New composition for Film

Hello everyone,


This is my first post to this forum.  I'm an aspiring home composer working with East West sound libraries and a computer.  I have been doing this for about 8 months now and feel as though I'm progressing well, but it's always nice to get outside criticism and suggestions to prevent you from doing the same old thing over and over again.

So, please take a listen to the Mp3 that I have attached below. Looking for your general thoughts on the piece. Did you like it? Did you hate it? What could have been done better, or differently?

Also, don't mind the title... I was trying to title the piece to give the listener the idea of the moods involved. There are more tunes on my member page (link below).

Many thanks!

Beautiful to Dismal.mp3

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  • This is really good, reminiscent of John Williams / John Adams brass and strings. Very much a SuperHero theme, I'd be interested where it goes next. The sound library sounds are great too, I might have to invest. Which ones do you use in this piece? The strings seem to have a strange rhythm at 1:35 is that intentional or is it 'Humanization'. It's the only bit that threw me. Good solid piece though. Are you on any music libraries? I'm using musiclibraryreport at the moment to scout out some worthwhile ones.


  • Although the sound library is solid I am less keen than James. I found it slightly overbearing and possibly a bit generic. Still it is well put together (other than the odd string blip James mentions - maybe try some delay (of the midi type)).

  • Hi James,


    Thanks for the kind words!  Actually, that strange rhythm at 1:35 was an error that I meant to correct and forgot. Embarrassing! I think i have corrected it and I've re-uploaded another version. 

    As far as music libraries, I use East West Symphonic Orchestra Platinum and occasionally East West Storm Drum... although the samples in Storm Drum are less orchestral in nature. I mainly just use the percussion within the symphonic orchestra package. All the percussion for the posted piece is right out of the EW SO library. Arranged in Cubase Le 4 (Came free with my midi keyboard, but gets the job done)

    As far as music libraries, I've REALLY got my eye on the CineSamples company. Their CineBrass library to be precise.That library is straight John Williams/Aaron Copeland in a box. And VERY reasonably priced for what you get.


    By the way, your "Llwedor seaside" piece is great. Not sure if it's what you were going for, but I found it to have a fairly haunting sound. I dig it.

  • Jack,

    Can you be a little more specific? I get the generic bit... that's kind of what sells these days so I wanted to keep with what's moving off the shelves.. familiar themes and whatnot. How is it overbearing specifically? Too much percussion? Or overbearing in the sense that you feel this style has been done to death?

    This is good... this is how I'll get better.



  • Hello Alain,


    I guess I do tend to get ahead of myself a bit .  I guess that's an inevitability when it comes to the excitement of composing. I want to do sweeping grandiose scores NOW darn it! It doesn't help that I have this sound library with so many amazing instrument samples. It's tough to refrain from cramming them all into a piece....

    Regarding smaller scores, can you suggest one or two for me to listen to? I guess I don't really know what a good starting place (from composition standpoint) would be.


    Also, I just went to your page and WOW.... you're score to "the legend of silk boy" is pretty astounding!  You are exactly where I would like to be at this point.. I would love to do "cartoon" (cgi?) scores. High energy and fun. That's the good stuff!

  • Hey this is some pretty neat stuff and as has probably been said somewhere else here - very commercial sounding. Great production and scoring. You obviously have a good instinct for arranging and then listening to how those instruments work in the mix. 

    The only real criticism is the reliance on one sound library. It's great for consistency...but it's very easy to get comfortable and end up with a sound that is not too dissimilar to anyone else who also relies on EWQL libraries...great as they are. Maybe you should set yourself a smaller 'ensemble' to arrange to and try to 'visualise' a different sound palette to develop something that is a bit more unique. Lastly, I found that if using EWQL you don't really have to use your ear for production that much because they are designed to be ready out of the box. It is more challenging and rewarding to work with other libraries... if you want to develop your production skills anyway. 

    Keep it up though.. .will look out for more of your stuff :-) 

  • I like it, though I can relate to where Jack's coming from with saying it sounds a bit generic.  Of course, saying something is generic is not very useful without attempting to explain what makes it generic.  One of the things that I noticed while listening was that almost all the chord changes happen on every second beat, which is good for continuity's sake but it tends to get tiresome, even with a piece as long as this in my opinion.  It's exactly what an experienced listener expects when listening to scores in this genre.  Now there is a flipside to this that I've noticed with several composers with Youtube channels - They are so focused on sounding unpredictable with key changes and odd rhythms that their pieces lack enough continuity and in trying to sound unpredictable, they end up sounding predictable (awkward to explain).  Great composers find a balance between continuity and creativity - one of my favorite examples of mastery of this concept is this song -

    Specifically to this song, the first part of the song has a driving background of 8th note strings, and right when the mood changes you go into another driving background of 8th note strings.  It would sound less generic to me if you kept the 8th note strings, but switched the time signature to 3/4.  Transitioning from 4/4 to 3/4, or in general, lessening the amount of notes in a measure (while keeping the rhythm of those notes constant) after a transition tends to evoke a sense of impending action, which could mean something "bad" or "good" and in this case you're going for a sinister atmosphere.  Basically, my advice is to not be afraid to create something less orthodox sounding - it's the best way for you to stand out and a theoretical examination of a song can usually shed light on what makes it generic sounding or unique sounding.

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