In the process of scoring film music, musicians rely on a click track to help synch the music perfectly with the image on the screen.
A click track is an audible metronome signal that the conductor and musicians hear through a set of headphones while recording is in progress. Some examples below include:
Scoring session for The Incredibles
Note how all the musician’s are wearing headphones.
The click track was invented in the early 1930s just as the Golden Era of Hollywood began to take off. The invention of the click track is attributed to two people: Max Steiner (1888-1971), one of the three founders of film music and Carl W. Stalling (1891-1972), Warner Bros. house composer for their animated cartoons.
The click track is actually similar to the ear plugs that singers will wear to help them keep the beat, that’s why when a singer goes a cappella, they will take the ear piece out.
I wondered for years what those ear pieces were for…
Hope you enjoyed this look into film music! Have a great week!
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