Film Scoring/Creating the sound of fear

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These instructions are designed for GarageBand 3 plus the sounds of a symphony orchestra.
GarageBand is easy and fast yet powerful enough to do film scoring.
Please, tell me if you find anything as good!

This course in music and filmmaking is:
Film scoring introduction for filmmakers
This lesson is:
Lesson #01: Creating the sound of "Fear" with GarageBand and the sounds of a symphony orchestra
The pages in this lesson are:
Lesson Summary: Creating moods using the instruments of the symphony orchestra
Page 1: Getting started with GarageBand and symphony orchestra
Page 2: Creating the sound of fear with GarageBand - 6 points
Page 3: Creating additional moods with individual notes - 6 points
Optional: Create a musical cue for the motion picture "Graduation Day" - 20 points
Creating moods using individual musical notes


Single notes
Some of the instruments of a symphony orchestra create a mood when you play even a single note.
That means all you have to do is play a single note to create a film score.
Wow! Even filmmakers who are not musicians can do that.
You can create the sound of fear by playing a violin trill. At a certain pitch, the violin trill sounds really scary.
The purpose of this lesson
The purpose of this lesson is to show you that you can create a film score just by playing a single note... if you use the right musical instruments.

The Sound of Fear

Creating moods with individual notes

The texture of the sound of certain musical instruments automatically creates a mood. You don't have to do anything special. Just play that one note.

"It gives me a trill!"

A trill is a special musical sound created with rapid bowed instruments such as a violin.

The average filmmaker can never play a trill on a real violin. Not in a million years.

Your computer makes it possible

With GarageBand and Jam Pack:Symphony Orchestra, filmmaker just press one key on the keyboard to get a wonderfully realistic trill sound.

For filmmakers with no musical talent, this is a miracle. Using the software instruments in the Macintosh computer, a filmmaker can create fantasitc sounds for motion pictures.

There is a problem

Just playing a violin trill is not enough. When you play a violin trill with GarageBand, the trill turns on and then it turns off. Not realistic.

To make the trill seem realistic, you must adjust the volume of the sound so it fades in and fades out. That is simple!

That's it!

This entire process is fast. Super fast!

Once you have found the correct musical instrument, you simple adjusted the volume of the note.

Required Software

Apple's GarageBand
This course is designed for Apple's GarageBand.
For filmmakers, GarageBand is easy to use. And after you find all the hidden features, it is powerful enough to use for film scoring by non-musicians.


Apple's Jam Pack:Symphony Orchestra
A source of symphony orchestra sounds is Jam Pack:Symphony Orchestra for GarageBand. This is a fantastic combination for filmmakers who are not musicians who want to create film scores.


The free Boldt packages
Another source of symphonic musical instruments is Ben Boldt's instrument packages] for GarageBand. Note: these packages do not have a violin trill. But they have other great sounds.
If you are using GarageBand with the free Boldt packages, you must hunt through all the instruments and find the best one (along with the best pitch) for the sound of fear.

Not recommended
An alternative to Jam Pack:Symphony Orchestra is MOTU Symphonic Instrument. However, your instructor does not recommend using MOTU Symphonic Instrument with GarageBand. Too awkward.

The next page

The next page explains the how to get started with GarageBand.

Contact your instructor

Your instructor for this film scoring class is Robert Elliott.
You can email me by clicking here.

Completed homework assignments for the Sound of Fear for narrative music
Pop Quiz
Pop Quiz

Film Scoring Introduction Lessons for Filmmakers
Introduction: Basic theory of film scoring
Lesson #1: Sound of Fear - Individual notes
Lesson #2: Sound of Joy - Rhythm
Lesson #3: Sound of Drama - Melody
Lesson #4: Butchering MIDI files - MIDI
Lesson #5: Adjusting the film edit - dialog for music
Exercises: Film scoring exercises - real scenes

This lesson is part of the
course on film scoring
for non-musicians
Shortcuts to the other music lessons for film scoring: The Introduction"Fear""Joy""Drama"The Workshop