1. Didja accidentally blow through the whole, "We're using our real names" thing on registration? No problem, just send me (Mike) a Conversation message and I'll get you sorted, by which I mean hammered-into-obedient-line because I'm SO about having a lot of individuality-destroying, oppressive shit all over my forum.
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For those who like "Epic Meltdown"

Discussion in 'The RedBanned Bar & Grill' started by Doug Gibson, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. #21 Rohann van Rensburg, Aug 31, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
    Maybe I missed the drama too, but vendetta, at least in my case, would require caring about the situation and the individual composer far more than I'm capable of doing. I have no idea who the guy is. The reason I commented is because I really don't think it's harmless in the end; all it's doing is gradually feeding the desensitization of people to bad compositional strategies (i.e. outright copying) and an acceptance/normalization of dishonesty. It's a professional example of the kind of amateurishness media composers already get railed for. The benefit of the doubt isn't given in any other professional capacity, and considering this was a demo posted by an official company to sell a product, and not someone's show-my-friends Soundcloud page, I don't think it's acceptable. We've all probably unintentionally plagiarized (borrowed instead of stole, as it were -- I definitely have), but the context in which this was presented is the problem (and frankly the laziness -- at least change key or mode, man!). I'd love to believe it was coincidental but he seems too experienced for that.
    That said, I don't think railing on the guy is appropriate, but I do think it appropriate to message FA.

    I too enjoyed the wedding piece by the way. Post more of your work here!
  2. A melt-up Doug, not a melt-down.

    I stand by everything I said. In the slight chance that I'm wrong, be aware that Melbourne would be about 100 miles north of the edge of the earth. If the ice mountain that keep the oceans from spilling over melts, you may want to head further inland or at least tether yourself to a flag pole or large piano.

    Good analogy. All ideas are at the same height and thus are equal. I've also been monitoring the anti-rationalism anti-intellectualism that has been creeping into US society in the last two decades. It's everywhere.

    The Paul McCartney line is frequent in the "Do I really have to work that hard?" threads. I always think "Sure, if you have whatever PM has, feel free to not learn how to read music." Sadly, no one ever mentions John Lennon :( I'm waiting for "I like to play my music loud. Do I really need my hearing? Beethoven wrote some of his best music while and after he went deaf."

    One of the other positions that shows up in threads like this is "All that theory (knowledge) will ruin my creativity" and "All of that theory will restrict me because I wont be allowed to break "the rules." " I imagine a composer confessing to a priest "Father I have sinned. I wrote two parallel fifths last week and allowed an inner voice to leap a 3th over a bar line." "You must control yourself my son. God's voice leading rules are to be obeyed unless you want to spend eternity writing charts for The Mantovani Orchestra (who are already in hell). Say five Hail Marys and transpose this Bach choral into the key of G#." It also reminds me of a segment in Ken Burns' Jazz series where he pokes fun at Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg who talked as if Charlie Parker picked up an alto sax one day and just blew (no practice required).

    To my point, I would think talk like this would be disturbing to a conscientious teacher, much like a drug councilor who views a post suggesting people steal their mother's OxyContin.

    Now, write ten variations on Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin', watch the animated video "Learn Music Theory in One Hour" and say five Hail Deepak Chopras. o_O
  3. Yes......

    You know what I find curious: I don't know how much you saw of my Vi-C Rant. I think I used your thread on Flat Earth to link a video I said was an actual science, with a craft and skill. (Humor of course !) With funding by Canada. Watch until the end.

    Anyhow, I said that Vi-Control was "Crack Spiders Bitch". :D (it's the Scottish in me !)

    I think it was the next person who replied, and they went on about how rude it is of me to question the value of learning from youtube.
    He was nice. Replied to him, and at the end, I pointed out that no offense or mention of "Crack Spiders Bitch" but
    questioning youtube gets offended?

    I think I repeated that phrase (CSB), and when he wrote again...not a word. Maybe he was just flying above and making sure not to add fuel
    ...... but I thought it interesting to note

    As per your suggestion at the top, let's do a guided visualization together. Right here. It'll be quick. Upon reaching the end of this sentence, I want you to close your eyes, and think of the smartest person to ever walk the earth, don't worry, trust you know you have picked the right person, and ask "What would you do to keep from falling off the eath. Go......


