Explanation of a CUE

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Simone1
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Explanation of a CUE

Post by Simone1 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:09 pm

Hi guys and gals. Can anyone explain what the guidelines are for a cue? Can you pretty munch do what you want with it or is it meant to be kept basic? Not sure what it means.

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Re: Explanation of a CUE

Post by waveheavy » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:45 am

"Cue" is just another word for a song or instrumental. It comes from the film and theater industry. "Basic" is always a good start; assume you're writing music that will be played under dialogue. The type of music wanted in the listings is the style you'd write for.

Simone1 wrote:Hi guys and gals. Can anyone explain what the guidelines are for a cue? Can you pretty munch do what you want with it or is it meant to be kept basic? Not sure what it means.

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Re: Explanation of a CUE

Post by hummingbird » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:19 pm

There are two different types of cues.

One is an instrumental cue which is similar to a song, in that it might have an intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus. In this case it's good to think that the repeat of the verse will have added elements, as will the last chorus.

The other the style of cue written for certain listings where they want a mood or emotion. In this case you always start with a 'chorus' (the meat and potatoes), which is called the A section. Depending on the required length, you may also have a B section in which one or two elements of A continue but others drop out. Then you repeat the A section, typically with more texture, build, or ear candy. Lengths may vary, typically 1:30 to 2 mins, read the listing carefully as sometimes they want a specific length.

In both cases avoid fade out and be sure to end on a button or stinger.

And, as mentioned above, remember the use for these cues is usually for under dialogue therefore you have to make them interesting musically yet not call attention to them at the same time.

For further education you might go to the Forward section of the forum and check out some posts. Read the listing and then listen to the track(s) forwarded.

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Casey H
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Re: Explanation of a CUE

Post by Casey H » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:32 pm

Also, I highly recommend this book by Taxi's own Dean Krippaehne, "Demystifying The Cue"...

https://www.amazon.com/Demystifying-Cue ... B00MR2MPBG

:D Casey

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Re: Explanation of a CUE

Post by andygabrys » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:12 pm

Casey beat me to it.

Dean (author) is a long time production music composer and his book and the accompanying book "demystifying the genre" are excellent.

Come to the Rally and he would likely sign your copies!

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Re: Explanation of a CUE

Post by VicMartinez » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:26 pm

These replies were very helpful. Thank you all!

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Re: Explanation of a CUE

Post by jbopar » Tue May 22, 2018 8:21 pm

Can someone explain simply the difference between a button and a stinger? Both abrupt I'm sure, but how so?
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Re: Explanation of a CUE

Post by annayarbrough » Wed May 23, 2018 8:45 am

jbopar wrote:Can someone explain simply the difference between a button and a stinger? Both abrupt I'm sure, but how so?
Button... think rounding off nicely. Like holding a chord for four beats, something like that. Stingers are a bit more... stingy. :lol: For example, a very final/dramatic accent to finish the piece. Nice and short—punctuation.

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Re: Explanation of a CUE

Post by jbopar » Wed May 23, 2018 4:40 pm

Button... think rounding off nicely. Like holding a chord for four beats, something like that. Stingers are a bit more... stingy. :lol: For example, a very final/dramatic accent to finish the piece. Nice and short—punctuation.[/quote]

Kinda what I thought, but nice to keep it simple... Thanks, Anna!
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Re: Explanation of a CUE

Post by staten » Sat May 04, 2019 12:05 pm

Do cues have to be registered with the copyright office? Insee a lot of requests for short cues and it seems it can get very expensive.

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