View Full Version : compose music


YuiHuan
08-30-2011, 11:07 AM
Hi there. I got one question to ask. Some times I intend to compose music for my own film, but I don't have music background. None of the notes or instrument I know. So what I want to know is, is there a software for us to use for compose music without insert the notes?

escher
08-30-2011, 12:18 PM
I'm not sure I fully understand the question. What do you mean by "compose music without insert the notes? ". You're going to have to get notes in there somehow, so it's either play them via MIDI keyboard, or insert them one at a time by hand.

I can't play very well, so I insert notes manually in the "piano roll" format in Logic pro. This is a good method if you can't read a musical staff, and is quite intuitive.

YuiHuan
08-30-2011, 12:58 PM
I'm not sure I fully understand the question. What do you mean by "compose music without insert the notes? ". You're going to have to get notes in there somehow, so it's either play them via MIDI keyboard, or insert them one at a time by hand.

I can't play very well, so I insert notes manually in the "piano roll" format in Logic pro. This is a good method if you can't read a musical staff, and is quite intuitive.

hm... it's because I found some software online, but need to insert musical notes to compose music.
http://www5f.biglobe.ne.jp/~mcs/emc.html this is what I talk about.

I can't read a thing of that, so it's quite impossible for me. Thanks for introduce Logic Pro but I am using Windows so I think can't use it @@

JoshL
08-30-2011, 01:04 PM
As a musician, this is like asking if you can write a book without learning to read or write first ;-) That said, and actual helpful advice, what you want is something like Sony Acid. All pre-recorded loops. Find what you like, copy and paste them as long as you need, layer them with others and you've got music, without having to learn anything about music.

Now, Acid CAN be used for more complex and musical things; you can do a lot more with it, but for what you're looking for, I think that'd do the job. Also a good start if you want to actually learn about music.

YuiHuan
08-30-2011, 01:19 PM
As a musician, this is like asking if you can write a book without learning to read or write first ;-) That said, and actual helpful advice, what you want is something like Sony Acid. All pre-recorded loops. Find what you like, copy and paste them as long as you need, layer them with others and you've got music, without having to learn anything about music.

Now, Acid CAN be used for more complex and musical things; you can do a lot more with it, but for what you're looking for, I think that'd do the job. Also a good start if you want to actually learn about music.

haha... thanks for that advice. I'll try it out... Guess I have to learn a thing or two about music from now onwards XD

escher
08-30-2011, 02:37 PM
haha... thanks for that advice. I'll try it out... Guess I have to learn a thing or two about music from now onwards XD

If you're just starting out, you might want to give this book a read (http://www.amazon.com/Composition-Computer-Musicians-Michael-Hewitt/dp/1598638610). Should be a good starting point for you, regardless of what music software you wind up using.

YuiHuan
08-31-2011, 12:36 AM
If you're just starting out, you might want to give this book a read (http://www.amazon.com/Composition-Computer-Musicians-Michael-Hewitt/dp/1598638610). Should be a good starting point for you, regardless of what music software you wind up using.

thanks a lot ^^

travisnotcool
05-10-2012, 09:04 PM
You can use FLStudio. It's a fantastic program that comes with tons of great sounds and endless possibilities. I've been using it myself for about 5 years now and I don't plan on leaving anytime soon. It has a piano roll feature in it, MIDI capable and there is no need to be able to read music to use it. I can hardly read myself. Just because you can't read doesn't mean you can't write.

JGBarnes
06-09-2012, 05:03 AM
Please please please do not be intimidated by not knowing keys, notes, or any of the technical/traditional form of music composition and be shamed into thinking you can't write beautiful music without that knowledge.

I personally use FLStudio and have been writing music for more than 15 years with it. I would not at all suggest using prepackaged loops. Maybe if you've never written a song in your life and you just want to fart around, but even I didn't start that way, and I certainly wouldn't encourage you to use premade loops in place of an original film score (because technically it wouldn't be original then, would it?)

