Monsters Inc demo by Tiana

Who knew that scoring an animation clip would take 3 months? But for an artist who likes process as much as product, this was an exercise full of learning experiences.

I originally scored and did sound effects for the Monsters Inc clip last spring for my orchestration class. It received good reviews, but wasn’t quite at that professional level yet, sounding a bit quiet and thin. This fall I have been taking a mastering class and learning all sorts of tricks of the trade.  Some techniques seem so obvious now, but when one is learning so much, even things that are common sense get lost in the deluge of information. For instance, if a voice is coming from off camera, shouldn’t the sound come from that direction? And if your character is moving across the screen wouldn’t the sound move too? Static is boring, panning is exciting. This demo also includes new tricks for compression, delay, using a flanger, and finding that sweet spot frequency range when working with the EQ on individual instruments. And wow, does adding a cello track ever fill out the score.

All this tech talk doesn’t mean a whole lot to the average film viewer, but it’s what makes the difference between ordinary and extraordinary. Like playing the old piano in the school basement, and then sitting down at a Fazioli grand. It’s taking time to train my ears, but I am hearing the differences now. So I invite you to view my latest demo “Monsters Inc”, and send me your comments. It was fun for me to score, and I hope it makes you laugh.

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