Critique Please

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  MichaelL 5 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #16397 Reply

    AaronM

    Hi Guys,

    I don’t normally go out on a limb like this but I know some of you are more experienced than me and I could use some feedback on a few tracks. This first one is fairly recent and the following two are much older. Mostly I’m just trying better find out what genres I’m best suited for and perhaps where I should be focusing, if that makes sense.

    That said, I’m open to any feedback!

    Thanks a lot!

    #16406 Reply

    AaronM

    Bump 🙂

    #16407 Reply

    woodsdenis
    Participant

    Hi I am not going to crtique simply because in the library business its very subjective and what is brilliant for one genre is patently wrong for another.

    You are obviously into orchestral film score grand themes, have a listen to the track I linked to, not for style or composition (which are first class) but for the overall production and sound. That was done “in the box” as a demo for a string library, that is what you have to aim for in that genre. Check to Alex’s other stuff and Daniel James, Mark Petrie, Jason Livesey amongst many others. I think the first track has a really nice theme.

    #16409 Reply

    AaronM

    Thanks a lot Denis! I like this track. You can tell he pays close attention to dynamics and modulation. I will definitely listen to these others as well. I’ve read some great posts from Mark Petrie in particular about orchestral music. Perhaps it’s time I listened to some of his work.

    As for genres, I’ve done a lot of piano and drum based music like pop/rock in the passed but in recent years, orchestral has been quit a passion for me. I like to bounce around a lot though and as you said, “what is brilliant for one genre is patently wrong for another.” Great advice for someone like me! 🙂

    #16411 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    Mostly I’m just trying better find out what genres I’m best suited for and perhaps where I should be focusing, if that makes sense.

    I agree with Denis. I’m not going to critique your writing. Only you can answer what you are best suited for, unless you do not know what it takes to compete in a given area.

    Denis pointed you in the direction of some orchestral writers, I believe to show you what you’re up against, in terms of composition and production values. Alex, Jason, Daniel and Mark do a lot of sample-based orchestration. Here are some other composers who do more traditional, not hybrid, orchestration.

    http://donnwilkerson.com/The_Music_Of_Donn_Wilkerson/Welcome.html

    http://www.darylgriffith.com/featured-worktom he

    I can’t completely answer your question without knowing what your skill set is. I have an idea, but I could be wrong. Are you a trained musician? Do you read and write music? Have you studied music theory and orchestration? There is a huge difference between writing orchestral music and playing a song with orchestral instruments.

    I hear influences of Coldplay in your songs. So, by orchestral, do you mean orchestrated pop music (like Coldplay) or actual orchestral music, like John Williams? If your answer is the latter, the the things that I mentioned above, knowledge of orchestration, theory, training etc, are very important.

    If you mean orchestrated pop, you can get by without a lot of formal training. (I know someone is going to say “I don’t have formal training and I write in John Williams style.” Trust me they don’t, and the fact that they can’t hear it proves the point)

    If you mean hybrid-ochrestral music, like trailer music. that is a skill-set of its own that requires an aesthetic beyond traditional orchestration.

    When you write, how do you picture your music being used? If you are simply writing what you like, and hoping the someone else will figure out a use for it, start by thinking purpose before genre.

    If you like a particular writer, or writers, read their bios. Find out what kind of training and experience they have.

    Like everything else in this business, so much depends on your goals and what level you want to, or can work on. Reality TV and RF libraries are something within everyone’s reach. On the other hand writing orchestral music, or music for trailers requires a lot more.

    I hope some of that makes sense.

    Best of luck.

    Michael

    #16414 Reply

    Barbie
    Participant

    Just posted this on our Facebook page, and think you’ll find it thrilling.
    Here Thomas Newman (“Scent of a Woman”, “American Beauty”, “Finding Nemo”, “WALL-E”, etc.) discusses his soundtrack for “Skyfall,” the latest James Bond film. Derek Watkins, who has played trumped on all 23 James Bond soundtracks, talks about the music through the years. Some great action clips from the film too, and the orchestra recording at Abbey Road Studios. Keep your trailer music dreams alive!!!

    #16415 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    Yes, Barbie, Thomas Newman is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. He’s the son of the great film composer Alfred Newman. He’s the brother of David and cousin of Randy, also film composers. He’s a violinist, who studied music theory at USC and got his masters at Yale. He’s been nominated for 12 Academy Awards.

    Dreams are wonderful.They should be the motivation for acquiring the skills necessary to bring them to fruition. No one, however, should kid themselves into thinking that they can accomplish what Thomas Newman has accomplished without putting in the time, and doing the work. That is a formula for disappointment.

    There’s a place for everyone in this business. Figuring out where you fit is essential. Keeping your dreams in line with reality is one of the best ways of achieving them. By that, I mean finding out what you have to do, and doing it…no shortcuts.

    #16441 Reply

    AaronM

    Thank you Barbie, this is great!

    And Michael, I had 5 paragraphs in response to what you mentioned that somehow did not post.

    In short, and once again, thank you for the great advice! To answer your question, I do not have any “formal” training. I have always learned best by listening, playing what I hear, and creating anew. I have done this for years and with a lot of effort and focus, it hasn’t failed yet; music theory included 🙂

    I am reminded by your words though, that I could really do this a lot more with traditional orchestral and trailer music once I start producing more in those genres. I have not, as yet, seriously attempted to create such, although I do plan to here in the future. That said, I really believe that my lack of direction and market knowledge are more in the way at this point, than my skill set, so to speak. That’s not to say I don’t recognize areas in which I can greatly improve.

    I like what you said about getting to know certain composers. James Horner is one I have always really enjoyed and should really get to know more. And for classical, Rachmaninoff is one of my favorites.

    I also like what you’ve said about “figuring out where you fit” and “Start by thinking purpose before genre”. Both are sound advice for someone like me!

    Thanks again as always!

    #16442 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    James Horner has a PhD in composition. You might find this thread interesting. http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=1&threadID=101232&archive=0

    You can find Rachmaninoff’s music here, for study.
    http://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Rachmaninoff,_Sergei

    Your challenge will be figuring out if, and where, your preference for that kind of music will fit in. Eric Carmen did. He had two hits based on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2

    Best of luck. Learn from everything that you do!

    _Michael

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