Here are the latest examples of my film scores using FLStudio and ZERO technical, classical, institutionalized, or trained music knowledge whatsoever:

This is closer to a traditional film score. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Aa-PahzlJM)

This is a tad more edgy and experimental. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjJJDFwRHRs)

MetalRenard
06-14-2012, 04:26 PM
I absolutely 200% agree with JGBarnes. I have never, let me say that again, NEVER, studied composition or music production and yet I am now looking at doing both as a full-time career, and I'm only 23.

But don't think that means you can "just do it". You'd be wrong.
What it means is, yes, you can learn by yourself, but no, it will not happen over night. It takes a lot of time and dedication. Having said that, you will definitely benefit from learning the basics even if you only use them to create demos for a composer, or as a way to express your ideas to someone.

I cannot recommend FLStudio since I've tried it and hated it (I found it way too complex). But the truth of the matter is, the best software to use is the one you're comfortable with. You should look at free software first maybe, just to get a feel, or purchase cheap software rather than Cubase for example.

FLStudio is pretty cheap (if I remember correctly), so is REAPER, and there are many others. Mu-Lab is -free- but very basic. Maybe it will be enough for you though, who knows?
You can also find many free virtual instruments (VSTs) onilne, or you can just ask me if you like. I have taught quite a few people how to play guitar, how to compose and also how to produce music, so I'm always happy to give advice or feedback.

Good luck writing your own music and I hope you find it as enjoyable as I do.

JGBarnes
06-14-2012, 06:15 PM
I absolutely 200% agree with JGBarnes. I have never, let me say that again, NEVER, studied composition or music production and yet I am now looking at doing both as a full-time career, and I'm only 23.

Excellent for you, man! Good work! Once I get one more project done, I will actively pursue a more professional career in scoring. I wish you the best.

But don't think that means you can "just do it". You'd be wrong.
What it means is, yes, you can learn by yourself, but no, it will not happen over night. It takes a lot of time and dedication. Having said that, you will definitely benefit from learning the basics even if you only use them to create demos for a composer, or as a way to express your ideas to someone.

You're absolutely right. It's certainly not easy. Like I said, I've been using FLStudio for 15 years and not until just a couple of years ago have I felt that I've truly hit a groove and fully understood my capabilities and how to deliver efficiently.

Please clarify, though, "learning the basics." My definition of basics might be different than yours.

I cannot recommend FLStudio since I've tried it and hated it (I found it way too complex). But the truth of the matter is, the best software to use is the one you're comfortable with. You should look at free software first maybe, just to get a feel, or purchase cheap software rather than Cubase for example.

Hmm...interesting. I've heard the opposite about FLStudio. In fact, I've found it easiest to use compared to the other big ones out there. That might surprise you, but I seem to be in the minority, at least in the music community in the Detroit area. Everyone sees FLStudio as Playskool stuff, that is, until I show them what I can do with it. ;)

But, MetalRenard is right. Use what's comfortable for you. That's all that matters.

FLStudio is pretty cheap (if I remember correctly), so is REAPER, and there are many others. Mu-Lab is -free- but very basic. Maybe it will be enough for you though, who knows?
You can also find many free virtual instruments (VSTs) onilne, or you can just ask me if you like. I have taught quite a few people how to play guitar, how to compose and also how to produce music, so I'm always happy to give advice or feedback.

Good luck writing your own music and I hope you find it as enjoyable as I do.

All great suggestions! FLStudio Producer Edition is only 200 bucks! That's a steal! And you can always try out a demo to see if you like it.

MetalRenard
06-14-2012, 06:39 PM
Haha I'm glad we mostly agree.

As for "the basics" I mean literally the first 5 things you should learn when you starting making music (I've made video tutorials though they're not of the best quality, even I can admit that. I don't have high quality video editors or capturing software so I made do with what I had.)

