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Hans Zimmer's Inception - Score Analysis

Discussion in 'Composition, Orchestration & Technique' started by ashtongleckman, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. ashtongleckman

    ashtongleckman Senior Member

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    Hey all! Here's my analysis for Hans Zimmer's Inception score. It includes a look at cues like Time, Dream is Collapsing, Mombasa, etc, the famous auditory illusion, some of the thematic elements, and more. The Cubase session, MIDI file, stems, etc are available in the pinned comment for free download.



    You can also check out all of the second season of Behind the Score here (including Wonder Woman, Narnia, the Last Samurai, Theory of Everything, etc).

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeFP26Uv6kO92EvlzF-MoIz9HonNlxfJu

    Hope you guys enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  2. Garry

    Garry Senior Member

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    Thoroughly enjoying watching this Ashton, thank you for sharing. The breadth of your knowledge and ability, despite your young age, is breathtaking. Thanks also for your generosity in sharing the materials - incredibly useful for learning (though I wish I could convince you to use Logic instead!:) )

    Keep up the great work. We're all watching your career with great anticipation.
     
  3. Rctec

    Rctec Senior Member

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    Dear Ashton,
    Great job! ...but I could make your life easier - just ask for the Cubase files :)
    One little thing: you keep miss-hearing the piano part in “Time”. I wanted to limit it to two notes for each (well, technically they are not...) chord. So it’s only A,C ; E,G; ...etc. So that the C,B is really stark... it’s a slightly less ‘romantic’ voicing, implying the 5th.
    Oh, and all the synth where what became “Dark Zebra”...
    Hz
     
    desert, JVitolins, emid and 30 others like this.
  4. fretti

    fretti Senior Member

    Wait, we are allowed to do that?
    As I am trying to do a "remake" of your King Arthur Score and there is no real midi files around for that...(but I can train my ears while doing that I think:)).

    Or is that just, when one works to be a professional composers one day? (wich is not the case for me, as I am not really talented for that and actually studying economics;))
     
  5. Rctec

    Rctec Senior Member

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    Not all scores are around... computer systems changed, and I used to never be very tidy about keeping them.... but I think King Arthur exsists, as does the “In” movies - “interstellar” “Inception”,”Insignificance”, “Inferno”...
    It’s just a matter of asking my team to restore them...
     
    JVitolins, emid, Nmargiotta and 8 others like this.
  6. OP
    OP
    ashtongleckman

    ashtongleckman Senior Member

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    Thanks for the feedback Hans! I know that a lot of the string voicing during that first section of time is two voice based, but I wasn’t completely clear on the fact that the piano is just two voices. Thank you for clarifying that.

    Also, very kind of you to offer the Cubase file in the future. I just might take you up on that! ;)
     
    Nmargiotta likes this.
  7. mac

    mac Guest

    And here come the 10,000 requests for your cubase projects, what have you done @Rctec?!
     
    holing, roknardin, ThomasNL and 2 others like this.
  8. fretti

    fretti Senior Member

    Now that Hans Zimmer himself has quoted my post I think I can die in peace:).

    Well I think the scores most people want to remake for their own are already available by a million midi files around the net now (Dark Knight, Pirates, Inception etc....). Unless you want to achieve perfection of course...
    I think though if there is even the slightest chance that I actually get a Cubase file for King Arthur with all the midi data the pure amount of instrument tracks needed would probably lead to my computer exploding;).

    Also it just shows how great a man @Rctec is to offer such a thing to a young composer like Ashton here (don't know how old you are actually but I just guess "young" here, hope that is ok @ashtongleckman ;))
     
    TIM_STEVE_97 and Fry777 like this.
  9. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    Hey Ashton,

    I didn´t had the time go through the whole tutorial, but let me tell you that you are doing a very good job there. I like people who are passionate about something and you are a prime example of that. What I also like is that give some background info and you are not entirely limiting the tutorial just on how to midi mockup this and that. Whenever I have a question how to do that Zimmer, esqued sound. I am going to ask you, allright? :)!
     
    ashtongleckman likes this.
  10. markleake

    markleake Recovering sale addict

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    Awesome work again. I found this directly on YouTube this time and watched it already. Again I am amazed by how much time and dedication you put in. Not only are you good at listening to the score to break it down, you are a very good teacher... good at explaining things and keeping us interested at the same time.

