Jump to content

What do you think about JW's practice of microediting tracks for OSTs?


Jurassic Shark
 Share

What do you think about JW's practice of microediting tracks for OSTs?  

56 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think about JW's practice of microediting tracks for OSTs?

    • I usually think it improves the track.
    • Sometimes it improves the track, sometimes it worsens it.
    • I usually think it worsens the track.
    • I don't care this way or that way as long as the album as a whole comes together on a structural level.


Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, Jurassic Shark said:

That's the middle option.

 

Well, not quite, because that option insinuates an involvement in it; to the extent that you draw a value judgement. Personally, I don't care this way or that way as long as the album as a whole comes together on a structural level.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Thor said:

 

Well, not quite, because that option insinuates an involvement in it; to the extent that you draw a value judgement. Personally, I don't care this way or that way as long as the album as a whole comes together on a structural level.

 

Option added. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah. I'm all for that the composer changes the music for it to work well outside the film, but JW's music is usually so well structured that it sounds good without any editing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most examples I can think of like Desert Chase, Schindler's Workforce, only significantly worsen the cues and I'll never understand why he does that to his own music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I think it has a lot to do with structure.

The music as he writes it is mostly very well structured and it's all the cutting bits out and badly joining it with unrelated cues that messes it up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Imo, it always lessens the track, unless he is trying to make a pseudo concert version out of different parts of the score: ie Irina's theme, Window to the past...

 

God kills a kitten everytime Williams microedits out the best part of a cue: Rescuing sarah, Anakin's dark deeds...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Holko said:

Most examples I can think of like Desert Chase, Schindler's Workforce, only significantly worsen the cues and I'll never understand why he does that to his own music.

OK. I have to agree in these examples. On the other hand I always prefered the OST version of E.T.'s "Abandoned And Pursued" over the film version.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, GerateWohl said:

On the other hand I always prefered the OST version of E.T.'s "Abandoned And Pursued" over the film version.

That's no microedit, that's a rewritten rerecorded version.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is tough.  I answered it usually worsens the track, because of Desert Chase and Rescuing Sarah.  And all of TPM.  They stick out like sore thumbs.

 

But these are scores I know backwards and forwards.  So there may be micro edits in Minority Report or A.I. where I'm not aware of improvement, because of my lesser familiarity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like I understand why he does this, and sometimes it does indeed help the flow. When it's done well, it's not obvious that a cut has occurred, and it can be a good way to tighten up the musical narrative.

 

But a lot of the time, we do indeed end up with really great material being cut, material that would work perfectly well as part of an album listening experience. So I voted for "usually worsens," although I'd be more likely to use the word "often." 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Williams lies when he said he was not interested in releasing complete scores.

 

The microediting seems to make expanded scores worthy of buying them! :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 21/02/2022 at 6:31 AM, GerateWohl said:

OK. I have to agree in these examples. On the other hand I always prefered the OST version of E.T.'s "Abandoned And Pursued" over the film version.

 

"Abandoned And Pursued" is a concert arrangement recorded specifically for the album on the film's final day of recording sessions.  It's of course based heavily on the film cue "1M2 Keyes Arrives" (more commonly known as "E.T. Alone"), but it's not an edited version of that film cue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 21/02/2022 at 11:24 AM, Not Mr. Big said:

"The Last Jedi"

 

This really is a great example of microedits done right for an OST listening experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When Williams edits out a portion of a cue, it's generally to improve the flow;  Usually it's when a film cue with one general rhythm or drive takes a detour for a bit due to the needs of the film.  By removing that from the album experience the piece maintains an energy throughout, which I guess he often feels is optimal.  So I understand why he does it, and often the result is perfectly especially if you have no idea what's missing, as these kinds of cuts are often very smooth.