To me, the basics are:
1) How to install the software, how to install and host virtual instruments.
2) How to use midi - this stage is often overlooked and so even after a few years experience I still see people making n00bish mistakes and having trouble making orchestral VSTs sound realistic.
3) How to create FX chains and the basics on how to use reverb, and how to use both effectively.
4) How to MIX audio - EQ, compression, using the space (panning), ...
5) Basic mastering - How to make sure a mix never saturates, master volume levels, how to get "industry standard" loudness WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID "industry standard" loudness (Yes, I am an active fighter against the "Loudness War").

I think that covers "the basics"... :)

JGBarnes
06-14-2012, 06:59 PM
Yes. I 100% agree, though, I'd add an exception to the midi thing. It's only necessary if you're more comfortable writing with a keyboard or other physical devices/or synthesizers, which I'm not. I personally prefer to "point-n-click" my notes into place using the software alone. I like to visualize my note grid on a large monitor and watch them loop over and over while I switch out notes until I'm happy with the melody. Everyone's different, though. A friend of mine can't stand writing the way I do and I can't stand writing the way he does.

Otherwise, I completely agree. If I could add anything to that, I can't think of it at the moment.

MetalRenard
06-14-2012, 07:00 PM
No you misunderstood, I meant how to compose using midi, for example with a piano-roll view. I compose that way too. Haha.

JoshL
06-15-2012, 04:29 PM
I do agree with a lot of both of your points. You definitely can teach yourself music; I'm self-trained myself. I play about a dozen instruments (to varying degrees of proficency!) as well as electronic composition. All you really need is the time and dedication, and a LOT of both.

If you want to make music, then, yeah, there's nothing stopping you. If you want to be a composer, however, you need to know theory. You don't need formal education, but you do need education. You need to know counterpoint and harmony, you need to know scales and modes. You need to know how all the instruments you want to compose for work (though you don't need to know how to play them), otherwise when you get to the level where you are handing off sheet music, it won't be playable by a live musician. All that and composing for film is an entirely different beast than just being a good musician, or a good composer. And, like anything in life, you never ever stop learning. There's always more to know.

But all that aside, you can throw together music that you like without having that knowledge. FL has come a long way (I think part of the snobbery against it has to do with people who tried the first few versions. Acid gets the same thing; they're both now capable of multitrack audio and MIDI/VST integration, but there was a time when neither of them were). I remember Orion being a lot of fun to play with, and pretty "beginner friendly." Each VSTi has it's own loop/piano roll to build pattern based sequences with. And if you want to go old-school techno/acid, Rebirth is free these days: http://www.rebirthmuseum.com/ (note: that's a very specific use synth and not as flexible as a full-fledged DAW). Oh, and http://www.kvraudio.com is an absolutely essential resource for plug-in effects and instruments, lots of which are free.

Anyway, how deep you want to go really depends on how far you want to get. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just wanting to do music for fun, and not being serious about it. There's nothing wrong with being serious about it, but teaching yourself. That said, I've been a DIY guy since I first picked up a guitar, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have gone to school for composition. You can't know too much!

MetalRenard
06-15-2012, 05:53 PM
There are lost of ways to be a composer and not have to learn theory. I don't know theory and I compose music (I like to think I'm very good at it too). Theory can help with communication but just look at Hans Zimmer - He composes the music but doesn't know deep theory, he has people do that for him.

Yes, theory can help, but much more important is training your ear. You can study theory for a hundred years and still not produce a great piece of music. You can not know theory, but if you have a good ear and passion you can still make great music.

I hate the idea of "studying" musical theory, and I say you can teach or train yourself to do anything, school is just one way, and definitely not the best way. The most creative people are those that discover the rules by themselves rather than being spoon-fed them by professors of this and that, and reading about theory is just about the same.

JoshL
06-16-2012, 12:10 AM
I see where you're coming from and at one point in my life I felt much the same way. And, yes, there are plenty of people who find their own way through theory (though more so in pop music than orchestral/film).

