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Justin

The Composer's Thread

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I composed a short thing about a month ago using FL studio and I'm reworking it into Sibelius. Tbh this is my first time putting any of my comps into an actual notation program. I've used software like musescore finale and noteflight but they're very unintuitive, but so far sibelius has been very pleasant to use. 

I guess it's a bit of a trade off deciding between realistic sample libraries and notating an entire orchestra without a giant SSD.

im using notepreformer demo for sibelius.

the original: https://soundcloud.com/cordax1/original47

rework: https://soundcloud.com/cordax1/47sib/s-TEVHt

and the brass parts for some reason: https://soundcloud.com/cordax1/47brass/s-n1Q0B

 

very wip

 

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Really nice!  Quite Williamsesque, but with some nice variation on the style.  Thanks for the brass, too.

 

As for the software/sound, quite obvious that the original is better.  But, as far as I've heard, Sibelius is a good software, and the sound is not all that bad.  Should be fine for day to day composing and sketching.   

Different projects call for different tools, I would venture.  

 

 

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55 minutes ago, Steve McQueen said:

Really nice!  Quite Williamsesque, but with some nice variation on the style.  Thanks for the brass, too.

 

As for the software/sound, quite obvious that the original is better.  But, as far as I've heard, Sibelius is a good software, and the sound is not all that bad.  Should be fine for day to day composing and sketching.   

Different projects call for different tools, I would venture.  

 

 

 

Aren't you a filmmaker? Shouldn't you start a director's thread? :P

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2 hours ago, Steve McQueen said:

As for the software/sound, quite obvious that the original is better.  But, as far as I've heard, Sibelius is a good software, and the sound is not all that bad.  Should be fine for day to day composing and sketching.

You're right. But for a notation program, notepreformer sounds exceptional compared to the other ones available. It just takes a bit more effort to get it into the quality vst samples.

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Thanks again for your kind words everyone. I'd like to share another track, this one is just MIDI, I wrote it about a year ago. It was an exercise in form; I wanted to take a few melodic ideas (a dark regal march and the Dies Irae, cliché I know but it's very easy to work with) and weave them in and out of each other between distinct sections. There's more than a few Williamsisms on show here but as I said it was more an exercise than a serious composition. I'm pretty happy with how the MIDI is all sounding, but I've learned a lot more about natural spacial placement of tracks - particularly panning - that I'd redo if I had the chance. 

 

 

Sequenced in Logic Pro X. Libraries used:

 

Cinesamples CineWinds CORE + PRO

Cinesamples Hollywoodwinds

Sample Modeling Horns + Tuba

Sample Modeling Trumpet

Sample Modeling Trombones

Cinesamples CinePerc CORE + PRO

ProjectSAM Harp

Cinesamples Piano in Blue

Cinesamples CineStrings

Cinesamples CineStrings RUNS

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5 hours ago, Docteur Qui said:

Thanks again for your kind words everyone. I'd like to share another track, this one is just MIDI, I wrote it about a year ago. It was an exercise in form; I wanted to take a few melodic ideas (a dark regal march and the Dies Irae, cliché I know but it's very easy to work with) and weave them in and out of each other between distinct sections. There's more than a few Williamsisms on show here but as I said it was more an exercise than a serious composition. I'm pretty happy with how the MIDI is all sounding, but I've learned a lot more about natural spacial placement of tracks - particularly panning - that I'd redo if I had the chance. 

 

 

Sequenced in Logic Pro X. Libraries used:

 

Cinesamples CineWinds CORE + PRO

Cinesamples Hollywoodwinds

Sample Modeling Horns + Tuba

Sample Modeling Trumpet

Sample Modeling Trombones

Cinesamples CinePerc CORE + PRO

ProjectSAM Harp

Cinesamples Piano in Blue

Cinesamples CineStrings

Cinesamples CineStrings RUNS

I hear the Williamisms but it is unique enough that I can also hear your voice.   For example, you go more gothic than JW ever does.  Sort of like Danny Elfman's version of JW.  The orchestration is solid but can also be taken up a few notches.  You might want to consider asking a colleague to orchestrate this using your original to hear what they come up with.  It's not easy to explain but their are moments where a flourish can add a lot and doesn't take away from your intent.

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Hello everyone.

I'm posting here the main titles for CORNERED! (2009), a horror film with Steve Guttenberg and James Duval.

Nothing fancy, just a sound-design-y, atonal score. (my first attempt at that).

The sequence is dialogue driven since we were listening to various newscasters announcing the news about a serial killer.

