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I don't know if I'd call QL Colossus a "starting purchase"........

So are you mainly wanting to do epic-orchestral kind of stuff?

Yes. If you've heard Zircon's original game music "Ragnarok," that's a perfect example. Any of the typical RPG battle soundtracks, the decisive boss battles and final bosses. All that intense kind've stuff.

What would I need for that?

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My suggestion for your very first purchase would be a good set of headphones. check this thread for everything you might want to read on that. You can have the sweetest samples and programs around, but if you can't accurately hear what is going on, it's not going to do you any good.

Try downloading demo copies of all the different programs you might want to try and see what fits you the best. There are some helpful links here.

Don't expect to be awesome overnight; there are a ton of nuances to learn, and getting them all down takes some time. Composing music is one thing, but composing plus producing is another completely.

A great (and fun!)way to develop your ear is to listen to and review remixes. Not only do you get to hear some great music, but by reviewing it, you are forcing yourself to think critically of everything that is going on in each mix and how it relates to each other. An even bigger bonus, is you are giving feedback to the mixers who worked so hard on those mixes.

Posting your mixes and critiquing in the WIP forums is also a good way to develop your ear, and get constant feedback on your progress.

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My suggestion for your very first purchase would be a good set of headphones. check this thread for everything you might want to read on that. You can have the sweetest samples and programs around, but if you can't accurately hear what is going on, it's not going to do you any good.

Try downloading demo copies of all the different programs you might want to try and see what fits you the best. There are some helpful links here.

Don't expect to be awesome overnight; there are a ton of nuances to learn, and getting them all down takes some time. Composing music is one thing, but composing plus producing is another completely.

A great (and fun!)way to develop your ear is to listen to and review remixes. Not only do you get to hear some great music, but by reviewing it, you are forcing yourself to think critically of everything that is going on in each mix and how it relates to each other. An even bigger bonus, is you are giving feedback to the mixers who worked so hard on those mixes.

Posting your mixes and critiquing in the WIP forums is also a good way to develop your ear, and get constant feedback on your progress.

Alright, I'll do the headphone thing at some point as well. Just sunk money in on an Axiom-61 so I have my first MIDI controller. Hopefully, I made a good purchase.

Still, what software would you recommend? I'm partial to using FL right now. I guess I was more wondering what software synths and sample packs are worth buying. There are SO many, and I don't know which give the sounds I want.

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There are SO many, and I don't know which give the sounds I want.

All sample packs will have demos of their content, so just give them a listen. Keep in mind that it will take some work before you can get the same quality as the demos, but at least you know what is basically possible with the set.

There are plenty of good orchestral sample libraries out there, and they're getting less expensive. Garritan Personal Orchestra is pretty cheap for what it offers, and it's meant for amateur use. It's a starting point, as Garritan himself will admit. A lot of people praise EWQLSO for the "epic" sound, though only the Silver version is affordable, and it isn't too great. Kirk Hunter's Emerald Symphony is around $200. And if that seems like a lot of money, those are basically the "bottom" end of these things. Orchestral libraries can get pretty expensive.

What OA says about not expecting to be awesome right away is correct. Even if you have this great library in front of you, it doesn't mean much if you haven't dedicated enough time to learn how to compose correctly. Composing (good) orchestral music is hard and takes a lot of skill.

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All sample packs will have demos of their content, so just give them a listen. Keep in mind that it will take some work before you can get the same quality as the demos, but at least you know what is basically possible with the set.

There are plenty of good orchestral sample libraries out there, and they're getting less expensive. Garritan Personal Orchestra is pretty cheap for what it offers, and it's meant for amateur use. It's a starting point, as Garritan himself will admit. A lot of people praise EWQLSO for the "epic" sound, though only the Silver version is affordable, and it isn't too great. Kirk Hunter's Emerald Symphony is around $200. And if that seems like a lot of money, those are basically the "bottom" end of these things. Orchestral libraries can get pretty expensive.

What OA says about not expecting to be awesome right away is correct. Even if you have this great library in front of you, it doesn't mean much if you haven't dedicated enough time to learn how to compose correctly. Composing (good) orchestral music is hard and takes a lot of skill.

Thanks, I'll look into all of those. Is that the main thing that makes video game music sound epic? The orchestra parts?

I know you can't build a house on sand, so I still need to work on getting better with this stuff. The thing is, I have NO orchestral samples on my computer at all, really.

Anyone want to point me towards some good freeware orchestral and maybe synth guitar stuff online that I can download to get me started?

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Squidfont and Cadenza Strings.

http://www.sf2midi.com/index.php?page=sdet&id=7109

http://www.sf2midi.com/index.php?page=sdet&id=2400

Two great free reverbs IMO.

http://www.kvraudio.com/get/2802.html

http://www.kvraudio.com/get/707.html

Also try to find midi files of different movie scores or famous orchestral songs for some nice compositional references.

Also I second OA and Wiesty on some type of monitors.

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Squidfont and Cadenza Strings.

http://www.sf2midi.com/index.php?page=sdet&id=7109

http://www.sf2midi.com/index.php?page=sdet&id=2400

Two great free reverbs IMO.

http://www.kvraudio.com/get/2802.html

http://www.kvraudio.com/get/707.html

Also try to find midi files of different movie scores or famous orchestral songs for some nice compositional references.

Also I second OA and Wiesty on some type of monitors.

What's the difference between monitors and headphones?

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What's the difference between monitors and headphones?

I think when they say "monitors" they are referring to any sort of audio monitoring device ,which could be headphones or speakers. Monitors can also specifically refer to studio monitors, which would be these:

http://www.zzounds.com/cat--Studio-Monitors--2862

Basically the recommendations to get this kind of stuff is so that you can hear an accurate representation of what you're producing, rather then having regular speakers which sometimes alter the sound, give it "bass boost", etc. Or they just are bad quality.

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