But you are learning theory. If you play in a key, that's music theory. If you know a scale is, that's theory. If you ever play a harmony line, then you are applying theory. By not studying it and learning what came before you, you're reinventing the wheel. Doubly so if you are asked to compose something in a style that you don't personally like (and as a film composer, you will be). And I can't imagine anyone getting to the point where they can't learn anything from Bach, for example!

Again, I get where you are coming from. My point is just that there is always more to learn (I'd call myself a C grade composer...consistently passable, occasionally really good) and one should never be afraid to learn from what came before. But my background is from the noise scene, which is VERY theory/structure intensive, and I spent a lot of time reinventing things that a bit of study before hand could have helped me get there quicker. Knowledge is always a good thing.

MetalRenard
06-16-2012, 11:37 AM
Of course, I know the basic theories of theory... I know what harmony is for example, and I do use it. But I don't know scales, modes, chords, or whatever. For that I use my ear. I even use my ear to create harmony.

I write all kinds of genres of music, I've even dabbled in Dance because I was asked to for a job (like you said, writing in genres I don't like is part of being a film/TV/game composer) My very first genre is heavy metal though, and I apply how I compose metal to every other genre. As it turns out, heavy metal is the genre today that is closest to classical music so I guess that helps!

I probably sound like an ass now, but that's ok. Music is something I like to do my own way, and I'd rather die than let someone take that away from me. I want to continue to do it how I am right now - self trained composer and music producer - and I like to help others realise that they too can do it that way. It just takes time and dedication, like anything you do in life. :)

AudioPostExpert
06-16-2012, 05:35 PM
Theory can help with communication but just look at Hans Zimmer - He composes the music but doesn't know deep theory, he has people do that for him.

Hans Zimmer is hardly the most creative or original of composers and as you say, he has to buy in the knowledge that he lacks.

You can study theory for a hundred years and still not produce a great piece of music.

Music theory is just that, theory, it only exists to explain how music works, not how to be a good composer. Musical theory is in effect just a set of tools. Like with say a carpenter, having a great set of tools does not make you a great carpenter, it's how the carpenter uses the tools which makes him/her great (or useless). So it is with music, knowing music theory does not make you a good composer, it's how you use the theory which makes you good or bad.

I hate the idea of "studying" musical theory, and I say you can teach or train yourself to do anything...The most creative people are those that discover the rules by themselves rather than being spoon-fed them by professors of this and that, and reading about theory is just about the same.

Using history as a reference, to learn all the musical tricks and techniques discovered and developed by a large number of musical geniuses should take you about 600 years. Or, you could read a few books and/or get someone to guide you and learn it in a more realistic time frame.

The truth, with very few exceptions over the last 600 years, is that the most creative composers study the theory (almost always with help) and then apply and/or develop it to suit their artistic vision.

As it turns out, heavy metal is the genre today that is closest to classical music so I guess that helps!

You are joking, right?

Music theory is simply knowledge and how does having more knowledge make you worse at doing something? Honestly, do yourself a favour and learn some music theory, while you're at it, some recording and mixing theory wouldn't hurt either.

G

Michael Allen
06-16-2012, 06:58 PM
I hate the idea of "studying" musical theory, and I say you can teach or train yourself to do anything, school is just one way, and definitely not the best way. The most creative people are those that discover the rules by themselves rather than being spoon-fed them by professors of this and that, and reading about theory is just about the same.

You know it's actually possible that a knowledge of music theory will not only improve the music you compose but it could also increase your enjoyment of music. It's strange to me that you would shun knowledge. You have no idea what music theory would do for you because you don't know it.
Also I don't believe the most creative film composers are those that discover the rules by themselves. If you were to write a list of the most creative people in any field you will find the vast majority have been trained in their field.