    Now here is the magical thing about this

    Guess what? I spoke to the same person, and I'll be doing the same thing!

    Yeup..........I'M BUYING GREENLAND.

    Yes, yes...... brilliant, I know it, you know it, everyone knows it, cmon, it's going be.....I'll tell.....no ....I can tell you this. It's going to be very, very, very, special when it's all finished.

    The best part?.... correct again......Mexico is paying for it!

    Be well good sir !

    How is that Brass piece going ?
    Alexander Schiborr likes this.
  4. #24 Alexander Schiborr, Aug 31, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
    There has been quite a big change on ViC during the last couple of years. I remember when registering there there was still a bit of a scene or people with topics about orchestration talk, or improving composition and development techniques and other interesting little specific craft related talk. These days its been very rare to see discussions like that over there. And when: There is few to no interaction or interest in such threads anymore. See all the sample talk about London Calling (I like the BBC orchestra). But the Product was not even announced what it is but created allready a 50+ pages thread. That pretty much sums it up that there is that consumerism talk ad hominem going on. Its that big thing these days. Also the lazyness of some poeple there, when I don´t like something is when people are too lazy even to do a proper research about a topic instead just creating multitiple of the same topics. I wasn´t raised up with such kind of mentality. I don´t know if that is specific or a thing these days..

    And I also see less and less people there where I think that they know what they are talking of. Now the problem is that on forums especially like that ones there can´t be only like pros with years of experience so there are all kinds of hobbyists. Which is fine because we all start out as beginners and we learn for a lifetime. But the problem is for me that a lot of these kids (ok, I am not that old only 42 and often I consider myself as a kid lol) seem or want to skip what I call the "Boiler Room" Process. So by that I mean: You won´t become great at your craft (doing mockups, composing, orchestration, notating..playing an instrument!) when you don´t force yourself sitting on your butt and start learning by practising. And I mean day by day (Consistency + intensity = results).

    Just yesterday I started analyzing the Ponchi Suite with its harmony, chord progressions, melodic focus and style and orchestration. I realized: Man that is so simple in terms of writing but at the same time so genius work. It is simple to follow but not banal, its loveable. I took a blank paper and wrote all shit down what I grabbed and was sitting at the piano and played numerous spots and trying to indulge myself into the mindset of Ponchi. Believe me after many weeks working on that suite my ears are freaking fried from that suite tbh, but I see so many fantastic little things there that I want and need to know better because I want to be a better writer.

    That shit is not easy for me and I felt a bit like: Oh man Alex, there is fucking long road for you. Today I want to analyze a bit of Steiners Fanfaric writing as Korngolds too. That shit is hard for me and it is so challenging. But there is that point: I feel this people on ViC talk and talk and talk and talk and talk...and they still talk, but they simply don´t really enter that zone and mindset learning from great composers in history and then they wonder why e.g. their orchestration sucks and is dull and nothing really sounds like what they expect or they want.

    I saw in so many cases compositions in the members forum facing that problems, and that is normal. Mastering all those things is a lifetime goal. But I tell you: Here are by far the better pieces posted and why is that? Because the majority of those people who are attending this forum work on their chops. Now and there comes this trap that developers advertise a shitload of products on that ViC letting the people fall into that mindset: If you buy that stuff, you get your Lamborghini (think of Michael Batio, speed kills video). But matter of fact is Michael Batio simply busted his ass of over many decades every single day to become that good , no my world with all that speek kills but anyways he does very well with that. Buying tools, but not working on the important aspects will not bring you a lamborghini (Wtf where is the h). Tell that them, but they don´t listen and blame you for being either oldschool, or you get things like: Well, I didn´t learn to read music thats why I work only with cubase. Yeah ook..

