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Topic: Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

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  1. #1

    Re: Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

    Alan,

    I never considered that some are developing one discrete body of work as a major goal. And how I relate to hearing great things in mind\'s ear, but not being able to emulate.

    Is your operetta using a live lead singer?

  2. #2

    Re: Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

    Yes, two. One male, one female.

    uh oh... now that I\'ve let it out of the bag, I actually HAVE to finish it!...

  3. #3

    Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

    In the spirit of writing things down to make them more likely to be accomplished, here is my five year goal plan:

    • Choose and master one of the newer orchestral soft synth libraries. I\'m resigned to the fact that maximizing the library’s potential is more challenging than simply buying, installing, and dialing up the sounds as with the old hardware synths.
    • Learn how to effectively apply Eq, Reverb using software (came from hardware and not intuitive).
    • Master Cubase SX (came from hardware sequencing, not an easy transition).
    • Learn how to effectively record live instruments into a predominately midi mix.
    • Learn better orchestration techniques using samples. (different skill from live orchestration)
    • Create a web-site music repository.
    • Learn the technicals of how to virtually collaborate with live musicians to enable wav file correspondence for my compositions that need live performances.

    My question is - for those who have pretty much already accomplished the above (or at least the basics), wonder what sort of longer-term goals you could possibly have? Is it to start making money or make more money from music? Move to a city with more potential to market your music? Is it to branch into different genres than you work in now? Start developing your own samples, or better learn your chosen sampler\'s editor? Or maybe it is to become even more accomplished at the type of things I’ve listed? Curious as to what sort of longer-term goals those farther along could even have.

    Thanks for the insight.

  4. #4

    Re: Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

    I don\'t know if I\'ve mastered any libs or anything like that from above, but I\'ve become awefully familiar with GPO and my five-year goal for that...

    I would like to finish writing and render the operetta I\'ve been composing. For me, it is a huge personal project, I\'ve put a lot of myself into it and as of yet have gotten very little out of it, mostly because my composing/arranging/orchestration skills aren\'t on the level I\'d like them to be and it\'s frustrating hearing something so beautiful in my head end up so ugly on the manuscript sheet...

    So, I hope it doesn\'t take five years to realize this piece, but I am a realist and I would accept it taking that long, and would love the piece more for it, having put so much time and effort into it.

  5. #5

    Re: Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

    Joanne,

    These seem like sub-goals - things you want to accomplish in order to attain some larger goal. In the end you could have all these tools mastered, a web repository and the ability to interact with other musicians, but will you have actually made any music?

    I find that when others need/want my music that my motivation increases, and I quickly use/learn/buy tools to get the job done. My proficiency grows much faster during this phase. It\'s like the difference between reading the manual and taking action. I learn the questions during action and learn the answers from the manual. Reading answers without questions is as helpful as reading a phonebook.

    By focussing on your overriding goals, you will be able to prioritize your efforts on these sub-goals and accomplish much more.

    Maybe you would like to compose for Hollywood blockbusters. Maybe you want to compose music for shorts on the web. Maybe a Sundance screening is your goal. Maybe you want to record an album with live musicians playing your compositions.

    My wife is a writer. She had the goal of getting a screenplay written and sold. She wrote three screenplays (none sold), and learned a great deal in the process. She has a side goal for short stories and poems. Some of these have been published.

    Along the way, she had a dream that translated into the plot for a novel. It took two years and lots of reasearch, and it\'s now being reviewed by a top agent in New York. (It\'s awesome too!) Her goal had shifted, and she is well on her way to attain it.

    The thing is, her goals drove her to write, study, interact, research and go to conferences along the way. She built the skills by doing. The screenplays, short stories and poems were critical for her to get the novel into the agent\'s hands.

    Plan your results. Put effort into attaining the results. The skills will come through necessity.

  6. #6

    Re: Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

    Rob,

    Thanks for your opinion on my goal setting…..I think. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Your point is that new technology cycles, which seem to be coming faster every year, suggests that we cannot predict what our goals will be. When I consider that once I get a leg up on these objectives, new technology will make the new found skills obsolete, I begin to wonder if I will ever be comfortable with all this.

    Jon,

    Your wife is a screenplay writer – I didn’t know that. I envision you both going off into your own rooms to create, which seems like such a perfect partnership for a composer.

    Your concept of my goals being sub-goals is very true, and I know exactly what you mean about mastering technology by working on a specific project. I implement manufacturing software for a living – and the only way to learn the technology is to have an actual company’s business requirements to map the software to. Just reading the manual or even setting up fictitious working prototypes is rarely value-added.

    I have specific compositions, which equate to the end goals you talk about, that are mostly sketched out in piano and ready for orchestration and mixing. But every time I try to develop them, I get stopped dead in my tracks with Cubase editing problems, inability to edit the samples to get the sound I need, Giga audio rendering issues, it goes on and on. How someone who works with software for a living can be struggling so much is beyond my understanding. Even more puzzling is my inability to find the motivation, patience, and time to conquer these issues as I did when I successfully built and self-taught on my old hardware-based studio. Software based sample libraries and sequencers have turned me into an Alzheimer’s patient. Most every orchestration/mixing session ends in yelling obscenities and throwing things. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

    Thanks for your comments. I’m hopeful that once I get the technical basics conquered, I can look back and figure out why I got to the point of having to set these sub-goals, as you’ve correctly defined them.

  7. #7

    Re: Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

    Originally posted by Joanne Babunovic:


    Jon,

    Your wife is a screenplay writer – I didn’t know that. I envision you both going off into your own rooms to create, which seems like such a perfect partnership for a composer.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Once the agent replies, she\'ll *officially* be a novelist. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    We have a large daylight basement for our work. She has one end, I have the other, and the kid\'s computers are lined up against the north wall. She works nights, sleeps in the day, and is a mom in the late afternoon and evenings. And I have closed headphones for when she needs the quiet. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]


    Your concept of my goals being sub-goals is very true, and I know exactly what you mean about mastering technology by working on a specific project. I implement manufacturing software for a living – and the only way to learn the technology is to have an actual company’s business requirements to map the software to. Just reading the manual or even setting up fictitious working prototypes is rarely value-added.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I\'ve also got an engineering carreer. We share a similar experience with manuals vs. projects.


    I have specific compositions, which equate to the end goals you talk about, that are mostly sketched out in piano and ready for orchestration and mixing. But every time I try to develop them, I get stopped dead in my tracks with Cubase editing problems, inability to edit the samples to get the sound I need, Giga audio rendering issues, it goes on and on. How someone who works with software for a living can be struggling so much is beyond my understanding. Even more puzzling is my inability to find the motivation, patience, and time to conquer these issues as I did when I successfully built and self-taught on my old hardware-based studio. Software based sample libraries and sequencers have turned me into an Alzheimer’s patient. Most every orchestration/mixing session ends in yelling obscenities and throwing things. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I\'ve been frsutrated with technology once or twice too. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    There are two paths from the place where you are stuck: (1) learn to say it\'s good enough, or (2) stubborn perserverence. I lean towards #1. I get more completed that way. When I listen to the old stuff I sometimes think \"man, I was lazy\", other times I think \"that sucked\", and still other times I think \"wow, that was better than I had remembered!\"

    The perserverent way doesn\'t yield as many works, but you get less unfinished work that way. This is my wife\'s path. Even when she absolutely hates her project mid way through, she keeps going and creates a finished product. Sometimes they still suck at the end. Other times they turn out wonderful. She says she always hates her art mid way through.


    Thanks for your comments. I’m hopeful that once I get the technical basics conquered, I can look back and figure out why I got to the point of having to set these sub-goals, as you’ve correctly defined them.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Best of luck. I hope that the \"good enough\" or \"perserverent\" paths make sense.

    One other thing: the top photographers never show you all of their pictures. But they don\'t show none either.

    All the best!

  8. #8

    Re: Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

    Great thread Joanne. (When isn\'t it!?)

    I think Jon made some great points. I too am in the never ending cycle of learning. Learning; EQ, bit depth, sample rates, orchestration, why my computer died, mixing, micing techniques, compression, 44.1 or 48K?, lydian scales, mixolydian, speaker placement, midi cc\'s, composition, AAARRGGHH!!!

    But he\'s right, I think if you can learn enough to get started the rest will fall into place along the way.

    Some of my goals are;
    - get extremely good at production and sound quality, to the point of being known for my sound (kind of like Bill Brown) Also, being known for my style too.

    - have one or more of my songs become a hit on the radio

    - within 5 years be working full time as a composer and making a comfortable living from it

    - be scoring for film or TV (or both)

  9. #9

    Re: Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

    Great, great thread!

