seems like less is more is what is getting synced

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BrianSteel
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seems like less is more is what is getting synced

Post by BrianSteel » Tue Aug 03, 2021 4:57 pm

Good Day,

This is my first post. I am a new member. Joined end of June 2021. Submitted 2 briefs so far and learning a lot in the process. I read the guidelines about asking for feedback. My post today is kind of an ironic one for me.
I recently submitted for the pizzicato strings brief asking for bright pizzicato strings with light percussion. I didn't get forwarded because the percussion was not the right mood. I had some timpani, claves, tambourine
which was actually a reduction from a larger percussion section. I didn't get forwarded but that's not why I am posting. I heard tonight a Verizon commercial with pizzicato strings. The strings sounded a lot like my strings but the music was far more simpler. This would be my review if I was in such a position. "sounds like someone strumming the strings of a guitar that's sitting on a guitar stand". I don't know if you heard the commercial. The only other instrument that stuck up in the sync was a woodwind. It went by so fast and the musical "composition" was so rag-tag that it escaped me. So, if that's what they are looking for, then I am overachieving by far. Wondering if this is the aesthetic in this business. It doesn't make sense
because you have big epic trailers with a lot of sub bass drums (heavy) and then you have something as if the wind blew by making the notes. I am not implying in any way that the Verizon ad music is related to this brief. Anyway, I was astonished to here this music in the Verizon commercial. If you want to listen to my song on my profile, it's called minuetto pizzicati (WAV). If I had a link to the Verizon commercial, I would post it but I'm not sure that's allowed anyway. If you have heard the Verizon ad, I would like to know your thoughts also. Thanks for reading.

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Re: seems like less is more is what is getting synced

Post by superblonde » Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:11 pm

Check the forwards blog to hear what is judged as suitable.. yeah it is a head scratcher for sure, especially when I am writing for other projects simultaneously which have exact opposite feedback ("too simple..try modulating..you should be using complex harmonies.. add some independent voices to the other instruments.." etc etc) whereas here for cues, it seems not valid advice at all.
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Re: seems like less is more is what is getting synced

Post by Telefunkin » Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:27 am

Here's my thoughts on the topic, but others might have different perspectives.

All briefs, requirements, uses etc are different. Despite what some people seem to be searching for, there is no simple magic formula. You might as well ask "what should actors look like?" :). However, some things are very common in sync music, and the main one is for the music to sit beneath dialogue. In that case it could be low in volume but still needs to provide some sense of mood or emotion (just one). That might be easier to achieve with a stripped back mix than with an all-guns blazing mix. If the visual scene is delicate and detailed you might imagine very sparse instrumentation, but if its complex action you might imagine a busier production, although not necessarily to epic trailer proportions. Each TV show will have its own style, and maybe some production companies too.

I've heard it said on Taxi TV that its not uncommon for stripped or underscore mixes get used in preference to full mixes, therefore, as a broad generalisation I think your conclusion is a valid one for many circumstances. Like most things in life - it depends. Be guided by the briefs and their ref tracks. Also, as you have found, the answer to a lot of questions is there in front of you on TV, but I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all solution.
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing.

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Re: seems like less is more is what is getting synced

Post by hummingbird » Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:38 am

The TAXI listing for Nice Library ask you to bake a cake in a certain style. "We want wavy lines sort of like what this guy did (but don't copy him), in various shades of green."

You send in your wavy-lined cake and the Screener says: "Your green lines are too vertical and your icing is too smooth. We like the three tiers, though."

Then you watch a show and you see a three tier wavy-lined cake with vertical green lines on smooth icing and go 'huh'?'

The question then becomes: 'is my three tier wavy-lined smooth-icing'd cake made well enough to send to another listing looking for wavy lines, or should I bake another one?'

This, in a nutshell, is the composer-baker's dilemma. Some will tell you, 'that's a great cake', others will tell you 'that cake recipe needs work'.

If it appears that the cake itself IS well made then it's just a question of targeting your submission effectively.

Whatever happens, keep baking cakes. Practice makes progress.



Now I'm hungry... :D
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Re: seems like less is more is what is getting synced

Post by Casey H » Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:13 am

Yea, now I want cake too! Vikki (Hummingbird), very well said! :D

Expecting every situation to be the same based on blanket advice is a bad path. One thing that confuses some Taxi members is that listings are generally very specific, tailored to a given need by a sup or library. If they already had tons of what's asked for there, they wouldn't be listing. They may have hundreds of just plain "great" cues in the general sense but not many like described in the listing. The screener feedback is relative to the listing requirements, even if they throw in general advice.

Also, much of advice on cues is not as mutually exclusive as some think. For example, keep a cue interesting by developing, laying in more instruments is possible without the cue becoming too distracting under dialogue. It's done every day by successful members here.

Again, this doesn't apply to ALL situations, but one good test to give your cue is listen and very low volume. What instruments jump out such that they may be distracting under dialogue?

Writing Film/TV music cues is generally NOT the same as writing for other types of projects.

:D Casey

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Re: seems like less is more is what is getting synced

Post by Casey H » Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:17 am

On the "less is more" front, many libraries ask for alt mixes such as "bass and drums", "no drums", "no lead guitar", "rhythm guitars only", etc. Almost always they want a "bed track" with no lead instrument. Why? Because sups need to be able to choose from these "less is more" options.

All the reality TV oriented libraries I work with ask for these. And I've heard my alt mixes used in quite a few placements.

:D Casey

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Re: seems like less is more is what is getting synced

Post by cosmicdolphin » Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:36 am

Try not to think of it as music. Try to think of it as wallpaper. Or Lego.

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Re: seems like less is more is what is getting synced

Post by Casey H » Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:13 am

cosmicdolphin wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:36 am
Or Lego.
Just don't step on it with bare feet! :lol:

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Re: seems like less is more is what is getting synced

Post by funsongs » Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:12 am

Casey H wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:13 am
If they already had tons of what's asked for there, they wouldn't be listing.
They may have hundreds of just plain "great" cues in the general sense but not many like described in the listing.
The screener feedback is relative to the listing requirements, even if they throw in general advice.
:D Casey
This may be the easiest point missed, when it could be the most encouraging: putting it differently: THEY'RE STILL LISTENING & LOOKING.
So - though the system may seem over-saturated, these opportunities still exist... for the RIGHT piece.
Good onya, Casey. :? :P
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Re: seems like less is more is what is getting synced

Post by superblonde » Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:54 pm

BrianSteel wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 4:57 pm
If you want to listen to my song on my profile, it's called minuetto pizzicati (WAV).
unless you post a link here, it is not possible to find the track...
. . . www.superblonde.org "All Kale Seitan! ♭II ‼" -Moshpit Chant of the Vegan Metalhead

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