I just could not stay away from my music projects too long. I had some fun programming in C++ in both Visual Studio and Embarcadero Rad Studio and managed to learn a new thing or two. I’ll head back to programming projects after the Holidays, but for now, let us have some Movie Music fun.
I was off and grazing the available scores on the web when I came across this particular score for “The Mummy”. I ran it through its paces in MuseScore and it sounded polished to me – at least as far a “polished” goes for MuseScore, which although a capable scoring program, has all the sound “quality” of a tuna can. Still, you can hear past that defect and get a feel for what it would sound like in a proper music sequencer.
I really did not need to edit the score much, except for a few gremlins that showed up when outputting it as a musicxml file. The biggest problem is importing it into Dorico – Dorico uses logic to determine the type of instrument, whether it is pitched, pitched percussion, or plain percussive, and knows most of the available articulations and playing techniques for an instrument as well. The problem with importing a file is if the instrument names are not in a language that Dorico recognizes that instrument name in. This will cause problems later because Dorico will simply assume an unknown instrument is a pitched one – and it is extremely hard to convert it to a percussive one if that’s what it truly is.
The solution to my problem was to go through those (French in this case) instrument names and convert them to English before exporting musicxml. That done, the next step is to hook up all the instruments and sections to various sampler libraries. For the majority of this, I used the Iconica Sections and Players library from Steinberg. It is a big step up from the Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 library that I have and have used for years. The Iconica libraries are multi-mic’d, which gives me more control of the orchestra sound by choosing which microphone positions to include in the mix. For this composition, I used a mix of close mics and the center Decca tree to get a stage ambience.
My overall goal with this composition was to create a sound just like a real Hollywood soundtrack. I think I did pretty well in achieving it, and I learned a thing or two as well. Enjoy.