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EhTar

War Horse - For Your Consideration Promotional CD

126 posts in this topic

For War Horse, it almost seems like Williams recorded multiple takes of many cues, and the music editors went off and chose the ones to use for the film and WIlliams went off and chose the ones to use for the album without the two parties concerning themselves with what the other used.

I think it's the other way around (Williams chose the takes for the film and the music editors the ones for the album), but I guess Williams had a word for the OST as well. However, in the official EPK interview Williams clearly says that the performance for this score was something quite important to get exactly right. I guess there are a lot of alternates lying around on the cutting room floor :)

On a sidenote, I think it's possibile to create an expanded edit of the score using both the OST and the FYC, but it's a job that requires time to study and analyze carefully both CDs before attempting at it.

Also, did someone else noticed that the FYC sounds a tad better than the OST? I listened to it only once, but it seems there's less artificial reverb added and a dryer, leaner sound which seems more natural.

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My mind has gone back and forth several times about either merging the two sets, or keeping them separate.

The problem is that most of it seems to be, at its most basic, difference performances of the same material, but it seems very weird to have essentially two albums of the same score.

I'm probably leaning towards this though, because if you tried merging the two, filling in the FYC gaps using the OST, then it's going to mix alternate version material into an otherwise film version cue. It would probably sound fine, but somehow unsatisfactory for the inner geek in me.

But then if you wanted to listen to the album you've got to decide which one...

But great work on the analysis Jay :) And to save you too much deliberation over the credits: it's basically a different piece of music. Too much stuff has been moved around or tracked from other cues. Crap knows why they did this... length maybe, and Williams didn't want to record a new one?

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There's less alternate performances than it may seem, as I pointed out above only 3 minutes worth.

I'll be posting my recipe for making an expanded score out of the two CDs later on today. I'll be favoring the FYC whenever possible as it generally sounds better and features the film versions of cues anyway. The album versions alternates will make up an optional bonus section.

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But great work on the analysis Jay :) And to save you too much deliberation over the credits: it's basically a different piece of music. Too much stuff has been moved around or tracked from other cues. Crap knows why they did this... length maybe, and Williams didn't want to record a new one?

The film's End Credits seems an editorial job made up of "The Homecoming", "Dartmoor", "The Reunion" and other pieces.

As I said in one of the TIntin threads, I guess Williams doesn't have the finalized end credit reel at his disposal when he writes the score. He probably has a rough timing and he writes one or two pieces in concert-like arrangement that could be used for the purpose and then leaves the decision to the sound mixers/music editors on how to use it. In the case of War Horse, I think he wrote "The Homecoming" as a concert suite specifically for the album (and I'm sure he will also use it for future concert performances), but also as end credits music.

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I'll still go through it second by second and find where all the pieces came from as well as what parts are not on the OST. I just was falling asleep at the keyboard last night so couldn't do it then.

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Strange that in both cases of Tintin and WH the FYC promos sounds better than the album counterparts...

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The UE of TPM sounds better than its OST too.

It's like the recording engineer makes great mixes that are used in the films, but after Williams arranges his OST they do some tinkering to the sound that results in it sounding not as good. This has been a problem forever, compare the muddled sound of the Star Wars LP compared to the 1997 SE discs. Hook has the same problem as well.

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True, only the labels seem to be able to get widely accepted references in sound quality. It will be interesting if they will also be able to improve upon the sound qualities of such already great sounding FYC promos when they will be released in complete presentations 10-20 years from now on...

The TPM UE mix is probably the best orchestral mix for any score i have ever heard... and the TPM album is a real letdown in comparison

In my opinion the most glaring differences between the FYC and the OST releases often can be found in reduced bass frequencies for the albums. Of course there is also the added reverb for most album releases. Strangely there are some odd exceptions too.

In the albums "No Man's land" track the bass BOOOMS are much more prominent than on the FYC film version of the cue. Therefore i prefer the album version for this cue...

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I think the problem with the OSTs is mainly compression (i.e. loudness), which takes out dynamic range. This is a real plague for the recording industry since the beginning of the century. Of course an album like War Horse still sounds natural even with these little artifacts when compared to contemporary rock/pop albums, but when you hear the music without these tinkerings you notice there's much more in it (it was quite clear also in the HPPS recording sessions).

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Agreed. Both Tintin and War Horse suffer from so much compression they sound like mp3s in parts.

I'm glad we spent money on the FYCs. I just wish they had included more music!

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Agreed. Both Tintin and War Horse suffer from so much compression they sound like mp3s in parts.

I'm glad we spent money on the FYCs. I just wish they had included more music!

Yup the FYC CDs definitely sound better than the OSTs.

