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And i did mean the better the samples, the better the music i can write with them,cause the more timbre my imagination has access to, the better the music my imagination can construct.

This is the thing I find problematic. Instead of letting your creativity run free and write what you want to hear, you only write what your samples can play. And that's very limiting. There are lots of things, especially unusual orchestrations, techniques, that samples don't do, or only inadequately. To give an example, I've once applied rosin to a pencil and used it to play my violin. Works fine, and gives a quite different sound from a bow :D I might well use that in some composition, should I find a fitting place for it. So, can you do that with samples as well?

(I'm not saying inventing new ways to get sounds is what defines a good/creative composer! I'm just pointing out that no one should let a computer program dictate what you can write and what not)

PnP composers can hear all the timbres in their mind, PC composers don't have that luxury, so we need to hear what we write as we write, in order to write, so the better the stuff we use to write, the better it is written...well that's me anyway.

So you're practically splitting the composer bunch into two (or more?) fractions? Shouldn't each composer in the course of his studies try to learn his craft as thoroughly as possible, including detailed knowledge of each instrument and what's possible with it and what's not? With training comes the ability to hear in your head what you want to write, and writing it down is just the means to get in on paper.

Sorry in advance if this sounds belittling to you, but do you consider the two "types" of composers you mentioned there equal in skill? Mozart wrote his music completely in his head, and writing it down was boring to him as it was a mere mechanical exercise of "printing it out". If he worked the "PC composer" way, the only things he could have written would be for piano, or violin, solo. Now tell me that this techique is _not_ limiting?

Even with the advance in technology, you will never be able to do with samples everything you can do with a real orchestra (this is even more true with avantgarde techniques, where not everything is exactly notatable). You're always limiting your creativity. And I find that's a pity :/

the thing that surprises me most about some of the people on this board, is the fact that they continually push the old methods as the only true methods, yet they pratically worship film composers who, although posessing full knowledge of how to do things that way, abandoned them for the computer and digitised samples as soon as they came along. Now there's an interesting fact.

Could you point out those composers? I don't know any (off the top of my head) that are "worshipped" here, that are properly trained (this excludes Zimmer, Vangelis, etc.!) use only synths to achieve their ends.

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OK so here goes....   Here's a one minute's slow section of an 11 minute piece I just wrote, orchestrated and recorded in Nov. The world premiere is supposed to happen later

An orchestral piece of music I wrote in the "spooky" style of Dukas, Lyadov, Berlioz et al. Enjoy!    

My piano concerto album is finally out on youtube/itunes.  Recorded at Abbey Road - hope you enjoy.     

i really must not be making this clear again.

put this into the equation. i cannot, under any circumstances learn what any instrument sounds like, and then notate that using pencil and paper or any other means. I cannot write directly for that format simply because i do not posess the hard wiring.

It's the same reason why a non musical person who has practiced very hard all their life, cannot be made to be a musical genius by any form of education. or why einstein could not understand quantum mechanics, or why davinci would not accept the world as it is today or why galelao would not accept the teachings of the church. The brain is a wonderful thing, but it is limited in its mechanisms of understanding, that no ammount of teching is going to change.

This is why you have different types of composer, and indeed people.

Secondly, on the point of film scoring. If you use live performance, it is much better to use pencil and paper to compose, because you posess instinctive abilities in that field that would make the end result far better. A computer would ruin how the work sounds, and you'd be constantly changing it to get it close to how you hear it in your mind. Then you'd realise that that's not how it's going to be performed live so you have to go back and rescore. then on top of all this re-wriing, you have to re-write again at the recoriding session because the orchestra can't play it the way you want.

If you say that computer composing is not what the 'real composers' would use, then why did all the VERY REAL composers that you all worship turn to it as soon as it arrived?

If computer synthesis really is not a great thing, as a notational composer would think, then why do all the great film composers write their entire scores on computer. Deffinatley not seeing the bigger picture yet (especially if you think that scoring the film is 0.03% of the work, I certainly beg to differ.)

NOTE THE USE OF THE WORDS computer composing NOT computer performance.

and lastly.

