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Hey guys :D

 

I am new here and I have a question! What is the fastest way to write music? Do you write it with your hand and then copy it on the computer? Or do you instantly write it on a special programme on the computer? Or do you use tablets?

I am kind of new here and I was wondering wether you could help me.

(at the moment I use Finale, but it takes so long to enter note by note with your mouse)

 

Any kind of help is appreciated! Thank you :D

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I usually do a little bit of both writing using Finale, and on staff paper with a pencil.

 

Sometimes I find that writing with pencil makes me think about my ideas a bit more carefully. 

 

I like to have my first ideas for a piece written on paper, and maybe a rough outline for my piece, and after that I will start entering it into Finale, adding details and creating revised drafts.

 

Sometimes there is even a step before this where I'll have a short idea recorded on my phone, either sung or played on the piano. Then I'll write it down and go through what I said above.

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that seems to be exactly the way I do it! But it takes me ages to write a full orchestrated score! I guess it used to be easier when everything was written by hand... do you use shortcuts? or anything like that?

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If the idea comes fully formed, like both hands on a piano, and I do not want to forget it, I will write it down. Thereafter, it's all computer where I can orchestrate, etc. Later, if required, I can import it into a notation program. But in essence, using a DAW will give you immediate feedback as to whether or not your ideas are worth spending more time on. ;)

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I record in garage band or the voice memo feature on my phone if I need to get an idea down before I forget it, then type it all into notation software.  Too persnickety to mess with writing it out by hand unless I'm desperate for a way to get something on paper.  I spend all my energy trying to write neatly, and have none left to think about the actual content I'm writing otherwise.  (:  

 

Really?  Does it take that long to enter things in Finale?  Even with keyboard shortcuts?  Musescore has all sort of key commands if you bother to learn them.  No need to use the mouse for every note, unless you are just more comfortable that way.  I'd imagine Finale is similar.  And can't you plug in a keyboard to your computer and just play if you have the right cord?  Then adjust.  

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First of all :D thank you so much for this wonderful input. And I also put my face into all kinds of books like that :) but it kind of frustrates me to write slowly when I have so many ideas!

Has anyone of you experience with DAW? I am not really good at technical stuff, so that's why I am asking :D

And yes, Finale does have shortcuts, but I guess I didn't bother learning them yet properly apart from the most important :P.

Once again thanks, you are helping me a lot! :)

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I use a combination of real time entry and entering notes into the score in Logic. Lots of ways of skinning that cat. Piano roll for percussion tracks, but also staff entry as I said step entry as well as real time entry.

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I use a DAW all the time. What would you like to know about them?

I don't quite understand how that works. I have heard your compositions, I like them btw! That sounds amazing! Do you use DAW for that? Do you have a special keyboard for that? I'd like to know as much as possible! The more you can tell me the better it is! I am very unexperienced with it!

 

I realize that I have to learn many many things. As it is Christmas I want to invest in something valuable. Maybe you can give me advice? Thanks!

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There are two essential parts to a DAW, but in simple terms it is a digital version of a multitrack tape recorder, and a MIDI sequencer. So you would use a MIDI keyboard which connects to a computer with a cable to  MIDI interface. The DAW records MIDI data, which is what note you played and how loud. It's not audio. So the simplest and cheapest setup would be:

computer with DAW software (I use Digital Performer which also includes a notation view of the music)
audio interface/MIDI interface (there are some that do both)
MIDI keyboard (may or may not have sounds of its own)
Amp and speakers
Sound libraries (orchestral, pop, sound effects, etc)
A virtual MIDI instrument that plays the sound libraries, this usually comes included with the library and is just another piece of software.

That's it. Totally replaces a room full of equipment. I would recommend getting "The Guide to MIDI Orchestration" by Paul Gilreath. It describes the workings of the current technology that exists in a home studio that a beginner can understand, but also seasoned pros. And you can to to Sweetwater.com and check out the prices of the things mentioned in the book. Though it may sound like a lot of money, you could get everything on the list for about $3,000. But it IS an investment after all.

Read the book and feel free to ask for clarification on things. Good luck!

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Having lots of ideas is the easy part - just look at many intermediate/novice works, they're often all over the place with ideas, or the opposite, and pretty minimalist.  Can you develop the ideas?  This can be in any aspect, not just in the harmonic or melodic, but textures, and evolving rhythms, etc - does not stop there.  I believe the overall form is one of the strongest contenders for the subjective quality of a piece.  Something can be full of great ideas, but still be rambling, and have boring moments, even still.  So, you may feel in a rush to get your ideas down, it can also be important to SLOW down.  =) Just thought I'd say that.  May or may not work for you, heh.  

 

More on topic: 

I do not think the MIDI keyboard should be high on your to do list.  In my experience, it is not necessary at all for DAW work.  Seeing as you can manually input each note in a DAW, the same as you would in Finale/Sibelius, or the other notation software.  I have a nice keyboard however, and of course, it's a great thing to have on hand, but I only use it to play, not to input. 

 

You will definitely want to get some good sound libraries, though, the DAW will most likely come with a pack of samples. Maybe not Reaper, though, if you're low on cash, maybe look into that, and save up for good libraries, if you care about how your music sounds in those regards, if not just stick with a notation software.

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I respectfully disagree with dscid, like totally. A MIDI keyboard should become your best friend and HIGHEST priority. DAW's and MIDI keyboards are made for each other, like carrots and peas. And speaking of peas, yes, you could eat them one at a time with a fork, but is that the best way? Likewise, you can enter notes one at a time into a DAW, but that is tedious and almost masochistic. We're talking a few hundred bucks, so do yourself a favor and start out right. I would not steer you wrong! :D

Hans-Peter, with MIDI, like a piano, you will get immediate feedback to your ideas, and it will speed you up considerably, which is the point of your post.  And if you're not a great keyboardist, and I'm not, you can step record. Even if you don't require immediate feedback, and compose without the need to hear it first, using a MIDI kb with a notation program will speed that up too. Why spend time training your fingers on the keypad to work like an adding machine? Are we accountants or composers? :shifty:

This is a good post because speed is good! Speed will increase your confidence and confidence will improve your music.It's a good thing.

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Once again thank you veeeeery much :D I totally appreciate that!

I guess I will try a midi keyboard and I absolutle agree with your argumentation. Composition is a learning process and slowness is definitely not a good thing.

 

I just hope that this book is available in Europe! haha

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I never said that absorbing, and learning should be slow - only that some composers took many years to write a single work, which was deemed masterful; on the other hand, some wrote their masterpieces in a short amount of time.  I was just trying to counter-balance, with my own experience in mind.  As an amateur, I wrote very quickly.

As you mature, I suppose there would be more stock held in ideals like quality over quantity.  But, if you are a prolific genius, then by all means...:P

 

To clarify, as an amateur, I agree you should get out as many ideas and as fast as you can...learn the good from the bad, while fine tuning and personalizing your process.  Make your mistakes, and keep your head down, in the beginning.

 

Just my .02 of personal experience, for what its worth.  Good luck with the DAW, it is an amazing tool!

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