 

What works less for me is when he takes music from different parts of the film and joins them together, this can often be jarring (even if you haven't seen the film) and for me does a bigger disservice to the music that the in-cue edits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I chose #3, but my real answer would be somewhere in between 2 and 3. The vast majority of the time I think the editing is very disjointed, and in some cases quite sloppy, but there are very rare cases where (even though I'd prefer the unaltered cues) a nice arrangement is made. For example, although "Main Title and Ambush on Coruscant" is made up of 4 cues, and has nothing to do with the actual opening of the film, I enjoy the overall flow of it and think it opens the album presentation nicely. The editing could've used some improvement though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Voted "usually worsens", but I'm possibly being too specific here. I differentiate between micro edits and macro edits. Micro edits are when bits are removed (usually), added, or changed in the middle of a longer arc, or in relatively short succession. Macro edits are when two cues not related in the film are edited together, like on the JP album, or HP3's Whomping Willow/Snowball Fight. The latter usually work rather well at least on a cue level (the flow on an album level may be debatable). The former often don't, either because the edits are too obvious, or because once you know the full cue (which usually flows well as written), the missing/changed bit is harmful in comparison.

 

Sometimes changes are in between. For example, I don't really know how to classify the Lincoln album. It flows wonderfully on a macro level (i.e. the sequence of tracks and parts of tracks has a fine flow), but I find the edits - often crossfades between quite differently orchestrated cues - themselves increasingly obvious and grating.

 

Specifically written album/concert versions are an entirely different matter, and are usually excellent. They represent the best of both worlds in that they can combine different parts for their musical compatibility without having to accept the collateral damage of mismatched edits without musically appropriate transitions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 21/02/2022 at 6:06 AM, Jurassic Shark said:

I think it has a lot to do with structure.

 

Perhaps @Ludwig has some thoughts to share on this?

 

Williams' film music has a very improvisational feel to it (understandably given his jazz background) and I think it serves his highly coordinated style of scoring very well, catching and clarifying many of the nuances of the events onscreen. And because the feeling in his scores can change on a dime, it can be microedited so as to improve the flow, as @Jay says, removing bits that may interrupt that continuity. If his music were more constantly thematic, say more like How to Train Your Dragon, it probably couldn't be microedited very well. That said, I agree with many here that it's the choices that are made on the OSTs as to what it microedited and how that can sometimes detract from the cue's flow.

 

But I think his music probably fares better than many would with such editing because of the improvisational aspect, meaning that we don't usually feel that the music must go any particular place, only that when it does, it creates an appropriate kind of emotional shape for the scene at hand. I think that's probably one of the (many!) reasons why we love his music so much, anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, the vast majority of JW's music doesn't need micro-editing. His music has a logical musical flow and structure and sometimes his micro-edits disrupt that flow and structure for something shorter and more direct, but to the detriment of the music itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can anyone point to the first known micro-edit?  Was this something that only came around with digital recording?  But no, if it happened on "The Desert Chase," then that can't be.  Was Ken Wannberg snipping tape reels in the '70s and '80s to eliminate ten-second bursts of music?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, igger6 said:

Was Ken Wannberg snipping tape reels in the '70s and '80s to eliminate ten-second bursts of music?

 

Yea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Jay said:

 

"Abandoned And Pursued" is a concert arrangement recorded specifically for the album on the film's final day of recording sessions.  It's of course based heavily on the film cue "1M2 Keyes Arrives" (more commonly known as "E.T. Alone"), but it's not an edited version of that film cue.

But is then the OST version of The Desert Chase really a micro edited version? The film version has as well additional percussion. That's why I thought, it might be also a separate recording.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, igger6 said:

Can anyone point to the first known micro-edit?  Was this something that only came around with digital recording?  But no, if it happened on "The Desert Chase," then that can't be.  Was Ken Wannberg snipping tape reels in the '70s and '80s to eliminate ten-second bursts of music?

