Ting Si Hao

Music Composer for Film & Visual Media

Personal website of Film and Visual Media Composer Ting Si Hao

Conducting - Click or no click?

Over the past month, we had three different recording sessions where we had to conduct. Preparing us for this were rehearsal sessions with two pianists before the actual recording sessions with the different respective ensembles.

Free-time Recording - Redemption

For the first conducting session, we had to conduct a 12-piece ensemble - (Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, 1 Solo Violin, 3 Violas, 4 Cellos & 1 Bass) in free-time. This meant no click or visual aids. It was definitely one of the tougher sessions as after the initial tempo was set, it was difficult to get the players to follow your tempo. There were times I actually slowed down to follow the players (which is a big mistake!). This resulted in slower than desired tempi of my piece overall. However, it still worked great and the ensemble was fabulous!

Click Recording - Fatal Liaison (Lust & Caution Re-score)

The next session was recorded to click. This cue was for an actual film score that we had to write to a colleague's Timing Notes alone. After the recording, I actually found out that I had a scene from the movie "Lust & Caution"! It was definitely a very interesting exercise. The ensemble consisted of single winds (Flute, Clarinet, Oboe & Bassoon) and a chamber sized string ensemble (14 piece). I personally felt that this was the most successful session as the players followed the click and I only had to worry about communicating what I wanted expressed in the music!

Streamers Recordings - Incoming Debris (Gravity Re-score)

The last session we had to conduct on our own was utilising streamers as well as bars/counters. We were given a 28-piece string ensemble to record with. I had chosen to re-score a scene from the movie Gravity and had written an action-cue that needed to be quite constant in tempo. For most of this session, I was relying on visual counter for each beat and it worked out pretty well in the end. 


Having not conducted an ensemble in a studio situation before, it was initially slightly nerve wrecking. However as we got more familiar with the rehearsals and the protocols, conducting actually turned out to be really fun! That being said, I would still prefer to be supervising in the recording booth as sometimes it is hard to clearly hear every instrument whilst on the podium.

Listen to the recordings on my music page


Conducting at Willmill Lane