CAS Quarterly

Spring 2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 79

26 S P R I N G 2 0 1 9 C A S Q U A R T E R L Y Xavier has been working with Desplat for almost 15 years, including working on Wes Anderson's previous stop-motion film Fantastic Mr. Fox. He continues, "At first, I was mainly handling the production part in his company. But because of my interest in the sound, and also because I understood how Alexandre wanted his music to sound, I got more involved with the sound by prepping the scoring: programming the synths, building Pro Tools sessions, etc." Asked why there were two scoring mixers on the movie, he explained, "I have a huge respect for the job of sound engineer, and I am so impressed with what can be delivered. In that respect, Simon Rhodes is a true genius. He knows Alexandre very well and what he is expecting the orchestra to sound like. I usually pop up once the music is recorded. Usually the music is mixed by the engineer, but due to a shortage of time, the mix is not exactly what Alexandre may have in his mind, so he lets me make alternate mixes." Xavier uses Digital Performer (Alexandre's main DAW) and Pro Tools. He uses a Bricasti M7 for reverb and an API 2500 compressor. For plugins, he likes "almost all the UADs, the Sonnox Oxford plugin, and the Flux Alchemist and Solera plugins." Asked if there was anyone he would like to thank, he added, "Wes Anderson for having such a creative impulse and Romain Allender (Alexandre's assistant), who is always around before scoring." SIMON RHODES: Scoring Mixer Scoring mixer Simon Rhodes is well known in Europe for his many sessions at Abbey Road. Simon studied classical music when he was growing up, learning both piano & violin. In college, he majored in physics at the University of Wales. Simon had previously worked with Wes Anderson on his film The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was scored in London with composer Alexandre Desplat. "Wes is very hands-on. He takes great pleasure in crafting the film and the music. Wes worked directly with Deslpat in the composing process, but the composer was never in the recording studio. Wes took the score and shaped it by editing it up accordingly. "There were some very stylized choices such as having every cue at 100 bpm. That created a score that was quirky, yet at the same time, very clean and tidy, much like Wes's personality. "Wes shies away from the traditional; he avoids using a conventional orchestra. On The Grand Budapest Hotel, there were no strings in the composed score, but one session had 30 balalaikas!" For this score, Anderson and Desplat used taiko drums, the great, large Japanese drums. He used multiple types of taikos, with five taiko specialists flying in from all over the world. The score also used other quirky instruments, including a woodwind section compromised of recorders. Additionally, there were saxes, French horns, Celeste, piano, tons of percussion, and upright bass for the jazzy moments. Simon described his technique as "setting up more mikes than could ever be needed," which is how he feels it is best to record. The only limitation in the number of stereo stems created was the number of voices available in Pro Tools. Simon described having "acres" of splits. The score was recorded at AIR Studios in Studio 1 on the custom Neve console and Pro Tools, using many overdubs of smaller sections. Stems were created in stereo, as Simon knew there would be a lot of rearranging of them on the dub stage. Music supervisor Randall Poster helped find the unusual instrumentalists and facilitated the director's requests. Stems were recut by the supervising editor Andrew Weisblum and music editor Yann McCullough after input from Anderson. "I'd like to thank Yann, the music editor, and Jeremy Dawson, producer. John Prestige was the scoring stage assistant. Our musical director (orchestrator and conductor), Conrad Pope, did a notable job as well. And of course, Wes is an amazing person!" WAYNE LEMMER: Re-recording Mixer Sound effects re-recording mixer (and supervising sound editor) Wayne Lemmer hails from London, Ontario, Canada. He studied at the University of Western Ontario, getting a bachelor of musical arts degree, which included using Pro Tools to compose musique concrète. Wayne explains, "You could capture instruments, vocals, or record sounds from the real world and create music out of it. I was a percussionist and also into drum sampling and would record real drums and make MIDI trigger pads that I could perform live. From there, I went to OIART to learn better recording and mixing techniques. This is where I fell in love doing sound for film. It allowed me to continue to perform and create art." Wayne had previously worked on animated features Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs. Aliens. He knew director Wes Anderson from having worked on The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of CAS Quarterly - Spring 2019