MetalRenard
06-16-2012, 07:35 PM
We've gone waaay off topic haha. I disagree with certain points of what has just been said but like I said, I don't think this is the place to continue discussing them. :)

JGBarnes
06-16-2012, 10:11 PM
Hans Zimmer is hardly the most creative or original of composers and as you say, he has to buy in the knowledge that he lacks.

I don't agree that he isn't very creative or original. Regardless, he writes great music and that's all that should matter. Not every wondrous, complex, and beautiful piece of music involves having previous knowledge of vast or minor theory nor does it require "buying into."

The truth, with very few exceptions over the last 600 years, is that the most creative composers study the theory (almost always with help) and then apply and/or develop it to suit their artistic vision.

Really? So, the only the most creative people have studied theory or have had help? According to whom are these people the "most" creative? You can't possibly be saying that lacking knowledge in music theory will always make you "less" creative than the "most" creative that have studied theory? I can't believe I'm even entertaining such an absurd argument. Unless, I'm totally misinterpreting what you're saying.

You are joking, right?

What exactly do you think he's joking about? Because a great amount of the most technical and heaviest metal bands around the globe, in fact, do share far more in common with classical music than you'd think.

Music theory is simply knowledge and how does having more knowledge make you worse at doing something? Honestly, do yourself a favour and learn some music theory, while you're at it, some recording and mixing theory wouldn't hurt either.

It wouldn't make you worse at writing music, but that's not the point here. Maybe he doesn't want to learn theory? What's wrong with that? Maybe it doesn't interest him whatsoever? So what? That's his prerogative. Now, I wouldn't say theory is the devil or anything. Or that it's useless. I don't have a problem with anyone knowing or learning theory. Theory is enthralling, fascinating stuff, no doubt about it.

What I have a problem with is the elitist condescension going around when it comes to writing music or pursuing your passions -- whatever that may be. I won't assume this is the case for you, AudioExpert, but in my experience, I've met a LOT of far more technically superior artists than myself, but they can't write a good piece of music to save their lives. There's no heart in it. It's all a numbers game to them to satisfy an equation, but not to satisfy an emotion. Not to mention, they're the most arrogant and inflexible "artists" I've ever come across. I'm just relaying facts of my experience. Knowing theory does not necessitate a metamorphosis into being a complete jerk. Not everyone is like that.

If you WANT to pursue learning theory, the best way to do it is to make sure FIRST that you love writing music and that you can put together a good song. THEN once you've matured as an artist and you understand the basics of sounds, chords, melodies, arpeggios etc., go ahead and get some theory under your belt...IF YOU WANT TO! But, please, spare me the "you're not good enough without it" BS. This goes for the other way around, too. There's nothing wrong with knowing theory either. It is very fascinating stuff and can add another layer of fun to your work.

MetalRenard
06-16-2012, 10:20 PM
JGBarnes, thank you for saying exactly what I was thinking (and also in the process bringing it back on topic). Can we leave it at that guys? I don't want to argue about this, it's pointless to get too technical when we were originally trying to encourage a beginner.

Michael Allen
06-16-2012, 11:59 PM
I think one could certainly write great film music without a knowledge of music theory.

AudioPostExpert
06-17-2012, 08:50 PM
Really? So, the only the most creative people have studied theory or have had help? According to whom are these people the "most" creative? You can't possibly be saying that lacking knowledge in music theory will always make you "less" creative than the "most" creative that have studied theory? I can't believe I'm even entertaining such an absurd argument.

What's absurd is believing that creativity is in anyway useful without any knowledge of how to express it.

What exactly do you think he's joking about? Because a great amount of the most technical and heaviest metal bands around the globe, in fact, do share far more in common with classical music than you'd think.

Only someone who knows next to nothing about classical music could possibly have said that. If you want an example of a modern genre that is closest to classical music, contemporary jazz fits the bill far more closely than any heavy metal. In fact, so does some pop and rock music and a lot of the experimental electronic music, even some sound design is more closely related to classical music than heavy metal.

once you've matured as an artist and you understand the basics of sounds, chords, melodies, arpeggios etc., go ahead and get some theory under your belt...

