Monthly Archives: June 2014

Here’s a peak at what film composers’ work desks look like. I’m working a 90-second orchestral musical number. We recorded 7 singers solo plus in 3 duo pairings. Here is what the “assembly”, or “comping” of the best takes looks like in Pro Tools.

This is the first pass, but the editing won’t get much messier from here.

I imagine this is nothing compared to what the dialogue editors routinely face. Then again, I’m only showing you the vocals, the 80-piece orchestra we recorded resides in another Pro Tool session. 😉

Posted 2 years ago by John Piscitello

How does a composer improve at writing for tuba and cimbasso?

Mike Patti of Cinesamples asks him what a composer can do to be more original for tuba. Doug points out tuba is actually an agile solo instrument, citing Jabba the Hut’s scene in Return of the Jedi. It’s also a common misconception that the tuba is inherently loud, but it can be rather quiet and light in all its ranges (which makes it resourceful as a doubler of bassoons and cellos).

Composers love loud tuba blaaats for combat music, but often write too low. Below the staff, the tuba has trouble being loud. Watch as Doug demonstrates bringing a D up from below the staff to the middle and how much louder he can play it.

I can’t get enough of hearing musicians talk about their instruments. There will always be more to learn.

Posted 2 years ago by John Piscitello

How to make drawings seem alive…in a sample based and EDM musical world, these are good to keep in mind  (and makes me think of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories – by using more live instruments, it’s  a reaction against the lack of life and breath that can creep into electronic music):


[vimeo 93206523 ]
Posted 2 years ago by John Piscitello