    Now what I was confronted over there also at times was that certain people told me beeing a kind of elitist. Well..sure they feel that way, bc I let not that good words on some bigger names out there. I ask myself: If Junkie XL thinks that layering a bassoon with a cello in unison is such of a magical trick (I re-peat magical trick), that I ask myself: What the freaking fuck is going on these days? And such guys are working at the top tier in Hollywood. (Korngold, Steiner would would rotate in their graves creating a monumentum of biblical proportions) And you know that kids listen to such people a lot (I don´t blame them) and think that these people surerly have to know their shit bc they are super succesful and making a shitload of money. The equation is pretty easy with that. But I think they simply ignore most of the fundamentals and if they wouldn´t have their RIG, everything would fall apart. There are even quite a lot of people who even can´t perform not one single instrument or can´t read a fucking note, but with all that technology at their fingertips they can cash in.

    I mean well, not to say that JXL or others don´t know anything, Junkie XL knows a shitload about synths and production, but about classic orchestration and music development or writing a simplistic idea which does sound good but not banal cringey? Or a Bryan Tyler? (His session musicians have to play all that loud walls of brass which they probably hate with a passion but they do it..you have to get paid in the end).. So of course all these people look up to the big names and think: Uah, yeah, thats how it´s done for sure. You get some symphobia, some OT Metropolis & epic percussion, and Choirs and soon you will be the next JXL or Tyler impressing the audience with your loud screaming and hammering music. Katchin,katchin. Then I shithead come around and say the exact opposite and get of course a shit from everybody. I get the impression that a vast majority lives in a state of mind that this "getting instance gratification" bs. And so is their quality of music. It doesn´t lead anywhere, it doesn´t say anything and still it is considered by the vast majority as being legit, great and meaningful. And so these days the market is flooded with all kinds of pals who think they are some kind excellent writers. But saying out loud the opposite is being labeled as beeing oldschool, negative, or even better being simply jealous: In the end you make no friends over there. You know Doug, that this is not working like that. Your long posts there are welcome by tiny minority, and its mostly a shot in the dark trying to engage that folks.

    So now you are on hold or banned? I read that Mike did put you on a hold. Probably you could return there, but I don´t know if that forum is the right place for what you teach and I think you are way better home here. Like I say: Small community with similiar goals. When I read your posts they shine with so much information and enthuasiasm and thats fantastic.
  5. @Alexander Schiborr Well said. I just watched Vertigo last night and man, such a difference. First time hearing the score and it the film was full of music, the score told the story and the main ideas were easy enough to follow, easy to find familiar but also developed beautifully over the course of the film. Lots of tension, intrigue and story with zero need for being graphic, not a ton of fancy camera work, etc. Just well crafted, intentional in every detail and a great demonstration of mastery of the basics.

    I left VI-C after the whole "fundraiser" thing too. What a waste of money, that felt like getting conned. I, like many others, was questioning why a forum needed that much fundraising when it was already chock full of advertising. In any case, that's not what motivated me to leave -- the main motivation was the long collection of nonsense that made up a large section of the forum. A large part of it was VI library questions and controversy, meaningless, bad-spirited speculative debates about things like AI music, and plenty of conflict-of-interest (which isn't tolerated here, thankfully). There were gems, and some great posts by selfless and helpful folks, but it seems to only have gotten worse over time. The overall presentation of the site is feeding the media-composers-are-just-bedroom-producers idea (which is thankfully the inverse here). It doesn't help that some of the "big names" display little orchestral or narrative structure competence beyond that. It's really no different than Lil' Wayne thinking he's good at guitar (see below). Sure, he might be good at doing his high-out-of-his-mind, monotone-drone thing, and sure 13 year olds might be cheering for him, but that doesn't make him even passable at guitar:

