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karelm

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karelm last won the day on April 17

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  1. Queen's final knight John Williams to be honoured after creating music for many blockbuster films | Daily Mail Online
  2. Coincidentally, here is another John Mauceri recording. First of all, I think very highly of Puccini's last, unfinished opera, Turandot. This recording with Pavarotti and Zubin Mehta/LPO is superb! but many feel the ending by F. Alfano abridged by Toscanini to not live up to the rest of the opera. Here is John Mauceri's thrilling conclusion using the original finale F. Alfano composed and I love it!
  3. Here are a few examples - mic placement will have a big impact on the sound. For instance, Don Williams said he can tell if the engineer knows what they're doing by how close they have the timpani mic to the drum. Sometimes it will be just a few feet from the drum but some of the overtones are around twelve feet, so the sound of the drum won't be what you hear in the room because if the mic is three feet above the drum, it's not getting all the low frequencies! The resulting sound will be tight and emphasize higher overtones. This introduces a different challenge, mic bleed. You will get phasing issues if the timpani mic captures the bass drum (just as an example) so you want an assortment of mics with different recording patterns to minimize phasing issues. In addition, JW likes the mix to be in the room - meaning that the orchestra is already balanced and as long as the room is accurately captured, it should sound good. This means more reliance on the room mics like the decca tree and rear mics. That is a more classical approach and is not the trend today. Especially since lots of scores are striped - recorded in sections so only strings get recorded, then separately, only brass for example. Sometimes there is an A part and a B part of the strings, and the producer (er composer) can mix and match in post what part they use and how much of it. You can't do that in a room recording. It's also not unusual to record in different halls. I understand Pirates of the Caribbean did this so you might get the orchestra recorded in LA but the choir recorded in London and extra brass recorded their too then all mixed together. It's just an example of very different approaches and trends and they surely impact the final sound. I think the mic placement is an interesting one - I've mentioned this in other posts but sitting next to instruments is not the most interesting sound. They don't have their "true" characteristic sound up close. A powerful brass section might sound loud but tinny. Mics up close get more of that "tinny" sound. Generally, you mix the room with the spot mics to balance the issues each introduce. A double bass is very quiet up close but projects into the room and also has lots of subharmonic frequencies making other instruments sound louder (or fuller), these are examples of the complex considerations a mixer and engineer have to contend with. One other point that is worth mentioning - this is a chart of normal hearing loss with age. In short, the dark line at the top shows young people (in this sample 15-19 year olds) with normal hearing across all frequencies up to around 16,000 hz. 40 year olds will not hear above 14khz - the frequencies you hear drop as you age. By 70 there is almost 100% hearing loss above 10khz. So, though I have no insight to JW's hearing, the fact that he's 90, if we assume he has average hearing, he probably can't hear above about 6-8khz anymore. Include to that a lifetime of music which isn't great for hearing, it might not even be that good. It's worth pointing out that his hearing is probably better than anyone in that age, but the simple fact of his age generally impacts how good his hearing is and if he's the one approving final mixes, he's not hearing the nuances he once did. I think his engineers are all pros and know his sound well but as already mentioned, technology, styles and approaches change over time and what he might like now, might not be what he would have picked earlier in his career. Generally, instruments don't go near this high but there is a "sheen" or sparkle in those upper frequencies which he probably can no longer even hear though he knows is there. Just an opinion.
  4. Yes - that's what I've been saying!!! The mixer is the bulk of the sound! You can tell a good mixer to give me that Abbey Road sound in LA. But not many ask for that now. It's too retro. Think of it this way. Can a great chef make a great meal with mediocre ingredients? Generally, yes someone who is a master in their craft can make wonders with something subpar. Someone who doesn't know what they're doing can't do much with even the best quality ingredients. It's the same with the mix. They might not be able to make gold out of crap but sometimes, the highest quality craftmanship will exceed poorly handled gems.
  5. Oh do it! The Maestro isn't getting any younger! I have so many personal memories around JW and non are regretted. The first time I saw him in concert was in the mid 1990's and I still remember it as a major deal.
