Music Composers Unite!
I'd like to hear your comments about a piece I was working on recently. It started as a simple melody played while testing new VST plugins. Few days later I got an idea to begin with a random noise patterns which then were morphed so the main theme would appear. I used that simple 'test' melody to start my little experiment. I must say that it wasn't as easy as I though it would be and I didn't achieve the result I had in mind at the beginning. Anyway, I liked it!
You can find the music on my profile page: http://composersforum.ning.com/profiles/profile/show?id=246vp25oxb6pm under a name 'Piece No. 12'
Any comments are welcomed...
At first I didn't upload the file because of the size limitation. The forum rules require to present the music together with the message so I compressed the file with a lower bit rate and here it is.
Hey Piotr, excuse me for being harsh with the critics.
For me, it was very difficult listening to it without skipping forward to see how it develops. Which I did.
The noise in the beginning is too disturbing. It's not pleasant to hear, especially with loud volume.
Second, it seems you squeezed the s**t out of this synth loop that goes along the track.
The drums, when they enter sound very lo fi.
For me the music wasn't developing and evolving enough. It's too minimal. The synths should be compressed more and EQed.
The choir synth felt strange and not belonging to that style, thus breaking the consistency
Were you composing it as you progressed through the musical bars or the idea was there?
Because it could me much shorter.
Leon, thank you for spending time listening and reviewing my music - sorry that you didn't like it too much.
Regarding the noise: as I wrote in my post it was an experiment. I had troubles creating the effect I had imagined. I didn't want to use just a white noise fading out so instead I routed a few base tracks to 3 different distortion pluggins and then manipulated their parameters. The funny thing is: you had to skip this part, my son liked only this part.
Yes, the main loop goes over and over without any change. Because of this the melody is uncomplicated and I can listen to it while working and it doesn't disturb me (yeah, I got used to the noise at the beginning...)
All the drums comes from the freeware plugin (simulating human voice) and they were modified by some GuitarRig (and similar) effects. If by 'when they enter' you mean the final part - I agree - I don't like it too.
I have problems with compression and using EQ properly. Maybe because of the lack of professional VST, or maybe because of the lack of experience. EQing is especially difficult because when I compose I always use the headphones. Then when I listen to the same piece using another equipment it often sounds different (and usually worse). Do you suggest to compress all synths or only the leading one?
I agree that it could have been shorter. With my other compositions I often struggled to extend my ideas to some reasonable time (about 3-4 minutes), I'm not a fan of using the loops (which can give interesting results but seems a bit like cheating to me) but this time I decided to write most of the music as one repeating pattern and then switch tracks on and off. It went out to be much faster to write, easier to extend the lenght but at the same time more boring.
I hope you'll find time to listen to my other tracks when I upload them.
Hey, first of all I'd be happy to hear your stuff. Drop me a mail when you upload something and I'll drop by.
Regarding mixing with headphones, it can be done. There are couple of tricks. What you need to do, when working with problematic speakers is to work with a reference music. For example if I was wanted to mix some rock band tune that resembles dire straits style I'd listen to dire straits "sultans of swing" on and off while mixing. To me, for that example, it's considered to be a good sounding track. I'd compare my mix to that and try to mix my bass like that, my drums and etc.
When you have a good reference you can get a good result even your monitor system is crappy.
by the way. I found out that if your track sounds good through car speakers, your mix is great. That's a hell of an environment to check your music.
Anyhow, when mixing, compress every instrument. Compression is the abc. EQ the instruments with similar frequency ranges to distinguish them from one another
And of course the better samples and VST you got, the less trouble you have in the mix trying to compensate
Thanks again, I'll let you know when I have something new.
I'll try to use you suggestions and check some music in my car tomorrow while driving to work.
I shortened the piece, rearranged it a bit, tried to compress and EQ some instruments. I hope that the result is at least slightly better then the first attempt...
Here is the file
I think it sounds a bit better, but still not really organized. Thought of adding some fat beat to eat?
Thanks, I think I have to study the subject of mixing more to get some results.
When it started listening to it I thought the song was awesome and that it would transition from the noise into a fast, groovy, hellish, beat, then it just went into this calm state and I was a little dissapointed =( Anyway after that I find the song pleasant to listen to but also very uninteresting. It feels like a background track yet it doesn't express any specific mood to me.
Btw I don't think the electric choir was misplaced, but I do think the second synth lead was. And it wasn't too long in my opinion neither. Not as a background track at least.
Thanks for your comments.
Did you see any differences in mixing of the first (longer) and the second (shorter) version? This was my main issue with that piece (and probably still is). I'm going to leave it as it is for now unless I have really good idea how to improve it. I'll try to sharpen my skills on something different.
If you find it boring it's maybe because your expectations were different after the noise beginning? As a background track it's not too disturbing which I like.
Actually your comment gave me another idea: what if I start exactly the same way but really convert it into "fast, groovy, hellish beat' ? Will see...
Yes we'll see