Baroque with drums

OK - bravely tip toeing in here fo the first time…

I think I’ve got a strong tune but I seem to be stuck in a time warp of the few instruments I know. I want to learn to use samples and give the tune real impact. I have only the Halion VSTs that came with Cubase 6 and I poached the drums from Band in a box.

I’m having a go at learning Sequel now as I’m not a musician and I’ll enjoying trying out the new sounds (have I answered my own question)?

Bascially I start with my tune on piano - then if I think its strong enough I’ll develop it but I find choosing instruments so hard - I could use some production guidance on future projects really.

Barocky - its a demo so not worried about imperfections.
http://www.katejacksonmusic.com/

Hi, sounds interesting but based on the demo it is hard to know what you really have in mind, i.e. how you hear this sounding when you have mastered the samples etc. So, I suggest that you just keep on exploring, learning and putting together new pieces - it will be a rewarding journey.

this would be a great sound track for a silent movie or maybe a game of tetris :smiley:

Hey, welcome then I guess. Like anything it’s all a gradual learning process/curve. My very first attempt at trying to write for orchestra (being a long haired Metallica playing guitarist at the time) was 1 flute, 1st violins, 2nd violins and nothing else because I had no studies, education or most importantly no practice . Each composition I attempted to use some new instruments.

Sounds good so far, the themes develop nicely and sounds like you’re already experimenting with what instruments to use so just keep trying out different instruments combinations. I liked the sound of the accordion, I think it’d be better to substitute the flute for a clarinet and use the accordion more. The Tantalus theme below is similar and might give you some ideas.

I liked the tune, reminded me of a mixture of; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxmgjddikwk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEzLoQG7Y2I from Final Fantasy 9.

The pitch down part sounded very cool. The vocal instantly sticks out as a sore thumb due to it being completely to the left channel. In my opinion either bring more focus to the vocal throughout the piece and have it central or drop it altogether. It sounded good, weirdly interesting, but it’s not featured enough to warrant it being there at all. I think if you brought it to the center and used it a bit more it’d sound really cool.

As for getting used to samples, just takes reading the manuals and practicing. Different sample libraries respond differently to the various CC data so there isn’t one rule for them all. Depends on your budget and how realistic you want the samples to sound as to which libraries you should purchase and which you’ll enjoy using the most because enjoyment is the most important thing.

The more pieces you write and strive for perfection in every aspect the closer you’ll get to your own personal goals and that’s all that matters, achieving your goals :smiley: (In regards to sample libraries the use of the word perfection to me personally means perfecting all the imperfections that make it sound more like a human performance.)

Thank you! I agree about the vocal - just forgot to record it in mono. The accordian sounds to me calm and streetish to contrast with the lively drums indoors.

Part of me wants to invent tunes to then re- record properly (with a producer) to a finished state and part of me wants to explore the production side of it myself and find interesting sounds.

I think the real reason I’m here is I’m hoping to find someone who can give me production advice next time (would pay for it). If I were to recreate this tune as a dance track where would I start etc - is that a question only I can answer?

Something else that would really help woud be some kind of course to follow with cubase (although I have a good teacher)- with projects to force me into unknown territory. Sequel may be the anwer yet as a non musician.

Really appreciate your contributions - thank you!!!

You could make the accordion lively enough to fit with the drums, although it entirely depends on how you hear it, it’s your music after all! I happen to quite like accordions so I would like to hear it more :smiley:

As to whether you wish to pay for tutorial lessons in Cubase production skills or read manuals, guides and watch tutorial videos and/or read tutorial articles and ask places such as this forum for tips really entirely depends on how much time you have to invest in it and how much money you have to spare to pay for lessons. Personally, I grew up in a very poor family with zero musical family members or friends. My first instrument was a second-hand £30 electric guitar for my 16th Christmas and while sometimes I think having the classical musical childhood and lessons might have helped me, I’ve also enjoyed all my self-learning and discovery from playing guitar through to orchestra composition and finally in the last three years learning production skills in Cubase to bring the notation to life.

But ultimately it’s you that will have to be able to listen to your compositions/mixes/masters and decide whether you’re happy with the final result. So yeah, really just a cost/time thing to weigh up and decide.

As for recreating it as a dance track…my compositions usually come from piano and when I get a melody/motif/riff/hook that I like I will then begin to think how to orchestrate it. You said above you begin on piano. So at least for me, I’d begin by distilling the themes into an A and B section and get them as melodically catchy as possible. There are a number of dance tunes that I quite like and they all have the same thing in common, a simple and catchy melody. After you have that I’d say begin with investigating what kind of sounds are used in dance and identifying those sounds and similar sounds in the sound libraries you have. I saw a Youtube video by Steinberg about using Retrologue to create Dubstep sounds. Now, dubstep is not a genre I can listen to but through that video tutorial I learned pretty speedily how to create dubstep basslines should I ever need to use it. It helps to have two monitors btw, for video tutorials or online video call lessons so you can really see what you are doing.

As to what sample libraries you want to use entirely depends on how much money you are willing to spend. Without knowing a budget and what styles of music you wish to create no one can really advise you as to which sample libraries to purchase because they usually offer advantages and disadvantages depending on your goals. I need to use choirs in some of my music, so I’ve waited a few months and now there is a -50% off sale on the fantastic East West Quantum Leap sample libraries.

some really interesting stuff on your site, particularly liked
“message”, …some eastern European influence (it seems) on some of the tracks…maybe it’s the accordion that does it also quite ethereal sounding vocals, generally speaking very unusual…which in my book is a good thing, welcome to the forum, Kevin

also you’ll get as much production advice as you need here and you wont have to pay for it…

Thanks Guys.
Johnathan - would love to hear some of your music and Kevin - you look so good in your photo :laughing: !
Great comments again thank you.

‘Its not what you got but what you do with it’ - does that apply to software???

Yes, I’ve considered asking Kevin out for a date cos he looks goooood in his pic :blush:

I’ll make a quick comparison thread to show improvements in my own work with various products that I’ve added to my collection. When it comes to samples, price definitely makes a difference in how realistic the instrument sounds. In technology there are always limitations (speaking of acoustic and not electronic.) But over the years with advancements sample libraries are sounding more and more realistic without having to use pre-recorded material, so you are free to bring whatever composition you compose to life with sound :smiley:

Yeah…I do don’t I… :smiley: It’s actually my wonderful other half without whom I’d still be an idiot…

Nawww, that’s nice :smiley: