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Okay, so it's with a bit of anxiety and fear that I shakily drop this small piece that I've been working on for about 3 weeks(on and off). I generally would like any kind of feedback, it's not finnished it's maybe 1/3 of the length I want, but the general feel and style is there. I started composing again a very short while ago(2 months) after falling victim to an illness which causes me to be pretty much disabled. I should have gone to composer school 4 years ago but my illness stopped it from happening and now I'm pretty sure that I won't be taking composing lessons anytime soon. So I do what I can to try to keep the dream flying.

 

The production isn't really what I'd like it to be but it's a pretty okay approximation of what I'd like it to be.

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What are your goals as a composer? You are very creative and technically competent. I'd like to see you move away from the stiffness of over-quantizing. Are you able to perform a keyboard part? What is your working method? Forget about the fear and boldly go where nobody has gone before...

I guess I'm somewhat of a maximalism, I had this vision tho make "organic" music in structure, feel, phrasing etc. But mostly it's just creating whatever I hear in my head. I'm not able to play any instrument anymore, as I have an illness which makes me unable to do most things except using a computer. I could play guitar well and I have played piano for 2 years but due to this illness I can't do that anymore. So now I mostly write my midi-data in sibelius then import it into cubase for some detailing and vst programming etc. My goals are just to come closer to that which I hear in my head short term. Long term, I'd like to be able to go in the direction like that of Prokofiev , but in a modernized way I guess. Like, very quickly moving pieces with a lot of sudden changes and stuff like that(which basically for me is selfexpressive and on a deeper level more connected with me). I'm not very good at explaining this.


Doug Lauber said:

What are your goals as a composer? You are very creative and technically competent. I'd like to see you move away from the stiffness of over-quantizing. Are you able to perform a keyboard part? What is your working method? Forget about the fear and boldly go where nobody has gone before...
Good luck. Eventually, I envision you having an expensive sample library and all of the tools you need to create your mock-ups of your compositions.
Thank you I hope so too. Thanks a lot for taking the time to listen.

Doug Lauber said:
Good luck. Eventually, I envision you having an expensive sample library and all of the tools you need to create your mock-ups of your compositions.

Hi George,

Very glad you liked the track and thanks for the uplifting words. I actually quite often listen to Allan and admire his works greatly, so I wouldn't be suprised if it shines through a bit. At the moment I like to use these kinds of sounds, maybe mostly because a lot of the fusion-esque music that I try to create is intended to dipict space-like things and themes, which these sounds so very well represent :-). Is EW / WSL East West and Vienna ? I must say that I'm only vaguely familiar with them but I imagine that I'd recognize the sound if I heard it. Though I admit that I'm still searching to refine this sound and feel quite inexperienced in mixing and production. But it's work in progress.

Thank you so much for the feedback

Hi Doug,

 

I'm sorry but I really don't mean to bump this thread, however since you wrote this comment I have been thinking about it on and off and an opportunity might have arise as a result of that. As part of therapy I'm getting help to start taking piano lessons, and since I have not got much else to do I imagine I will in a few years be able to perform a keyboard part.

 

But some questions also follow with that, could you clearify a bit for me what you mean by over-quantizing? Is it the constant new motifs and improvisational lines? Or do you simple mean that it doesn't sound human and too quantized(on the beat)? I'm not really good with terminology yet.

 

Also what do you think may be positive about if I can become able to perform a keyboard part?

 

Thanks again for the comment

 

Doug Lauber said:

What are your goals as a composer? You are very creative and technically competent. I'd like to see you move away from the stiffness of over-quantizing. Are you able to perform a keyboard part? What is your working method? Forget about the fear and boldly go where nobody has gone before...

There are basically two different goals, in writing music:

1- the creation of notation- a score.

2- the creation of recording- mp3, wav file, music CD, etc.

Many composers want to produce both.

If your goal is to produce a score for a future performance by musicians, then quantizing does not matter very much. For notation, the timing has to be exact. It must be quantized to 100% for the software to work properly. Maybe advances have been made in this regard, but this is my understanding.

For producing the best recording of your work, a good performance must be captured (and sometimes presented here as an MP3 file)

When a musician plays an instrument on a MIDI keyboard, various digital parameters are recorded into a DAW (like Cubase, Sonar, etc.) A good performance by a musician will ALWAYS sound better than the perfect timing that we hear when a composer inputs data into a notation program like Sibelius. So there can be great advantages to learning the keyboard instrument, both for timing issues and also loudness dynamics. Besides MIDI data, audio data can also be quantized, where the loud peaks of a snare drum can be 'moved' in time, so that the peaks are exactly on the beat, or in line with a groove template.  If you have any more questions about quantizing, feel free to send me a private message...

