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Creating Professional Scores?

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  • Creating Professional Scores?

    Hey guys,

    what do you find to be the best program for creating? I am versed in Pro Tools, Garage band, reason and others but I feel like I've hit a wall with my productions...

  • #2
    I am not a musician so feel free to completely ignore this response. Maybe I am old school (ok I am definitely old school) but music isn't made from programs. Music comes from the heart and the soul and musical instruments, not a computer. A musician does not need a program, all they need is a sheet of paper and a pencil. Put the programs aside and use your heart to create your scores. Feel the music don't program it.

    Music Composer

    Not a music composer
    Last edited by Mick Scarborough; 05-21-2015, 09:56 PM.


    • #3
      Well if we're talking about Hollywood blockbuster quality... It comes from top musicians playing well orchestrated music in top studios with world class audio engineers recording and mixing it! I'm sure you already knew that.

      If you don't have the budget for the above, like most of us don't! It comes down to a combination of good music + good, well programmed virtual instruments + solid mixing ability = a decent mockup.

      I do agree and disagree with what Mick has said. Unfortunately, nowadays good DAW/programming skills are a must - that's just the industry now... Having said that, a solid understanding of music theory, harmony and orchestration will help your tracks sound better and more realistic. As I write a rough musical sketch at the piano then move over to my computer, to flesh it out.

      Is there any particular aspects of your compositions you don't like? Do you have an example?




      • #4
        Well that's a bit of a tough question because "best program for creating" is open-ended... When we're talking DAWs the only thing that actually matters is what you're comfortable working with. And this holds true for any software/plugin/hardware/microphone ect... The critical component is familiarity. If you're familiar with your tools you'll go a lot further with them than someone with better tools who isn't as familiar.

        As far as I'm aware, most if not all daws have 24 bit resolution, probably all running on a 64 bit engine, can handle up to 96kHz ect... So from a technical and quality perspective they're really all the same. Now, my DAW of choice is Reaper. I love that I can render tracks insanely fast, instead of having to sit through the whole thing when bouncing them down. Pro Tools doesn't have this feature yet... But again, that's pretty minor. The only real difference to my mind is workflow. Vanilla plugins, layout, customization, ease of use, and sensible functionality...Reaper has good plugins, BUT they're not fancy looking and their poor GUI can make them hard to learn, as opposed to flashy streamlined pro tools plugins. However, Pro Tools has some pretty dumb functionality when it comes to making busses ect... With Reaper it's exceptionally easy. A lot of DAWs you have to use special bus tracks and what not. But with Reaper "a track is a track, unless it's anything you want it to be." So it's pretty cool in that regard. Each daw has it's ups and downs so what it ultimately comes down to is, what do you like working with? What's fastest, easiest, and most convenient for you? For me it's Reaper, for Jo Shmo it's pro tools and for Simon Says it's FL Studio...

        This may be presumptuous but let me try and answer the question I think you're really asking. "What sample libraries should I be using to create?" Asking what DAW you should use is like a painter asking which room he should paint in...It's not all that important. What is important is the paint and the brushes he uses. And I find that depending on the library I'm using, I write totally different stuff with completely different feels. I've even encountered this strange phenomena where I can play one thing with one piano library, then I'll switch to another library and I can't play it anymore, it's like my hands forget where to go. So to me, sound is extremely important, it has a significant influence on me and can inspire me in very different ways.

        A good start, if you can afford it, would be to buy Komplete 10 Ultimate. There are lots of tools that sound pretty good to get you started. Granted there are only a handful of libraries in there that I think are particularly spectacular, but everything's "good". So it's a worthy investment. I've been collecting lots of libraries for their particular sounds but I started with Komplete 10 Ultimate. 8dio makes some of the best libraries in the business BUT they are also very expensive, but worth every penny. If I were you, I'd buy the strings that Embertone sells, they're, in my mind, the best solo strings out there and they're exceptionally inexpensive for their grade of quality. Any winds, brass, and reeds I'd buy from Sample Modeling, they make the best, hands down, irrefutable, (and I can't say that about any other library, there's always another library that can compete in one way or another, except in the case of Sample Modeling. Listen to their stuff you'll hear what I mean, they sound perfectly real, it's mind blowing when you first hear them.) Also, if you like writing authentic Era/Period pieces, buying anything from Eduardo Tarilonte is a good idea. He makes brilliant and very unique libraries. I'd also recommend the CAGE package from 8dio (their dark brass sounds are unbeatable for their purpose, very different from any other brass library, think Fallout 3 Title Screen music. I guess this is the one exception to the "no other library can compete with sample modeling." But CAGE is also very, very different. You'll hear what I mean if you check them out.) Very useful if you're doing anything epic, dark, or horror. If you need to do something "spacey/electronic" I'd recommend the AEON collection from Heavyocity, Komplete 10 Ultimate comes with a couple Heavyocity libraries, all very, very good.

        You'll also want Komplete 10 for the Kontakt Engine.

        I hope this is helpful, if you have any specific questions, let me know. I'll do my best to answer them.



        • #5
          I agree with trying Reaper. Lots of people are making a switch to Reaper from the older and more popular DAWs. It performs as well, if not better than most other DAWs, and it costs considerably less. You can also download a full functioning version to try for free. As for as hitting a wall, getting a new quality virtual instrument collection has always helped me.


          • #6
            For VSTs I would highly recommend the EWQL Hollywood series, although they are a bit pricey.