(and that's why the music is simple and - I believe - serviceable)

 

 

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20 hours ago, cordax said:

short meh thing 

 

It has potential.  Take a deeper dive into counterpoint and voice leading.  Right now it sounds like melody with harmonic accompaniment rather than individual voices.  Nice ideas though.

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7 hours ago, tannhauser said:

Some choral music!  I did some settings of Shakespeare Sonnets earlier this year, making a selection of 4 which relate to the seasons of the year.  Linking to the set, but if you open each one individually you'll get the text in the description.

 

https://soundcloud.com/peterclarkecomposer/sets/natures-changing-course

 

I liked it!  Has some appropriate Englishness.  Nice transitions and melodies.

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That opening string melody reminds me a bit of David Collins' theme for his Podcast show, some Lydian I take it?:

https://www.soundtrackpodcast.com/podcasts/ghostbusters-the-music-part-i.htm

I would say the opening fanfare is a bit underwhelming to me, though that could be the samples.

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43 minutes ago, Falafel said:

That opening string melody reminds me a bit of David Collins' theme for his Podcast show, some Lydian I take it?:

https://www.soundtrackpodcast.com/podcasts/ghostbusters-the-music-part-i.htm

I would say the opening fanfare is a bit underwhelming to me, though that could be the samples.

 

It does sound pretty similar, though I've never listened to that podcast before. I thought it sounded quite English when I was writing it. The podcast theme does contain Lydian moments, but in my case there's nothing Lydian until 2:24, and the first section which can be really called Lydian is the one starting from 3:00 (A Lydian).

 

The opening brass aren't really together enough, I spent some time to fix it but it still isn't perfect. And I would have liked more attack.

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2 hours ago, Loert said:

I was going for quite a lyrical, "comfortable" style, very much influenced by the film music greats.

Oh, my favorite style :) 

 

The first 3 minutes were pleasant but I was a bit reserved due to strong perceived similarities to Indiana Jones scores and Alan Silvestri.

2:56 onward it started slowly building up a clearly unique voice though—one that I was more and more captivated by. Your melodic sense is clearly good and with lots of further potential.

 

The orchestration is colorful and interesting; at times very... Christmas-like? Disney-like? Winnie-The-Pooh-like? Harry's Wondrous World? and fluently crossing over to other "styles"—I like both of these things.

Podobny obraz

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Very nice job, Loert!  It reminds me of something William Walton would write.  The opening fanfare could use a better build up.  Like the rhythm intensifies as it progresses.  I like how you introduce elements into the fanfare but you could take that idea further.  At 0:19 I sort of hear the strings doing arpeggios sort of like what Shosti does here:

Part of the reason is when you get the brass and percussion loud, you really need winds and strings to be moving (or re-attacking) to be heard.  The orchestration is quite impressive.  The harmonies and melodies had surprises in which I thought you would go one direction but you went somewhere unanticipated and did so logically.  I wouldn't have minded a bit more spice in the harmony.  Basically, I would place this as early 20th century music and think it would be more impressive as mid century.  Lots of William Walton and Korngold but perhaps a bit more Prokofiev and Shostakovitch.  I know you were going for comfortable lyrical but the harmony could still be a bit more spiky at least at a few moments.  Sort of like Malcolm Arnold.  Take a listen to his overtures.  No one on earth would claim they weren't lyrical but the harmony is quite thorny.  Listen to his Peterloo Overture for a good example of simple tune with thorny accompaniment in places. Those of us who know this composer well will see this as typical of his style.  I appreciate the section at 2:07 where you give the melody to a solo as a contrasting reprieve.  The transition to the "action" material (for lack a better word) at 2:26 is rushed.  If you study how Tchaikovsky for instance lands at the action material there tends to be quite a bit more modulation to "earn" that arrival.  Think of it motifically. Like there is a fragment of theme then it modulates and more of the theme is given plus more instrumentation then another modulation, more dynamics, more intensity, more instrumentation, then you land at the "action" material.  I loved 2:47 through 2:56!  Very exciting and well executed. That was an excellent example of motific development that I thought was missing before 2:26 albeit should be quieter/less busy there.  The tremolo mysterious section at 3:00 is gorgeous!  The climax at 4:47 is glorious and well earned.  The melody at 5:11 doesn't seem to fit a clarinet.  This is purely subjective but try it with a solo oboe an octave higher.  There is a poignant quality that is lacking with the mid clarinet that would be perfect on the higher solo oboe.  At 5:45, there is a long melody in the violins.  I think you should think of this as a JW orchestral build. Less notes at the start and more notes as it progresses/intensifies.  That is just more musically satisfying.  Again, reference The Mastero in this thematic build up.  Doesn't need the Wagnerian swagger but the idea is what you want to borrow.