So a few weeks later and a decent number of hours later I think it's starting to round off to into a pretty nice structure and natural flow. I'm still rounding off the edges and trying to make up my mind as to if this is it for this piece or if it will turn into a 13 minute track or something else but as for now I'm feeling like it's going in the right direction.

 

Let me know if you think it's progressing in the right or wrong way or any other thoughts.

 

 

 

Cheers

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This piece is fantastic Vincenti. Thanks for sharing.  You took me back to my C64 & Amiga500 days haha. Though everything I do now is related to turning computer music into realistic acoustic music, you and your whole situation has inspired me to try my hand and this genre once again. It's been 25 years. Thanks again.  Ok, enough warm fuzzy feelings... let's get to it!
Doug Lauber said:

... A good performance by a musician will ALWAYS sound better than the perfect timing that we hear when a composer inputs data into a notation program like Sibelius...

I beg to differ, Doug.  For ex. The classic video game music 'genre' -filled with lesser known brilliant composers who, like all the greats, break the rules in a logical way and leave the finished product in its raw 'digi' form -artifacts n' all.  With that said, I too hope Vincenti can hear this song interpreted by real musicians one day.
  • Sorry to hear about your illness, but unless the composition classes could focus on music specifically in your genre, I think you'd be bored to tears.  Your advanced composition sounds like you've already 'been there and done that'. But there's still plenty material to read online to explore more possibilities with improvisation and chordal upper-structures. Keep it up.
  • The pitch bending on the keyboard part @ :53-1:03  was an improvement over v1.7
  • Did you improvise all those parts out in your head first? Or do you step edit/notate and see where it all goes?
  • I like the snare a lot better in v1.75b!!!
  • With that said... WHERE'S MY KICK AND MY CRASH CYMBALS from v1.7? ... (straightens tie)... I just suggest to use more crash cymbals instead of the ride cymbal (the ding sound) to emphasize all those cool hits :-D  Overall, the two rides in the new kit were bugging me from start to finish.  I missed the busy 'explosion waiting to happen' with the crash cymbals and one ride config. from v1.7. And bring my kick drum back ... please. LOL
  • To be specific, I think the new sparse/hidden/open drum patterns in v1.75b @ 1:03-1:20 and 2:24-2:30, especially, was a drastic setback to the same sections in v1.7. With the ride cymbal in v1.75b, most notably @ 1:13 the accents to the syncopations were a bit anti-climactic IMHO.
  • And you also lost me with changes you made to the kick drum patterns in those same sections mentioned above.  The kick was MUCH more musically connected with the band in v1.7
Wish you the best bud. Hope that helps.
Cheers,
Greg


Wow, Hi Greg! And thanks a lot for the very detailed and amazingly constructive comment. Nice to hear that you enjoyed this and that you consider diving into this kind of genre. It's really amazing to see that eventhough my condition I can maybe inspire some positive change into someone's life, that's wonderfull to me. Thank you so much.

 

Did you improvise all those parts out in your head first? Or do you step edit/notate and see where it all goes?

I did a lot of both, my mind is kind of cluttered when I write and sometimes I just sit and improvise mentally and sometimes i stepedit to get an approximation of what I wrote down, then I usually come up with a few different versions and directions of that and so on. So it's a bit of mix and match.

 

About the drums, yeah I liked the crash cymbals and rides better from 1.7 too and the kick too. I'm still pretty new to trying to match drumsounds together and working with drumvsti and mapping so I try a lot of things. But thank you for pointing it out it wasn't too obvious before you said it, I felt something was wrong with it but couldn't put my finger on it. :-)

 

My best to you too, was very helpfull indeed

 

Cheers

 

Hi Vincenti!

 

I too enjoy your music. If you can't perform on a keyboard due to the limitations that has been enforced upon you, don't worry about it. Make your weakness your strength and incorporate it in your style! There are ways to get around too stiff quantizing.

• Push every note, except those falling on beat 1 and 3, around a few ticks and vary the velocity a bit and the result will feel much less stiff and exact (you can do that with a curve or a pencil tool in cubase, I believe).

• You can also make a groove template and apply that to your parts. If you make 4-5 different templates you can vary the feel quite a bit.

• Ask another musician to perform the part on the final recording.

 

Anyway, to me a sequencer IS an instrument, so you can learn to master that instrument with a very good result. Now, about the mix. I suggest changing the filtered saw bass to a more round and bass guitar like sound, to get more deep end definition. I also think the solo sound is a bit undistinct. It needs to be higher in the mix, or to be given more character. May I ask what synths you use?

 

Carry on and never give up!

One more thing... I suggest you listen to the music of Mike Leghorn here on the forum. Given the way you have to work, you can learn a lot from his music.

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