Hi there,

I currently work as a software developer but have had aspirations of becoming a composer for a long time now.

Up until now, my main problem has been time, as I only had an hour or two a week to compose - if lucky. However, I recently began working 4 days a week instead of 5 or 6 so I now have at least a whole day a week dedicated to composition.

So my aim currently is to gradually build a portfolio of compositions which I can use to either gain employment in the industry or gain acceptance to a one or two year music composition course.

I'm therefore hoping for your help in getting started on the road to achieving this aim.

I'm attaching a file with a few "musical sketches" I did a while back so you can get an idea of what level I'm on. Yes, it's very rough :)
    1) The first 1:40 seconds is from something I composed this weekend in the Sibelius demo version.
    2) Then I've included a few electronic ideas I've had, all of which are composed in Logic express 7.
    3) After this comes a clip from a piece I composed using CSound (Granular synthesis and an FM instrument)
    4) And finally pieces from a Music Concrete composition using only Logic Express 7 and train/hammer etc. samples.

I'm thinking of concentrating on film and game music and hosting this portfolio as a website. Is this a good approach? Maybe you have a similar website from which I can draw inspiration.

I've also decided to focus my compositions on the following three main styles, as well as their fusion:

    1) Late Romantic / Folk
        - need good orchestra or string lib

    2) Specralism / Music concrete
        - need good audio processing effects

    3) IDM / Minimalism
        - need synths and perhaps drum libs

The first group is the one I feel most inexperienced in, however I do play traditional music. Therefore I'm thinking it best if I focus on strings for now. I didn't like the sounds in sibelius, nor how it handled crescendos. I'd prefer to compose in Logic with a good orchestra or string library. Can you suggest any?

The second group requires the use of effects to transform and sculpt audio samples. I've gotten great mileage from the flange and chorus effects in Logic Express but I'm sick of them now. I've never used Logic Pro and am wondering if it would be worth upgrading to it or if I should buy certain vsts instead.
What would you recommend?
Finally, I would like some better synths. Again Logic pro might be the solution here of perhaps NI's Massive. Any suggestions?

So basically I'm trying to get started and my approach to date has been to get more time to compose, establish my niche and begin building my tool set. The next step will be to learn these tool and begin composing with them. After that I will need to start advertising my music. Have you any advice on how I might achieve the latter?

I've chosen film and game music as my niche as it seems best matched to the skills I have. Should I consider other areas also? What areas?

Any other general advice?

Can you recommend me any composition books or college courses? I live in Sweden.

Thanks very much for your help and I look forward to your replies!


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  • I think your personality comes through in the electronica.  At 5:36 through 5:48 there is the vastness and coldness of space.  I find that fascinating. :)
  • Hi Barry,


    Good luck on your journey!


    To your question of string samples (or good samples in general), I'd like to give you some links:


    LA Scoring Strings

    Vienna Symphonic Library






    I have a few side by side comparisons of some of these strings on three videos on my youtube page:


    Legato/Sustain comparison

    Staccato/Spiccato comparison

    Solo Strings comparison


    It's by no means an exhaustive comparison of all string libraries, but it might help you find the sound you're most comfortable with.


    Logic Pro is a great tool, that to me is definitely worth the upgrade price, especially now that they essentially halved the price a couple of years ago. 


    I have a few book recommendations as well:


    The Guide to MIDI Orchestration - Gilreath (4th Ed.)

    The Study of Orchestration - Adler (3rd Ed.)

    Complete Guide to Film Scoring - Davis

    Harmony - Piston


    ...and you might want to purchase a music theory textbook, depending on your background knowledge of the basics.


    I hope this helps in some small way.



    Audiobro - home of Modern Scoring Strings, LA Scoring Strings, Modern Scoring Brass, Genesis Childr…
  • Good details Blake.

    I would add lots of patience and focus.  You will continue to grow. :)

  • Thanks for your help! I'll let ye know how I get on.
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