Video Scoring Project
For this assignment, we’ll create music to go with an excerpt from
an abstract video by Claudia Rohrmoser. Everyone will score the same clip, so that we can
profit from seeing a wide variety of solutions to the same problem.
The video clip is in the “Course Materials” folder on your
Desktop in 304, inside “spring/Video Project/.”
In tutorial we’ll learn how to import this into a DP project, so that you
can watch the video while playing your music and synchronize sound to specific
video frames. Then you’ll bounce the project to a QuickTime video file
for playback during one of the Tuesday classes.
The basic process...
There are many aesthetic issues to think about when scoring video. Here
are just a few.
- Copy the movie file into your project folder.
- In a new DP project, use Project > Movie, and select the
- When you operate the transport of the DP sequence, the movie window
transport follows along, and vice versa.
- If you want to see individual video frames lined up with the audio
and MIDI tracks, then open Sequence view, reveal the list of
tracks at the left of the view, and highlight the Movie track. When
you’re zoomed out, you may see only one out of, say, 30 frames.
(There are about 30 frames per second.) If you zoom in, you can see
- Before doing much scoring, you should insert Markers into the timeline
to help you know where specific places in the video begin (e.g., a scene
change, an event you want to synchronize sound with, etc.).
- It’s a good idea to enable the timecode ruler, so that you can
become more familiar with this way of measuring time: Setup >
Time Formats, and click the Frames radio button near the top of the
dialog. Using the other controls, you can set up several rulers that
use different time formats.
- If you want to set the frame rate of the sequence to reflect the frame
rate of the video, choose Setup > Frame Rate > 29.97 fps
Drop. This is not critical for our work, since our video is fairly
short, and we’re not collaborating with others.
- If you use the Kurzweil for any tracks, then remember to record its
audio output into the sequence before you bounce. Read
- To bounce your sequence to a video file, select a time range that
includes all the sound (including reverb tails, etc.), then choose
Audio > Bounce to Disk. Choose QuickTime Export Movie
from the Format pop-up menu. You can accept the default options you see
in the next dialog.
- Be sensitive to overload. Now that you have video as well as audio,
you might leave a little room, so that the person watching/listening to
the video is not overwhelmed.
- There is a sort of counterpoint between sound events and video events.
In polyphonic music, multiple lines have a combination of simultaneous
change and complementary movement. So do the musical and visual elements
of a scored video. For example, you might coordinate the music and image
so that a sudden sound change coincides with a new video shot. This can
create a powerful accent. Or you might have the sound anticipate a video
scene change by a few seconds. (This often happens with dialog in a film,
where you hear a character moments before a visual scene change that
shows the character talking.)
- It can be distracting, and sometimes unintentionally amusing, to have
the music and video events moving in lock-step. The technical term for
this is “mickey-mousing,” since this practice figures
prominently in cartoons. Doing this will weaken the impact of places
where it’s really important to have the sound and video change
- At the same time, you may not want the music to have no
connection to the visuals. One way to make them seem connected is to
have occasional simultaneous change.