    I also watched your Narnia analysis, and (no offense to Mr. Zimmer!) while I like really like the Inception score, Narnia is one of my absolute favorites. So it was awesome to see you go into detail on Narnia.
     
    ashtongleckman likes this.
  11. Christian W.

    Christian W. Composer

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    Whao, that would be a tremendous honour to have a look at one of those cubase projects.
     
    Garry likes this.
  12. bvaughn0402

    bvaughn0402 Senior Member

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    I would LOVE to be able to study these compositions @Rctec if you would consider ... especially the Inception ones. I listen to that every month.

    It would be wonderful as a novice composer to be able to study what you did.

    Has anyone seen the cool video of the guy who recreated one of Hans' Inception song only using stock sounds in Logic Pro? I think you can get his score directly from him as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    roknardin likes this.
  13. Puzzlefactory

    Puzzlefactory Senior Member

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    Love these videos. Really well put together.


    Would be great to have the midi files for the older episodes if that’s not too cheeky a request...?
     
  14. OP
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    ashtongleckman

    ashtongleckman Senior Member

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    A few of the sessions from season two sadly were lost a few months back. Had a big flood and most of them were all on a hard drive, and that got destroyed, as well as a large portion of the studio. I've recently organized a process of keeping all my important content on a couple physical platforms, as well as on Dropbox so that kind of thing will never happen again. I'd release all of them if I still had them. :)

    I did come across a few goodies you might be interested in. After some digging, I found Wonder Woman, Danish Girl, and Man of Steel. There might be some odd things in the sessions as I haven't gone back in since I did them, but hopefully it's helpful.

    Have fun! :)

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/31ngpi7l0zhafyo/AACtCs3T0NpDdyfIIhq9_XeKa?dl=0
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    JVitolins and Puzzlefactory like this.
  15. fretti

    fretti Senior Member

    Narnia is (arguably) but for me definitely one of the best scores there is (at least from a musical standpoint, and only in my opinion). But wasn't Harry Gregson-Williams working for Hans' during that time?
    If I remember correctly Kingdom of Heaven (same release year?!) was passed down from Hans' to Harry G-W because he thought that everything he did sounded like Gladiator all over again...
    So it probably has some influence from Hans' in one way or another.

    Please, if that is actually wrong (sometimes my brain is a little exhausted after 8h of tax law:shocked:) then feel free to correct me as I don't want to spread any "lies" around here...
     
  16. OP
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    ashtongleckman

    ashtongleckman Senior Member

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    Harry is deffinetely one of a kind! I’ve gotten the chance to meet him a couple times and not only is he insanely talented but he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

    I still remember holding the physical scores for Narnia feeling like I was going to start crying then and there and ruin the ink on the paper and embarrass the hell out of myself. I love the score THAT much.

    Narnia is a gem! :)
     
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  17. mac

    mac Guest

    I never got into the Narnia soundtrack, at all. Maybe I let it pass me by. Any stand out tracks I should listen to?
     
  18. OP
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    ashtongleckman

    ashtongleckman Senior Member

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    Check out The Battle, Father Christmas, and Only the Beginning of the Adventure. Just a few of the standouts.

     
    fretti likes this.
  19. fretti

    fretti Senior Member

    Oh man you can‘t believe how jealous I am of you to know people like Harry!:)
    My sister just asked me why I started trembling when I thought of the possibility to hold something as value a original score book like that:blush:

    It really is one of a kind! It is one of two movies where I simply cried because of the music actually (besides Anakin turning to the dark side and killing all those younglings, damn you John Williams ;)). Not like being sad but actually crying every time I see it..
     
    ashtongleckman likes this.
  20. Rctec

    Rctec Senior Member

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    Sort of right... Harry - and everybody here - works autonomously. Sometimes they start out as assistant - the way Harry did, sometimes I’m their assistant...as I was for Harry on “Man on Fire”. But I think Harry had actually build his own studio by “Narnia” (which, I agree, is just a masterful score).
    You are right about “Kingdom of Heaven”
    -Hz-
     

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