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Lessons with PhantomOftheOpera


Tuskle
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Then there are shortcuts that make use of the shift key:

ShiftLeftMouse on empty area to cut a note into two

ShiftRightMouse to cut the shorter piece off of a note

ShiftLeftMouse on a note to duplicate the note (while several are selected you can duplicate a whole set of notes)

ShiftLeftMouse on the end of a note to stretch and scale it (again works with several selected)

And then there are shortcuts combining ALT and a letter - since there are a lot of them i

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Ok, I will try to make a short compositions using what I just learned, and hopefully I will have it done by tomorrow, so you can check it out and see what I missed and what can be done better. Maybe I can send you a project file along with the soundfonts I used, so you can see how it looks like. I just remembered one more thing. Melodies made in the fl-s piano roll always seem to sound kind of disjoint. Piano sounds good always, but stringed and wind instruments tend to sound choppy. Any advice on how to make them more fluid?

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Yes, there are different reasons for this problem - i will try to explain later, because this would cover more than only one aspect and you might want to have a detailed explanation (or maybe not).

And yes, uploading a project file would be very useful! Try also to show me a track that depicts what kind of sound you want to create and what level of quality to reach - this is very important, because i would know where to go into detail and where not.

And the next thing i would like you to ask is to tell me about your set of speakers (brand and item number would do it) and the way you placed them (distance to the listener and approximate distance to the nearest walls).

For now i would still like to focus on our drum parts until we get a decent result. Well, but this is related to the sound that you want to create - let me explain:

For now we used an average set of drum samples to create a drum pattern. Now if you play around with this thing a little and add some more instruments, you will see that adding a bass and a guitar plus vocals will make the whole thing sound pretty good so far - we might want to add a reverb and apply some basic mastering techniques and emphasize on one instrument as the "main instrument" (in a typical band arrangement this is mostly a singer or a guitar, for movie soundtracks this can be any instrument, but usually any "real" instrument, and for electronic music this is mostly a beat or a synthesizer). So depending on which genre of music you want to create different things apply to the usage of your instruments. Now let

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Great.

About my speakers. They are basically 2.1 Jazz home hifi set. Nothing fancy. I was thinking about getting myself some studio monitors, but I found them very expensive. So this will have to wait. I placed them about half of meter away form the walls, (the satelites) and the subwoofer is on my desk.

Here is a link with a soundtrack I'm into these days.

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I put two tracks in it, also I did a bit of research and the composer Jason Hayes, says it's completely sampled, nothing was played live, although I have my doubts since it really has a big choir and lyrics...

What I really want to create is a mix between soundtrack (orchestral music), rock (distorted guitars I would record them live, drums) and electronic (syth leads, techno drumbeats, electronic bass etc, almost anything related to electronic)

So I will need to make individual instruments, like strings, french horns, haprs, orchestral percussion sound as good as possible, and still have some room for guitars, maybe occasionally vocals etc... I am also really into ambiental stuff like Enigma, Era, Deep Forest etc, and I would like to try something in that vein myself.

And sure, we can follow the jazz example since we can discuss on how to make individual instruments sound good.

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Very good, now i can see that you are into spherical instruments a lot! They have great power and apply especially well on soundtracks to intensify feelings and atmosphere.

Okay now, we have lots of opportunities to start with and we could actually just start whereever you want. There are many ways to create pads and similar instruments utilizing synthesizers.

We can also start with the work you do with a digital mixer and cover digital effects first.

I guess we could also work a little more with soundfonts, although i currently do not have a lot of string soundfonts / samples to begin with.

I would recommend to cover the aspect of sound quality very detailed (but maybe at a later point) and try to seperate two different approaches: One, that makes a track sound as realistic as possible by humanizing the instruments to get very close to the feeling that there is a human playing the instrument (something i

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Ok. I will make one track tonight (got to get to work now :/). And hopefully I will have it done by tomorrow morning and will have it posted then. I will try to make an old demo of mine done completely in FL. And then we can go from there when you check it out.

And yeah, I would really like to learn as much as I can about sound quality, because I am sure it will help me as a composer and as a musician. I've had a couple of "real-time" teachers in my days, but none ever talked much about getting a good sound for yourself. So in this area I am mostly self-educated and feel like I need to improve. Also being able to do sound mastering of songs sounds enticing.

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Okay, now i will give you some instruction that might help you with the spectrum of instruments to choose from.

FL Studio 7 comes with a template that makes use of 16 midi channels utilizing the general midi soundbank provided within FL Studio.

