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Topic: Wizard of Oz nightmare (OT?)

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  1. #1

    Wizard of Oz nightmare (OT?)

    I'm currently involved with a children's production of "The Wizard of Oz." We're using the Royal Shakespeare Company script (the most common one), but apparently there is no music-minus-one available from Tams-Witmark; our vocal coach drafted an entire score with Sibelius and Kontakt from the piano reduction.

    I admire the amount of work she has done (doing an entire score in notation from scratch), and the orchestration seems musical in its ideas, but the stock Kontakt patches....! The end result sounds like it was done on a Casio keyboard. I'm not a sample purist, but I've heard cell phones that sound better. I itch to get my hands on her MIDI and try to sweeten it up with better patches and a few layers of CC and other articulation. Trouble is, the cast was rehearsed on this score, there's only a week until we open...

    And the director loves it.

  2. #2

    Re: Wizard of Oz nightmare (OT?)

    The quick fix: Find somebody with Finale 2006. (Sorry, I've only got Sibelius.) Have them import the Sibelius score, or at least the MIDI, apply human playback and re-render. It will keep all of her hard work, won't overly change the music they've practiced with, and won't introduce another ego into the mix - except maybe the residual ego of Finale's human playback programmer. And if it doesn't turn out well, or she doesn't like it, it's not much time and energy lost.

    Good luck. Grin and make the best of it...

    -JF

  3. #3

    Re: Wizard of Oz nightmare (OT?)

    Quote Originally Posted by nomuse
    I itch to get my hands on her MIDI
    Unless MIDI is some kind of code word for something else , I don't really see the problem with this? Can't you just ask her for the MIDI files and redo one song just as a proof-of-principle and see where it leads from there.

  4. #4

    Re: Wizard of Oz nightmare (OT?)

    Yah, yah. And it'll give me an excuse to finally get GPO hooked up. But I don't see that I could get more than a couple incidentals done before the show opens. Plus I'm scared the kids are probably using the "feel" of the present sounds to find their way, as they all seem to be non-readers and not really trained singers either (found out during the Jitterbug number the dancers aren't counting bars -- they're all going by the WORDS).

    Afraid I'll have to see this show open with those horrid block chords in organ patches or fast-attack-zero-release string pads. Pity, since we're sinking way too much in scenery et al. (And that's why all-nighters aren't an option -- I'm the lead carpenter!)

    If I play with this music, it'll be just for my own fun and education.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Wizard of Oz nightmare (OT?)

    Quote Originally Posted by nomuse
    I'm currently involved with a children's production of "The Wizard of Oz." We're using the Royal Shakespeare Company script (the most common one), but apparently there is no music-minus-one available from Tams-Witmark; our vocal coach drafted an entire score with Sibelius and Kontakt from the piano reduction.

    I admire the amount of work she has done (doing an entire score in notation from scratch), and the orchestration seems musical in its ideas, but the stock Kontakt patches....! The end result sounds like it was done on a Casio keyboard. I'm not a sample purist, but I've heard cell phones that sound better. I itch to get my hands on her MIDI and try to sweeten it up with better patches and a few layers of CC and other articulation. Trouble is, the cast was rehearsed on this score, there's only a week until we open...

    And the director loves it.
    OK, I'm going to give you unfiltered producer's advice:

    If you are not the musical director on the show, you don't have any authority here, I'd keep well out of it. That said, if you're the sound designer, and you have a good relationship with both the musical director and the director...

    Put it out there.

    Pick the most complex number, singing wise, and knock this out as fast as you can--today. Compare your mix to the first track, get it as close as possible to the basic vibe and density of the mix, and GET IT INTO REHEARSAL TOMORROW.

    If everyone thinks it's a go, then crew up with a couple of folks and knock the rest of the play out in the next two days.

    If that's not possible, I'd say back out of the situation. You don't want to put any taint on the show until it has run. You might, if you're really seeking opportunity, do up one piece and play it privately for the director/producer.

    However, from the perspective of a designer/composer, you need to let them know that this expertise comes at a cost.

    All things being a "go," if you were to try to get new mixes into the show, I would certainly not hesitate because it's a week out.

    I have been involved in plenty of shows that ran all the way through previews, then were completely re-blocked and redesigned for opening night...and to great success. Sometimes you just have to do it.

    It bears repeating that if you're not a principal on the show, it might be best to let it go.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Wizard of Oz nightmare (OT?)

    I missed it that you're the lead carpenter on the show.

    Unless you're also a producer or have some financial stake, I would definitely let it go. You don't want to put yourself in the middle of something that might unleash a ****storm.

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