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mark styles

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Everything posted by mark styles

  1. Thanks Louis and Monarcheon. I will revisit the violin part. I was listening to some Beatles songs, that have the song, 'dis-assembled' (that is you hear solo'd parts, bass only, rhythm guitar with licks. . I notice that the individual parts have a 'wholeness' by themselves. They make a statement. When I listen, especially to some of my earlier pieces. The individual parts, solo'd sound 'wandering', like they don't know what they are supposed to be doing, They fit. but sound kinda 'lost'.
  2. Yes, I would like that Louis - mstyles@nyc.rr.com Reading scores and listening to the music is a great way to learn. Your piece is very concise and compact. Reflects a lot with a minimum of parts. Thanks
  3. This is very MASTERFUL Luis. Excellent arrangement. You convey such emotion with only four voices. You use space/silence as another instrument too. I'm going to blow up the score, so I can watch and LEARN something from you..
  4. Kind of a MOR easy listening piece, with a hint of jazz.
  5. an INCREDIBLE composition, positively BRILLIANT. My only point would be in the low end. About 57 seconds, an acoustic bass comes in. 1:12 tympani. Then 132, a low drone. Compositionally it's still excellent Perhaps some subtle EQ notching - cause you have 2 - 3 instruments competing in the same frequency area.. It gets a bit 'less clear' about what is happening. I find in my own compositions. I create the peace (in Logic Pro).. I play it a lot. often while laying down. After several listens, you will 'A-tune' yourself, to small details. which are unnoticed at first. I often find, a replacemeant library/instrument. This would almost be the equivalent, of the sound engineer, going back to the instrument, and re-miking it. to get a bit more articulation, remove some of the 'boom' in it. You can gently EQ things so that each instrument has more 'room to breath', and they don't 'compete' to be heard. Yes, sometimes you want instruments to blend together and sound as one. I feel the human brain can discern 4 - 6 different 'strands of audio data'. More than that tends to make the brain work harder, and that sometimes takes some of the 'joy' out of the music. If instruments are playing very complementary towards each other. (harmony, rhythms that re-inforce each other) there can be more sound data. This is a minor issue in your piece. Others may have no problem, and think I'm 'talking out of my hat'... I took this free course at Coursera.org - https://www.coursera.org/learn/music-as-biology/home/welcome It's called 'Music as Biology'.. It is somewhat dry.. There are some mistakes that never got fixed, in the quizzes. But it can be free (no credit).. And they offer a LOT to think about in terms of how the brain works to perceive music. I found it gave me some great concepts to try to infuse into my writing. Another book, 'This Is Your Brain On Music', is another must read for any musician/composer.. Thinking about the psychology of music, is esoteric, and something many listeners, are never aware of, but can be a great tool for a composer. There is no doubt about it. Your piece is EXQUISITE. and can stand on its own. I certainly look forward to hearing more of your work.
  6. I don't know who 'he' is.. But I hope he's far away from me.. Seriously, it's good.. Has a frantic, very bold quality to it. You show imagination, and the ability to move into another motif pretty well. My particular observations. too much gong. most of the sounds are 'blaring'.. (a distortion).. Almost all the sounds have a 'in your face attitude'. I would guess, these are the patches, libraries themselves. Not that you are technically overloading a sound. The fuzziness of the piece kind of overwhelms me. I know absolutely know thing about 'epic gaming music'.. so you could be perfectly right on with this. I perhaps would use some cleaner strings and horns to counter balance the 'in your face sounds' You might consider some dynamics. Once this piece gets going it' like a runaway train.. (again perhaps perfect for a video game sequence). I liked the ending. You have great ideas. Keep 'em coming..
  7. Yeah it's definitely in the flavor of Stranger Things. I like this, and the Stranger Things music. Analog synths.. At 2:55 the music get's happier.. I might have preferred it stayed in the vein you started with, but it is you song. It's the chord progression you use. Yes, you really nailed the Stranger Things feel.