Go to - File > New from template > Utility > General Midi

Your step sequencer should now be loaded with a set of 16 Midi Out instruments, each of them containing a different instrument. You also have the opportunity to change the instrument within the settings window of a Midi Out enabling the usage of the whole General Midi soundbank (and that is one large number to start with). This soundbank works almost perfectly for designing a rough draft of an idea but lacks in sound quality like nothing else. We can then replace certain instruments and discuss the usage of these according to your original idea.

Take your time until you

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Hah... bummer. I haven't actually saw this last post so I have done a short track but using soundfonts. I might as well upload it now and you can check it out and tell me what else needs to be done. I will check out the midi templates today, maybe I can try to make the same stuff I did with soundfonts?

Anyway here is a link to the track, the project file and the soundfonts used, its all in a .rar file.

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Sorry for not making it longer, but I really had to go to sleep it was 3:00 am and I had to get up early :/.

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Okay, this is a good start. Let me begin with a very small mistake i noticed

quantisized.png

This is not a big thing, but you can hear this as some kind of "mistake". The red notes are played with a slight delay of a 64th note. Once you get used to techniques of duplication via windows shortcuts or shift dragging you will easily notice things like these.

Okay, please download this file

trackproject version 2.flp

I changed some basic things that enable you to work with the different instruments independently.

Take a look at the Playlist (F5) - you

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Here it is. I done what you told me to (at least I think so). I added some dynamics to the piano, I managed to pull of some interesting rhythmic frases within the arpeggios there. I had some trouble with getting rid of the clipping tho'. I managed to get it below 0db-s, but then the french horn can't be as loud as I want. Is there any way to bring certain instruments more to the front without clipping?

I also played around with the mixer a little, I have added some reverb, nothing too fancy, most of the effects are totally unfamiliar to me.

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Okay

Yes, there are different ways to make an instrument have certain presence - all the necessary steps to do things like that are in some way connected to what i already taught you. Let me explain this "connection" a little further:

On any school, where you could learn how to create music such as soundtracks for movies, that have to meet a certain amount of quality, you might as well learn musical theory - or at least you should. Why is that so?

You will notice, that for soundtrack composers there is a certain order for every necessary step of the whole procedure - to give you a short example, mastering (which also includes a variety of steps) is at the very end of this process.

Now look take a look at any soundtrack and take every aspect of what you can hear and try to imagine the process. There is a melody & harmony, there are different instruments, there is an arrangement, there are certain notes that are played and there is a way these notes are played (etc...). All these aspects are connected to each other. Mastering being one of the many different aspects has to be done when there already is an idea of the track itself, and therefore cannot be there before the original idea. Mastering then, when seperated from the original idea, would just require no understanding of a track and could therefore be done by a computer, which is not how it works. But what does this mean for you?

It

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Well, the main difference I noticed right away, is the left hand accompaniment, some chords etc, the things I would play solo on a piano. Hence I think it pretty much sounds as an intro to something a little more bombastic, or maybe a vocalist accompaniment. Also, my example is pretty much made of simple arpeggios, while this has a intentional melody. Dynamics are very nicely done, especially in the left hand patterns. Also, I think that my example is a little more rhythm oriented as opposed to yours, where I think melody and mood are in the big picture.

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Very good;

it has in fact a little more rhythmic and melodic arrangement, which already specify parts of the possible dynamics that can be applied to the notes. Dynamics could enforce the melodic and rhythmic content, as well as they could just destroy it. Notice the relation between "how" and "what" once again.

One of the important aspects of the example i uploaded was the aspect of note lengths. To be a little more precise: There is no "length", every note is played with full sustenuto; it

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I finished playing around with the settings of the piano, here is the project file:

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This is more or less how I like it best.

You asked me do I know anything about defining an envelope and the answer is no, this is totally unfamiliar to me, but I see it mentioned a lot in FL. So if you can explain that it would be great.

There is one more thing I am having difficulties, and that is the french horn part, specifically: I can't find the way to gradually increase or decrease volume of one long sustained note, how can that be done?

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Cool, now i would call this an improvement!

The dynamics in your piano pattern are way better now. The sostenuto works well on this instrument and everything sounds a little less digital now.

Okay, before we get to the mixer, there is some knowledge about composition i would like to share with you. This is e.g. one way to look at technique:

You can analyze parts of technical aspects of a composition by looking at two axes: The horizontal and the vertical axis.

Now the piano roll works quite the same way, you have the horizontal axis for anything time-related, and the vertical axis for the pitch of a tone, but that

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