This is getting more absurd by the minute, you obviously have no idea what music theory is because what you've just said is: Once you understand the basics of music theory, go ahead and get some theory under your belt!??? What do you think basic music theory is, if it isn't "sounds, chords, melodies, arpeggios, etc"?

I've met a LOT of far more technically superior artists than myself, but they can't write a good piece of music to save their lives.

Knowing how music works does not mean you are actually any good at creating it, did you even bother to read my post or are you just being defensive at the expense of any logic or any facts?

Maybe he doesn't want to learn theory? What's wrong with that? Maybe it doesn't interest him whatsoever? So what? That's his prerogative.

If he wants to write music for himself, he can do whatever he wants and remain as ignorant as he chooses. However he stated he wanted to be a professional composer. Without any knowledge of how music works, he doesn't stand a chance.

MetalRenard
06-17-2012, 08:57 PM
That's the thing, I'm already making music professionally. Your argument is therefore invalid. :)
So can we please move on? This is a useless discussion and just a clash of egos that doesn't help anyone. To each his own. That's the beauty of a creative job - you can be creative with it. Do it your own way.
We are not about to agree on anything so why bother?

AudioPostExpert
06-17-2012, 09:14 PM
That's the thing, I'm already making music professionally. Your argument is therefore invalid. :)

Making music professionally is not the same thing at all as being a professional composer, so your argument is invalid. You don't even seem to know what a professional composer is or what one does! It's like saying you want to build houses professionally but you don't think you should have to learn anything about construction. You're right about one thing though, not much point in continuing to argue from a basis of so little understanding. Good luck!

JGBarnes
06-17-2012, 09:29 PM
What's absurd is believing that creativity is in anyway useful without any knowledge of how to express it.

---

This is getting more absurd by the minute, you obviously have no idea what music theory is because what you've just said is: Once you understand the basics of music theory, go ahead and get some theory under your belt!??? What do you think basic music theory is, if it isn't "sounds, chords, melodies, arpeggios, etc"?

It all depends on how we're defining theory. If we define it as I know that this note sounds good with this one and is therefor a pleasant sounding chord to me, although, I can't possibly tell you why it sounds good or what notes they are, let alone what key it's in or what the chord is called...

Would that be considered "knowing theory" to you? Honest question.

Only someone who knows next to nothing about classical music could possibly have said that. If you want an example of a modern genre that is closest to classical music, contemporary jazz fits the bill far more closely than any heavy metal. In fact, so does some pop and rock music and a lot of the experimental electronic music, even some sound design is more closely related to classical music than heavy metal.

You might be fairly accurate with everything you just typed here except that heavy metal (not the mom-rock garbage you find on the radio) is factually rooted in very dense classical theory whether you want to believe me or not.

Knowing how music works does not mean you are actually any good at creating it

Glad we can agree on this.

If he wants to write music for himself, he can do whatever he wants and remain as ignorant as he chooses. However he stated he wanted to be a professional composer. Without any knowledge of how music works, he doesn't stand a chance.

You're just as correct as you are missing the point.

OP is like a kid with a basketball that says I want to play pro ball one day! Yay! Then Michael Jordan comes by and smacks the ball out of his hands and says, "If you don't know how to play then you can't stand a chance with the pros!!!"

That's really not the appropriate impression/or tone one should be giving a newbie. You might say these things to a college player, but not to a newbie.

JGBarnes
06-17-2012, 10:17 PM
Oh, also this:

"Throughout heavy metal's twenty-year history, its most influential musicians have been guitar players who have also studied classical music. Their appropriation and adaptation of classical models sparked the development of a new kind of guitar virtuosity, changes in the harmonic and melodic language of heavy metal, and new modes of musical pedagogy and analysis."

