Film Scoring Labs

The Film Scoring Department offers a comprehensive program of study in the scoring of music for visual media and the application of synchronous technologies commonly practiced in the motion picture, television, and video game industries. A dedicated set of classrooms, labs, and a scoring studio complex offer students the opportunity for hands-on study in the areas of film music composition, conducting, MIDI sequencing, and digital music editing. All scoring assignments involve live performance in the studio and/or the use of extensive sample libraries.

The technical resources available to students majoring in film scoring include:

Two lab/classrooms that support all technology-related courses. These facilities contain multiple Mac-based digital audio workstations (DAWs) with integrated MIDI, digital audio and video, SMPTE synchronization, and integrated PCs serving as dedicated samplers, all of which provide hands-on experience during classes and regularly scheduled, individual lab sessions. All DAWs support Digital Performer, Pro Tools LE, Logic Pro, Reason, Kontakt 3, Waves-Platinum, VSL Special Edition, and Garritan Personal Orchestra. The Macs can also be rebooted into Windows using Bootcamp for use in video game scoring classes and can run Pro Tools LE, SoundForge, and various middleware game sound engines such as Wwise and FMOD. Each workstation also includes one or two tandem PCs running an array of orchestral and nonorchestral sample libraries, including popular offerings from VSL, East West, and Spectrasonics.

A self-contained scoring-studio complex where students conduct live ensembles in the performance and recording of their scoring assignments. The scoring complex has dual recording/mixing control rooms, two linked DAW lab rooms, and a "live" studio equipped with video integration for conducting to picture with PCs running Auricle film scoring software. Control rooms are fully integrated digital audio/video postproduction suites, featuring Digidesign's Pro Tools HD hardware and software, and a Genelec 5.1 Surround Sound monitoring system. The scoring studio complex supports a diverse mixture of live and/or preproduced scoring materials for synchronization in postproduction film, television, and video formats.

A 40-seat theater/classroom with video projection and 5.1 surround sound, a fully equipped classroom for advanced course work, and two DAW/screening rooms where student scoring assignments are reviewed and evaluated, one-on-one, with department faculty. All labs, classrooms, and production/mix control rooms are linked within the department via a dedicated fiber-optic SAN hosting all production source video and student-generated audio. The department has an extensive VHS/DVD library of feature films and work prints, and a CD library of soundtracks, that are utilized throughout the curriculum. The department also has each of the current gaming consoles and a selection of games for use in the study of video game scoring.

In addition to course work at Berklee, extracurricular opportunities exist for students to score independent films produced by students at local colleges and universities. This provides realistic and creative collaboration between Berklee film scoring majors and non-Berklee students pursuing careers in film and television production. Under departmental supervision, scores for more than 200 student films have been produced within the film scoring facilities. Many of these films have won major festival awards, playing to national and international audiences. The video game scoring courses also offer significant opportunities for scoring actual games created in the game design programs at other major institutions, as well as collaboration with students of Berklee's own Music Technology Division in sound design and audio production for games. The additional benefit of such collaborations to participating students is that lasting professional relationships are formed and maintained beyond graduation.

For more detailed information about the film scoring facilities contact the Film Scoring Department at 617 266-1400 x2440.