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Sound Advice

Be Prepared! by David Mack

If you are contracted to compose a score for acoustic instruments, be prepared! Before you enter the recording studio, keep in mind that time spent in the studio will be a great deal of money. To prepare for the recording date make sure your scores are coherent both to yourself and to someone who may be assisting you. Don’t get caught off-guard with the wrong transpositions, unplayable parts, i.e. ranges, etc., and unreadable parts. Studio musicians are great sight readers and to maximize your hard work and their talents, take the time to make each part crystal clear. Plan. Highly complex rhythmic features and electrifying runs may take more time to sort out in the rehearsal than they contribute to the overall effect. Use them, but make sure they work!

The film cue may end up being a wonderful lconcert piece but risks being overwritten for the intent of the cue. Before writing, examine what each cue requires, and save your resources until you really need them!

David Mack – Composer of film and concert music; graduate of the University of Southern California’s Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television in Los Angeles.

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