    What Doug and Craig say about the resistance to actually learn anything and the rampant anti-intellectualism is frustrating and beginning to undermine the ideas that fundamentally make western civilization what it is. It's funny reading a section of "Les Miserables" where the author half-laments the time wasted by the young on "hunting and horseback riding" rather than the pursuit of virtue and great things; it always makes me wonder what people of that age would say now when they saw what "youth" (i.e. anyone under 45, considering how much our culture intentionally delays maturity) waste their time on. The worse part is that this time-waste-hole (I would argue it's vice) is carefully engineered by major companies.
    In any case, the relativism that seems so rampant is something I find especially bizarre. It takes all of 2 minutes in a Philosophy 101 classroom to demonstrate why relativism, broadly, is utter self-refuting nonsense, and not a whole lot longer to illustrate why Foucault's post-modernity is too (I've always found the outright and unexplained rejection of an idea humorous, as if the burden of proof doesn't like on those making the rejection). It's attractive, though, to believe that there's no measuring stick, that any opportunity you haven't realized is the fault of "society" or "power imbalance", and that anything you "feel" is right. It's the philosophy of an anxious, insecure and valueless teenager. My 2 year old even seems to be able to discern that some of this isn't true (intuitively). Unless things change, it will undermine academia into irrelevance, because basic metaphysical principles are not arbitrary.

    Places like this are a wonderful haven from that world of nonsense.
  6. #26 Craig Dukerschein, Aug 31, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
    I did see your video. I was with you 100% up until the part where you disparaged public masturbation. Though I shouldn't be bitter. My house arrest ends next month. It's not so bad but for this kind of offense they don't put the monitor bracelet on your ankle.:eek:

    My data shows that the rise of Flat Earthers and the like coincides with a dramatic increase in the sales of Duct Tape. We're building to something big but I haven't figured just what that is.

    Crack Spider Bitch. That phrase could catch on. The fact that the guy didn't mention CSB is testament to the power of the phrase. It's the literary equivalent of a large mole on someone's face. You're mesmerized by it but can't bring yourself to mention it.


    The film is hilarious. It starts with a needle drop.

    We could turn it into a sub-zero Epstein-like Pleasure Island. I'm going to close my eyes again and imagine women of Nordic decent wearing warm seal blubber and goose feathers. These women are ex-Trump Shuttle stewardesses, 65 and up, encouraged by the large paycheck so badly needed to pay off their unexpected emergency room charges.

    It's like a CSP. It was fun while it lasted, then I kicked it out. Bitch! I WAS in Bologna, Italy the other week and was 6 inches from the written examine Mozart took when he was 14, applying to their music academy. So, I have that going for me.

    Speaking of Mantovani ... This piece starts off with a technique he called Cascading Strings (invented by British Composer Ronald Binge, the Brits were kings of the Light Classics). Put that in your book! My youth was wall-to-wall light classics; TV, dentist offices, department stores, elevators, insane asylums. If you ever need to relax or need a musical chaser to your Thorazine, tune into Mantovani.
    Doug Gibson likes this.
  7. I want to like that 1000 times. Thanks. The video was hilarous btw. I would have kicked this moron from the stage if I would be in his band, but matter of fact it wouldn´t come so far. Wtf..was that:D
  8. No one knows :D
    Doug Gibson likes this.
  9. @Alexander Schiborr The reason a lot of people look up to those guys is because they are succesfull. And then they go out to get the Jaeger and Metropolis Ark and Symphobia stuff. "It will make ME succesfull, too!". It's confirmation bias.

    I think most here are betting on the long game, the difficult road of craftmanship, the path less traveled by. The romantic, symphonic lush orchestra is out right now. But even if it was "in", how many people out there can actually command it with the authority that is required? How many Herb Spencers out there? My bet is on few. I think the best thing you can become is a good orchestrator. It is the only way to set ourselves apart. The next generation of big name composers, it seems, will know jack shit about this stuff. And that presents an opportunity.
    Doug Gibson likes this.
  10. I find the choice of composers I see noted as "geniuses" on YouTube and forums absolutely baffling. Musical competence and taste is really at a staggering all-time low, at least publicly. Of course there are fantastic people out there, but they're not the ones scoring hundred-million-dollar films or getting "awards".
  11. #31 Alexander Schiborr, Sep 1, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
    Look, by my understanding is that only a few are having working ethics on the long run so that they actually will ever come near to the zone where they might "command" the orchestra with control. But the few who do have at least one thing in common: They worked incredibly hard on their craft (remember consistency + intensity = results). Some get there faster than others, but it is a long process that things what you learn have to be digested by your brain. That stuff is not easy and its not buying Metropolis ARK 1, using some spiccato strings layered by brasswalls and pounding drums and screaming choirs on top of it. I have no problem when somebody does that but thinking that this is the state of the Art and living in a denial that the old masters don´t deserve a study is simply ignorant.
    There is also a point which I call "education". And I don´t mean by that attending a university and learning theory and being able to put all that music into formal abstracts but to understand the beauty e.g. of controlled dissonance and bite. Shaping your ear and developing "taste" has something to do with it, at least for me. What I want to say is: Liking e.g. Junkie XL and Hans Zimmer is total good if you still beeing able to broaden your musical horizon and not beeing limited in writing just that epic music with a 3 - 4 note diatonic chord progression.

