Hans Zimmer: Making of Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack

Hans Zimmer: Making of Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack

By: Elegyscores

Creating the score for Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End required an incredible amount of music technology, and demonstrated why 64-bit computing offers new levels of realism for orchestral sample libraries.

Film music is perhaps the single area where music technology has its largest application. Not only does film music require all the usual elements of sequencing and recording, but there are the added complications of synchronisation, frame rates, submitting mixes to dub stages, and all sorts of nonsense that other musicians simply don’t have to worry about. This complexity makes film musicians ever more reliant on technology for reasons of efficiency: so many tedious tasks need to be performed that it would be painful to consider having to do these things without the aid of technology. As painful, in fact, as it was to carry out such tasks before the technology came along in the first place.

At the same time, technology can also help those working in film music to be more creative — or at least that’s the hope. Whether it’s creating a new sound that inspires an idea, or working with a computer-aided orchestra that allows for more experimentation, technology can take a musician to more places creatively than they could otherwise explore. And this is especially important when you have to be creative under a time pressure, as is usually the case in film music. So, when it works, music technology allows film composers to be creative, efficiently.

I get to spend my days worrying about this issue, working for the film composer Hans Zimmer. Just recently, while working on Pirates Of The Carribean III: At World’s End, Hans decided he wanted to push our use of technology further than normal. This resulted in arguably the most technically accomplished, realistic-sounding orchestral mock-ups ever created, and I think some of the best music written for the Pirates series so far. It also led to Hans’ day-to-day technical coordinator referring to the film as ‘Samples of the Caribbean’…

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