    My wife and I moved to Los Angeles in August, after trying our hand in the Research Triangle Park of NC and Washington DC. Like Jon, my wife is a novelist and screenwriter. We had considered moving to New York, but the software QA market was a bit too thin there (and we hated D.C.\'s winter and thought NY would not be a good move). So, since she was interested in writing screenplays and I wanted to score for film as well as stage, we opted to check out LA LA Land. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I got a QA day gig at Sony Pictures Digital, and have been able to make some contacts with folks in the entertainment side of this biz while using the corporate gym. That was a bonus that I didn\'t expect. On the other hand, I don\'t want to go work on a big project as a \"ghost\" and get stuck in that rut, which has happened to quite a few folks I\'ve met out here. It\'s been because of my wife\'s connections as a writer that I\'ve met some filmmakers that are just beginning to get traction and are looking for a go-to composer for their work. The idea is to get with someone that\'s starting at your level and see if there are artistic and commercial compatibilties.

    Julie has managed to secure a well-known L.A. entertainment attorney for her work, and now has the prospect of sending her manuscripts to N.Y to be reviewed through her attorney\'s contacts. That was another unexpected benefit that we didn\'t expect to see here.

    So - what are the goals? My personal goal is to allow my wife to gain traction as a professional writer so that I can transition out of software work and focus on my own development of a career as a composer. To that end, I think we\'ve make some good choices (and some lucky ones) to get where we are today. I\'d like to have a comfortable living as a composer, with my wife also working steadily as a screenwriter and novelist - such that neither of us must have day jobs to buy groceries. If fame and fortune come from producing good art - so much the better. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    As an aside - Here\'s a link to my wife\'s site

    As far as streamlining in the studio is concerned. I know folks here are getting tired of me harping on the same thing over and over again - but my life changed when I got my seat for HALion and was able to integrate the big streaming livraries directly into my projects. I was a Giga user up to that point. And even though I was eventually able to get the system to play nice with Cubase SX and Giga on the same box, I was running scared that at some point (usually high voice counts) that I was going to run into a technical glitch. That happened often enough that it impacted my workflow. It steered me away from certain creative options and constrained some of what I did, and that was not a comfortable feeling.

    For me, switching to HALion not only gave the technological advantages of full sample set integration in my Cubase projects (instant recall of all of my sounds and settings), but full plug-in delay compensation meant that MIDI and audio became sample-accurate, something that is architecturally impossible with GigaStudio. In one felled swoop an entire host of potential issues disappeared at the same time a vast array of creative options emerged.

    I\'ve also added Garritan Personal Orchestra, the full version of Native Instrument\'s Kontakt, and GenieSoft\'s Overture notation software to my studio, and my options have grown that much more. With Overture, I can create a part that I can trust GPO to render for me accurately, so that when I hand the sheet of to a real player, I know what to expect (and in most cases have a \"hole\" in my mix that will fit the live player seamlessly). I\'ve only done this twice since I got everything installed, but both times the results have been fast and musically gratifying. For creating a wide range of orchestrations, I really don\'t think that Garritan Personal Orchestra can be beat at any price - and at $249 it\'s an absolute no-brainer.

    Now, my only goal is to find more time to explore all of the potential in my studio. I have taken my former GigaPC and have turned it into my Cubase machine, and have put Nuendo 2 on my primary machine and linked them together with VST System Link. So far I\'ve not found enough sound to make that would top off the available processing headroom, and I\'ve forgotten about technological concerns. My machines were turned on right after I got back from the NAMM show, and neither has been switched off or have crashed since then - and before NAMM they ran 24-7 for more than two weeks without a hiccup.

    If you\'re looking for a great resource on using Cubase, I\'d highly recommend that you get a copy of Marc Cooper\'s \"Cubase SX Complete\". The book is out of print, but it was recently distributed on PDF and an update for SX 2 is upcoming.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this long-winded thread, but I really am encouraged by the tone of this thread and felt like it was the right time to share a bit of the success I\'ve had so far. If you are careful and deliberate in your planning, you\'ll be able to accomplish everything you desire.

  10. #10

    Re: Music, Midi, Samples, and 5-Year Goals

    P.S. To Houston\'s thread, I\'m in the middle of his wife\'s book right now, it is some GREAT stuff!...

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