By writing a score, you throw it open to interpretation. This has the end result of altering how you hear your own music and can completely destroy the enjoyment that you get from that piece, pushing you back into the depressing sludge from which your ideas emmerged. I call this effect " the composer's bane" simply because by creating the very thing that lifts you from depression, you can be pushed deeper into it, because of it's effect on other people. This is also an irony. It is the disasterous comsequence of our work that we all have to live with.

On i lighter note, i enjoy watching musicians struggling with my work. gives them a nice challenge.

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indeed it is.

so moving back to composing.

For those of you interested in film music, I've completed scoring the feature length movie, "zen" produced by garry davis. it's an asian martial arts movie. I'll see if i can get his permission to post you a few cues tomorrow.

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or why galelao would not accept the teachings of the church.  The brain is a wonderful thing, but it is limited in its mechanisms of understanding, that no ammount of teching is going to change.

Everything else aside, I really wouldn't say Galilei's brain, or any other part of him, was the problem there.

Marian - :?

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heh, yes the church state was the problem there, but the exaple holds, he simply wouldn't do what they said because part of him didn't understand their frames of reference, and wanted to explore other ways of looking at the universe. Just as i look for alternative ways of exploring music and creativity.

The dominent system will allways try to teach their way of doing things, and encourage this as a means of controling their environment. The problem being that several people are too arrogant and insist on doing things their own way. sometimes to their demise, but sometimes to genius, it's a risky line to walk.

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Look, mat, take my advice or leave it: I was in the same position as you not too long ago, and I bit the bullet and tried to learn writing with a piano and pencil, and develop a feel/instinct for orchestration. I was able to LEARN what worked and what didn't work on my Sinfonietta in terms of orchestration, and so for my next project I will have even more critical knowledge.

I don't think it has anything to do with a natural gift for hearing the orchestra in your head. Maybe a natural gift for bothering to learn to hear it. Or you could not try and keep on your merry way. Each to his own!

Bowie

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If you say that computer composing is not what the 'real composers' would use, then why did all the VERY REAL composers that you all worship turn to it as soon as it arrived?  

If computer synthesis really is not a great thing, as a notational composer would think, then why do all the great film composers write their entire scores on computer.  Deffinatley not seeing the bigger picture yet (especially if you think that scoring the film is 0.03% of the work, I certainly beg to differ.)

NOTE THE USE OF THE WORDS computer composing NOT computer performance.

Just curious... name one real composer that composes using a computer. or has turned 100% to composing with a computer, and not with PnP. I don't think i can think of any. I know sometimes film composers do that, but that's usually because of time constraints (that way its much faster for orchestrators to notate, and make parts, when the midi is keyed in). example of this occurence would be the king kong score which had to be written very fast. so jnh was writing on the computer.

For people taht turned to the comp, it was primarily usef for several things. Either,

a) fractional computer composition (as in using randomn numbers and making the comp play that in Hz). I know a few serious composers that do this. And it works.

B) different sounds. To get synth lead, pads, etc. to use fake bass strings (ex. Zimmer). or the comp is used to achieve microtones and other tones not achievable with actual instruments.

c) Notation. See you said composers write the score on the computer and this is true for ALL composers, because it is much neater than handwriting. But it is writing, not composing. The composition stage takes place at a keyboard and with a writing medium (can be paper or monitor). BUT they dont use the computer to compose. There's a distinction between composing with a computer, and composing but notating on the computer.

Steve reich doesn't compose on a computer for instance. nor does glass, williams, or for pop musicians, diane warren, sting, etc.

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I wrote this "End Credits" cue for a friend's student film (an allegory of current political events, set in ancient Arabia -- hence the use of a number of augmented 2nds). The film premiered last weekend, and I composed this cue in a couple days the previous week. It is synthesized with the "Edirol High Quality Orchestral Synthesizer".

http://web.mit.edu/stransky/Public/st/endcredits.mp3

I would appreciate comments! (I know there are parts that are a bit repetitive, but that's because I only had a couple days to write this.)

I have enjoyed listening to the other cues posted in this thread.

Thanks for listening,

Scott

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Haha, Scott... I was starting to post another piece of mine, while listening to yours, and I realised that there were bits and pieces that were quite similar, such as the quaver motive running beneath your whole piece (similar to second half of mine) and how it changes to add tension. Also ends similarly!