 

Close Encounters, Star Wars, Superman and Jaws 2 come to mind. I remember catching those bit as a youngster on tv, like the Planet Krypton bits and the finale of Jaws 2, where suddenly snippets appeared that were missing from the album. In Star Wars i distinctly remember a little woodwind flourish in 'Imperial Attack' after 1 minute or so and he edited that out because it went against the big Holst-ian flow, though i always preferred the unedited version more. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, publicist said:

In Star Wars i distinctly remember a little woodwind flourish in 'Imperial Attack' after 1 minute or so and he edited that out because it went against the big Holst-ian flow, though i always preferred the unedited version more. 

 

Wow, so is that only available on the literal soundtrack of the film, i.e. not on any album releases?  I wonder how many moments like that exist in the original Star Wars trilogy.  Normally when a release like The Eiger Sanction or The Fury includes film and album versions, the differences mostly escape me, since I'm not intimately familiar with the cues from years of watching, listening, and gaming.  (Who knows how much sooner I could have appreciated "Top of the World" if there'd been an Eiger Sanction 64? :D)  But with Star Wars, it would be a totally different story.  Now I have another reason to root for a Matessino Star Wars release: I might finally understand micro-edits!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, igger6 said:

Wow, so is that only available on the literal soundtrack of the film, i.e. not on any album releases?

 

The full cue is of course on both the '93 Anthology set and the '97/'04 releases.

 

The part I believe he's talking about at 0:58

 

And here you can hear the microedit at the same timestamp in the OST version, which just removes that like 6 second quiet part:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

But is then the OST version of The Desert Chase really a micro edited version? The film version has as well additional percussion. That's why I thought, it might be also a separate recording.

 

The Raiders OST album is entirely made up of cues recorded for the film - he didn't record anything just for the album on that score.

 

For the Desert Chase track, he took the film cues and edited out some parts, presumably to improve the flow of the piece; I personally feel his edits ruined the flow and the track sounds better with no cuts at all.

 

As for extra percussion the film, I never noticed that, but perhaps the film mixed in a percussion overlay that they chose not to mix in for the OST, 1995 DCC, or 2008 Concord versions.  Or, perhaps it is just a different mix.  I dunno, I haven't compared that one myself.

 

 

2 hours ago, igger6 said:

Wow, so is that only available on the literal soundtrack of the film, i.e. not on any album releases?

 

Williams edited it out for the original OST album double-LP released in 1977.  The makers of the 1993 4-CD Anthology set and 1997 2-CD set did not edit it out, you can hear it on those albums.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Making two consistent sides for a Film Music LP in those years was a real challenge!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Jay said:

As for extra percussion the film, I never noticed that, but perhaps the film mixed in a percussion overlay that they chose not to mix in for the OST, 1995 DCC, or 2008 Concord versions.  I dunno.

I listened to it again today. Probably, it is not really extra percussion, but in the sound mix on the Silva Screen edition the percussion is louder in certain parts. The ballance is different, and I like that a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm one of probably fewer people who would rather they didn't create different mixes for album. If they lowered some layer or instrument to make something else in the mix come through, I find it disconcerting to listen to the soundtrack and find that instrument suddenly a lot louder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 23/02/2022 at 6:40 AM, Marian Schedenig said:

Macro edits are when two cues not related in the film are edited together, like on the JP album, or HP3's Whomping Willow/Snowball Fight. ...The former often don't, either because the edits are too obvious, or because once you know the full cue (which usually flows well as written), the missing/changed bit is harmful in comparison.

 

I can't fathom how some of those choices were made. I do think some flow together, but that composed national Anthem source cue from The Terminal paired with a score cue? Huh? And to a slightly lesser extent, the Schindler's List solo guitar piece. When I first started using editing software, separating tracks like those was the first thing I did. And it was soooo satisfying!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

You say that, but I found a track recently where what I thought was a note in the music was a cow mooing :lol: Took me quite a few listens to get used to that not being there...

 

81UBy5DIxNL._SL1300_.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.