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Hi All,

My goal for 2021 is to get more people listening to my music. At the moment, I don't care if they pay for it or not. I'm 60 and retired, so the money thing is behind me. 

I compose in a style that can be best described as contemporary classical. I like to think of it as something similar to Prokofiev, I know, that's a huge call, but it's the best way to describe my style to people.

Now, I have the same problem in getting people to listen to and too play my music as I did 40 years ago. I just cannot get people interested and I'm not sure why. Maybe my music is not their style, maybe players and groups think it is poorly written, I don't know, because no one will tell me what they think. The usual response is "this is not for us". Which tells me nothing.

I feel there are several reasons why people will not play or listen to my music, one is because it is almost impossible to hear my style of music on the radio or on streaming sites. So people are simply not able to hear music in my style and grow accustomed to it or like it. Actually, I feel this is the main reason why I can get my music heard. Plus, I live in Australia, and we are pretty musically conservative here.

Almost all my music is tonal as well. So there's nothing too scary for people who love classical music. Here's a sample, my piano quartet No. 1.

I'd love to know what you would do in my position?



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I write everything in Sibelius. I then export the midi into my DAW to manipulate the sound quality, I can do this with a WAV too.

The reason I write in Sibelius is because I am not a performer and cannot play most of music. 

Do people really play into their DAWs a 20 stave orchestral work? 



.. I've never heard of Sibelius. For some reason, I thought it was a cheap DAW. I'm an idiot-- I looked it up on youtube & now I know exactly what you mean with regards to not actually playing an instrument etc. My apologies, Rob- I should have done that earlier..

All this is way beyond my small brain... I do not read or write music in this way.

But to answer your earlier question:

yes, Spitfire could handle the midi thingy you asked.. In fact, I'm willing to help if you like.. Send me a midi file & I'll see what I can do to help. No worries....



Thanks DC,

I have attached the part that you liked. Love to hear how a WAV or MP3 sounds.



Hi Rob,

I kinda agree with DC about the strings, but think the piano sounds great. As for getting folks to listen to and like our music, I suppose that's something we all seek. Fortunately for me, this is not my source of income/sustenance so I am free to just make whatever music that appeals to my tastes. if others like it, that's a bonus. Just my two cents, FWIW.

Happy New Year!


I might add that if you are thinking about purchasing any of the Spifire libraries that DC has mentioned, now is the time to do it.  They are having a big sale right now that only lasts a few more days. i picked up the solo strings library at a 40% discount the other day and i am really looking forward to exploring it.

Hi, Rob my friend.. I timed it= 4 mins, 32 secs to get to this stage.. interrupted by the wife who needed help changing the bed!!:

absolutely no editing what so ever- not mixed in any way shape or form.. I put all the strings through legato for quickness. Very easy:)



Hello, Harmonius. Yeah, the solo strings library.. Bloody awesome! Funny enough, I've been contemplating getting that myself.
Thanks for the heads up regarding the sale. If you do get it, I'd luv to hear your opinion. Cheers.




I purchased it after reading some reviews including this one:

I also have the BBC Symphony Core so I appreciate that these two libraries complement each other. The only downside for me is that the Solo Strings interface through Kontakt and i am not familiar with that. I haven't had a chance to play with it much yet, but my first impression is that the instruments sound beautiful.

Hiya, Harmonius. Kontakt is brilliant, it pretty much sorts out everything you import automatically.

Have you tried/ heard spitfire's: 'British drama toolkit? Superb for feeling in a piece.. I use it often.



I just watched the walkthrough of the British Drama Toolkit and it sounds amazing. Of course you would have to show me that after I already got myself a xmas present.

Hoping you'll excuse me chipping in this late, although I play piano moderately and sometimes throw a piano track in midi, I do everything through the Daw's midi editor.

It's time consuming, usually takes far longer to set up an orchestral score in the daw than to compose - not always. The great thing about the daw is one can make adjustments to the instrumentation when something doesn't sound as one hoped.

I compose on paper, rough in the orchestration usually just with (text) notes, ponder on it; literally cut and paste as necessary, spend some time getting to know what I've done - then set it up in the daw (Reaper). I have a few templates so the initial set up is easy - usually just the tempo needs adjustment.

Then I draw in the piano roll notes. Yes, it takes time but one has as absolute control as midi and the samples allow, far more so than straight notation software.  I standardised keyswitches for most articulations for most instruments where possible. The way I write I use loads of keyswitches.

Probably the most time consuming is getting the balance right. I rarely twiddle the mixer sliders after the initial set up - everything is done through velocities like in a real orchestra where you ask a player to play quieter or louder. 

The aim is to make as good as mock-up as possible...... and I have lots yet to learn.

So, all the best with whatever method you like to work with.

Rob J Kennedy said:

Unless I am missing something that is. Say with a good sound set like Vienna Virtual Instruments, you have to play each line in, apply expression, then set the key switches for staccato, legato, marcato, pizz and so on. Is that not the way it is done to create a life like sound quality?



it's interesting to hear your approach, Dane. Being fairly new to this, I am always interested in learning how composers use the technology to realize their ideas. Most of the tutorials that I've watched advocate playing in the notes, so I try to do that as much as possible, and I do think it can be more expressive that way. But my keyboard skills are below moderate and I don't read or write musical notation, so I often end up doing most of the work in the midi editor as you've described.

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