X-Mas Song Return, second opinions?

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matto
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Re: X-Mas Song Return, second opinions?

Post by matto » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:17 am

Dan I will, just have to do a bit of work myself first...hehee Hopefully this evening...Take care, you have a great attitude.

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Re: X-Mas Song Return, second opinions?

Post by mazz » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:19 am

As usual Matt gives the bigger picture while I, for one, focus on the technical, to a fault! I agree with Matt as far as making your stuff quality instead of quantity. It can take a lot of time to make something sound as close as possible to a "real" orchestra, I've been doing it steadily for a couple of years now and still don't think I'm consistently making it happen.I think you have orchestral music in your ears but I would recommend listening to some more classical music, particularly Wagner and Stravinsky and Orff (The Planets) as they seem to be good templates for a lot of modern film music (a lot of John Williams' stuff sounds heavily influenced by The Planets to me). Of course Zimmer and Elfman and John Powell for mixing the electronic elements in a more modern context.To address your question about using the "humanize" function. I do use it (I use Digital Performer) in conjunction with manual editing, sometimes on a note by note basis. Sometimes I'll play a run and then edit it after that as well. It's not unusual to spend hours getting lines to flow by putting in controller curves, editing velocities and note lengths. There are legato scripts that make things faster and easier as well if you use Kontakt 2. That's a big subject but there's no substitute for knowing your gear inside and out and hearing what you want the final product to sound like before you pick up the mouse.As Matt said, you have a good attitude, just slow down and dig in, you'll get faster eventually.Mazz
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Re: X-Mas Song Return, second opinions?

Post by daniel481 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:25 am

Thanks mazz, I'll take all of that into consideration. And slowing down shouldn't be a problem...I should have known something was up when I was finishing songs like "Deck the Halls" in under 2-3 hours

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Re: X-Mas Song Return, second opinions?

Post by matto » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:01 pm

Quote:"Gametime" for a sports rock listinghttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=63078&stream=1This is very good, about the only thing I'd say is that the brass hits could be a bit more interesting and they are too buried mix wise (of course you probably did this on purpose since your orchestral sounds are on the weak side).Everything else is great.Quote:"Run for your life" for Iron-Maiden-esque metal listinghttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=68785&stream=1I never was a metalhead so I can't say how dead on this is, but it is very well written and performed and sounds professional.Quote:and "Running to Escape" for action/chase music listinghttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=66884&stream=1This is the weakest one. It's not bad, but it's kind of small and unimpressive sounding. The drum (loop) part gets too repetitive and isn't interesting enough. The fast string runs sound unrealistic, it's not just the sound but the writing is not convincing string writing. You wouldn't have a run this fast going on for such along time, or the fiddlers would kill you .I believe you submitted this for the recent Dispatch listing quoted elsewhere by Vikki, and I think they were looking for really impressive sounding stuff there..."think of film trailers...percussion heavy...constant movement" I believe were some of the key phrases, so for that you would need heavier, bigger, more in your face percussion tracks, and in general just...more going on, hits, more dramatic stuff. This sounds kind of small and tame. It's not a bad piece of music by any means, just not quite on target and up to the standards for/of this listing IMHO. Of course maybe you'll get forwarded and prove me wrong .I think it's great that you're interested in broadening your horizons and trying to branch out musically, but it would be a mistake abandoning the stuff that's your real strength at this point, and that's the more rock/pop and guitar oriented stuff. At this point there are plenty of folks writing rings around you orchestrally, but they don't have your skills producing the more rock and pop oriented stuff. There's a ton of demand for that in the music library world and you already posess the skills to do a kick ass job at it.So my advice is don't neglect that if you want those placements...not saying you have to limit yourself to it...matto

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Re: X-Mas Song Return, second opinions?

Post by daniel481 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:20 pm

Thanks a lot for taking the time to check these out Matt. I really appreciate your comments and opinions. And, btw, I just found out I got a forward for "Gametime", so I'm pretty happy about that I definitely agree that the more rock/pop stuff is my strong point, as I do have the most experience with that. And don't worry, there's no way I'll be abandoning that! I just want to be able to write and compose in as many different styles as possible.I'm glad you liked the first two songs. As far as the third one, I originally wrote it for a listing for Action/Chase music. I strove to model it after something you might hear in the Bourne Identity. Therefore, I stuck with the constant drum loop and some other synthetic elements. As far as the strings, I guess the issue is that I wasn't trying to make them sound like something a real string section would play...I just wanted something rather over the top and exciting, kind of in the same vein as the drum loop, which wouldn't be too feasible to perform, either. I do agree that it is not too "big" sounding, though. I guess we'll have to see if it makes it through for one of those listings!I think that has been an issue with almost all of the "orchestral" compositions that I've posted on here...save for maybe 1, I wasn't really trying to make them sound like an actual orchestra. I think I was going for some strange hybrid of...well, who knows what. I think that I've definitely been discouraged/embarassed about my string/horn sounds, so I was writing in a really strange way to try to cover that up. It's something I need to work on! I definitely know that I have the ability to write good, even great, orchestral pieces, though. I can hear them in my head, and I know what I need to do to get them down on "paper", but I just haven't taken the time to really take them there for whatever reason. I will definitely be much more motivated/inspired once I do get this new East West library, because I won't feel I have to bury my sounds anymore!So, again, I really appreciate your help. I'll definitely be continuing to focus on my strong suit of rock/pop/guitar oriented music, but I'm confident that I'll be able to post an orchestral piece soon that I can gain some actual "cred" with! In fact, I won't stop until I can turn those kinds of pieces out consistently Thanks again!Dan

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Re: X-Mas Song Return, second opinions?

Post by matto » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:34 pm

Quote:As far as the strings, I guess the issue is that I wasn't trying to make them sound like something a real string section would play...I just wanted something rather over the top and exciting, kind of in the same vein as the drum loop, which wouldn't be too feasible to perform, either. I do agree that it is not too "big" sounding, though. I guess we'll have to see if it makes it through for one of those listings!I think that has been an issue with almost all of the "orchestral" compositions that I've posted on here...save for maybe 1, I wasn't really trying to make them sound like an actual orchestra. I think I was going for some strange hybrid of...well, who knows what. Yeah I know what you're saying. The truth is most modern "orchestral" music you'll find in music libraries and on tv, and even lots of film stuff is some sort of hybrid, meaning it contains "electronic" elements of some sort.The thing is though, when you look at the description of the dispatch listing we discussed earlier you'll see that it says "any instrument emulations must be indistinguishable from the real thing", and that's something you'll find is true for probably 95% of these types of listings, even if it doesn't always say so.So if the goal is to get deals and placements, the orchestral elements within your cues should sound as "real" as possible, even if it's a hybrid cue.Cause when people hear that string run they won't go "ah, he's creating excitement with that line and just happens to be using a string sample"...they'll go..."ouch, cheesy string part, can't use this".The easiest way to sidestep that would be to use some interesting synth sound for that run instead. Or alternatively come up with an exciting but realistic part for the violins.

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Re: X-Mas Song Return, second opinions?

Post by daniel481 » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:42 pm

Point well taken! I'll definitely keep that in mind when creating parts for upcoming listings such as that. And like I said, I had written that cue for a different listing (although, like you said, they very well may have the same requirements, though unstated), and just figured I'd pitch it at the dispatch one, as well. Thanks again for all the advice, I feel like I've already learned so much in the last two months, and I can't wait to keep learning more. Heck, it's the only way I'm gonna get anywhere

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