    For instance, the first time where I transcribed the Seahawk maintitle from Korngold a lot of things were new to me, especially the reharmonization techniques. I was smashing my brain on some of the recapitulation of the theme not quite understanding what he did and why he replaced e.g. an Eb Maj7 with an open voiced F# Dom7 flat5. Even to find that out by ears wasn´t that easy but I spent a day just to transcribe that shit and it burned into my head. Now after a while I was accomodated with some of those techniques and reharmonisation forms.

    Whenever I learn new words, I spent a lot of time playing around with them record that shit and try to reflect things, its not writing specific pieces but writing etudes many many just for personal training helps me shaping my ears. E.g. like that one:


    I know that this is just an exercise.

    However then I see people raving about how great Junkie XL is and I watch his video just out of interest to be proven wrong with my oldfart mentality, and he starts saying: "Well, my theme is influenced by Scriabin but it has nothing to do what I came up with but it was the inspiration for it..blabla..and it has so much of that vibe of ähhh Scriabin". Ohh, I think by myself: That guy has some taste, I am impressed that he even knows works of Scriabin. But lets continue..

    Then he plays that bassline and states the following: "When you play it just like thaaat..it doesn´t make any sense, does it?! Hahahah and I am not blaming you, it seems like a bunch of random notes".

    Side note: Noticed how much that has a vibe of Scriabin? If not..Welcome to the club.


    And there comes problem: These kids who watch that get the mindset: Well you play just a bunch of random notes and it needs not to make any sense but because JXL sais so, it is ok and so I can just catwalk on a piano and it is cool because thats the bottom line because JXL just approved that you can write themes and shoehorn it into something "meaningful".

    Then he states:

    "but when you hear it over and over and over again, it starts to talk to you".


    Yeah probably when I hear that random stuff I can bruteforce myself to find a meaning regardless if that makes sense or not. Its like making a pancake of candies, beef, milk and mustard, mixing it all together and fry it to death, probably makes no sense at all and will taste terrible but when eating some rotten eggs right before that, it might taste not that bad. Probably thats the trick here.

    An he spreads such things on his channel and then people get of course the impression that that is legit information, read that:

    Sheep A: "Can't thank you enough for this content. You're a legend, mate."
    Sheep B: "That's what I'll do in my future composition because there are hundreds of ideas on my phone and on my computer"
    Sheep C: "This theme is huge!!!"
    Sheep D: "This theme is incredible. Now I need to create one, too!"
    Sheep E: "Inspiration"
    Sheep F: "U put soul into the movie"


    You know when I would do such work (and he gets paid for that quite a lot) I would not make a YT channel and share that information. I would feel asshamed, take my paycheck, be quite and go to the church and confess my sins.

    If somebody wants to check out his video which I commented, go hear and watch the first 15 minutes, make up your own mind of course as this just reflects my opinion here of course:

  12. Junkie XL is no Scriabin, Williams, or Morricone. However, I think that it is pretty cool that a film composer doing these big Hollywood films takes the time to post stuff on youtube about what he is doing. And I think just that fact that he mentions Scriabin, Williams, and Morricone can be valuable to young or aspiring composers who may not have even heard of Scriabin or even Morricone. So, my take on it is that while I don't find JXL to be a great composer, I find it difficult to find any fault with what he is doing and his enthusiasm and love of film scoring is infectious.
  13. #33 Alexander Schiborr, Sep 1, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
    "However, I think that it is pretty cool that a film composer doing these big Hollywood films takes the time to post stuff on youtube about what he is doing."