And Williams should be a hungry young composer out to make name for himself so he would promote himself with double FYC CD sets. ;)

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Even if the War Horse FYC disc had included ALL the cues that were on the OST it would have been nice. Then we'd get To The Auction, The Duck, the lead-in cues for Whistling Montage and Plowing, Ruined Crop, and The Execution. Of course, it would be even better it if contained wholly unreleased cues like The Package or Over The Hill

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I think the problem with the OSTs is mainly compression (i.e. loudness), which takes out dynamic range. This is a real plague for the recording industry since the beginning of the century. Of course an album like War Horse still sounds natural even with these little artifacts when compared to contemporary rock/pop albums, but when you hear the music without these tinkerings you notice there's much more in it (it was quite clear also in the HPPS recording sessions).

I've never had a problem with the degree of compression on most soundtrack albums. If the dynamic range is wider, I just end up riding the volume control with my finger anyhow...I'm essentially applying compression manually every time I listen. As long as the compression is handled tastefully, it's not a problem for me.

And Jason, the mp3-ish sound wouldn't be a result of this type of compression...we're talking about making the loud parts softer and the soft parts louder, which can definitely sound bad in excess, but it wouldn't produce the weird mp3-ish artifacts you hear in a few parts of both scores. I don't know why those are there, but it makes me really sad. :(

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Hmm ok. The mp3-ish sounds seemed to occur when something like a high pitched horn note was played really loud, so I figured they were related.

At least we have the FYC for a better version of just about every cue that was selected for the OST.

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Yeah, those are the moments when it's noticeable. I guess it's possible that it could have caused it somehow, but I've never heard of that happening before.

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Of course compression is not bad per se. If used gently and with intelligence, it could help to have a consistent sound without giving out dynamic range. Williams' album in general don't suffer from heavy compression and in fact both War Horse and Tintin OSTs sound pretty great compared to many orchestral film scores of today. But there are a few little artifacts here and there.

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Faire nough. :) I'm curious - do you (or anyone else) think the parts that sound like lossy compression artifacts could have been caused by dynamic range compression?

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I'm glad we spent money on the FYCs. I just wish they had included more music!

We? If I would have known a collection was being taken, I would have gladly contributed. :)

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Seeing the film and listening to the FYC made appreciate this score even more than I did before. Even the intense listening over the past few months has not diminished my appreciation. And hearing more music from the film in the form of FYC was a great and delightful surprise, something I did not even dare to dream of. We can complain about the missing material in both Tintin's and War Horse's case but the fact is that this is more than we got from previous Williams' scores in such a short time after the release of the film and OST. :)

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Finally had time to analyze the film/FYC end credits:

[0:00-0:21] = UNRELEASED SEGMENT

[0:21-1:01] = OST 16 4:20-5:00

[1:01-1:38] = OST 16 5:18-5:55

[1:38-3:11] = OST 16 6:02-7:34

[3:11-3:17] = OST 16 7:50-7:59

[3:17-4:28] = OST 01 0:17-2:28

[4:28-4:56] = OST 16 0:32-1:01

[4:56-5:28] = OST 16 1:07-1:39

[5:28-6:48] = OST 16 2:26-3:34

[6:48-7:51] = OST 14 0:36-1:39

[7:51-end ] = OST 06 4:30-end

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Good work Jason! :)

It really shows how editorially the film version of the end credits was created.

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Yup seems as though The Homecoming is indeed his intended End Credits suite, and he just recording 2 different opening flute solos

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So did anybody do a breakdown of this and the OST, see what goes where and what's different?

Don't tell me to read the last few pages of discussion, I'm talking about an organized list. ;)

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Well on the previous page there is a detailed break-down of the score on the FYC by Jason and my quick guide to combining OST and FYC to make an expanded score. ;)

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Finally had time to analyze the film/FYC end credits:

[0:00-0:21] = UNRELEASED SEGMENT

To me this sounds as the same take form the OST but slowed down artificially.

I am wrong, right? (I hope so)

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I don't understand why the (brief) opening in the FYC version of Dartmoor was left off the album. It's a much better introduction to the score.

I agree

Yes it is another mysterious JW album compiling decision since the material edited out does not exactly hinder the listening experience, on the contrary.

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John Williams prefers to present his scores on Cd in a way that he considers it to be a better listening experience on it's own.

Surely Richard, you would not dare to question John Williams, who is a grammy winning composer and record producer?

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John Williams prefers to present his scores on Cd in a way that he considers it to be a better listening experience on it's own.

Surely Richard, you would not dare to question John Williams, who is a grammy winning composer and record producer?

So, Thor, you found Stefan's account password... How did you do that?

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Surely Richard, you would not dare to question John Williams, who is a grammy winning composer and record producer?

Hans Zimmer has won four Grammy awards -- only one fifth as many as John Williams, but four more than you and me combined plus three -- and has also produced a bajillion records, yet he is never exempt from questioning.

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