D. Ryan Seregow

~ EST. 1981 ~

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It all starts with an idea, then progresses into a thought and slowly you find yourself sitting up in bed at 2am writing music out on paper. Next thing you know, you're talking to the producer and engineer, and eventally move your 120-piece orchestra into a high-end studio to record your masterpiece, only to find that what you created is much better sounding in person than on paper. And now you're on your way to the post-editing suite to make those final changes and burn to CD to sell. -- That's usually a typical day at a recording studio sound stage.

Project88 Studios, a film scoring and post production company I started back in 2003, is where all of this happens, but on a much smaller scale.

This is where it all comes together...

My clients come to me with an idea. I then play some live sampling and composing in the MIDI suite for them to listen to. Once they agree on the selection I presented, it's off to the post production studio to add those MIDI samples, other audio samples, and mix them into a Pro Tools session. From there, I send out copies and wait for the final okay before mastering the product for completion. -- But how exactly do I score for films or productions with MIDI equipment?

It's really an art and a secret combined into one. -- Picture yourself watching a movie. A good example would be "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe." If you recall the scene where the children get on a train and head into the countryside to see their new home and family, you're also listening to the score that Harry Gregson-Williams composed with vocalist Lisbeth Scott. It started with a vision and an idea, then slowly expanded into thought and drama, and finally opened the doors to reality and captured the listener or movie viewer intensly and allowed them to take part in the vision Gregson-Williams had for this scene. And you know what the cool thing about this composer is? He also used MIDI equipment to help start the idea, then transfered the composition into score sheets for the live orchestra to perform for the film.

Without giving away the secret of how I score the music, I'll instead give you an idea of where I start.

I just love scoring on piano. It's easy, simple, and gives me a clean slate of what I invision in my mind. From there, I move to my studio, open a Pro Tools session, add a few tracks, a click track, and a master track. I figure out what tempo I want the score played at, and then set it. From there, I just start the session and play to my heart's content until I'm satisfied with the melody. I then go back and start adding the various instruments that I want to include in the piece until I'm happy with that. Once everything's been layered and recorded, I head back into the studio to edit, mix, and master the piece. From there it's just a matter of laying it onto the video track and listening to the producer (or director) on what their thoughts are.

Quite simple really, especially after you've spent most of your life around music and understand how to score a piece for film.


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