MISSION GOLD – Virtual Hollywood Film Cues

“Mission Gold”
by David Crews

A soundtrack for a fictional motion picture ~
A series of film music cues in a short suite.

Chasing Gold is Dangerous
Four Tons of Gold
I Remember Her
Mission Accomplished
Finding Angelina
The Return

Total run time: 7:35

All music composed and performed by David P. Crews
at JaguarFeather Studios, Austin, Texas, July, 2016, using Apple’s LogicPro DAW.

Just for fun!

Virtual Symphony Orchestra software by East/West:
Hollywood Strings, Brass, & Woodwinds, plus Symphony Orchestra Gold, and StormDrumsII.

It’s a Mystery! In this performance, you are hearing the sounds of an actual live symphony orchestra, but it’s not exactly a real orchestra playing live, either. I didn’t hire 125 players and set up a recording session in a Hollywood sound stage, but that’s exactly who, how, and where these source sounds were created!

So, for those who may not quite know what virtual instruments are, here is a quick explanation.
A “sampler” is an electronic music tool that can playback any recorded sound and even change the sound’s pitch (its notes) when performed through a digital keyboard. The virtual symphonies I mentioned were carefully recorded, one actual and real orchestral instrument at a time. They recorded samples of every instrument playing every note it can play and in different styles of play (vibrato vs. none, muted, etc.). Also, some entire sections, like a 70-piece string section, are recorded–every note possible. From timpani to piccolo, you end up with a massive collection of instrumental samples representing all of the individual parts and sounds that a real orchestra is composed of. (Did you like that pun?)

Next, let’s put all those instrument samples into a large hard-drive library and run them through a keyboard that acts to trigger any specific instrument’s notes.

Now, let’s compose new music and record the instrument notes into a computer’s digital audio program (I use LogicPro). This is where I can truly orchestrate a piece, choosing which instrument to play at which time, and what notes it should play. This can happen in real time performance through the keyboard, or I can add notes digitally and tweak them very precisely, one note at a time, if need be. Dynamics occur through the touch-sensitivity of the keyboard. Press a key lightly and get a soft note. Harder gives louder notes, progressively (and each of these are different actual samples).

The result is like magic. I can “play” an actual bassoon or trumpet or huge string section and these are real sounds, not synthetic from a synthesizer! Nothing against synthesizers–I love ‘em! By combining the samples, I can play an entire authentic orchestra! It is magic, but also hard work to make these collectively sound natural and not robotic or just a bit “off” and thereby ruin the illusion.

No virtual instrument or set is perfect, especially such diverse and unwieldy beasties as these libraries, but technology has made it possible now to get very close to the human-sound of a true orchestra. Play my track and see what you think. You’ve already been listening to this kind of sampled performance in many different TV shows and even feature films now, and I believe this will be even more prevalent in the future. Although nothing can ever truly replace a highly trained and talented human orchestra, making orchestral music for many kinds of projects is a lot less expensive this way.

This short composition represents approximately 25–30 hours of musical and technical work. Although I’ve worked with East West’s classical style library for some time and even won a few musical awards, this piece is my initial foray into this vibrant “Hollywood” style of composition.

It was a lot of fun to make, and I look forward to making more “film” soundtracks. I hope you enjoy it!

David Crews
JaguarFeather Studios
Austin, Texas
July, 2016

Email: david@crewscreative.com

Websites: www.CrewsCreative.com

P.S. – I thought my fictional film music needed a fictional film poster, so I made this one, just for fun.


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