Chord Progressions

 

I teach a composition class once a week, and one of my students asked me a question in which I believed the answer to be innate, or implied. He asked me, “How do you come up with chord progressions?”

As a teacher, questions like these that arise in class, force you to realize that you’re relying too much on assumptions about your students understanding of the material, and that your methods need refreshing. My students question also got me thinking about music in general, and how in most of popular music today (and even in a lot of film/tv scores) many musicians, performers, composers and the like, aren’t really branching out beyond very diatonic harmonies.

Now I do believe that there is some really great creative music being composed today, but less than make it worth while listening to. This is most likely due to music producers, distributors, and creators wanting to make money, and be popular with 13 to 24 year olds.  For whatever reason they seem to think that non-schooled individuals  have very limited taste and understanding, and are unwilling to hear new and different ideas.

Consequently, I believe that current music is very flash in the pan, and doesn’t hold value over time. The Stevie Wonders, David Bowies, Samuel Barbers, Aaron Coplands, Miles Davis’s, Herbie Hancocks, Michael Jacksons, etc… are not being developed any more. I believe this is due to the powers that be, greatly underestimating peoples ability to appreciate diverse melodies and unique chord progressions.  The ironic circumstances created by this thinking, is that their need to make instant money kills any possibility of making really great money now, and in the future. Fresh, unique, and cool ideas are what everyone’s looking for and make the big bucks!

Anyway, before I digress too much, this article is about adding harmonic flavor to your compositions.  I believe this will help create an added dimension and attention grabbing element to spice up bland music. I’m not suggesting that current music needs an entire overhaul, and that some weird harmonic progressions overtake all music. There still is value in using tried and true techniques tastefully. However, I do believe that by adding little harmonic changes in your music, you’ll not only allow your music to be more interesting, but it will help to make it stand out from the sea of monotony.

Okay, let’s back up to the initial question that started this article. How do I come up with a chord progression? The simple answer is, one must first decide upon a melody, and from that, a chord progression can be derived.

In addition, and obviously, we need to choose a key signature. When you’re developing your melody you’ll have a good idea as to whether or not you want your melody to be in a major sounding or minor sounding key.

Now if you really want to know how key signatures/harmony were discovered, and ordered you have to thank Pythagorus. He figured out how nature organizes and ordered tones (Harmonic Overtone Series)

Consequently, the ordering of tones helped to realize that some intervals of tones have more prominence or presence than others. What that basically means is that some intervals or harmonies sound stronger or weaker than others. It was determined that one of the strongest sounding intervals is the fifth. Hence the Circle of Fifths was created.

COF_edit.png

The Circle of Fifths is a study all in it’s own and I do not want to bog down this article with excruciating detail about it. I highly recommend that anyone who doesn’t know about the depths of this musical wonder, go out and do much in-depth learning about it.

The reason why it’s necessary to mention it in this blog, is because it’s what you’ll need to refer to when expanding your harmonic palate.

Okay let’s get to creating expanding, developing, and energizing bland harmonies.

Below is a vocal melody with a simply diatonic piano accompanied chord progression that I composed.

Chord Progression 1.png

For this example I chose the most common of all key signatures…C. The key of C major  is comprised of C,d,e,F,G,a, & b. I composed a simple melody that I thought was nice and pleasing to me.

Next I determined what chords from the key of C worked with my melody.* (See additional footnote)

Below each chord (from my example) is a Roman Numeral. It refers to the quality of chord (major or minor), and at what interval within the key signature the chord is based on. My chords are “C” major (I) to “a” minor (vi) “F” major (IV) to “G” major (V) back to I.

This is a simple melody and a simple harmonic chord progression. Again there is nothing wrong with this, but if you compose every single piece of music with the exact same tactic, you will get panned, and overlooked.

One way to counteract this, is by using what’s called Secondary Dominants. My definition of secondary dominants is: a dominant 7 chord that resolves to either a major or minor chord of a diatonic progression from an interval of a 5th above.

This definition applies to every chord in a major or minor scale except for the root of the scale. This should be apparent, but the 5th above the root of a scale is already a dominant chord diatonic to the key. What secondary dominants are asking you to do, is to use dominant chords that are not indigenous to the key you’re in. We figure this out by referring to the Circle Of 5ths.

