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How is this a "thing"?

Discussion in 'The RedBanned Bar & Grill' started by Doug Gibson, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. I was over at VI-C. and saw a few threads on

    "Hollywood orchestra opus edition and Hollywood orchestrator"

    Who is this really for, other than suckers? From the press release it states:

    Hollywood Orchestrator, which will assist in “creating award-winning compositions within seconds, and much more”

    OK, just pause here. Think about this. An award winning composition within seconds, (oh and much more).

    No composition created within seconds deserves an award. If you wrote the code that made the composition....ok. But that is different.

    Can you imagine the interview oh how they wrote the music.
    "Yeah.....so I just bought this box, and pressed a button. It was cool."

    It is just amazing to me how much people are willing to spend for an homogenised sound.
    On most of the forums the composers seem to fight for this homogenised sound with a utilitarian ideology I find odd.
    (aka....it's what producers want)

    No vision, no passion for the craft..........just a desire to "make a living from music."

    I can't think of a worse field to enter to "just make a living" without having a deep passion for music.
    Hermann fought for so long to not have an orchestrator. Now we are beyond that to a code.

    Strange days man. Strange days.
  2. Hi Doug,

    How you have been so far?

    I was not aware that EW is going to release another virtual instrument. Since I am not following Vi-C. for almost a year right now I am pretty much out of the loop and what's´ going on. However, this kind of thing is purely marketing and pulls people. And such things are going on for years..you press a button and there you have a sound or even an arrangement. I purchased Sonokinetics Maximo 2 years ago and I exactly was aware of what I am getting into. I can't write music with that tool and when I try it just sounds absolutely shitty.... But sometimes I use Maximo just to complement ideas /moving lines (that I actually wrote) especially when you run into short deadlines, this can help to fill out ..the track or to add some excitement. It is not that I feel super cool doing that, however it can help to get the "job" done.

    I say: As long you don't rely on these tools entirely that they write your music, I am fine with that. Also..even if..you know..who cares..as long a bunch of people try to make an effort. At the end of the day you can say: hey I really wrote that..or yeah, well that program wrote my music ..and my job is to define some parameters in the VI, but that’s it. I think especially people who jump from one project to the next really don't care how they created their music as long they manage to get the job done.
    Josh Fleming and Dillon DeRosa like this.
  3. