What I’ve Learned (so far) from Scoring ‘The White Whale’: Part 3

I’m in the process of scoring The White Whale for Slung Low. It’s on in September. Tickets are free but there aren’t many left… call The Carriageworks Theatre on  0113 2243801 for the last few remaining. 

In my last two posts I talked about priming the subconscious to do the heavy lifting when it comes to idea generationthe need to capture ideas when they bubble up and the most efficient and effective way to do this; and using GoodNotes and Adonit Mini stylus on the iPad to mark up scripts.

No. 3: Marked up scripts are easier on the eye for an overworked sound designer than big long scary cue plot lists.

The White Whale - Cue List

Sending over QLab plots of the entire score to Matt (sound designer/op) via Dropbox has definitely improved our workflow. QLab is the programme we use to run pre-recorded sound, and sometimes video, for Slung Low shows. It’s so easy and intuitive even I can use it (I’m too impatient to learn complex programmes, more so even now since getting long in the tooth).

Before, I used to send the raw .aif music files and some written instructions on crossfading and looping in advance of our plotting sessions, which meant a lot of wasted or extra time for mixing, which, on a short deadline, is really inefficient. That time is better spent on more creative pursuits – 2nd drafts, finessing moments with the live action, etc.

Plotting the score myself before handing it over sped things up a bit, but there were always corners where, for example, it wasn’t clear from the QLab plot quite exactly where the cue was, even though you can type in cue lines or action points for example… or if I’d actually made a mistake. I’d provide a list of cues to Matt with cue lines and other notes but this document was always lo000ng and not the most intuitive to look at, especially when one is tired and working overtime.

Being able to send a marked up pdf of the script with all my cues and a clear guide to just how long each cue should last is such an obvious fix, but up until now the actual process of marking up was inefficient (ie I didn’t have the equipment nor the wherewithal to patiently, time-consumingly learn how to do it).

Fingers crossed this method shaves a little bit of time and brain-processing off of his workload.

So he can better put up with me later down the line changing cross-fade timings by one-second increments…