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Moseph

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Everything posted by Moseph

  1. The ReMix review threads are, in fact, tagged with some musical info -- here's the tag cloud. That's the nearest thing OCR has to genre classification at present.
  2. I write most things in Finale before ever opening my DAW. I'd do it by hand on staff paper, but it ends up being extremely time-consuming to get an easily-readable orchestral score that way (no copy/paste or part extraction), so when I work on paper, it's usually no more than melodic/harmonic sketches. The two main issues with working in a DAW for me are that I prefer to look at notation rather than piano roll data (and am already extremely comfortable in Finale, so using the DAW's score editor feels limiting) and when I try to write in a DAW, I usually get bogged down in tweaking the sound and messing with keyswitches to the point that the quality of my writing suffers. I find it works best for me to divide the tasks of composing, recording, and mixing with as little overlap as possible.
  3. There can be a sense of satisfaction gained in doing something well, even if that thing is ultimately insignificant.
  4. In that case rather than recording the master output to a track, could you just record the output of the synth that's glitching on export? Then you could mute only that synth and export with the audio track standing in for the synth, which should avoid the problem with the strings.
  5. I can't find a manual for MMM 2013, but from what I can tell based on documentation for an older version, it has only offline export (meaning you can't make it play the music in realtime while it exports). If I'm wrong and there is a way to make it play while it exports, try doing that -- I fixed a VST's export problem in SONAR this way one time. Again, I'm unsure of MMM's feature set, but another thing to try would be recording the output of your master back to a stereo audio track. This will give you an audio track with the music on it, so then you can mute everything else and just export that audio track. Obviously, this wouldn't fix the problem with Revolta, but it would at least give you a workaround to get a clean export.
  6. Having to listen to Steve Reich's (an hour-long minimalistic piece) for a college music theory class and quickly realizing that instead of being tedious it was pretty much the best music ever.Also, I was fortunate enough to see a performance of Sweeney Todd (Broadway revival version) in which the actors also played all of the instruments onstage. Best performance of anything I've ever seen.
  7. Man, now I want to do a ReMix.
  8. ReValver MK III.V for $29.99 -- 10/21 only http://www.musiciansfriend.com/stupid/
  9. Whenever I need a bass synth, the first thing I turn to is a TB-303 Devilfish sample library that I got as a freebie from Soniccouture. You can get some pretty awesome gutteral sorts of bass sounds from it, though it might possibly not be guitar-sounding enough for your purposes. Here's an example of my use of it. It's available in Kontakt and EXS24 formats, and the site specifically mentions compatibility with Live (through the EXS24 version, I assume). You do have to buy something from Soniccouture to get the freebie, though. Their stuff ranges from around $30 upward. Also, your example clip made me think of -- I love it!
  10. Yoozer posted some info on how to make your own samples sound like SNES samples in this thread. Might be relevant to your interests.
  11. Without getting into a detailed discussion of part-writing conventions, one thing that jumps out at me is how much this sounds like a transitional section of music rather than an opening melodic statement (I'm assuming that you intend it to be the latter). As Radiowar mentioned, the harmonic function of the bass is generally unclear. This isn't in itself necessarily a problem depending on the effect you're aiming for, but I think that it's the single most significant factor that gives the music this transitional feel. As an example of how you might go about revising the bass, here's my own quick and dirty rewrite of the bass -- everything else is the same. (Caveat: The low D is lower than I would actually want to write for choral bass in this context, and there are a few other new problems, so a general rewrite of everything would be needed to make my bass line work really well.) Notice how the bass seems to have a lot more direction. The bass in mm. 1 and 3 provides reasonably clear chord roots with mm. 2 and 4 filling in the space between the roots. I'm also taking advantage of contrary motion between the soprano and the bass. As the soprano moves up, the bass moves down, and this helps the whole thing sound a bit more balanced than your original, which had the bass constantly moving in the same direction as the soprano. And the motion of the bass has established itself clearly enough over the course of these four measures for us to guess that the bass note at the start of measure 5 will probably be E, or possibly C#. Which isn't to say that it has to be, but anything else is likely to come as a surprise to the listener, which could be a good thing -- the point is, an expectation for the bass's behavior has been set up and can be fulfilled or thwarted depending on the effect you want.
  12. My experience has been that even very good choral music sounds terrible when played with a General MIDI patch, and I think what you have here would sound quite good if you could hear a real choir sing it. I've mocked it up with a string section, which I think gives a decent impression of the musicality of it. (Contrabasses double cellos an octave down, and the alto's first note is transposed to put it within violin range, but otherwise the passage is unchanged.) When you have a piece of music like this that isn't clearly based in functional harmony, phrasing and performance nuance become extremely important in cuing the listener in on how the music is supposed to hang together. Unfortunately, you don't get much of this in automated Finale/Sibelius-style playback, so you either have to do a better mockup yourself or just trust that when your instincts tell you something will work, it will work despite how bad the playback sounds. Speaking of parallel fifths, you've got them between the bass and soprano in the fourth measure, if that matters to you (and in this style of music I don't think it's a big deal).
  13. Only get CCC2 Pro if you need the additional mic positions on the Hollywood stuff, or on pianos, or on Symphonic Orchestra. Other than that, it's the same as CCC2 but with slightly less of a discount. I think CCC2 (non-Pro) lets you get some of the same stuff as CCC1 but adds the Hollywood orchestral series, which you should definitely take a look at if you're not familiar with it. Depending on what you were thinking of getting in CCC1 (Symphonic Orchestra?), the Hollywood series might be better.
  14. Unless I'm mistaken, the PC vs. Mac difference only matters because they ship you a hard drive that works with the specific OS out of the box. I don't think the licenses themselves are platform specific, so you might be able to buy a replacement drive for a different OS if you needed to. You should email their customer service.
  15. It's not a very recognizable video game theme, unfortunately, but you're welcome to use my ReMix Darkness Fears Light, and We Fear the Darkness for the promo video.
  16. You might consider buying headphones with a detachable/replaceable cord. I'm not sure what, if anything, is available in whatever your price range is, but my AKG K702s have a cord that attaches to the headphones with a mini XLR plug. Beyond this, I think not to bundle or wrap the cord is probably the single most important piece of advice you can get.
  17. I'm tentatively interested in being involved. I have experience writing for real orchestra players and depending on what your needs are could possibly also assist with orchestration and editing for any arrangers who are less familiar with orchestra writing.
  18. Alicia's Keys for $40 is a steal. Of the piano libraries I've, used, it's one of the ones that feels most like a real piano when I play it from a MIDI keyboard. It definitely has a Yamaha sound to it, which makes it a good general-purpose piano, especially for piano-based pop styles. There's some string/body buzz in some of the samples, but not enough to be a big issue. The library's not super tweakable, so what you hear in the demos is pretty much what you get. I actually think it sounds best with relatively aggressive playing styles (which is also my opinion for Yamaha pianos in general). Yamahas have a very cleanly-defined sound with a lot of body, and Alicia's Keys captures that very well. When you play with a light touch, it sounds, to my ear, more delicate than intimate (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). Very different from something like Soundiron's Emotional Piano, which has a slightly muffled, more indistinct sound that I would describe more as more intimate than Alicia's Keys. But the dynamic range on Alicia's Keys is very good, which I think is one of the big reasons that it feels so natural to play -- and I think it's a testament to the quality of the sampling that I basically feel the same way about the sound of Alicia's Keys as I do about the sound of the real Yamaha pianos that I've played.
  19. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/stupid/ 8/17/13 only -- $29 (reg. $149) for XLN Audio Addictive Keys Studio Collection Promo Pak. The description doesn't make it clear whether the Rhodes is included or not. It's a boxed product that actually has to ship (so old-fashioned!), so no one on any other message forum has any insight into this either. But I've purchased it, because why not? (The other non-sale version of the software they have listed is a not-yet-in-stock download product with the same MSRP and a fuller description, so my guess is that they're trying to liquidate all of their physical copies and the sale item is probably the full version -- fingers crossed.)
  20. Started playing piano when I was 8 or 9; started composing when I was maybe 14. Didn't take it too seriously until college, then got a master's degree in composition at 24.
  21. Also worth mentioning is that if you're considering EWQL SO and have a budget of up to $1000, you can get EWQL's Complete Composer's Collection 2 for $800 which includes the Gold versions of all three EWQL Hollywood libraries (strings/brass/woodwinds), which are a lot newer than SO. Also relevant: Play has been updated to version 4 (not sure if the update is generally available yet or not, but Stormdrum 3 shipped with it). Has anyone used it? Is it now better?
  22. Dunno about these headphones, but I have a cheap Monoprice drawing tablet that is absolutely amazing given what I paid for it. I'd buy them, no question, if I were looking for <$50 headphones, but for reference headphones that I was actually going to mix on? Probably not. And keep in mind that people don't mix on headphones in recording studios, so they don't actually need multi-hundred-dollar headphones there. If Nashville studios are in fact buying these, it may just mean that they're a really good value (and they probably are), not that they sound like $200 headphones.
  23. The woodwinds are the best-sounding section in VSL SE, in my opinion. I struggle to get the strings and the brass to sound like I want them to, but the woodwinds sound good no matter what I do with them.
  24. When you're trying to figure out where to go next in a composition, pay attention to how the elements of your music can be divided into small, discrete parts. Your melodies, for example, can be parsed as groups of three or four notes, or you can take particular rhythmic gestures that stand out to you, or maybe there's a harmonic change that you particularly like. I think a good guideline for deciding what these bits are is to ask yourself, "What aspects of this music are likely to catch the listener's attention?" Once you've identified these bits of your music, think about new ways to combine them. In my own composing, I find that it's often very effective to take a small bit of my melody and just repeat that melodic gesture several times at various pitch levels, with various rhythms, to create a new melody. The idea here is that the materials you are using are already familiar to the listener because they've heard you use them earlier in the piece, but you're now using the same material in a different way -- this helps the musical development seem connected to what came before it even if the overall feel is very different. As a practical example, my ReMix Darkness Fears Light, and We Fear the Darkness does some of this between statements of the actual source melodies. The section at 0:54-1:12 develops the source melody that started at 0:19. The section at 2:52-3:32 develops the part of the source that was heard at 2:33. In both cases, note how the development sounds similar to its source, but is able to go somewhere new because the material I chose as the basis for the development (melodic fragments, in both cases) could be bounced all over the place, leading anywhere I wanted it to, without losing the flavor of the source melody. And if you already have some idea where you want the development to lead (in this ReMix, both of those developments lead into new parts of the VGM source), getting to the new place is just a matter of massaging the fragments you've selected until you're in the right key/have the right feel/whatever and can step off into that new place without it being jarring.
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