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Gustav Johnson

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Gustav Johnson last won the day on July 13

Gustav Johnson had the most liked content!

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28 Excellent

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About Gustav Johnson

  • Rank
    Intermediate Composer

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    https://transcendaudio.weebly.com/ https://soundcloud.com/transcend_audio
  • Yahoo

Profile Information

  • Biography
    I teach 5-12 grade band in El Paso-Gridley school district in Central Illinois. I've been "composing" on and off since my first music theory class in college (Illinois State University!). I enjoy writing in many genres and for many ensemble types, and have even been recognized as the winner of the Urbana Pops Orchestra composition contest in 2010. I'm on this forum to help myself improve, as teaching takes the bulk of my time and I have little left to take lessons or courses in composition.
    Please visit my website or soundcloud to see my recent work, and feel free to message me!
  • Gender
  • Location
    Minonk, IL
  • Occupation
    Band Teacher
  • Interests
    hiking, fishing, teaching, church band, drawing, reading, composing (obviously!)
  • Favorite Composers
    Most modern film composers, and anybody from the dawn of time to present day.
  • My Compositional Styles
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Sibelius 7, Ableton Live 9 Lite
  • Instruments Played
    Bass Clarinet & Woodwind guru, although I'm well versed in all concert band & jazz band instruments for teaching purposes

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  1. When I get stuck with a piece like this, I try a few things to try and break myself out. * modulate to a new key (i.e. up half step, down a minor third, etc.) * modulate to a new mode (i.e. dorian instead of aeolian minor, or phrygian) - this also alters the chords that accompany the melody and can be kind of cool 🙂 * repeat the main idea with a new and more intense bass line This sounds like a good start, keep working on it and don't give up on it until you've finished it! That's the key to growth - finish it even if you don't necessarily love the way you finish it. Gustav Johnson
  2. Gustav Johnson

    New House Track

    Good stuff. When you get to the beat drop, add a little something new each time you loop the idea - even if you change the notes in the dubstep bass instrument, it feels like it's all part of the same thing and could use some extra to help spice it up. That can be applied elsewhere in the track as well, not only after dropping the beat. Check the transition at 3:15, don't let the momentum disappear. Good idea to drop it way down, but give us something to dance to while you do it - i.e. bass drum quarter notes, arpeggios, something. Good track! Gustav Johnson
  3. Gustav Johnson

    A Little Piece of Heaven Theme/Jingle

    Agreed about the balance comments! Compositionally you could remove some notes you have doubled in the sustains (i.e. don't have both the pad AND the organ AND ... all play the full triad, maybe have the organ play the full triad but the pad only plays the thirds or something similar). Your other option is to go back and not necessarily remove, but definitely adjust the frequencies that are covering stuff. Good idea, I may have to do some projects like this. Gustav Johnson
  4. Nice to hear there's someone else comfortable with audacity! Great job multi-tracking, great job with the composition. The counter tenor gets buried to my ears by the basses at times, so watch out for that. No complaints here, very solid work! Gustav Johnson
  5. Gustav Johnson

    Picasso Dreams of Drawing Squares

    Great writing, solid performance. This genre of writing isn't my favorite for listening, but I love it! Gustav Johnson
  6. Gustav Johnson

    Feedback on "Invasion"

    Hey! Awesome track - overall I really like it. My comment for the part which sounded unprofessional (aka could be improved) were the brass/orchestral chords blasted at us in the beginning (0:14, etc.). The volume was good, I think it was just that there was immediate on-off of the sound - i.e. the envelope felt fake to me. listen to what you did at 1:24 and you'll hear a difference, mainly in the release of each chord. Things like that are especially obvious when they're exposed in the forefront as they are in the beginning. Like I said, it's not wrong, per se, just could be better if adjusted slightly. Good work! Gustav Johnson
  7. Gustav Johnson


    Thanks Luis! Haven't heard from you lately - working on anything?
  8. Gustav Johnson


    Used Sibelius 7 and my Oxygen 61 midi keyboard to make this today in less than 3 hours total. Pretty happy with it - thoughts? Especially of my harmonic motion at the end? That's what I'm least sold on currently. Thanks - happy Thursday! Gustav Johnson
  9. Gustav Johnson


    I'm going for a week of vacation here soon, will post back with a yes/no based on whether I think I'll be able to give this a quality entry. I'm in, came up with some material already I think I can run with - game on everyone! Gustav Johnson
  10. Gustav Johnson


    Finally, after the madness of end-of-school-year and my computer nearly pooping out on me, something I can share! I used Ableton live 9 lite (came free with my midi keyboard). I made the beats and everything, though the samples are part of Ableton's library. I'm starting to create my own sample libraries as well, which I'm quite excited for. Let me know thoughts compositionally/soundwise. Thanks! Gustav Johnson
  11. Gustav Johnson

    Arpeggia in A minor

    Cute! Well composed, well notated in general. Not much I can think to offer in the way of advice except thanks for posting it (again? 🙂 )! Gustav Johnson
  12. Gustav Johnson

    Night Wishes

    Yeah, I get what you're all saying, actually. @Jelly It definitely has the feel of some youtube "piano background music" playlists, not in a bad way. I also like the sound of melodic octaves in the upper range, and I like the sound of harmonized melody as well - so I guess that makes me crazy for liking both haha. I'd agree and say to be intentional about when/how you use your tools and to what effect. @Rabbival507's quote about setting up the moment is apt for this, I think - make the most of the tools you have to guide the listener/performer to the emotional place you want them to go. I'd also encourage you to be aware of the interplay between your parts, even in quick writing scenarios - watch for 2nds/9ths and other harmonic implications that you might not intend for that moment. Otherwise, stylistically appropriate and a nice piece! Gustav Johnson
  13. Gustav Johnson

    How is this sound produced?

    I agree with @HoYin Cheung, The way I've heard this sound created was with coins between strings. Different placement of the coins creates different overtones and therefore different tambres. Cool piece! Gustav Johnson
  14. Gustav Johnson


    Definitely worth continuing, don't give up with this one! Think about adding more (but small) variations within your melodic content. For example, alter one note (i.e. the peak note or the starting/finishing note) in terms of it's pitch or rhythmic placement. That will typically also alter your harmonic accompaniment as well. That's been a helpful technique for me lately, it helps define a sense of direction and intentionality in the development and growth of the melody. I think your opening statement itself is worth developing - passing the arpeggios through some different instruments and the flute motif. Once you get to 0:40, there are some flute meldoy pitches that feel out of place against your accompaniment. That's a great characteristic to have within the piece, but perhaps not the first time you're stating the melody in its full strength. Good work - keep working on it! Gustav Johnson
  15. Gustav Johnson

    My Wife Calls This "?" (Aka more learning in Ableton)

    @Rabbival507 Yeah the "testing" piece I posted earlier was the first day of work on this project. I kept adding to it and decided to make it a slightly more finished project. Thanks for the listen, and I was sorely tempted to make a longer piece out of the "Farming" track - we'll see! @Luis Hernández Definitely agree - I'll keep working on that. It'd be nice if there was a plug-in to find and fix spots like that, sort of like a spell checker but for sound. Hmmmmm! Thanks for the listens and comments, everyone! Gustav Johnson