If we take the key of C and start on the second interval “d” then look at our Circle of 5th chart we see that a fifth above “d” is “A.” We’ve just determined that a 5th above “d” is “A” and if we have a chord progression with a d minor in it. We can inject an A dominant 7 before that chord to add variety. If we choose “e” from the scale we see a 5th above is “B7”. If we choose F from the key of C we see that C7 is the dominant chord we would use to resolve to F major. This is repeated to the rest of the notes/chords of the scale all the way up and to the leading tone.

In harmony theory, secondary dominants are also referred to as 5 of (insert interval), or V7 of (insert interval). When viewing an analyzed chart you may come across figures that look like this: v7/ii or V7/V. That is simply saying the exact same thing that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. V7 of ii would be “A7 to d minor” because it’s a fifth above “d minor” and it’s a dominant chord.

If you’re asking yourself, why does all the chords have to be dominant? We’ll have to refer to what was stated earlier in the article to answer that. Again, some tones are weaker or stronger sounding than others. A dominant 7 chord has a tritone in it which is a very strong tonality. It also gives the listeners ear a setup or delivery to it’s targeted chord. The diminished chord and augmented chord do this as well, but those are really just iterations of the dominant.

The last bit of information you need to know about secondary dominants, it’s important, applies to what tensions or extensions you may want to use  when composing.

When I was in school we referred to the additional notes you could place on a chord to add character, as tensions. I believe that many schools refer to them now as extensions. Which implies extended range of notes you’re allow add to your chords of a diatonic chord progression.

I say allow because western tonal music harmony is based upon a set foundation of rules for it’s creation. Essentially, these rules are in place not because you can’t break them, or shouldn’t, but because your music will take on nebulous characteristics if you decide not to use them. I’ll have to give you an example to explain what I mean by my nebulous statement, and why this is setting us up for the final part of this article.

Again, (I Know I’m sorry) I’ll use the key of C to demonstrate my explanation. When you get into music, and study it a bit you learn that there are certain tensions/extensions that are to be avoided when composing your harmony. Since western music is based on a tertiary system, we create our chords in steps of 3. A “C” major chord is comprised of C,E, &G. If we continue in this pattern the next notes we can add to this chord would be, B,D,F,&A. Those extensions would be called the 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th because of the interval distance from the root note “C.”

Unfortunately we run into an issue with our 11th interval/extension. If we were to use the 11th or the note F in our “C” chord, we would confuse our listeners ears because it would make it sound like we’re referring to a different scale (Lydian), and not the tonic chord we intended. This is what I mean by nebulous, because you need to understand how music interacts harmonically in order to convey your musical idea to people the way you intended. That is why there are certain notes that should not be used (unless you know what you’re doing) in chords as you will imply different scales and harmonies if you use them.

Now that I’ve explained the reasons behind why some tensions/extension aren’t a good choice for your chosen chords, I can give you the rules for the tensions/extensions for secondary dominants.

  1. If your secondary dominant chord resolves to a major chord, then your available tensions are 9 and 13.
  2. If your secondary dominant chord resolves to a minor chord tensions, b9, 9, #9, b13, and 13 are your available tensions.

 

With everything I’ve explained thus far, I can now give you my simple composition with a more interesting chord progression.

(I’ve slowed this version down in the recording for listener to really hear the changes)Chord Progression 2.png

 

The changes made to my original chord progression were as follows. An “E” dominant 7 (V7/vi) with a b13 was inserted before the “a” minor chord of the first measure. I chose b13 as my tension, because it was the common tone through all the chords and also has a really nice sound. I then added a D dominant 7 (V7/V) before the G7 and chose an “E” the 9th of the chord as my tension. I liked to use tensions in my chords, but by no means is it a requirement.

As with any material, the more it’s practiced and utilized the easier it becomes to implement. Additionally, when all is said and done, I believe that I was able to improve the harmony of my composition without overcomplicating it or making it too busy.

 

As I wrap up this article, I realize that there was a significant amount of foundation information given to explain and create a simple, but enhanced chord progression. Once the ground work is laid Secondary dominants are easy to understand and apply. This is a technique that can be applied to all genres of music and I hope that more people do.

