It’s about Time Signature!

March 25th, 2014

It’s about Time Signature!
So I was trying to decide what to talk about in this week’s blog and then inspiration hit and I wrote a song in 6/4 time called “ the seventies show “ which you can listen to here:
So today’s blog is all about time.

Non-musicians and musicians still get stymied by the concept of time signature and when you stray from the basics it’s easy to see why, as counting beats becomes more difficult.

But first the basics:


Most popular music is in 4/4 or 3/4 time and it’s easy to figure out the time signature of your favorite song by just counting along. The most obvious instrument to listen to is the drums or the bass line. In 4/4 it’s one and two and three and four and think of the bass line in Billy Jean.

But what about odd time signatures or songs with multiple time signatures? The bands that immediately some to mind for me are the 70’s prog rock musicians like ELP, King Crimson and Yes. But you might be surprised at some of the bands that I’ve selected today and I hope you find today’s journey interesting.

I’ll start with an easy one and it’s a song we all know by Pink Floyd. When the song was first released and David Gilmour and Roger Waters were still being civil to one another, they both stated in an interview that the song started in 7/8. Then in 1993, Gilmour was adamant that the time signature was 7/4. The reason I included this song is that just before the guitar solo the time signature changes to 4/4. Why don’t you count along?

Such a classic album that in my mind withstands the test of time.

Next up is Radiohead’s 2+2=5 which starts in 7/4, moves to 5/2 for a few bars near the middle and then the last half is in 4/4. Great song and makes reference to one of my favorite books – do you know it?

As usual, I’m just going to show 3 videos because of your attention span! Lol
This one is wacky! You may know it as the theme from “ The Exorcist “ but it’s really entitled “ Tubular Bells, Part 1 “. Composed by Mike Oldfield, this song has numerous time signatures and in some sections they overlap, one instrument playing one time signature over another instrument playing in a different time signature. The piece starts in 15/8 which is the piano and this case the glue that holds it all together. At various times instruments play over the piano in 4/4 and 7/8. I am the first to admit that this piece is beyond me and I get lost quickly but man is it a great piece of music!!!

And a one and a two and a three and a…

Sound Design and Music and Honey Wagons

March 7th, 2014


Sound Design/ Music and Honey Wagons

Greetings all!

I’ve been sound designing and composing for film since 1999 and it still amazes me that sound and music are neglected or treated as an after thought in the year 2014.

In film credits, the guy who drives the honey wagon still appears before sound and music, which must be an indication of the director and producers priorities.  Oh but I jest! My video production partner at Copia Media, Brishkay Ahmed is the exact opposite and sound and music are given centre stage in her documentaries and films. And gratitude for that Brishkay!

So today’s blog is the brainchild of Brishkay and I and we thought it important to demonstrate just how music and sound can elevate one’s film project. We have also found that bringing the composer and sound designer onboard during pre-production not only solves many post problems but also results in a more cohesive film project.

So I cut together a short little video where you can watch an animated clip without sound or music, then the same clip with sound design and finally the same clip with sound design and original music. Brishkay directed the clip and I did the sound and music. Although this clip is only a minute and change I wanted to point out that there are 24 tracks of sound and music. 8 stereo tracks of background sound, 12 tracks of Foley, sfx’s and vocals and 4 tracks of music.  So all you sound designers out there – stop skimping!! By the way, that tabla track is not a store bought loop – I edited it together. The very idea……!

Anyway, here is the clip – hope you enjoy and if you are a director or producer – hope you splash out more doe on sound and music next time.  Oh but I jest!

sound music demo blog from Hind Ahmed on Vimeo.


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