Remember this very important principal.  Build ups aren't just about adding instruments and volume but increasing complexity too.  In your piece there is a grand build but the complexity doesn't really change.  Just more voices saying the same thing louder which is underwhelming. Love the dominant 7ths by the way! The material is economical which is a good thing but maybe it is too economical.  To me, I hear this as a 10 minute piece cut short.  Of course this is your piece so feel free to ignore all my comments.  Overall, it is an impressive achievement and successfully executed!  I will tell you, I had never written anything this skillful at your age.  Though this might sound like a long list of criticism, these are actually nitpicks.  You are talented and I look forward to hearing your next piece! 

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@karelm What a treasure trove of advice! Thank you so much for your comments. I must listen to some more Malcolm Arnold. I have listened through his symphonies before but it was a long time ago. And yes, Walton was definitely an inspiration for the fanfare moments.

 

With regards to the transition at 2:26, in my mind I saw that G as a "pivot" pitch, connecting two very different musical episodes together. However, I must agree that the end result is underwhelming. I'm trying to learn more about proper form and structure, and not just stumble through different musical ideas.

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First post here in this thread! I probably won't get a great response to this, but thought I'd change things up here a bit and post some selections from a recent project of mine. 

 

Just to prep expectations, it isn't orchestral at all and it's not really filmic. It was written as Production Underscore Music for a very short-lived web series centered around video games. The original intention was to create 8-Bit Chip tune music, but the result is ultimately more "inspired by" 8-bit music instead as I definitely strayed from purely 8-bit, but I think I kept the spirit. What I enjoyed about it was keeping it simple tonally and composition wise, while still trying to get some good feelings out of it. Only a couple (5-6 tracks) got used really well and consistently, but I wrote a bunch of music for a range of tones and feelings that could underscore whatever discussion was had during the show. Even though the show was short lived I was able to release a lot of the tracks.

 

Here's some of my favorites:

https://soundcloud.com/taylor-mefford/ccbg30-high-score-high-school

https://soundcloud.com/taylor-mefford/ccbg39-fight-fire-with

https://soundcloud.com/taylor-mefford/ccbg24-co-op-critical-hit-dark-critics

https://soundcloud.com/taylor-mefford/ccbg21-games-over-brawn

https://soundcloud.com/taylor-mefford/ccst02-good-byes-suck

 

Ultimately I had a lot of fun stepping out of my wheel house, trying something new, and really simplifying my compositions to try and make some enjoyable tunes. It's really just fun, chill music. 

 

Enjoy (hopefully)

 

EDIT: I might post some actual score tracks I've done some time later. We'll see.

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Not really as much of a composition as a improvisation/practice session (pushing myself to come up with something longer etc.), here is a little (synth) string piece I performed (see if you can guess the inspiration ;)):


https://www.dropbox.com/s/0p14f57i85tbwun/String Improvisation.flac?dl=0

WARNING: There are some mistakes that I didn't edit out.

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On 10/30/2018 at 1:20 AM, Falafel said:

Not really as much of a composition as a improvisation/practice session (pushing myself to come up with something longer etc.), here is a little (synth) string piece I performed (see if you can guess the inspiration ;)):

Is nice. What VST is that?

And can you use soundcloud or something similar so we dont have to download it?

 

i threw together a fun piece at 3 am in sibelius

hence the title

 

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46 minutes ago, cordax said:

Is nice. What VST is that?

And can you use soundcloud or something similar so we dont have to download it?

 

i threw together a fun piece at 3 am in sibelius

hence the title

 

 

That's cool, cordax! It will be interesting to see where it goes next.

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There's some truly great work here in this thread. I'm not even close to the level of most of you, as I am more of a hobby composer / composer when our crew makes a short film or show and it needs music kind of composer. But I've done some occasional work that I ultimately end up being very proud of. This is the score I wrote for a Theater Production and it was my first real experience developing a solid style, themes, motifs, etc.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

My personal recommendation from this score is An Experiment With Life.

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Good stuff @cordax!

Here is a little fragment I whipped up a few months ago.  I like the melody, but what do you guys think about the rest?  

The mix, for some reason, is not as clear as it is on MuseScore.

On 11/4/2018 at 12:25 PM, TSMefford said:

There's some truly great work here in this thread. I'm not even close to the level of most of you, as I am more of a hobby composer / composer when our crew makes a short film or show and it needs music kind of composer. But I've done some occasional work that I ultimately end up being very proud of. This is the score I wrote for a Theater Production and it was my first real experience developing a solid style, themes, motifs, etc.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

My personal recommendation from this score is An Experiment With Life.

This stuff is actually pretty good, to my ears at least.

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