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Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside By Paul Farrer
Published July 2015

“If you could just split it out into individual words, then I  can fine–tune the sentences as I  read...”“If you could just split it out into individual words, then I can fine–tune the sentences as I read...”

It’s always vital to give the client what they want. Even if what they want makes no sense.

Hi Paul! Greetings from a dark edit suite in sunny LA! Thanks for the last track you sent over. Amazing. We all love it. It really captures the emotional emptiness of the scene and reflects beautifully the desolation and hopeless feeling of the script at that point. I like to work with submixes and stems so I can balance the levels of everything here in the dub so it doesn’t crowd out the dialogue too much. Can you send them over for this piece as well? Many thanks.

Hi Chad. Glad you like it and that it’s working well. I’m not sure what you mean when you ask for submixes. There’s not a lot going on in this track to mix out. What do you suggest?

Hi Paul. Sorry for not being clear enough. I’m known as a bit of a control freak round these parts. I have a background in music production so for the last 15 years as a programme maker whenever I’ve used music I always have to have (along with the full mix) all the individual track elements as separate files. Then I can play with the mix as we go along and fine–tune it to the other sound elements to make sure it all beds in perfectly. I drive the guys nuts here working this way, but it gets the best results.

Hi Chad. I get that, but there’s not much I can give you for this track. It’s kind of just a complete recording as it is. And I can’t think of any other way to present it to you. I could send it to you without any reverb, I suppose. Would that help?

Hi Paul. No, I need the submixes of it. I always have to have the submixes. Everyone else has always been able to provide these, and if we can’t mix the individual elements I’m afraid we won’t be able to use your music in this project at this time.

Hi Chad. It’s a solo piano. Would you like me to add some more elements to it, in case you need to make it sound fuller? I can certainly add some strings. That would give you some options.

Hi Paul. No please don’t add anything. I feel you’re still not hearing me about needing the submixes of it. I want to be able balance all the elements at the point of mixing, and at the moment, it’s just too inflexible for what we need.

Hi Chad. Would you like me to record a different version of the same thing but with fewer notes in? I could certainly make an emptier arrangement with more space.

Hi Paul. No. Please don’t change any of the music. It’s perfect. The notes are exactly where they need to be. I’m just worried about not having any mix options to play with.

Hi Chad. Attached to this email is a link to an online folder with 5GB of WAV files in. I’ve recreated the piece in my DAW software programme using a sampled piano and have mixed each individual note in the place it occurs in the song as a WAV file. I’ve also given you a separate recording of the reverb of each note. Each of these recordings is presented as a stereo file, and left and right channels individually. You’ll see there are 16,480 WAV files in the folder (at both 44.1 and 48 kHz), and if you start them all at position 00:12:04:08:13, you should be able to pick which notes you want to favour and which ones you don’t like.

Hope that helps.