Really enjoyed your piece... and it's not too repetitive - you made enough different things happen without straying too far from the original ideas at all, which is your friend!

I've used a LOT of repetition in this piece as well... what do you think?

'Theme from The International Affair' - http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?PID=797413&T=30

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Excellent work, both of you! Bowie, that celeste sound is magnificent. You know, perhaps you could take that 2 minute piece and make it longer....your ficticious television show can find a new theme song, lol.

Scott, I liked how every measure seemed to have something new added here and there. It's hard to take on theme and repeat it. I know that in my compositions, I tend to have one theme and then, before it gets old or repetitive, I jump to a new theme. That's not necessarily a good thing.

I should try to make one theme and kinda repeat it like you two did. Makes for a good exercise.

~Tyler :P

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Sinfonietta (which has gone off with not much more than a whimper  :cry: lol).

I listened to it a while ago, when you first posted it. I didn't post my opinion about it then but I think it is good, for what it's worth.

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I agree, great work!  More music is always better.  By the way, I didn't find the snare drums to be to much.  It seemed just fine.

not always:P. my composition teacher has this adage which i think is very important "too little of a good idea is bad. too much of a bad idea is horrendous."

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I just finished recording the revised Main Title for Marian's space game (which is almost finished now, only some minor things left... and part of the score :oops: ). Most instruments are EWQL Silver, apart from violins and viola, which I recorded myself. The mix isn't completely finished yet but pretty near final... I think it could use some minor tweaking or equalizing, but for that I'm waiting for the comments of a friend of mine who has more experience in recording and mixing.

So here it is: Max Fighter - Main Title (revised)

Criticism welcome :D

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it sounds MUCH better if you play it with a LOT of reverb. in an environment that makes the sound more airy.

if you've got eax try reverb setting auditorium 1 at 75% (that's the easiest way around the muffled effect in the brass and strings, it's not perfect but it makes 0.28 onwards sound at least four times more authentic)

if you've got samples with that electronic muffling in brass and strings, if you can find a way around it, electronic samples can sound real.

no wonder you guys say samples are bad, if you don't tweak them and record in ways that make them sound 10 times better than the standard settings.

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I don't think "a lot of reverb" is the patent solution to everything... I've had several people tell me this, and sending me "enhanced" reverberated versions of my stuff to prove their point; only that in the process they proved another thing, that "more real" doesn't automatically mean "better sounding" if the desired sound has to suffer. One of those examples was a march, that sure sounded more like real instruments with lots of reverb, but the collateral damage was, the whole things was one big mushy cloud of sound in which not much rhythmic edge and clarity was left because everything blended together...

I tried several reverb settings here, and to my experience this is practically as much (general) reverb as possible to keep the direct sound the music should have (speaking in acoustic film score references, this is Star Wars, not Lord of the Rings :P). I think I have to try around a bit with some added reverb to the trumpet, perhaps that would smooth some things out...

But I'm willing to be proven wrong, so if you think you can improve the sound with some kind of hall impulse, I'm open to hear it :D

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yes deffinately play around with it.

IME something that sounds real is less cringe inducing than something that sounds fake, and is therefore better because the listening experience is far more pleasent.

If you remove the instrumental reverb to small degree then add some atmospheric reverb, the reverb won't layer as much so you'll get a better sound. and if you tweak the treble and bass settings, the lower harmonics won't mush as much.

imo, as it stands, it sounds like someone recorded it with a telephone.

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What do you mean by "instrumental reverb"? I'd think getting the sound fuller is more a thing of equalizing than of reverberation, or not?

BTW, since this is the Composer's Thread, not the Engineer's Thread, what about the music? :)

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BTW, since this is the Composer's Thread, not the Engineer's Thread, what about the music?

Wow! I'm very fond of the orchestration. I like the harp gliss/arpegg and the trills you hear in the background. Also a good and unique melody.

I don't know anything about sound engineering. I wish this could be recorded with a real orchestra! :thumbup:

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Chris, it's very James Bond-y! Especially the first part. And I love the ending.

