onto the hard drive is the first step. Then I can import it into Cubase. If you can get me some info on a program that does this, that would be great.

    Jerry, I'm using a PC with a Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz, 1 GB of RAM, Windows XP and two 40 GB hard drives with plenty of room left. I'm not sure of the format of the movie, but it's just a DVD that you would buy in a store. I believe they are all MPEG-2. I think I could import it to Cubase once I get it onto the hard drive.

    That leads to another question. I'll need to get a DVD drive in the computer before I do this. Any suggestions on good DVD drives. Obviously, I'll need one that's DVD-R, -RW, +R and +RW. Any other things I need to know about DVD drives and music applications before I have one installed?

    Again, thanks for your replies.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Decatur Illinois
    Posts
    901

    Smile Re: Advice on Scoring Silent Movie

    Check out this site. I think it will have everything you need to do what you want to do. Unfortunately I dont have a link that a fellow NS member gave me a year ago for a whole bunch of freeware apps for ripping video and whatnot. I will keep looking. Also, so you know, you will indeed have to deal with format converting to get from your DVD to a format that cubase will read. I'm sure you can also find that on this same link. If I run accross any freeware that does the same thing I will let you know. I hope this helps.

    http://www.mystikmedia.com/

    Eric

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Decatur Illinois
    Posts
    901

    Wink Re: Advice on Scoring Silent Movie


  8. #8

    Re: Advice on Scoring Silent Movie

    I've scored a fair number of indie feature-length movies and shorts and here's my process:

    The first thing is to get the movie into your computer. I usually get the movie as a digital file (MOV) on a DVD disk. You can just copy the MOV file to your hard drive. If you get the movie on a VHS tape, you can capture it via a USB-to-video cable (do a sarch on "USB Belkin" - it's only about $60). If you get the movie on a regular DVD movie disk, get a free DVD ripper (do a search on "DVD ripper free").

    Then what I do is watch the movie from an audience's point of view. This is to get a feel for the movie, the pacing, the mood, etc... Then I go through the movie making notes on where music should be and what the style of music should be for each cue.

    Then I go over the cues and styles with the director to make sure we're on the same page.

    The next step is to create a theme and general soundscape/mood for the whole score. I use this theme/sound throughout the movie, but I change it around a little. This gives the movie continuity, but changing it a little avoids monotony.

    Then I load the movie into Vegas Video and convert it into a 320x240 MOV file. Once each cue is done, I load that cue (rendered WAV file) into Vegas. I use Vegas to watch the movie with the score to make sure I didn't miss a cue, the music flows and makes sense, and so on.

    For each cue, here's what I do:

    I start a new project in Cubase SX2 and load the whole movie MOV file into the Cubase project. I don't render a separate MOV file for each cue. I just load the whole movie into each Cubase project. Scoring the entire movie is one project would result in a huge amount of MIDI tracks. And you'd probably need 40GB of RAM! lol!

    Then I score that cue in this project. So, for a cue that starts at 00:45:17;00, the MIDI and audio tracks also start at 00:45:17;00 in the Cubase project.

    Once the music for that cue is done, I render the cue as a WAV file, convert it it an MP3 file and put the MP3 file on my website for the director to hear. That way, the director can hear the score as I write it, so to speak.

    So once all the music is done, I'll end up with typically 25 Cubase projects - one for each cue. This method is REALLY helpful when a cue starts at 00:10:00;00 and then the director changes his mind and wants the cue to start at 00:09:45;00. All you have to do is write music at the beginning of the MIDI/audio tracks for the Cubase project.

    Once all the music is written and the director is happy with everything, I render each MIDI track in each cue as WAV files (I'll combine some MIDI tracks like the brass tracks into one WAV file - aka "stems"). Then I mix these WAV files together for each cue to create a final WAV file for that cue. I do it this way so I can apply separate EQ, reverb, fx to each WAV file/instrument/sound effect.

    So, by the time the movie is done, I'll have 2 Cubaase projects for each cue. One is the MIDI/audio project and the other is the mixdown project containing the WAV files from the MIDI project.

    Typically for a full-length movie, I'll end up with 50 Cubase projects and 8-10 GB of WAV files. Of course, each cue is in it's own directory, so it's all really easy to manage. Then I archive it all on DVD. Then I wait for the paycheck....and wait...and wait..and wait lol!

    Hope this helps! And I hope I explained things clearly! lol!
    Mark
    ---------------------------
    http://www.markderrico.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Decatur Illinois
    Posts
    901

    Re: Advice on Scoring Silent Movie

    Thanks Mark. Very interesting to hear the process.

    Eric

  10. #10

    Re: Advice on Scoring Silent Movie

    Mark's method is pretty close to what I do with Nuendo and Cubase SX spanning two machines. Sometimes I'll pull in the entire video stream, sometimes I'll chop it up into cues. It really depends on how the film is divided on the DVD. Most often I'll do chapter by chapter (reel by reel).

    I usually render a large and a small version of each cue/chapter in order to have a tiny one for using in my tracking sessions, and the larger one for the spotting and mixing sessions with the director/whoever else is in the room.

    Cubase has several settings to go with video, and it seems to treat AVI a bit better than QT on the PC - at least from my experience. So, you may want to play with the settings and video format to find out what has the lowest overhead. I've run into a couple of situations where the overhead of running the video has caused glitches while tracking a larger project, and with you carrying the entire load by scoring a slient film, my guess is that you'll run into that at some point. Good luck.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •