Fantasy Music...

…yet again. ;D Although, I really do love this genre. I find the ‘action’ trailers to be far too dull, even though they’re bursting with pounding drums and staccato strings with usually no melody.

Anyway, I named this piece Eternal Guardian and it isn’t directly musically related to the Final Fantasy (if you know it) video game series music, but the composer Nobuo Uematsu is one of my very first musical inspirations and has always stayed with me in the last 8-9 years of learning music. I wrote this for my friend Mariann, whilst learning how the choir program I bought works :smiley:

Transposed down two semitones from the original key.

Looking forward to criticisms and the tiniest of nitpicks that I may have missed.

Very nicely done Jonathan…to nitpick a bit here or a bit there would be subjective and futile, this is good by any standards…however !! I think you’ve missed a trick…the end of this fine piece has a beautiful melody that…firstly, should have started the piece, then appear again in another form somewhere in the middle and then at the end as you did, I think this would give more form to a series of dramatic elements…a few restful and melodic intervals along the way would enhance this already excellent piece…maybe the voice you have at the beginning should sing this end melody…( at the beginning)it is a very nice melody…seems a pity not to use it more…in your post you talk a lot about the technical side of stuff, which is important of course, but at the end of the day the average johnny out there,…like me…listens to a good tune and have no idea where the mic should be in an orchestra…Kevin

Also…I know Nobuo Uematsu’s music and I reckon your stuff is easily as good…easily!!.. I personally prefer Joe Hisaishi in this genre…reckon he’s more melodic…Kevin

Nice job Jonathan! Nicely written piece. The only thing I was missing just a bit was articulation in some parts, maybe what you were referring to when you said you needed more bite. That would have given a tad more instrumental separation. But then again, you wouldn’t get the distinction I’m speaking of with the string section being further in the distance, created by the verb and overhead mic positions. It’s all personal taste though and what you wanted in the mix is what counts.
What are you using for the vocal stabs?

Excellent, as always. I really don’t know anything about how this genre gets done on the computer, so I’m no help. Being actually somewhat of a classical guy behind portraying a jazzy fusion guy here, I’m never sure what to make of this genre, which often sounds like it’s all the same work to me, I hate to say. You are so good at this, I hope you start to push the envelope a bit. See if Prokofiev or Bartok inspires you! You have a lot of talent, so looking forward to where you go with this!

Great as ever Jonathan! What could I say more. From the Oh Fortuna/ Carl Orff beginning to the other elf-like passages: overwhelming!
If I can make one very little remark: from the swell around 2:06 to the passage after 2:08 seems a little bit unexpected, I feel the change could be more effective here by making the swell harder and taking away more instruments for a few bars after that. But just my two cents, don’t know if it would work.

But without hesitation: great song, great work! :slight_smile:

Kind regards,


Thanks Kevin, I actually just started the piece as something to play around with and learn how the choir program works and it kinda just developed from there. And yeah Joe Hisashi rocks too! Although, I’ve got quite some way to go until I could match them, very flattered by your kind words though ^^

Thanks Will, I’m on Cubase Artist 6.5 so the 32 track limit is a bit of a nightmare for a full orchestra section plus percussion and choir. I pretty much have to just have legato/sustain and staccato for string+brass, and a keyswitch for the woodwind for sustain/stacc. (Keyswitch patches do not sound anywhere near as good as individual on these libraries.) I’d have liked trills, tremolo and fast woodwind scale runs, but I can add them in when I upgrade to full Cubase with no track limit. This is how the choir program works;

As for the ‘bite’ in the string section, that really comes from mixing in some close and/or mid mics in addition to the main mics where you can really hear the bow digging into the strings for the staccato and the vibrato for sustain. I wanted that, but I have 7200rpm drives which can’t handle such an intense string library at two mic positions, nevermind mixing in all 4. So I’m not happy with the mix as it is due to the above mentioned. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks Early, this video shows the woodwind library (which I don’t own yet) but all the libraries by EWQL use the same interface/stuff; And thanks for your kind words, I’ve recently started enjoying jazz a lot, so I’d quite like to do some jazz stuff using these orchestral templates one day, especially with choir it could be interesting. Got some learning to do first though, I find jazz very fascinating. I’ve never been interested in classical composers. I like some stuff from the romantic era, Mahler, but mainly I like video game/movie music (although not so much trailer music.)

