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Composition Thread

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feel like we are missing a thread where composition and music made by surly posters can go (someone tell me if i'm wrong and there is one)...

over the last couple of months, gotten back into music production from a hobby perspective.  i used to tool around back in college and right after but it has been a while.  unfortunately, no real formal training or anything but still enjoy doing it.  so in terms of tools...

daw: logic pro x;  keyboard/midi controllers: korg kronos & akai mkp249;  audio interface: scarlett;  condensor mic: akg,  controller: mackey 16 control unit;  a few vst plugins including serum and zebra for synths, various spitfire audio libraries (mostly strings/orchestral), a couple of native instruments vst's like battery 4 for drums, nerve for a step editor.  izotope's neutron 2 for mixing and ozone 8 for home mastering using a wide variety of reference tracks.  live instruments are carlo lamberti violin and fender stratocaster.

so, just getting back up on the horse...made a few tracks of varying styles just messing around that obviously still need some work.  hoping it will get others to share some of their stuff as well.

first two aren't original but slight recompositions of max richter songs (one he used for a ballet, the other for scoring the show the leftovers).  the others are just random, original sketches of melodies and a little bit of delving into electronic/beats.  anyway, listen or don't...it's all over the map (would love any technical feedback from some of you studio pros on mix/mastering).  but the guitar thread has me hoping that some of you guys that are not just hobbyists will share some of your stuff.

 

 

 

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I didn't listen to the first two, just wanted to hear your original stuff . . . nothing stood out until "Piano and Cello Sketch".  While there's not much in the way of a robust cello part there, the piano composition is quite nice.  I would like to hear that classical style integrated with some of the loops and whatnot, maybe take things in a different direction.

I like "Charlotte's Beat" . . . it could also probably stand a bit more variety, but the tonality and groove work for me.

I can't comment on the mixes, since I'm on horrible earbuds.

Good job . . . keep bringing it!

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3 minutes ago, hullabelew said:

Assholes blocked SoundCloud at work.  

Sounds like you need to head to the bar.

Why aren't you already at the bar?  It's Friday afternoon.

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13 minutes ago, hullabelew said:

There is this one:  

 

 

 

Interesting timing.. .I'm just about to finish the legal paperwork on starting 2 publishing companies... they should be good to go by Monday.
I also have 3 liturgical pieces done which are going to be performed over the next 3-6 months.  I don't know if anyone wants to see notation here as well as sound files, but the first piece will be done (and recorded visually) within the next 3 months, then I'll put it on here.  I also have other stuff.. I'll put 'em up once I get the publishing companies going  in a week or so.

It's been a pretty busy spring for me getting back into it... I'll put it all on the other thread when I get to it.  FWIW, I was a music composition major in college, and added history in grad school, which is how I ended up teaching a bit of both at UT.  I haven't forgotten about the other thread, just have been working on these compositions the past few months.  Moar soon.

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I've got this cool little Caribbean thing (well, at least that's how it came out to me) I'll put up later today.  Did it last fall.  I'll 'splain later.  Get your swimsuits on and get ready for a sail to the Windwards!  LOL!  (I'll try to get it on my Surly YouTube channel (yeah I actually have one for Surly shit) tonight).  Don't know why I didn't put it on sooner!

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

Sounds like you need to head to the bar.

Why aren't you already at the bar?  It's Friday afternoon.

Valid point.   I think I hear Amy calling me anyway.   

Edited by hullabelew

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45 minutes ago, phdhorn said:

Interesting timing.. .I'm just about to finish the legal paperwork on starting 2 publishing companies... they should be good to go by Monday.
I also have 3 liturgical pieces done which are going to be performed over the next 3-6 months.  I don't know if anyone wants to see notation here as well as sound files, but the first piece will be done (and recorded visually) within the next 3 months, then I'll put it on here.  I also have other stuff.. I'll put 'em up once I get the publishing companies going  in a week or so.

It's been a pretty busy spring for me getting back into it... I'll put it all on the other thread when I get to it.  FWIW, I was a music composition major in college, and added history in grad school, which is how I ended up teaching a bit of both at UT.  I haven't forgotten about the other thread, just have been working on these compositions the past few months.  Moar soon. 

for sure, put up sound files.  would love to hear.  arvo part is one of my larger influences.

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1 hour ago, jimmyjazz said:

I didn't listen to the first two, just wanted to hear your original stuff . . . nothing stood out until "Piano and Cello Sketch".  While there's not much in the way of a robust cello part there, the piano composition is quite nice.  I would like to hear that classical style integrated with some of the loops and whatnot, maybe take things in a different direction.

I like "Charlotte's Beat" . . . it could also probably stand a bit more variety, but the tonality and groove work for me.

I can't comment on the mixes, since I'm on horrible earbuds.

Good job . . . keep bringing it!

thx for feedback, jj.  while the first two aren't mine, they were completely from scratch on the recreation from ear and i find it incredibly helpful for trying to learn to properly mix and master since one has such a direct reference track.  i worked on the first one quite a bit longer than any of the others.

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LOL, okay here you go.  This was 100% a learning piece, but it was fun.  Just note that this isn't really tweaked effects wise - although the basic sounds come across pretty well.  This is "bare"... I simply wanted to mess around on GarageBand (which I have to say is pretty impressive and has improved a lot) as one of my DAW's (using StudioOne as the other).  I picked out a loop and built the entire thing around that.  Didn't set out to compose a "Caribbean" piece, it just sort of ended up that way.  I've used this for someone's Caribbean slide show and it worked pretty well.   Like most stuff, if you can listen to it over some type of good speakers (ear or otherwise) it makes a big difference.

I cut/pasted from the "comments" section here for more info about it.

 

Quote

I'm getting back to recording after some 25 years (and raising a family!). About time! This was created because it's a learning project for recording software - this time it's Garageband, which has come a long way in 10 years. The whole thing was built up off of a single Garageband loop (sound pattern). You hear that basic rhythmic loop in the opening measures of the tune - that was the germ around which everything was erected. Everything else - the tune, the harmonies, every instrument, the rhythmic additions - are all mine (yeah, this really was a solo project!). I constructed this tune because this is where the loop led me - to some breezy Caribbean island beach. It just wrote itself after awhile, came together without much effort. Being "down here" in Texas, and growing up with (I think) dance/soul/R&B as my first love or almost, Latin-flavored music is of course everywhere - and usually awesome. This piece just went that way, a kind of Latin dance mixed with a lighter Caribbean lilt feel. So the horns are "big" in places, but the tune is light and... how shall I say it... breezy. Man it just sounded right together! I did almost all of this freehand, did edit here/there to make notes "fit right" (hey, why do 25 takes with today's technology?). But all the motifs and especially solos are from my head, in 1-2 takes (with some minor patching here/there). This reflects the first (and easiest?) step of the recording software - plug in the sounds within the app itself and use the recorder/mixer. You don't hear guitars or vocals yet, because that's the next step.. it even requires additional hardware (and $$). Putting sounds in from an external instrument or voice is the next step up. So look for that in a future project. This is all keyboard-oriented, but the drums etc. are not a preset pattern - I did all of them longhand, with only a very tiny amount of looping (call me old school). I really enjoyed making this, and this tune makes me happy every time I hear it. I hope it makes you happy as well, hard to not smile when playing this. Look for the next project in a few weeks (probably something from ProSonus, I'm learning that, too!). Guitars and maybe vocals included, or at least they will be at some future point. Learning is fun. About as fun as lying on some St. Lucia beach enjoying the "Alisio Caribe" (or "Caribbean Breeze"). God bless, until next time, enjoy. (Listen with *good* buds/speakers/phones, trust me on this!).

  Bon Voyage!  LOL!
 

 

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Holy Caribbean disco, Batman!  I love it!

How much of those tones are samples and how many are synthesized?  I'm digging the solo.  If that were a steel drum -- or maybe just a vibraphone or marimba . . .

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Posted (edited)
On 5/3/2019 at 3:30 PM, jimmyjazz said:

Holy Caribbean disco, Batman!  I love it!

How much of those tones are samples and how many are synthesized?  I'm digging the solo.  If that were a steel drum -- or maybe just a vibraphone or marimba . . .

Heh, thank you...

All of those sounds were synthesized I believe, they're all on board sounds inherent to GarageBand.  Most of them are pretty good, but the organ is really good IMHO, plus it does this weird little panning thing that I liked.

Believe it or not, I had not hooked my midi up yet when I put the drums in so everything that you hear was done free hand on a typewriter keyboard!  Didn't even snap to grid, I always had a good sense of rhythm.  Although to be honest, some of it is of course looped, but not all of it.

Then I hooked my midi in, which is a weighted keyboard, so I had to spot redub a few places since it's simply would not respond the way I wanted, but both the piano and the organ solos are 95% freehand without much cleaning up.I kind of like the piano solo because of undulates up and down like waves. The organ solo just seemed to lend itself because of the way it sounded. Maybe a little bit of Summer Samba by Walter Wanderley?... Definitely thought of 60s Brazilian music.

Yeah, choosing the solo voice was a little tough but I kind of like the laid-back fuel of the square wave.  However I can see without question during enhanced section with Caribbean instruments.of course what is missing by gigantic leaps and bounds is... A guitar or two, the on boards aren't all that good and plugging in an external guitar was a step up that would take a while.