  6. I thought the very same about the last 15 minutes of CEOTK. The music does 90% of the story telling with characters just looking in awe and it is a far more complex set of emotions that film's ending conveys. Mystery + hope + fear + reunions + longing + joy + wonder + etc. I've also heard this very same passage of E.T. pointed out by musicians about what they dislike most about Spielberg + JW. I personally love it very much partially because I was a lonely young kid in the audience when I first saw and heard this film, Elliots age, and the film and score were incredibly moving and any time I hear it, I revisit my childhood. It hits all the nostalgia checkboxes like Spielberg and JW do so well. I remember before E.T. was released, they really teased this up as a sequel to CEOTK of sorts. CEOTK had a page in magazines just showing a road with a light at the end which was incredibly mysterious. E.T. teased...first he scared us with Jaws, then entertained us...
  7. So much of this comes down to the mix and how involved JW is in the final mix. For composers, attending a mix is quite painful as for each cue you listen to very bad mixes slowly getting tweaked. Generally, the mixer doesn't want any feedback until they're ready to show it to you because it's very much unfinished. For instance, they'll solo the trumpet mic which is guaranteed to sound awful as they tweak frequencies in that mic, then add the trumpet to a tree and tweak some more then move on to horns and to the same, then combine trumpet and horns with decca tree, etc., none of which is close to what it should sound like. This process is done for each instrumental group and when they are done, they'll ask for composer's comments. JW being a veteran already knows all this so I very seriously doubt he attends the mix and probably gets a finished mix to give feedback. In some cases, like Warhorse and Tintin, where both happened very close to each other, it's possible there was more delegation. Additionally, there are multiple mixers, and they don't have the exact same "sound". There is a clear and major sound difference between Eric Tomlinson (vintage LSO scores) and Shawn Murphy (prequel LSO scores). Additionally, technology and aesthetics change over time. 1980's used lots of reverb. Similarly, prequels had lots of reverb (to me, they used even more reverb). 2020's drier, more authentic acoustic recording is the style. Additionally, mixing consoles evolve/devolve. Let me explain. I'm a purist and absolutely adore the vintage 1970's vacuum tube mixing console sound of the NEVE preamps - these were used in Abbey Road. The problem is they're no longer made. Now, it's usually a chip that emulates the NEVE sound - EVEN ON THE NEVE gear! That means if you buy a contemporary NEVE preamp, it will be an emulation and to purists, have a different color than the vintage vacuum tube gear that went out of fashion. I can hear the difference in sound even though it's the same product because the tech is no longer the same. This is true for each and every component. A pro recording engineer I worked with used this analogy which I like. He brings his own vintage gear to record orchestras because the microphone membrane is more sensitive to vibrations than the exact same mic if it's new. The analogy he used was of a baseball glove that is very stiff when new but over time, the leather softens and relaxes and moves much more easily. This is the same with the microphone vibrating membrane that captures sound. So, a 1960's era Neumann mic could be superior to a 2022 modern era version of the very same mic. All these factors play a role in making it sound, well different. I think a really great test is to hear the vintage recording in a remaster and how great it sounds (compare Jaws original OST to the intrada 2CD, same with E.T. and Close Encounters. Note that Jaws, E.T., Close Encounters were recorded at Fox Newmann scoring stage with most of the same players. Horner's Avatar was recorded at the same stage in 2009. Of course, mostly different players and sound engineer plus mixer. I know some of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was also recorded at UCLA Royce Hall - a concert hall that I happen to like the acoustics of. There are so many variables at play.
  8. I don't know if "crazy" is the right word. He's very, very lucky that he can do that. There are some fantastic composers that can't do that for many reasons and lacking talent or capability aren't any of them. Richard Kraft mentioned that Goldsmith was quite frustrated that he didn't have the success of Williams. He said that Goldsmith's frustration was that he never found his Spielberg and Lucas. Random chance is a great part of success in career and life. This allowed JW to be able to be choosey on his projects for the bulk of his career. Very, very few people ever get that opportunity despite their talent. On top of this, JW is obsessively driven. Many might consider Goldsmith to be the more "cerebral" or "expressionist" composer but lots of this is based on the directors he collaborated with. JW could easily have been known for the experimental route too, but he got connected with New Wave or Hollywood Renaissance who were progressive but retro. He's the very, very rare guy who could deliver the goods but also won several lotteries. Another reason why there may never be another JW. Our Johnny is not just a result of a perfect storm of rare circumstances but multiple rare perfect storms.
  9. Thanks @Jayand @Omen II I am starting to understand. It's complicated but as I understand it, Imperial means "of the empire". So, an empire is an extensive group of states or countries (or worlds in the case of the galactic empire) under a single supreme authority, an emperor or empress. So, an Imperial State Crown means it doesn't belong to the Queen per se but to the Empire the queen leads. As I recall, in Star Wars there is mention to the "Imperial Senate" which I would imagine is a tool of the Galactic Empire sort of like in Ancient Rome, the Senate was eventually corrupt with their power and either served the emperor (Caeser) or killed him because he stood in their way. Star Wars used that as a model of the Galactic Empire where Darth Plagueis the Wise learned how to resurrect the dead and killed his master once he learned this power to become the first galactic Emperor.