Thanks Jos, I had to Google and then Youtube him when you mentioned Orff because I’d never heard of him, although I recall the O Fortuna part from some kind of advertisement or something and I see what you mean. :stuck_out_tongue: Yeah, 2:06 to 2:08 isn’t perfect, I wanted a harp glissando, which I feel would make it right but perhaps not. The entire brass and woodwinds section both drop out after 2:08 actually :stuck_out_tongue: The french horn enters again for the last repeat and trumpet for the swell but the trombone and tuba aren’t heard again. And the flute and oboe aren’t heard after 2:08. The bassoon and clarinet finish the piece. I don’t really like the woodwinds with EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Gold though, so I don’t use woodwinds as much as I’d like to, or as much as I used to before I had a DAW and sample libraries and had to notate my compositions.

Thanks again to your kind words to all the above,

Gorgeous piece. I want to make music like this when I grow up

Really well done, would be fun to hear a full suite composed by you. I am surprised to hear that you aren’t so into classical composers, when I was growing up that was all I listened too Stravinsky, Bach, Beethoven, Bartok. Such beautiful music Bach is Jazz, I used to say I liked this guy or that woman and my teacher would say they would be bad students of Bach lol

Not sure if you’ve checked out the woodwinds from Vienna they are incredible take a listen. The demos really show off what they can do

Thankyou Mr. M, and when I grow up I want to write awesome jazz music with the orchestra ;D

Believe me, I wish I did have a musical upbringing Kenny :stuck_out_tongue: No one in my family ever played any instruments or cared about music, the schools here aren’t the type of schools that have any music culture, nor is this city for that matter. There isn’t one concert hall here of any kind. I felt privileged, thrilled even, and I can still remember my excitement at age 15 to have a £30 second hand guitar for Christmas coming from a poor family. I think I alternated between frets 18/20 and then 19/21 on the A or D string thinking it was a rockin’ solo much to the annoyance of my mum/mom. xD

I actually really like jazz covers of some classical pieces that I’ve heard on TV shows. Idk, I just find composers from the classical and baroque period evoke zero emotion inside of me, and that’s what I like, a connection with the music.

I checked out the demos and I do like the sound of the woodwinds, although the EWQL ones would fit better together with the strings/brass/percussion all being recorded at the same hall/studio. But I can’t afford either of them right now as it is and I still need the Cubase full version upgrade. xD I’m not really keen on the brass/strings by Vienna at all. But the grand piano by them that you’ve linked before really does sound great.

Hi Jonathan, I 'm a great admirer of your work. You have taught yourself so much about orchestration, this sounds like a real symphony orchestra playing and I would not have know the difference had I hear this on the radio. The choir pieces are amazing too. You are so talented !!! You remind me so much about Hans Zimmer!


Sounds awesome man! Very epic!

Ok Jonathan, I understand those technical limitations! :slight_smile: That Symphonic Choir is pretty cool! I’ll have to look that one up! Thanks!


Yeah, you’ve really good a good handle on this genre, epic and very cinematic and quite honestly up there with the best of them. I once dipped my toe into these waters a few times, but my stuff ended up sounding more like Yanni. I think Kevin (Shadowfax) makes and interesting point about the closing melody…


Thanks Michael and Indy, I’m happy you enjoyed it. I think if someone truly wants to learn anything they’ll do it. I dropped out of university doing music after just a couple of months. I wish I hadn’t wasted the money on it when I could have spent it on recording equipment and stuff and just learned the skills myself and the tuition fees have tripled in this country in the last year so I can’t see why anyone would want some £30-40k debt for a piece of paper that says you passed the course which contains many modules that you just don’t need for your desired field. I’m also glad you think it sounds fairly realistic, something I’ve really been trying to improve recently!

Thanks Will, yeah I like the sound of the choir. However, you’re almost unable to use the tempo map without screwing up the choir which is something I like to do for music like this where I wouldn’t want it recorded by a metronome. I try to draw in a slightly altering tempo wave because a conductors timing wouldn’t be a completely flat line. But you can’t do that with this choir library. :confused: But still, minor thing and it probably doesn’t make that much difference, especially since some more modern stuff gets recorded one section at a time, and mixed in after, with everyone wearing headphones for the metronome. If you do want any of the EWQL stuff though get 6 or 7 libraries at once in the -75% off bundle or wait for one of their many -50% off sales. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks Sherz, I like fantasy music a lot but I have little desire to be a trailer, or even film composer. I’d love to write for videogames like World of Warcraft or score animations. My favourite music album is Beauty and the Beast by Alan Menken, also my favourite composer. I see this piece as more of a videogame intro thing so perhaps there will be time to write some less dramatic/climactic pieces featuring the end section melody. You should definitely dip your toes into it more often, it’d be cool to hear.