    Yes that´s cool, he needs not to do that. I am with you here.

    But I wasn´t talking about that at all.

    Look I didn´t say that he is, and that wasn´t the point. Again read what I say, or better..what he sais: His piece has so much of a vibe of Scriabin. Now, thats a bit of a difference, isn´t it? His stuff has simply nothing to do with anything what makes a vibe of a Scriabin. You know I can see you have a different opinion here and thats fine but try also to read what I say, and not add things out my context which I simply neither said nor implied. I would appreciate that very much because otherwise we have a strange talk at cross purposes, you know?

    He can of course do his studio time and broadcast it on YT. If you disagree that´s great but then give also reasons why.
  14. AHHH....... that's the sentence that started my meltdown. :eek:

    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  15. I guess I'm not really following exactly. It seems I may have inadvertently upset you, which I did not intend to do. Apologies if that's the case. I was just pointing out some positive things about Jxl to contrast the negative things you pointed out. So yes, I suppose we are having a strange cross talk :)
    Doug Gibson likes this.
  16. I am not upset at all.Where.. Okay it seems I am not able to transport my message, I am sorry for that. But I thank you for your response.
  17. I'm glad you are not upset. Sometimes it's easy to misinterpret things online. The specific part which lead me to believe that is where you told me to "read what I say". I took that as you being a bit angry.

    It's pretty cool to have such a diverse group of film music fans here from all across the globe. Of course, that means there are bound to be occasional communication difficulties.
  18. That is a good point: The actual text of a message accounts for about 3% of the intent of a message. 17% is tone of voice. 80% is body language. Our interpretation of what is being said on the internet is severely handicapped. It's why we have emojis, memes, gifs, etc. It supplements for the lack of non-textual communication. Kombucha girl, that's why we love you...

    It is also why some actors that are better than others.
  19. Absolutely. I don't find fault with what he's doing whatsoever. Inspiration is valuable wherever it is found.
    I echo Alexander, however, in finding fault with the state of the film industry as it relates to music that he is one of the top Hollywood composers, along with Tyler and a handful of others. That these people are looked up to as the cream of the crop is what's tragic. There's a video of Tyler conducting(?) a session for Battle: LA, with 300k views and endless comments about "how I wish I could have been there". I mean it's cool for people to have fans, but this guy is one of the Hollywood A-list composers. That says a lot about the available pool.
    Patrick McClanahan likes this.
  20. I want to add: I was never wanting to shit on JXL per se. He has his fields where he definitely is great. I was really just referring to very specific things with him here and again if somebody felt uncomfortable with my wording, I just let you know that I have no grudge against anybody there. Its still saddening me that hollywood went in a direction which seems at least to me so dumbing down the tradtitions from Korngold, Steiner, and so many other great composers, also Horner, Williams, Goldsmith, B. Herman. You know sure it has to do with what I was growing up with. All these composers went through a long long proces and school of studies to become that titans and they knew how to command the entire orchestra and their writing was so exquisite that I feel these days there is nothing left from that times.

    People are so much ignoring all these beauty from the past time and the music is so different these days. Sure..there is development and I surerly can´t expect that we are going back to these days. And sure..JXL and Tyler are no Scriabin, and Tschaikowsky, but at least I think they could make an effort trying to learn from them, at least I do a lot, you know, not to expect to become that good, but to make an effort to be a better composer in long terms. You know it is probably a bit childlike thinking from me and believe me guys, I would be commercially a lot more successful if I would spent time learning how to write that modern epic filmmusic which I don´t do and didn´t learn and simply I can´t do because I feel depressed when writing that music. I have done a couple of tracks just for the sake of having some of this stuff in my catalogue, but it was always like that I got depressed.
    Patrick McClanahan likes this.

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