RE : Constructions (#1-4)

**Hi folks,

As a recently joined member of this site and also new user of Cubase (Artist 6), i have just uploaded my first composition(s) onto Sound Cloud. It is a mini-suite and lasts less than five minutes in total but i have listed each piece individually. If anyone is interested (and kind enough) to have a quick listen then i would be extremely appreciative of any professional advice.

Basically, i have mixed (panned etc), EQ-ed (using the pre-shape presets relevant to each instrument), assigned a Master FX (Rooms Works presets), routed all tracks thru a Limiter (Light Peaking preset), and used a few individual FX Inserts (Chorus, Delay, etc). And many of the featured sounds are Halion AUDIO FILES which i have manipulated in various ways (i love Halion !!!).

THANKS a lot guys…

Paul David Seaman**

Hello Paul,

On your soundcloud page I read synthesizer composition.
But I heard not one synth. Well there are a few but I guess by the nature of the songs they must be samples right?
I would call it a mash-up or soundbites.

To be honest, It’s very abstract, I don’t know what to make of it. maybe it would work if it’s composed to video material I don’t know.

Greetz Dylan.

**Hi Dylan,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to listen to my work.

The wording ‘synthesizer composition’ is a very loose term and i wanted to give the piece some kind of description. At the end of the day, if it’s not a real live instrument (sax, piano or whatever) which i have physically recorded then i catagorize it as a ‘synth/sample’ composition.

So YES, you are totally correct in that it consists entirely of samples !!

And also correct in that the pieces are rather abstract. i tried to create ‘sound-images’ (for the listener) and so you were perceptive in noting that this type of genre might suit motion picture medium.



Very tempting to use all those samples, I’ve dabbled myself but they turn out to be very unrewarding for me so, if I’m to use them, I have to be more expansive with the samples I have. Here’s a piece I did using loops from around the world called “NYPD”

Hope it gives you some ideas. Remember the listener needs something to latch on to :sunglasses:

I find there’s only so much surprises I can handle in a single song. This lacks too much cohesion for my taste. I sounds good though.

**Thanks Philter,

Really appreciate you taking the time to have a listen and contribute etc. i have downloaded your NYPD track so will have a listen later dude.

i know what you mean reagarding the application of many samples over a short duration. i guess less is more sometimes. However, i am new, keen and have lots of ideas at the moment and so i am just enjoying being creative and productive as well as learning new tools.

The actual feedback i would REALLY like (from everyone) is more to do with the Mix/EQ/FX/Panning factors because this is an area where i am currently a complete novice. i have done all the harmony/form/orchestration stuff to death and so i am looking to develop new areas of my musicianship.



**Thanks Strophoid,

Did yourself (or anyone else) listen to the second half of the mini-suite (#3-4) ?? i did take your mentioned facts into consideration and try to BALANCE the entire composition in this sense. The first two pieces are quite abstract and then the latter two are more groove-based with clearly defined tonal-centres/tempi/timbre parameters etc. Therefore, (structually) the music-concrete type first half is counter-balanced with a (fairly) mainstream latter part. Or in artistic language, the piece moves from dark to bright, or introvert to accessable.

Anyway, don’t want to get into too deep a conversation and risk boring everyone !!! Music is about HAVING FUN (as Chick Corea constantly reminds us in his continued teachings) !!

All replies are very much appreciated folks.



Hey Paul.

Yes I listened to all four tracks :sunglasses:
And Strophoid is right. There is no structure in the compostition, and that could well be the “composition” but most musicians and music listeners want a pattern, a notion of where things are going.

Without structure it get’s confusing.
If you want confusion then, from where I see it, confuse people with musicality.

You hade a nice drumloop somewhere, a typical junglebeat. Why not create, or modify the samples in order to get them groove with that junglebeat for instance.

Anyway, I know you are looking for mixtechniques, but you use samples that or already produced.
It’s all seperated, eveything is leveled. There is not really a bottom end to tweak or compress.
Be more specific on what you want to improve in your mix,.

Greetz Dylan.

Thank you Dylan,

Thats a very informative reply mate.

i have always composed music which last 10 x mins up to 20 x mins mostly. And so this has always given me plenty of time and space to develop ideas. So normally each idea will have had time to be ‘arrived’ at. But i wanted to deliberately write something short (like 'Constructions) and try to ‘compress’ what might have been a 15 x mins work into 60 x seconds !!

So i know exactly what you are saying about opening up an idea (like the jungle drumloop you suggest) and developing/building something around it.

Regarding the mixing factor, thanks for letting me know that not too much adjustment is needed when using samples etc. i did spend a quite a while panning instruments and adding FX and similar. Its all work in progress and i really wanted to get something created in order to gleen some professional feedback from you guys. Therefore any helpful information will be gratefully accepted.

i have just got the Cubase Tutorial and so i am going to study this like mad !! i am really pleased with the service and quality of products offered from Steinberg.



**Hi Philter,

Cheers for the feedback dude. And for the link to your track (NYPD) on Sound Cloud which i just downloaded. i hear you using the Strings, Brass, Flute, Bass and Congas. So these are all samples from your own library and you constructed your piece by sequencing the note-data on Cubase ?? In other words, they are one-shot samples ??