 

 

 

 

*Another factor that helps to determine a chord progression is what emotion you’d like your music to evoke. I’m bringing this up, because many times when musicians will come up with a melody, they often pick chords that just work technically. Often we choose things that are familiar to us, and settle on something that’s been done a million times. Think about what the what the music is trying to emote from an overall perspective. Ask your self what is this music trying to convey, and is this progression supporting it?   When choosing a chord, even if it’s technically correct and you like it, do yourself a favor and just try other possible diatonic chords to see if it’s better or re-enforces your initial decision. Even if it doesn’t work, it may help to create additional ideas like a bridge or a tag.

Creating Counter Melodies

I’m going to start off this post by being super nerdy and boring by pasting a definition of counter melody taken from Wikipedia -> A counter melody is a sequence of notes, perceived as a melody, written to be played simultaneously with a more prominent lead melody: a secondary melody played in counterpoint with the primary melody.

Now this definition has merit and is useful, but I know with a lot of music text (or any theoretical text for that matter ) it can be very dry and cause most people to glaze over and space out. I personally feel that is why so many people don’t care to really study text book music theory, as it can just flat out put you to sleep. This is really sad as the internet has made all this information so accessible. It also would greatly improve the songwriting and composing skills of so many people that could really use it.

In this post and all of my future posts, I’m going to try and take the material that I believe to be important and explain it in a way (and hopefully it’s perceived) to be  easy to read, follow, and implement. However, my posts are predisposed to the reader knowing basic music theory and orchestration, otherwise they won’t make sense.

Anyway, back to counter melodies. My simpler definition of a counter melody is: a contrary melody to the lead melody of a composition, that stands out on it’s own, yet doesn’t overshadow the main theme. The melody has to be contrary to the main theme or, it will fall into either parallel, similar, or oblique contrapuntal melodies, and it won’t stand out at all on it’s own.  Then you can’t distinguish it from the lead melody, rendering it not a counter melody.

Counter melodies are really important because they add a dimension to music, regardless of genre, that can interest a listener for multiple listens as they soak in all the layers. Too often a melody is supported solely by a harmony that just follows the melody. Now this can work well and is often all that is necessary, but it also can be very very monotonous and dull.

Counter melodies are most prominent in Classical, and Jazz and their offshoots, but it can be found in other genres as well. This article will focus on the classical side of composing counter melodies, but on a side note, here are just a couple examples of counter melodies in other genres.

“Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell -> Counter melodies can be heard going on between the strings, bass, and vocals throughout the song.

“November Rain” Guns N’ Roses  -> First verse, counter melodies can be heard between strings, flute, main vocals, and background vocals

“Happy” Pharrell Williams  -> During the breakdown after the 2nd chorus  there’s a countermelody between the lead vocals and background vocals.

“I hope you Dance” Lee Ann Womack -> During the chorus’s there’s a counter vocal melody to the lead melody.

Okay how do you compose a counter melody? A counter melody  is predicated on having a lead melody already, then it can easily be composed once you do. The most difficult part of creating any composition is just coming up with a lead melody.

Now if you’re reluctant to compose your own melody or want to just practice composing counter melodies, then get a lead sheet of a song with the melody and chord progression already written out. This will allow you to focus freely on composing counter melodies. Sometimes it’s more difficult to compose counter melodies for a lead melody you don’t care for. It’s good practice to try compose counter melodies for lead melodies you don’t like as it will improve your composing skills due to it’s complexity. It’s a good workout of your brain for sure.

For this example I’m using something I composed. Below is my melody that’s accompanied by my chosen piano chords.Up and Away Fl.png

Now I decided to orchestrate my melody for 4 woodwinds. I’m using Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb and, Bass Clarinet. I’m not sure if this is worth stating, but you can choose any instrumentation you want when composing. Just keep in mind that it becomes a bit more difficult to get open and larger sounding harmonies and melodies if you only choose instruments with the exact same registers. You will be limited (depending on what you choose) to the bass note of the lowest tone your instruments can produce as well as the highest your highest registered instrument can produce.

Now the next step I took while composing for these 4 instruments was just adding a bass line to the  bass clarinet. You “can” have the bass play counter melodies, however that can be a bit tricky, because the bass notes dictate the overall harmony of the composition. It requires some practice to compose counter melodies in the bass that aren’t detracting from the harmony of the composition. Also it’s very easy to violate lower interval limits which can cause the piece to sound very muddy and nondescript. The harmonies can sound too clustered and compact.

For this piece I’m pretty much just following the roots of the chords in the bass clarinet.

Now comes the actual counter melody. Yes you can have multiple counter melodies in a composition. You have to be careful that the composition doesn’t become too busy and distracting. It takes a discerning ear to pull off multiple counter melodies, and really it should enhance the piece. Do not compose counter melodies just because you’re able to do it. Always ask your self when composing, is this making my piece sound better or worse?

Also 3 things to consider when composing a counter melody is:

  1. Does the counter melody support the harmony?
  2. Does the counter melody stand on it’s own?
  3. Does the counter melody over shadow or detract from the main theme?

I try to compose counter melodies that are rhythmically different from the main theme as it allows the listener to home in on the melodic line. A non technical way to also compose a counter melody is to have your main theme play on your computer on a loop while you either sing or play along different ideas that work independently but together with the theme. Basically use your inner voice to construct the idea.

Keep in mind that while you’re composing a counter melody, or any melody for that matter, you need to think about and embody the instrument that your composing the melody for. What I mean by that is, it’s not good composition when you compose a musical idea on one instrument and then transpose to another thinking that it will transfer flawlessly.

If you compose a piece of music on piano and then simply transfer the melodies and harmonies from that sketch to say woodwinds and brass without those instruments strengths and weaknesses in mind, then it won’t be great. Most woodwinds and some brass will genuinely dislike you (either secretly or vocally) if you compose in a key that’s not friendly to their instrument, or not take into consideration special obstacles they have to maneuver through, like a clarinet’s break.

Now I know many good musicians can easily traverse through whatever you throw at them, and some musicians even do that with a graceful disposition. However that still doesn’t make up for poor composition or thoughtlessness of an instruments best characteristics.  Approach your composing more like a good actor doing method work. Try to think like the player does by emulating how they think about how they play.

I’m not saying or implying that you need to learn to play every instrument known to man. Though it is a good idea to talk to as many different musicians about what’s best for them. Ask them how they approach different phrases and what’s comfortable and uncomfortable.

If you don’t have access to different instrumentalists or don’t feel comfortable talking to people you don’t know, then youtube is the next best thing. In fact you’ll want to supplement your interactive research with passive youtube viewings. The London Symphony Orchestra has free master class videos of every instrument from the best players in the world. Here is one on the cello. There are subsequent links to other instruments on the link’s page.

Okay here is my 1st counter melody and bass line posted below. I’ve decided to start with oboe and to compose just 1 counter melody.

Score 1.png

Now I personally liked the way the counter melody in the oboe line worked with the main flute theme, but you can hear that there’s a huge gap in harmony missing. I think what many instructors would be inclined to tell you is that the clarinet should double the melody. That may work in some other cases, but I found in this particular case supporting the counter melody not only supported the harmony a bit better, it enhanced the lead melody.

Score 2.png

Keep in mind that the ear hears the highest frequencies and the lowest frequencies the easiest. It’s very important that at the end of the day you trust what you hear. I am giving guidelines and certainly don’t want my guidelines to be rules. If you apply a technique that’s usually accepted as the correct way of composing and it doesn’t sound right to you, then change it. These are guidelines because they work most of the time and that’s worth mentioning.

Now in case you’re wondering why I chose 4 instruments, it’s because to my ear, and most composer’s, a 4 part harmony (S,A,T,B) is the minimal arrangement of a score that still gives the most complete depiction of a flushed out musical idea. It’s complete enough to expand into a larger score.

This in turn will help to develop other musical ideas in other choirs of the orchestra (or band or whatever is your element) leading to what I believe to be a more complete and interesting listen of your music.

 

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Orchestration for Starters

          The necessity of higher education for composers is not something I believe worth debating. There are countless examples of people who became successful with and without schooling. However, I will argue that it is absolutely necessary to be consistently honing your skills through constant practice, reassessment, and an understanding of general music theory. Whether on your own, or through an institution, keeping your music skills sharp and current is essential to your present and future success. When a composer has a decent understanding of music theory and composition, then orchestration absolutely becomes one of those skills that needs to be honed, practiced, reassessed, and applied to all genres of music.

     My personal definition of orchestration is: using the accompanying instruments of the orchestra (or band) to support the melody of the composition through creative and imaginative rhythms, counter melodies and harmonies. I know it is implied that music is creative or imaginative, but I so often find composers and musicians using regurgitated phrases  or poor ideas that take away from an otherwise nice melody. To paraphrase Rimsky-Korsakov,  you either are born knowing how to orchestrate or you cannot. I’m not sure I’m as cut and dry as he was, and I think with study and experimentation you can become pretty good at orchestrating. However, if you don’t think of interesting ways to support your melodies, due to laziness or what have you, then there’s no point attempting it and you might as well have someone else do it for you.

