This Is Halloween - Instrumental Remake

How I produced the instrumental remake of This Is Halloween

Oct 26, 2018 22:08

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This was a tremendous new challenge in which Malinda gave me. Recreating the instrumental of This Is Halloween, from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas. This was very special because of the complexity and the difficulty for listening to every instrument in the original soundtrack.

Step 1: Prepare the tempo map

As many of you know, each song has a tempo, and many of us work on a grid with bars, metric and tempo changes. When I get have the original audio, the first thing I do is this grid. And it helps me a lot in the recording work process.

I couldn't start recording without the score

Before I started recording any instrument I had to get the score. This is because the mix of the original audio has the voices at a very high level and I couldn't hear every detail of the music. Well, I'm old.

I found the PDF score of the original orchestrator. From what I was able read each of the instruments in the arrangement.

All the instruments are written in this score, just what I needed. All alterations are temporary.

This Is Halloween score music with all the instruments.

All the instruments are written in this score, just what I needed. All alterations are temporary.

Step 2: Choosing Instruments

The orchestration of This Is Halloween is incredible, and has many details, and very important each of the interventions of the instruments, so you had to consider recording each of them to achieve a result as close to the original.

Step 3: Now, to record

As always, before recording I give a turn to each instrument to test the articulations. In the East West libraries (Pack of orchestral sounds that I use) there are very well sampled instruments and in many cases with enough articulations, and this gives me the advantage of getting very close to the original sound of each instrument.

The lines of each instrument are not simple, so I had to take care that many did not sound fake, especially with the figures in semi-eighth note.

Step 4: Record by instrument groups

I started recording the percussion, which is very useful to keep continuity with the intensity or dynamics of what is played later. Then I continued with the Piano, and with those 2 instruments I was able to send Malinda a base track that she could use in her audio and video recording session while I continued working on the rest of the instruments.

I spent about 8 hours on woodwind instruments (clarinets, bassón, oboes, flutes, English horn), then about 6 hours on the brass, 2 hours on the saxes, 7 to 8 hours on the strings, and 4 hours in harp, celesta and xylophone.

Recording session of the Oboe. Having the score was a great help to record each instrument.

Recording session of the Oboe. Having the score was a great help to record each instrument.

Multi-Track Demo

Listen to the next demo. I grouped the instruments in Percussions, Brass, Woodwinds, Strings, Mallet, and Piano to have access to all the instruments in this sample.

Final Result

This is the final result of my work done for Malinda. The mix of the tracks for the following video was made by Johnny Deltoro.

Thanks for stopping to read. Go through my channels and my social networks. I have a lot of music to share!

Blog Author: Cristián R. Villagra

Online Musician. Music composer for animations and games, and music producer for singers. Also programmer and graphic generalist.

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So I asked: Did you hear?