Music Dissection :: Soft

Here's an anonymous one for you. This composer sent these two related pieces in for you to critique. The composer is a member of the Composer's Forum and will read your comments. Please be honest and suggest ways to improve! (The name of the piece has been changed.)



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  • Thanks Pete!
  • Well...
    Sometimes I think the guitar does sound "harpsichordish" as mentioned by Pete,so I would agree..however, most of the orchestra sounds fake/synthie. I also have a hard time trying to follow the flow/story if you will of the score(s). The melodic tones are unusual..sometimes colorless. I hope that this does not offend, remember its just a critique from my ears.
  • Hi there,

    I agree with the others, I am not too keen on the guitar, perhaps a bit of reverb may make it sit a bit better in the mix. Maybe another intrument might work if you only use synth sounds?

    Nice tunes though!

    All the best

  • yeah the guitar sounds much synthetic.i'd love more of piano and strings in this.and some percussion too
  • I think I like part 2 better than part 1. There is someting about the structure of both that sounds
    'tentative' or overly 'careful', rather than confident. Yeah, I know that sounds vague. Maybe part of
    the problem is subtle timing issues. I'm not sure. In Part 1 you progressively use phrases of different
    lengths which feels disorienting to me. The big negative is the cheesy instrumentation. I mean the
    synth patches, not the ultimate intended acoustic instruments. We can write something brilliant for
    piano, but if we demonstrate with a little toy piano, we won't be drawn into the music.
    Here's some general recommendations: Look closely at your arsenal of instruments/samples.
    Determine which patches are usable. For example, my MIDI controller is an old Alesis Quadrasynth Plus.
    It came with like 500 patches. Out of all those, I would only consider about 30 of them 'usable' in
    a demo recording. Of those, there are only a few samples of acoustic instruments that are
    actually good enough to use and record in a composition. Look at all of your synths/instruments/patches and limit yourself to the acceptable patches or samples. I really enjoy synthy patches myself, so it's fun to
    arrange a piece with the best of those sounds. With this strategy you can present demos that sound
    professional, rather than a cheesy approximation of acoustic instruments.
    If you compose for orchestral/acoustic instruments, you MUST use quality samples.
    Or go the other way and base your compositions on quality synthetic sounds. I use a Nord Modular Micro for designing my own sounds and there are literally thousands of quality free patches on the web.
    Thanks for sharing your music. -doug
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