"But in the case of heavy metal, the relationship to classical modes of thought and music-making is not merely in the eye of the beholder. To compare it with culturally more prestigious music is entirely appropriate, for the musicians who compose, perform and teach this music have tapped the classical canon for musical techniques and procedures which they have then fused with their blues-based rock sensibility. Their instrumental virtuosity, theoretical self-consciousness and studious devotion to the works of the classical canon means that their work could be valorised in the more 'legitimate' terms of classical excellence. But more importantly, metal guitarists' appropriations of classical music provide a vital opportunity for examining criteria for musical significance as they function in cultural contestation."

"By finding new uses for old music, recycling the rhetoric of Bach and Vivaldi for their own purposes, metal musicians have reopened issues of signification in classical music."

Taken from this massive study. (https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/379212/original/Walser%25252B-%25252BEruptions-%25252BHeavy%25252BMetal%25252BAppropriations%2525 2Bof%25252BClassical%25252BVirtuosity%25252B.pdf) This also gets into concrete and granular examples using precise comparisons of sheet music from classical artists and pointing out loads upon loads of striking parallels to heavy metal.

AudioPostExpert
06-18-2012, 05:16 AM
It all depends on how we're defining theory. If we define it as I know that this note sounds good with this one and is therefor a pleasant sounding chord to me, although, I can't possibly tell you why it sounds good or what notes they are, let alone what key it's in or what the chord is called...

It doesn't depend on how we define music theory because music theory is defined as: "The study of how music works". It seems to me you want to define it as something else and then say it depends on how we define it, just because you want to argue and/or be defensive. What you have described above is precisely part of musical theory. Notes sounding nice together is called consonance and notes not sounding nice together is called dissonance. Music theory goes on to explain how and why consonance and dissonance work, how different composers have used it over the centuries and therefore how it has evolved. This provides the composer with a wealth of invaluable information and options about how consonance and dissonance can employed to express creative and artistic ideas.

You might be fairly accurate with everything you just typed here except that heavy metal (not the mom-rock garbage you find on the radio) is factually rooted in very dense classical theory whether you want to believe me or not...
"By finding new uses for old music, recycling the rhetoric of Bach and Vivaldi for their own purposes, metal musicians have reopened issues of signification in classical music."

Where did I say that metal music is not rooted in classical theory? All popular music genres are based on classical theory, the disagreement is that metal music is the genre most closely related to classical music, a completely different argument and one which is patently untrue.

The quote you've provided is rhetorical nonsense because exactly the same could be said of any genre of western music! Along with all the other quotes, it's obvious the authors are trying to validate metal music, comparing it to "culturally more prestigious music" by fooling the gullible and ignorant into believing metal is somehow closer than other genres. In reality you could exchange the words "heavy metal" in all your quotes for almost any other western genre of music and the quotes would be just as true as they are now. Your first quote by the way, seems to imply that even in metal music the most important musicians have recognised the importance of and have studied music theory. You seem to be unwittingly providing evidence against your argument.

"Knowing how music works does not mean you are actually any good at creating it" - Glad we can agree on this.

I've never said or implied anything different. In fact I clearly stated and explained this in my first post in this thread, maybe you didn't read it before you decided to attack it?

OP is like a kid with a basketball that says I want to play pro ball one day! Yay! Then Michael Jordan comes by and smacks the ball out of his hands and says, "If you don't know how to play then you can't stand a chance with the pros!!!"

No, it's nothing like that at all, nice try at misrepresenting the argument though! To use your analogy: It's like a kid who says to Michael Jordan, I am already a semi-pro basketball player and am going to be a pro player and I'm telling you and anyone else who wants to play pro-ball that you don't don't need to know any rules, tactics, strategies, history or techniques and anyone who says otherwise is a condescending elitist. Then Michael Jordan would be perfectly justified in saying: "Good luck with that but you're not going to stand a chance in the pros with an attitude like that or with that level of ignorance".