Busted :blush:

I did indeed only listen to the first 2, sorry about that. I agree that 3 and 4 are much easier to listen to.
Mixwise I think Dylan nailed it. Because you have what sounds like at most 3 samples playing at the same time, there is not really much to mix, provided the samples are well recorded of course. That does mean that the mix sounds fine :slight_smile:

I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, if you enjoy what you’re doing then by all means keep doing it! :smiley:

Thanks Strophoid,

Yes, i have 2/3 samples overdubbed on my tracks.

i have listened to SoundCloud works by both Philter and Dylan last night to tray and gain more understanding of the general consensus and abiliities of members of this forum. It was very interesting to hear the work of fellow members.

i must admit i did feel a little down yesterday because i thought people might have been a bit more encouraging towards me as i did honestly explain that i have only been using Cubase since end of October and this was my first ever project creation. Rome was not built in one day ! i just wanted to introduce myself, make some new musical friends and get some feedback on my progress etc. i have also tried to be very polite and positive ato everyone who has responded.

i bought 3 Sequel Contruction Kits today as also have the dvd tutorail for Cubase 6. As i say, i may still be a novice but i am very happy with the materials provided by Steinberg and hopefully it wont take me too many years to get a bit more up and running with everything !!!



I enjoyed the experimental nature of all 4 tracks, they all sound good. yes there were times when something really cool would start up and then it was gone so its natural for a listener to think, would’ve been cool if that hung in a little longer. I understand how you’re working though and look forward to how your arrangements progress. I really enjoyed all the key work, 3 was my favorite.
I sometimes try to introduce different things also and try for some kind of constant flow but with different vibes. if you care to check my thread here called multi-genre concept for a song called interstitial reality, I’d be curious of your thoughts, even though it may not be your thing.
I think you’ll be producing very interesting stuff in no time.

Sorry if my replies seemed a bit daunting. Let me say very clearly that I’m very glad you’ve picked up making music, that you’ve found your way around in Cubase, you’ve produced some songs you’re proud of. You are much further than many other aspiring musicians so please don’t take my replies as a downer or me wanting to talk you off making music.

I apologise if I expressed my opinion a bit too strongly, because that’s exactly what it is. Music is on many fronts a matter of taste, and my taste should not determine your music, so I’m sorry if I pushed that a bit far.

Like Bob said, I’m interested to hear how your progress, there’s room for every kind of music on here.

The nature of the ‘made with Cubase’ forum is a bit like that though. Songs posted here are critically judged on technical issues, and I personally don’t try to hide my criticism in compliments too much. This could be due to the fact that I’m Dutch, I’ve been told we are rather direct :wink:


Because the site does not permit ‘arrangements’ (such as) of other composers works (which is fair enough), i will only be posting my original compositions. i started out by duplicating much commercial type material on various sequencers and workstation keyboards staring in the early 1990’s, and also it is a great way to get started with Cubase. i also recently purchased SIBELIUS but have not even looked at it yet as Cubase has practically taken over my life !! i really want to get more into the AUDIO FILE area and also Steinberg Construction Kits. i purchased Groove Agent 3 and Halion Sonic today brand new on ebay !!! i LOVE all the Steinberg Halion materials !! The two hour Artist 6 dvd Tutorial is really fantastic and i was up half the night watching it !!

Sir Dancelot,

i had a random listen to some of your Sound Cloud postings last nite dude !!

On ‘Bright Black’ i really liked the metric-modulation (@ 1:33 thru 1:37) in which the upper part rhythmically transposes to quaver-triplets (in the previous tempi), and the lower part to dotted-crotchets (in the previous tempi). This sort of think can take a while to nail with live musicains, but a sequencer can handle it no problem !!

‘Halion 3’ has some very fat/rich strings at the start thru 0:40. i like that patch a lot. And certain elements of the theme remind me slightly of JMJ ‘Oxygen’.

The short/wide pad-swells on ‘The Gathering’ are very effective (@ 0:7, 0:10, 0:17).**

**Hi Blue Bob,

i listened to INSANITY and posted reply on your thread !!



thanks again.
I had a listen to your other 2 short pieces. Palladium and Rio Funk… cool stuff. I’m a fan of Lee Ritenour and Wayne Shorter. I saw Lee with Dave Grusin together way back, and I have an old album By Shorter I pull out once in a while, Phantom Navigator.

**Hi Blue Bob,

Thats awesome and thanks for checking out my materials. i am a massive Weather Report (and Chick and Miles etc). i wanted to post these arrangement excerpts on this site but i was advised the forum is for ORIGINAL work only, which is fair enough.

i spent the last two years transcribing all my favourite tracks (about 6 x hours per day !!) and now i am learning how to input and create my own versions using Cubase. i managed to obtain some basic Midi-File versions for some tunes last October and so these provided a really good vehicle to get me started in learing Cubase. Its been a very difficult, slow, and time consuming process but i am gradually getting towards the results i have hoped for. My original idea was to try and get a book publish of full band arrangement transcrptions (exaclty as played by Herbie, Chick, Miles, Zawinul etc) but the copyright issues have been dragging on for about four years now !! Youjust can’t do and expect everything to happen all at once !! ha ha.