  8. Sounds like Ken320 can help.. I am not familiar with East-west products. Generally if the drum is one sample, you're at the mercy of it. In kontakt you can go into edit and sometimes change the envelop of the sample. Play carefully with the decay and sustain, release. Attack obviously should be set to 0 or very close. If Stormdrum has layered samples, and you can edit these. Also remember you can layer two drums together to get a desired effect. If again you can play with the ADSR;s you might get what you're looking for. You might be able to write in CC events in your Daw to control Filter, resonance, brightness. Google 'CC events' These are commands that can control an instrument if it is set up to respond. You can assign a knob, slider, and just move it as song plays to open the filter on one layer. As one 'get's into the details', he/she can do quite a bit with drawing in and writing CC parameters, duration, velocity. You might be able to get away with writing velocities, durations (not all VI's will respond to duration with drums, it's just generally a trigger on, to start the sample, VCO. Etc. That varies from virtual instrument. Where StormDrum is dedicated to drums, there might be a lot more variation in what you can do. Check any forums that East-west, Stormdrum might be on (KVR). Maybe even call them, if they have tech support. Some companies have none, some are very helpful in assisting someone trying to gain all the perspective on their instruments Good luck
  9. I'm more clear on what you are looking for. what are you using to make your drum sounds? virtual instrument, sample player, DAW?
  10. When you play a real snare drum, there is a very wide spectrum of it's sounds. First you can tighten the snares underneath the drum.. this greatly affects the sound. Then velocity, strength, and where you hit the drum, actually creates a vast amount of difference. Some drummers will leave a cloth or their wallet on the snare, for a certain sound, to shorten it's decay rate. In a virtual drum kit. This extremely large variation is drastically reduced. The snares themselves (the metal wires underneath) really don't have much decay change, only the volume of them. The newer, more expensive virtual instrument drum kits use a number of 'round robin' samples to accomplish this, and give the sound the 'human element'. Since drum synths, and sample libraries, we have become much more accustomed to not a wide range of snare drum sounds. But the human ear is quite adept at discerning when the same sample is repeated over and over. What you come away is, depending on the realism you are going for, depends on the virtual drum kit you use. Yes, you can program snare sounds, and create some interesting results. You can google snare drums, and find info which might inspire you, or aim you in a direct to create what you are looking to do https://newpercussionist.com/how-to-tune-a-snare-drum-hitting-the-right-beat/
  11. Hi Muhammadreza - welcome back. I like this piece a lot. I just watched the miniseries last night. a very powerful series. For me, you captured the essence of what Pripyat's forest might fee like now. I might suggest, you approach the drums with an orchestral feel, or like Ringo did in some of the Beatles later pieces, He played mostly fills, and turn arounds. The sparser drumming leaves more room for other instruments to shine.. I think this piece is my favorite of your work. Good job.
  12. If you use a drum program like Superior, BFD, and others, you can adjust the ADSR = Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, and shorten/lengthen any one of those parameters, also change pitch, plus other effects. Some drum VST, AU's will just play the sample straight. Ghost notes, are softer, have a different sound and sometimes play a bit of a rhythm.. Ghost notes in virtual instruments, play in addition to the straight snare. In drum libraries, the ghost notes are different samples.. If you are using some kind of Kontakt program, the ghosts will be a different MIDI note to hit. On some synths and virtual instruments, you can put the instrument into MONO mode which will only let one note play at a time. Hitting a ghost note, will shut off the first note, which you may or may not like.
  13. Here's a relaxed funk piece I did about 10 years ago, used in a go no where movie.. Sorry I wasn't into writing out scores then
  14. You should listen with your headphones. Computer speakers are usually pretty cheap.. Read reviews online of speaker systems. Their are some fairly inexpensive pretty decent speakers, to very expensive. Do you use a Mac or PC.. - an audio interface?.. I'd read thru the internet on reviews, and videos about speakers, production etc. There is a ton of information out there. Of course on the internet not all is truth, but there are some very dedicated guys/girls making videos who want to share their knowledge. Making music if something you will learn at for the rest of your life. Several years back, in Keyboard Magazine there was an article about this very accomplished award winning jazz pianist, Fred Hersch. In his mid 60's he was still studying with his 92 year old teacher. Keep composing, recording, you're doing great