      For those of you who want to orchestrate, I’ve selected 3  books that contain general orchestration instruction to help you develop your orchestration skills. I chose only 3 as I did not wish to make this a novel post and lose your attention. For the more advanced composers reading this post, these suggestions are not like Gevaert’s Méthodique d’Orchestration where there is excruciating detail of each instrument and it’s application. If you are looking for voluminous detailed information on a particular instrument then these books won’t have that. However collecting detailed texts of every instrument individually (especially harp) is recommended for every composer.

    This post focuses on introductory texts that I believe to be a good starting place (in my humble opinion) for newcomers and great reference for seasoned professionals. Although not everyone who reads this will agree with my choices, I do think I’ve done enough due diligence to give an educated and thorough opinion.

         Before I begin on my selections I would like to mention that I do not care for Samuel Adler’s The Study of Orchestration and accompanying workbook. I’ve read the book from beginning to end, and found that there was very little in the way of orchestration techniques to apply to your composing. I will concede that the book is detailed about instrumentation. However, knowing the range and sonorous timbres of an instrument, and knowing how to orchestrate for it are two different things. Adler’s book is more music dictionary than orchestration book. I did not find anything having to do with harmonization techniques, composing subordinate lines, doubling prominent lines, or esoteric or aleatoric techniques. Nor did I come across even simple things like how to orchestrate instruments with vastly different dynamics, tone/timbre, and register range, together. I only make mention of Adler’s Study as it’s in so many learning institutions and I felt I should address it. Again that is my opinion, take from it what you will.

       Conversely, a book that I felt does give insight on scoring musical elements (as well as instrumentation and timbres) is Alfred Blatter’s book on Instrumentation and Orchestration. This book explains techniques that can be heard in many world renowned compositions, with exercises built into the end of each chapter. A used copy of the book costs between $44- $74 used (half.com)* and if you can’t find it used you’ll have to unload up to $150 for a new one. (amazon.com)* In either case, I assure you it’s worth the effort of finding and purchasing.

     Two examples of orchestration that really stuck out in my mind from Blatters book  were Klanfarbenmelodie and Heterophony.

       Klangfarbenmelodie (german for sound-color-melody suggested by Schoenberg) is simply alternating the melody of a composition “generally” within the same measure between different instruments of an orchestra. The melody won’t sound detached as long as you’re trading the melody between instruments of similar timbre and registers. (The melody can cross between choirs of the the orchestra i.e…. Flute and Trumpet ect… again as long as they are similar in register and dynamic)

Q6 Example .png

To keep things less clinical I’ve decided not to give you the text book definition of Heterophony. My definition of using Heterophony in orchestration is to: harmonize a melody or pattern in constant intervals regardless of key signature or implied harmony of the melody or phrase. Essentially, heterophony in orchestration is using the same intervals   when harmonizing, whether it is a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, tritone, ect… in subsequent repetition  to color your ideas/phrase/melody. Below is an example of a melody harmonized in major thirds. It’s basically contiguous augmented chords.

Heterophony.png


For the most part using heterophony is a lot like salt. A little goes a long way. It’s a great way to add a unique flavor to your piece as different intervals give a very distinct sound. I think it sounds great used in-between melodies as a connector or during an interlude or bridge. However if used for too long it will become less accessible to the listener and to the trained ear it will lose it’s tonal center and the listener will tune out. Anyway I digress.

Before this post becomes extremely long and difficult for you to get through, I just want to briefly touch upon the other 2 books and why I think they’re valuable reading material.

If you’re in music school you’ll know this book all to too well. Tonal Harmony from Kostka and Payne is a very useful guide from 18th to 20th century music. Many music students grumble over this read, and many say it has it’s flaws but there are 3 elements to this book that go overlooked that are actually the best way to learn fundamentals of composition and orchestration.

Aside from teaching figured bass, elements of counterpoint, and ornaments, this book has 1) Online tutorials, 2) answers to the questions of each exercise within the book so you can check your work, and 3) a really easy to understand explanation of Atonal Music. I purchased just the text book of an older edition  of Tonal Harmony from ebay for 12$. I then read each chapter and did the exercises at the end and then checked my work with the answers supplied. If you don’t have a teacher handy, this really gives you a way to learn through deduction.