G

JGBarnes
06-18-2012, 12:13 PM
http://i.imgur.com/aQSx1.gif

PatrickAThompson
06-18-2012, 12:47 PM
Ok, so I gave up reading through each and every post -- but one thing I didn't see mentioned was acquiring the proper tools one needs to compose. While music education is certainly one of those tools, you also need to consider the hardware and software.

Composition is not an easy or cheap profession. PLEASE don't let this discourage you - as that's not my intent.. but unless a composer has a vast array of excellent sample libraries (and the knowledge to use them), or available access to hundreds of musicians to record his work, his tracks will be lacking originality. If someone "composes" using just loops - why bother?... Everyone else does that - and you can purchase these cheesy loop-based tracks for $5 online.

When it comes to writing that 'epic' Hollywood orchestra sound, again, you need to know what each instrument does and how they work together. This is the biggest problem for indie composers... Either their samples are poor and sound like cheap-o 80's synth stuff... or it sounds fake..

For example: I've heard tracks with a flute solo over a massive, energetic orchestral ostinato... In the real world, this can't happen - as a flute doesn't have the projection power to be distinctly heard over the entire orchestra.

And then... once you've got your music.. It has to be mixed and mastered or the audio guys will laugh at you. This takes more learning and more software - or more money to pay someone to do it.

My point is this... Like any job, composing takes training and personal investment in high quality tools. Tomorrow, I can wake up and tell myself I want to be a lawyer --- and if I want to be a lawyer, I'm going to have to spend X thousands of dollars and X years in school to be an effective one. So, please... continue to explore your compositional aspirations!! I believe anyone can do anything if they are persistent and driven -- but nothing in this world comes magically overnight.

Stay at it! Invest! YouTube has tremendous tutorials... though I'd suggest finding a school like Full Sail or BerkleeMusic where you can get one-on-one feedback. Read! Study!

...and most of all - if you want this to be your job, TREAT it like your job. Put in the time whether you feel like it or not.

I wish you all the best!!

Patrick

JGBarnes
06-18-2012, 01:34 PM
Patrick, good post.

On the first page of this thread, MetalRenard and I shared these thoughts...

Please please please do not be intimidated by not knowing keys, notes, or any of the technical/traditional form of music composition and be shamed into thinking you can't write beautiful music without that knowledge.

I personally use FLStudio and have been writing music for more than 15 years with it. I would not at all suggest using prepackaged loops. Maybe if you've never written a song in your life and you just want to fart around, but even I didn't start that way, and I certainly wouldn't encourage you to use premade loops in place of an original film score (because technically it wouldn't be original then, would it?)

Here are the latest examples of my film scores using FLStudio and ZERO technical, classical, institutionalized, or trained music knowledge whatsoever:

This is closer to a traditional film score. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Aa-PahzlJM)

This is a tad more edgy and experimental. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjJJDFwRHRs)

I absolutely 200% agree with JGBarnes. I have never, let me say that again, NEVER, studied composition or music production and yet I am now looking at doing both as a full-time career, and I'm only 23.

But don't think that means you can "just do it". You'd be wrong.
What it means is, yes, you can learn by yourself, but no, it will not happen over night. It takes a lot of time and dedication. Having said that, you will definitely benefit from learning the basics even if you only use them to create demos for a composer, or as a way to express your ideas to someone.

I cannot recommend FLStudio since I've tried it and hated it (I found it way too complex). But the truth of the matter is, the best software to use is the one you're comfortable with. You should look at free software first maybe, just to get a feel, or purchase cheap software rather than Cubase for example.

FLStudio is pretty cheap (if I remember correctly), so is REAPER, and there are many others. Mu-Lab is -free- but very basic. Maybe it will be enough for you though, who knows?
You can also find many free virtual instruments (VSTs) onilne, or you can just ask me if you like. I have taught quite a few people how to play guitar, how to compose and also how to produce music, so I'm always happy to give advice or feedback.

Good luck writing your own music and I hope you find it as enjoyable as I do.