A break in transmission


No posts in the last few weeks due to editing, revising and making sure I am communicating all the musical intensions through the score and individual parts to Deranged Drums on Digital Vistas.  Not an easy task as once one discrepancy has been identified then a number of edits need to made to make the music consistent throughout.

When I used to handwrite the manuscript editing was a straightforward procedure, one sweep of the pen on the part and a similar one on the score and all was complete.  The computer is less intuitive, the score has to be exact before any parts are extracted or there is a process of putting the edit on the part, save, open score, edit the appropriate line, save, check that the edit does not affect other lines, make more edits, save, open other parts, make edits, save…  Then save everything to disk, a memory stick and maybe even place it in another format just to make sure one copy survives for future reference or editing.

Even in the studio the action of editing and mixing is often the most time consuming element of any project.  The recording session is only the start and making sure that what is recorded is the best for timing, intonation, energy, emotion, sound quality… is the key element to a successful editing and mixing practice.  Knowing what is required from the session and requesting re-takes until the performance matches expectations is another crucial element in achieving a productive session.  Software can change what has been recorded a considerable amount but this form of editing needs time and an expert engineer whereas striving for a good performance during the session can save hours or days of editing. 

It is difficult to see or hear all the small details that make a difference at the first proofreading or playback during the session but if you have an instinct that something is just not right then have another look or ask for another take.  This may save you hours of retracing your steps to eventually make the music as you imagined.

The written music is now complete, 230+ pages of score and 147 individual parts have been edited and are ready for performance.  The premiere performance (with recording) is the next project to be undertaken.  First calculations show that it will cost around £2,500 to pay all the performers and recording engineers at a fair rate so fundraising starts now.  

I am back blogging now so will keep you up to date with the methods I use and if they are successful and hope you can exploit some of the more rewarding strategies in the future.


© Peter R. Birkby 2014


About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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