Anyway, it was fun. Learning the effects on these DAWs though is not all that easy.  But there are some nice effects obviously on board with these.

Edited by phdhorn

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doesn't appear to be a lot of ambient fans on this site...but just in case.  threw this together on monday night...still tinkering and haven't finished mixing and mastering.  curious if anyone can spot the chord progression from the voices.

 

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Posted (edited)

another recomp of sorts...experimenting with anticipation and suspension elements. i need an orchestra to record with if anyone has one...i'll settle for a chamber group.

 

Edited by sidis

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Posted (edited)

sonata for a highly felted piano with dialed up reverb, cello, violin, bass.

 

 

 

Edited by sidis

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I'm not sure if this the right thread or not, but I was mighty impressed by the efforts these producers made to incorporate a sample of a squeaky door into a tune.  One guy based his whole song off nothing but that sample.

 

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Just getting into recording some of the things I've been putting together.  Pretty amazing what is possible with GarageBand (free) and a little $60 audio interface.  The main part of this track is something I'll lay down on the looper and noodle over until I need to put down the guitar.  That's resulted in enough interesting little bits to become an instrumental.  Interesting enough to me, I guess.  Anyway, this thread needs more life, so here goes...
 

 

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in case it isn't obvious to anyone actually following this thread (which appears to be just me and maybe goredho), doing a lot of different types of stuff.  decided to poke the bear a little bit and try to do some jazz.  what a bizarrely interesting genre to try and compose in.  the biggest problem is i haven't found any really good virtual instrument plug ins that can come close to recreating the dynamism of a lead woodwind/brass.  there's no soul at all which is so key.  the jazz kit pianos, basses, and drums all do a nice job of replicating but still struggling with a lead.  anyway, fun nonetheless.

 

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Sorry, lost track of this thread.  I like the string bass tone and feel on the "Jazz Sketch" track.  Pretty convincing.  I hear what you're saying about the sax.  Maybe it's the lack of true vibrato? 

I like the feel of the tune.  The melody in the sax is a little basic, but it's probably not the most inspiring thing to play.  Drum kit isn't bad either.

Oh, I like the piano break ~ 2:13.  THAT'S really cool.  I'd build on that.

 

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My latest little ditty, recorded with GarageBand and the Bias FX 2 plugin for guitar.  I'm torn whether to keep this as an instrumental, or to work on it some more, restructuring for some vocals.
 

 

Edited by Goredho

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On 9/19/2019 at 1:27 PM, sidis said:

in case it isn't obvious to anyone actually following this thread (which appears to be just me and maybe goredho), doing a lot of different types of stuff.  decided to poke the bear a little bit and try to do some jazz.  what a bizarrely interesting genre to try and compose in.  the biggest problem is i haven't found any really good virtual instrument plug ins that can come close to recreating the dynamism of a lead woodwind/brass.  there's no soul at all which is so key.  the jazz kit pianos, basses, and drums all do a nice job of replicating but still struggling with a lead.  anyway, fun nonetheless.

 

Going to subscribe to the thread so I notice new content in a more timely fashion  I like your stuff, especially this jazz sketch.  Unfortunately, I have no idea about a plugin that might give you what you want regarding lead woodwind/brass.  My plugin knowledge is limited and pretty much constrained to guitar processing.  You might have mentioned in previously, but what DAW are you using?

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16 hours ago, Goredho said:

My latest little ditty, recorded with GarageBand and the Bias FX 2 plugin for guitar.  I'm torn whether to keep this as an instrumental, or to work on it some more, restructuring for some vocals.
 

 

Wow, this sounds really nice. Great work. In its current state, the second half kind of reminds me of satriani. You’ve definitely got something there. 

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16 hours ago, Goredho said:

Going to subscribe to the thread so I notice new content in a more timely fashion  I like your stuff, especially this jazz sketch.  Unfortunately, I have no idea about a plugin that might give you what you want regarding lead woodwind/brass.  My plugin knowledge is limited and pretty much constrained to guitar processing.  You might have mentioned in previously, but what DAW are you using?

Logic Pro. Beefed up version of garage band. 

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Gotcha, several FB groups dedicated to GB, LogicPro or both.  You might get some good plugin recs there.

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2 hours ago, sidis said:

Wow, this sounds really nice. Great work. In its current state, the second half kind of reminds me of satriani. You’ve definitely got something there. 

Thanks, appreciate the compliment.  I am nowhere near as skilled as someone like Satriani, though.  This took me a month to record for my playing to catch up to what was in my head and I still hear bits that are imprecise and should be tightened up.  Danny Gatton was my inspiration for what I was doing at the end.
 

 

Edited by Goredho

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