  15. Hi Emanuel I think it is quite good, excellent ideas, good pacing, moving from motif to motif. I would assume this might be for a video game.. Compositionally/arrangement wise - it is very good Ideas to ponder - overall there is a lot happening in the same octave. the sound get’s a bit muddy (low mids) you could EQ the lows/ mids out of a few things, and some hi end boost on other tracks. Do everything subtlety though. Not extreme. Maybe in a place or two use a different articulation on strings and brass. Now-a-days. I spend a lot of time choosing new instrument patches for the midi I’ve already laid down.. Many times, this makes the difference, instead of EQ’ing.. Or ‘open up’ some voicing. move the third an octave higher. Think in terms of water color painting. You have to be very careful when overlaying two or more water colors together cause it turns to muddy brown.. Same with instruments. If too many are playin in the same range, especially if they are playing different motifs, notes, it gets cloudy or muddy.. Sometimes you might want this as a ‘wash’ as they use in water colors, in which case they would be slightly softer so the instrument doing the heavy carrying can ‘cut thru’ without relying on EQ You use some ‘war drums’ through a fair amount of song and a section of strings/orchestra playing a syncopated rhythm.. You make good use of the re-curring rhythm, it anchors the piece. At ending you might consider drums doing a volume building up on the last two bars, with perhaps drums going into steady 16th notes (possibly some other instruments climbing a scale or to make the ending more grand/shocking. Depending on it’s use - game video, soundtrack, or just listening, more use of dynamics might help. You quickly get to one intensity level and stay there a lot. The composition, arrangement, choice of instruments is fine. I think you might have a situation with your monitor speakers. On my system (Genelec 8040’s) the whole piece is dark, Not enough high end, you have a section with a gong/cymbal build-up roll. They have very little high end. First you might play some commercial CD’s MP3’ of artists/material you aspire thru your DAW system. . Is your Sound matching them.. I’m not saying you need new monitors, you need to learn and understand how they respond. Once you know the quirks of your speakers/room you can adjust for that, and then you won’t have to EQ that much You could very easily put final mastering plug-in or just EQ and add a little hi ‘sheen’ to it.. I believe all the instruments, cymbals have the sound data there. Also try to take your mixes and play them on as many systems/speakers as you can, This are points important to me, others may not feel that way, like for instance, I don’t like grunge metal music, yet others love it. If any point make sense to you explore them. or at least understand what I said, then decide if you need to do that. Pat Patterson, at Berklee Music, said ‘There are NO RULES, only TOOLS.. It is Ok to break the rules or to follow them to the degree you feel comfortable. John Lennon said later in life, he would have gone back and re-record 2/3 of what the Beatles recorded, with the knowledge and sense he had 20 years later
  16. Very nice.. Monarcheon's point about a grittier violin might help. The sound of the drums, particularly the snare, might be more effective if it was revoiced with a different sound. It sounds somewhat out of place with the other sounds. (sounds like a heavy metal drum kit played with an Irish group. I find a critical aspect of a piece is, after laying down the track, listening to each part. First of all one has to lay down several tracks, to get to the song to something we can hear. Then it can be helpful to listen to the context of each instrument in reference to the others.. Kick is soft enough, to not get in the way, perhaps a slightly grittier. snare definitely more out there. It's not what you played it's the sound of the snare. This is somewhat a matter of taste.. And I don't listen to this type of music, so I might be 'off the mark'. The piece stands fine as it is.. just points to consider
  17. I just plug mine into the mix output in Logic. You could just as easily use your method, (into a sound editor app). If you're putting each instrument in your DAW on it's own separate track, - kick, snare, hats, toms, etc. you might want to send those to a bus, and apply a limiter to drums alone. Some mixers, group instruments and send to separate busses, (stems). then each buss, can get a separate limiter, compressor, EQ etc. It depends on your songs, how complex are they, how many plug-ins you have, and how intricate you want to get. Read magazines, like Electronic Musician, Mix Magazine, Keyboard etc. (there are a bunch). Keep reading them, at first it may seem confusing, but gradually you glean a tidbit of info here or there. Better yet, check out Youtube videos.. There are quite a few on different music subjects. You soon learn which ones are put out by intelligent guys/girls. and which are not so informative.. The internet and Google (or your search engine of choice) is one of the most amazing learning tools ever available. (of course a lot if mis-information is there too).. There are also Facebook forums on almost any subject, theory, synths, music. A lot there to go over too.
  18. The Bass is good, it holds it's ground and is not overpowering. Personally I'd lower the volume and Eq a bit of high. But it's a minor point.. Other's might find it totally perfect the way it is. You have a bit of low mid's going on, It get's a little cloudy. I use Genelec 8040's and Grady 1000 headphones. The nature of Headphones is that they will always be 'colored' somewhat.. Listen to a lot of commercial stuff, and then your's, so you can begin to understand the response of your phones. Another producing trick, is to add a professional song from an artist you like, or the material is in a similar vein to your production, Solo them on/off with your mix. Even with individual instruments. It's a bit hard to ignore the key and tempo will be different, but you are only listening to the quality of the sound. Back in the 70's it was still the 'Wild West' of recording. A lot of multi track studios were popping up. I worked at a decent studio in Boston, Dimension Sound. Deal was I could do my own music whenever the studio wasn't booked. I always played David Bowie's "Young Americans" song when mixing down one of my songs. . I would solo his song, and go thru all my tracks, kick, bass, kids, etc. Play with EQ, volume, so that my instrument would 'fit' in. When I was finished, I would fade my mix up and into Bowies, and try to get as close to the colors and EQ he had in this particular song. Sometimes a final 'mixing plug-in smooths things. You can use ones that come with your DAW. I use Slate Digital FG-X or IZone 8.. with this you can add a little 'sheen' to the top, maybe, 'tuck in' the low miss with a tight notch. And sometimes you don't need any of that.