Here is a little 3 minute fanfare/march that I just composed for fun (it is very different than the other piece I posted). There are two main themes. There are a few variations of the first theme, then a few variations of the second theme, then the first theme makes a brief return, followed by the climax, which uses both themes at once. The first couple bars might make you think "oh, this is going to be Indiana Jones" (I used a similar background at the start), but that's definitely not the case -- though, of course, I'm inspired by JW's music)!

http://web.mit.edu/stransky/Public/st/mitwe.mp3

Comments are very appreciated, please.

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yes i like that fanfare. i could see it in the victory screens after a battle in a ww2 computer game, or in dambusters or such movies.

chris, i do think the music is great, it was just that i was surprised that you left the performance in its raw and very fake format, is all. in general the piece was fine.

ps performance of a piece is the process of allowing the audience to hear your work, it will determine in what manner they interperet it and so as the person responsible for the performance you need to be sure that it is exactly what you want and is as good as you can possibly make it.

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BTW Matt, could you clarify what you mean by this? What sounds unauthentic at 0:28?

(that's the easiest way around the muffled effect in the brass and strings, it's not perfect but it makes 0.28 onwards sound at least four times more authentic)
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your strings sound a lot more real at this point (just at the climax point) and soft horn that come in shortly after this section (0.40) sounded rather good (the first 2 notes did anyway). If you add a bit of environment reverb and listen you'll notice a marked difference in quality between the strings at 0.02 and the strings at 0.28 and also towards 0.4 where they go into the trill.

I think from 0.28 onward the piece takes on a hollywood feel, where before it felt a bit 1990's computer gamish. i definately think you become far more williamsesque from that point, something you might want to explore and develop further. Dramatic writing appears to be your forte.

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I think the williamsesque thing is interesting. however u don't want to imitate williams. u want to be yourself, your own composer and not a williams-hack. As stravinsky told gershwin, "why be a second-rate stravinsky when you can be a first-rate gershwin?"

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Only it was Ravel, not Stravinsky ;)

Thanks for the comments, Matt... I don't know if my pc speakers are calibrated wrong or something, I listened to it over headphones and then it struck me how thin the sound was... I applied some equalizing, switching back and forth between eq. and un-eq. version... it sounded much better over the headphones with eq. Problem is, when I listened to the equalized version over the speakers, it all sounded very muffled...

Here's the test I made, it begins equalized and then switches back and forth...

http://www.chrisafonso.de/music/maxfighter...MT_equ_test.mp3

I'd appreciate some comments which version sounds better on your equipment :P

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see although it does sound a bit more muffled, the brass sounds a lot more better, only problem is that the strings now disappear at 0.28 and it sounds as if it was played through a muffler.

You need to try and balance the two out a bit.

the first was ok, though the begginning sounded fake, the second had a better beginning but has a more muffled sound overall, so something inbetween the two will work better.

something with elements from both would be very good, problem is there's a lot of editing involved.

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Only it was Ravel, not Stravinsky :P

oh dear, i did mix them up...wow. this is bad, haha. i'm turning old.... entering the bloody number of the 2. oh the horror! wat will kurtz say about this scary number?

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Thanks for the comments, Matt... I don't know if my pc speakers are calibrated wrong or something, I listened to it over headphones and then it struck me how thin the sound was... I applied some equalizing, switching back and forth between eq. and un-eq. version... it sounded much better over the headphones with eq. Problem is, when I listened to the equalized version over the speakers, it all sounded very muffled...

So we're back to this question: What's the common speaker setup for PC gamers? Whether we like it or not, that's what we'll have to target (which of course doesn't keep us from equalising the downloadable score differently, if you've got too much time on your hands... :P).

All I know for sure is that my laptop speakers can't be our reference.

Marian - who has yet to listen to this comparison.

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An orchestral piece that gets on with it pretty quickly (introducing the theme immediately on piano and then developing it through different orchestral colours and augmentations/diminutions/modal changes etc). Brownie points if you can guess what part of the E.T. score inspired the main theme.

The Dour Bellringer - http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?PID=804900&T=8962

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Is that the same recording you've posted last year? Compliments again, that's a very exciting piece :) would be great to hear it performed live, it has so much diversity in orchestration and mood...