My last choice  is Principles of Orchestration by Rimsky-Korsakov. Now there is definitely some issues with this text I won’t disagree.  Rimsky-Korsakov says some things in this text that may have been true in his day but definitely untrue today. One specific example that comes to mind is he talks about the contrabass basically being only good for doubling the cellos and not to count on your players to be able to do anything to ornate. There are plenty of virtuosic contrabass players in the world today and can do wondrous things. Again not sure the reason, but that’s unimportant. When you get passed some of the discrepancies (which are minor) from 19th century to today, you’ll see what an amazing job Rimsky-Korsakov does with dynamic pairing, and orchestral balance. One of the most useful things I learned from him was with regards to brass. When composing for brass, the dynamic level of the french horn, more often than not, should be written louder than the rest of the choir for balance. If the harmony or melody you’re composing is soft(p) then trumpet, trombone, and tuba, should be written pianissimo (pp)

I purchased a used copy of the the Principles of Orchestration used for $10, however if you don’t feel like doing that you can visit Make Music and read  and interact with the material for free. (some browsers work better than others)

http://www.garritan.com/principles-of-orchestration/

I’d like to end this post by first stating the obligatory, which is listen, study, and talk to everyone you can about your craft. Revisit and emulate all the work you have time for to develop a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Working with live players is essential in letting you know if your ideas are possible, and appealing. Sometimes this isn’t easily done, but college students are a great place to start. Study scores, by loading them into your music software and dissecting the intervals, the harmonies, and the rhythms. Read, read, read, as many texts as you can. Watch YouTube videos. There’s a ton and some are actually helpful.

The second thing I’d like to state is find your voice. Sure it’s important to be able to compose and orchestrate like noteworthy composers, but if you don’t have something uniquely interesting to offer then you’ll be considered a poor orchestrator or worse derivative.

I think if you work diligently through all this material, you’ll not only be a better orchestrator, but a better composer as well!

 

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*(I did not put a direct link to each book as retail items change constantly leaving dead links galore. If you just visit the online retailers and pop in the name in the search engine you’ll find them)

Film Scoring Tips

A recent technique I developed not too long ago, was to visit the Apple Trailer website, download a trailer I liked, strip the audio from the footage, and then rewrite the music for the footage to my liking. This technique is incredibly useful because you get to use professionally edited high quality footage to write your music too.

If you’re just starting out at this scoring stuff then you may not realize how important well edited footage contributes to the composition of your music. Highly experienced, highly trained editors, are very musical, and know how to move into and out of scenes in a very fluid way. I know editors that use click or beep tracks, to help keep the movement of the footage going.

Keep in mind that if you score enough footage that has been professionally edited, then you will realize how a good and not so good an editor compare. Just don’t insult anybody’s skills that may not be up to the par that you’re use to. There will be plenty of jobs that are not very well put together and the threshold of the burden will be placed upon your shoulders to help tie the scenes together. Your job becomes more difficult when you’re working with people who are less skilled than you. However it’s these projects, if you let them, that will help you to become very good at your job.

Here’s how you do it.

1) Go to the Apple Trailers Website http://www.apple.com/trailers

2) Import your video into your sequencing program of choice (Pro-tools, Nuendo, Cubase, DP, Logic, etc.. )

3) Most sequencing programs will extract the audio from the Quicktime video you import into it’s sequencing window. It will allow you to mute, edit or delete, the audio track, so you can write your music to the footage. Make sure when exporting the audio the audio file is the exact length of the footage. Meaning, when you line the exported stereo track up with the footage in your sequence there’s no mistake as to where the music should line up, if you were to import them into another program.

4) Once you’re done with writing your music, import the footage into a video editor. If you’re on a Mac chances are you’re using iMovie which means you won’t have to convert, if you’re on a PC it’s Window’s Movie Maker, which will not accept “.mov” files. You have to open Quicktime Pro to export it as an “.avi”

5) Next, line the music up to the footage and export it as an .mp4 for mac or .avi for windows. (The .mp4 file format looks the best and usually is the smallest in size, in my humble opinion.)

On a side note, if you or someone you know, is into sound design or sound effects, this technique works well for that art form as well.

 

 

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