  19. This is quite an epic piece. very good.. perhaps some gentle EQ'ing on some tracks to clarify what the different instruments are doing. The low mids are quite dense ( bordering on getting muddy). Perhaps some of the strings play an octave higher, or voices. The movement and orchestration are QUITE GOOD..
  20. This is quite a lovely piece.. It has a great flavor.. One thing you might consider (it took me a LONG time to figure out). In my observations, the brain can discern about 4 - 6 different strands of audio data in music (think of instruments) When too many instruments are playing out at full force it becomes a WALL of sound (Phil Spector generally considered to have created this technique in rock music). You can start by 'opening up' each instrument. By this I mean - not every instrument plays the full chord. Let one instrument play (on a C7 chord) C and E an octave above, let another instrument play the 5th (G) and 7th (Bb) an octave above. Let some instruments play a 2note riff, in between what the main instruments are doing. At some point rock bands with 2 guitars, started developing the technique of not always playing the full chord. One would play a rhythm and certain notes, the 2nd guitarist would play (sometimes in syncopated rhythm) the other notes. Another way of looking at it, is you want the different instruments to ebb and flow in what they play. Some instruments may only come in on the chorus. If you make the other instruments play fewer notes, there will be room for the picking guitar to shine thru. I think of music as a 'guided tour', As the museum moderator walks thru the building spot light come up on the particular point she is trying to make. Also think of it as a conversation, if everyone is talking at the same time it gets muddy. Now of course you can take this to whatever degree you want, everybody playing flat out, to each being more moderate, to each playing very sparse. I used work for a disco record company and the 1st rule was 'something changes every 4 bars'. You can do this by looking looking at your track page in your DAW. I color each track. When I first start a piece, everybody (all me playing different virtual instruments) are playing too much, sometimes the notes are too fast, to dense) I listen and decide what is important, I focus on that, sometimes re-recording it, then CUTTING out other parts or go back and thin them out, just hitting beat 1 skipping a measure or more. All the time changing the patterns. If you listen to and look at the score or one of pieces I've done (shameless self-promotion). You'll see, I juggle a large number of instruments, yet each is very sparse, it's very easy to ascertain what is going on. Now this is a certain type of music, which is not what you are doing, but you can get the point. If you listen to and analyze Beatle songs, you see how cleverly they changed parts, even their singing, sometimes solo, unison, 3rds harmony 5th harmonies. They kept changing things actually pretty quickly. Listen to the artists your inspire you, and figure out what they are doing.. I first did this with graph paper and different colored felt tip pens, Each instrument was a different color, each square on the graph paper was a bar. Finally I ended up with a nice piece of artwork. I even used techniques to show volume rises and falls, marks to indicate intensity, It's some work but you begin to get a better idea of what works. I would look for MIDI files, import into my DAW (Logic) and look at the activity. to see what was happening in what I considered a great song. Pardon my verbosity. I really like your postings, everything has been quite good. Keep at it. cheers
  21. A striking piece. More than meets the eye/ear. I liked the effective use of volume/dynamics. It creates a psychological impact.
  22. The Morning Mist The music covers a fair amount of territory, i was trying to portray the varied musical landscape one encounters, especially as the mist lifts, and more becomes apparent. I used a lot of tracks, many of them very sparse. Again using traditional sounds with ‘organic and non-organic synthetic sounds. I worked with the idea of some tracks, being ‘washes’ that is they are very faint, almost not discernible, but they help add color, flavor. Of course there had to be some birds too.
  23. Empty for me too. Mac OSX 10.14.4 Safari =12.1 Latest OSX and browser.. safa
  24. Great piece.. Don't get the title.. Sometimes I start with a title, but as song progresses (especially instrumental).. I conjure up images, which reflect the piece. People will also take a chance to listen to, by the title alone. I'd expect some heavy death metal. or LSD freak out stuff. But, the piece is excellent and excellently constructed.. l GREAT
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