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Just as an actor’s performance can enhance a script, a musical performance can enhance a piece of music. And both of these factors have a direct impact on the success of a film.

With a modern tendancy to use sampled sounds rather than real instruments, film makers risk reducing the emotional impact of their score and thus the film. In the battle between samples and real instruments, we know who wins. There’s no contest and I’ve created two samples to demonstrate the difference. 

Given that sight is the primary human sense, it’s not surprising TV and Filmmakers are driven by vision. However, a film needs to immerse the viewer in a sensory experience and manipulate their emotions. For that, you need music.

Howard Shore, Canadian composer of Lord of the Rings fame said: “Music is essentially an emotional language…you want to feel something…and build music based on those feelings.”

Music enhances emotion, whether that’s tension during an action sequence or euphoria during a moment of triumph.

Let’s hear it in action

Which do you prefer? Sample A or sample B? For me, there’s no contest. Great music is about what is played and how it’s played. It makes a huge difference. In my experience, using real instruments is imperative. That’s not to say everyone should be hiring orchestras, because for independent film it’s not feasible but simply layering real instruments over a sampled sound can elevate a piece to the next level. What do you think?