I've completed another loops library for Loopmasters. As I'm not primarily a composer but an arranger and instrumentalist, I believe I have to be imaginative and adaptable in the ways I try to earn a living. So, in between jobs, I put my time, effort and investment into these string loops libraries. These aren't sample libraries - I'm not competing with the Viennas and East Wests - but loops libraries of typical string lines.
For this latest pack, I've tried something a bit different,… Continue
It's not composing, it's not recording, it's not even performing. It's a thing in between!
Most of my work involves arranging and recording strings. But some orchestration and score preparation comes my way too. It's an enormously satisfying part of the music making business, not least when I get to attend and help out at the orchestral sessions which have taken
me to studios all over Europe.
I had a go at a YouTube vid about score prep a long while…
About 10 years ago I bought the url insidethemusic.co.uk I was working on elearning for musicians at the time and the aims for the site were two-fold; host music theory and aural learning materials, and explore a way of presenting a song that got inside the music, with the sort of detail and background that gave a guided tour of how a song was created… Continue
This is a demo from my forthcoming realstrings loops pack 3. (I've already done a couple for Loopmasters.) This one is inspired by the music of electronic/classical crossovers, like Cinematic Orchestra and Hybrid, and many movie scores I guess.
The pack will contain about 200 loops that could be used individually, but are grouped into 12 construction kits, where all the loops will work together in any combination. As well as pop producers, I'm aiming this at sound editors and anyone… Continue
What does a song look like? If you could represent the shape, character and feel of a song graphically, how would it look?
I’ve played around with this concept for a while; it’s something that helps me, as an arranger, to get inside music and understand how it works. I’m interested in getting a clear vision of musical form because as we listen to music, we hear only the moment, and while we are
aware of what has gone before and we anticipate what is to come,…
I had a go at a loops package for loopmasters last year and it has sold enough to cover my costs and time, so I tackled another - something bigger and more ambitious. Disco Strings.
You might balk at the idea of making music with loops, but many people do, so for me it was a way of extending my professional work and finding another income stream. I've made a short video reflecting some of the… Continue
It's that time of year (31st December!) when we look back over the past year and look forward to the next. One of my holiday treats was to learn a bit more about Final Cut Express (got the book for Christmas) and so I've done a review of arrangements and stuff that I've worked on in 2009 in a… Continue
Annotations on YouTube videos have been in beta for a while, but it looks like they are official now and one new feature is that when the video is embedded outside of YouTube, the annotations now play properly. This is a great tool for musical analysis, and particularly for students to demonstrate their own evaluation of their work, directly linked to the track, Pure text is so dissatisfying for musical commentary - but so sweet when connected directly to the music! Soundcloud allows you to do… Continue
Soundcloud.com is a cool new web service for anyone dealing with audio. You really have to sign up and play around with it to get a feel for what it is! As well as being able to upload large audio files and share them, you can attach comments to the wave form. Hopefully it will embed here, if not, try looking at it on the soundcloud website.
Roll your cursor over the little avatars under the… Continue
I've dabbled with interactive web tools for music language - mostly aural but a bit of theory too. Here, I've tried to present a reference for various modes, bringing together the names, spelling and sound. If you click the mode names randomly you get either a complete mess or a contemporary… Continue
I only dabble with composition; I'm primarily an arranger, specialising in strings, but you have to keep re-inventing yourself to keep working (and earning) so I'm looking at a library music project. I've done a lot of arranging work for a UK library music company and I want to pitch an idea to them - an album of string moods with contemporary beats, maybe offering 2 mixes (with and without beats). So my rough mixes are work in progress (imaginatively entitled track 1, 2 and 3). My advice to… Continue
I've noticed there are a few student composers in this network, who are looking for guidance and support from more established members. One of the problems they face is lack of resources, whether that be reference books or software. I'd like to propose an award; if some members of the community are willing to pledge a small amount of money by way of a prize, we could make a valuable contribution to the development of young composers.
I'll start by pledging 50 dollars.
If it works it… Continue
All music should exist with images - discuss! Certainly many pop tracks are released with a music video, and much of the business of making music takes place in relation to visual media - tv, video and film.
Cohen and Bollow iLife08, Apple Training Series 2008, suggest:
"An interesting irony of film and video is that roughly 50% of what you see comes through your ears." In other words, sound is more influential in our experience of visual media that we might… Continue
There is no single route to making a career in music, so no-one can offer bullet-proof advice, only provoke you to find your own way. Some of these suggestions may seem contradictory, but developing a creative career will be multi-faceted and tricky to balance, so deal with it baby!
What is your personal musical identity? Find it and develop it.
What are your influences, passions, skills? Don't try to be something else - develop these. Find your niche.
This just came through from widget laboratory - a free widget that let's you make a slide show from the Ning network photos (hope folks don't mind) with a music track of your choice! Had to try it… Continue