  10. Whenever a copyrighted song is arranged, transcribed or adapted for orchestra, the right to create the arrangement, transcription or adaptation rests solely with the copyright owner. Under the US Copyright Act [section 106(2)], the copyright owner is granted the exclusive right “to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work.” The arranger would own the copyright of the arrangement if they have the right to create a derivative work or if it is public domain and the composer would have the ownership of the original creation. It's sort of similar to publishing and composing that these are split. These things get very complex - a recording is different ownership as well. So a Beethoven arrangement you just arranged, the work is in public domain so permission isn't needed, you would own the copyright of the arrangement, if recorded, someone else would own the recording, and if published, someone else could own the published arrangement.
  11. My opinion: 1. JW cares very much about the music he has written and its quality. 2. Some of his music, he refines and tweaks frequently where adjustments are made many of which noticeable only to him. He might cringe at earlier versions that are out there and has the right to say the newest version is the "official" one that gets performed. 3. JW is very busy handling music activities therefore has delegated to... 4. ...someone else to manage and oversee his extensive music library from a legal and business perspective and it's not the same person. One might be a lawyer, perhaps Disney lawyers, the other is most likely JAKMS (Mark Graham). 5. These people represent JW and the Copyright Owner's interest and have authority to execute on behalf of JW and there are general guidelines they have such as "No unauthorized duplication or arrangements permitted" as a broad stroke approach to addressing the volume and general quality. 6. There are incredibly talented and capable arrangers out there and some very respectful to the source material that would probably delight JW but due to #5, might not get heard unless JW knows them personally or there is some other "in" to get an audience with him otherwise, it's less important to him than #3. 7. He has every right to this. Copyright is a fundamental right of artists and here in America was so important it was a law almost as long as the Constitution (US Constitution was ratified in 1788 and the very first congress made Copyright a law just two years later in 1790 to support and encourage creative artists like authors, poets, inventors, map makers, composers too). I don't get exactly what the point of your thread is, a complaint that unauthorized arrangers are being treated unfairly by JW because of unlicensed use of his IP?
  12. @Drew, This is a copyright issue. Nothing to do with JW. Musicnotes sells arrangements. Making any arrangement is a duplication, and permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. I've made arrangements of dead composers' music and it is public domain in some countries and under copyright in other countries (Puccini, Rachmaninoff, etc). When it is not in public domain (like all of JW's music), the copyright owner can grant or prevent the right to copy the music. If Musicnotes did not profit from this music, they would likely not have a copyright claim. For example, student orchestras frequently play arrangements where the concerts are free/nonprofit or educational. If they charge a fee, they must abide by the copyright owner's rules. That is exactly what the youtuber email you posted is describing. This is every artist's right - to have a right as to who uses their music unless permission is granted. When the music is purchased, it includes a right for use. In Musicnotes case, they didn't purchase it and used it without permission - the copyright owner said stop. Additionally, the odds are good that this is not JW but Disney. Disney owns the music and recording (it was owned by Lucasarts before the sell to Disney). Disney says a school can't use the image of Mickey Mouse because they own the concept (Intellectual Property) of the character that is Mickey Mouse. Think of it this way, the Beatles music is very prized property because it is incredibly recognizable. Should that music be used in pornography? The Beatles who created that musical idea have ownership of who uses the music and how it gets used. That is what is happening here. Kevin Kiner can adapt the Star Wars music for his purposes because he was hired by the copyright owner, Disney, to score their projects. JW might hate what he did and doesn't have any legal ground to object. He might be given some opportunity to weigh in but this isn't legal, but respectful. If someone uses the music for non-profit uses such as educational or satirical, they have very little grounds of preventing this due to 1st amendment rights. The "John Williams declares war on sheet music" title of this thread is completely misleading and uninformed. The response from the copyright owner makes complete sense.
  13. What does Imperial mean? As in, the Queen wore the Imperial Crown?
  14. It might be. The Academy loves love letters to itself, and this film appears to be that.
  15. This is an excerpt from a concert overture of mine from 2017. Here performed by the Prague Symphony. 713716233_ER-Editend.wav
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