In the meantime I've done another small piece, 1 minute of music for a 1 minute short film a friend made. The request was "sad/melancholic violin music". I made a first draft for violin solo, and today added a piano, because I felt the violin by itself lacked some rhythmic/harmonic basis...

As it turned out, he liked the piano/violin version, but found it didn't fit the mood of the film, so the violin-only version will be used.

"Netzwerkfaktor" Score - Violin Solo

"Netzwerkfaktor" Score - Piano/Violin (rejected)

The film should be online tomorrow.

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Superb work, Chris. It sounds excellent as a solo, but I can imagine a wonderful full-orchestra behind it (in the vein of the Itzhak-performed Sabrina theme). In terms of the lacking rhythmic/harmonic basis as you say, I felt all of it was implicit regardless and worked sufficiently by itself (ie, Bach-like), which should be an utmost compliment. The starting measures are perfect with the piano, though!

I find it amusing that you can start whistling the Duel of the Fates theme starting on the beat as your piece does (6/8 la-ti-do, re | mi, re, do-ti | la...) and it lines up with your melody :)... a sort of 6/8 ostinato of the theme could emerge using the full melody (rather than the halved ostinato re-mi do-ti-la in 2/4 that Williams chose).

(And yes, it's the same recording, I just thought I should add it to my Acid profile, especially cos I didn't think the International Affair theme did justice to my penchant for varying a theme.)

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I find it amusing that you can start whistling the Duel of the Fates theme starting on the beat as your piece does (6/8 la-ti-do, re | mi, re, do-ti | la...) and it lines up with your melody :)... a sort of 6/8 ostinato of the theme could emerge using the full melody (rather than the halved ostinato re-mi do-ti-la in 2/4 that Williams chose).

That's not "Duel of the Fates," but Presumed Innocent. Dead ringer, but only for a measure. It sounds very nice.

I guess Patrick Doyle didn't use all the cool reharmonizations after all. Nice; all the versions sound like what you set out to do (jazz, upbeat, etc.).

I'm going to go out on a limb here and post a full soundtrack. Twenty-six minutes (plus clicking and downloading time for each track), if you have time. The Jade Project is a videogame mod for this Star Wars game that a friend created. The general mood of it is mysterious and at some times horrific, so I wrote a score that remained loosely attached to the Star Wars universe, but was far from the swashbuckling style of the original films. Download here (there are two download links for each track; the first one doesn't work, so select the second). If you like Star Wars themes, they're featured in tracks 11 and 14. :)

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hey bowie, i thought these were ok, samples were ok, but you might want to try a different volume in the vamps for the first variation i think they were too loud.

ps did you get permission to orchestrate the theme? if you didn't you violated mr w's copyright and artist rights.

A contemporary feel definatley doesn't work with this theme, ruins its charm and mistique. Never mind the way the company's going i wouldn't be at all surprised if they hired you to score the next one.

In general, an interesting set of variations on this lovely theme.

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Hey thanks for your comments, guys. I originally wrote it for piano but I lost my piano sample and thought I'd compromise by being "true" to the original and having it all on celeste. It does sound clearer and better on piano, though.

As for the copyright issue, if John Williams (or his WB cronies) want to pick a fight with this non-profit homage to his genius, then I can't wait -- sounds fun! :wave:

Here's "The Scary-go-round," which is my novel idea for music for a Mario level (Gosh I love Mario!), where he's running around a ferris-wheel trying to both escape AND chase The Big Boo (a big ghost) while avoiding boopy-trapped ghost horses! Cool, eh! (NB: it speeds up as the ferris-wheel starts up; and then each time Mario successfully catches Big Boo and butt-stomps him... NB-2: eek, copyright laws broken everywhere!)

http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?PID=806656&T=5125

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The Hedwig variations are in interesting take on the theme, Bowie, but I personally had a hard time recognizing the theme in some places, especially near the beginning :) (But I guess that's the nature of variations, as I'm currently experiencing with Reger's Mozart variations in the orchestra). And the celeste sometimes sounds more like chimes... otherwise, nice work :wave:

If anyone's interested, the ultra-short film I scored last week is online. I already mentioned that sadly the director didn't find the version with piano fitting for the mood so he went with violin only, but unluckily the finished violin track happened to be too short, so he went with the demo recording I initially did. I'm not exactly satisfied with it, the sound quality is too raw and sharp, and there are some unpolished things in the performance... well, I'll have to do another take.

The film can be found here: www.florian-neumeister.de/filme/Netzwerkfaktor.mov

If you've got a media player with subtitle-from-txt function, I've made a subtitle file...

Otherwise, read my translation of the narration below:

There are components, which appear as individuals. And there are links, which exist between them. And finally the network, which is the sum of individuals and their links.  

I don't want to cause trouble, but exactly WHAT are my connections to this collective? Am I part of a decentralized world, where it doesn't matter if a component drops out?

"Failed connection attempt..."

If the protocols for co-existence have suddenly changed, or if I have lost my connections... am I an island then?

Outside? Isolated? Loose?

Free.

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Matt, he's not playing the music in public, or selling it. He's not in direct violation of any copyrights, to my understanding.

I think the contemporary take on the theme is charming. There's only so much "mystique" you can preserve with the theme without making it sound the same as it already is. The jazz progressions, and especially the rhythm and punctuation in the first variation is fantastic.

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  • 4 weeks later...

hello, my first post but I'm not new to the forum. Ive been visiting you guys and I respect alot of the members in here and their opinion. it came to me that i wanted you guy's opinion on some music i made. I'm not attempting to imittate john williams. this is something completely of my own. I just wanted the opinion's of john william's fan what they expect. if this satisfy every one's expectation or not. ofcourse I'm not comparing my self to john williams at all.... :mrgreen:

the music's name is "God's sad heart" I was inspired by a track john williams did in one of his collection however I do not remember the name fo the song it self. but you guys will probably figure it out..lol

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/songInfo.c...&songID=4085779

If that doesn't work,

www.myspace.com/sheriefmusic

the first song.

thanks again for any opinion I await them with eagrness(Including negative opinions!)

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Interesting, Shereif! And I hope you've joined the site for the long haul. Let us pray Williams lasts forever.

"God's Sad Heart" sounded like an extended version of Barber's Adagio, but very pleasant nonetheless. Was this an influence? Do you have any non-string-based music?

Good, refreshing work! :mrgreen:

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My latest piece. I was asked to write a Jazz Fanfare, and I was like "WTF is a jazz fanfare? Having no clue, i used a classical approach but utlized jazz voicings, jazz harmonies, jazz scales (esp blues notes) and swing. I rather like the jazz fugue i have near the end. Also, note that there is the classical idea of motifs used in the piece, where everything is based on 2 motifs.

This was commissioned for Toronto FANFARES project, and SOUNDaxis.

http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?PID=809919&t=3471

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Very cool :) It's interesting an energic. The fugue is well developed, from what I could discern by listening once. The "jazz" character sometimes feels a bit... unnatural, but I guess that comes from the un-jazzy context of the piece ;)

BTW, could "Badge of Honor" from Goldsmith's "L. A. Confidential" be counted as a jazz fanfare? It's to-the-point, it's short, and it's jazzy (well, at least big bandy;))

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no, bigband is not considered a jazz fanfare i think. i thought of that but then i realized fanfares usually employ ONLY the brass, so u cant have drums and all the acessories (saxes, etc).

And ya, it doesn't some too jazzy but meh. I cheated for the swing, but putting it at 12/8. I couldn't figure out how to make finale play reverse swing (as in short long). it only did normal swing, so i put it at 12/8. plus you are listening to a very crappy finale'd mp3. real life it sounds jazzy. half of jazz is articulations, and trust me, there are lots of jazz articulations, wails, etc. but you can't do authentic ones with samples.

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it sounds MUCH better if you play it with a LOT of reverb. in an environment that makes the sound more airy.  

Reverb is good yes, but too much of it (like scotts piece "endcredits") makes it sound more fake than it needed to. But it helps disguising samples of course ;) It doesn't sound like a real hall when used in this amount.

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Yes, I'm guilty. The reverb was set at 127 out of 127.

Reverb is good yes, but too much of it (like scotts piece "endcredits") makes it sound more fake than it needed to. But it helps disguising samples of course :angry: It doesn't sound like a real hall when used in this amount.

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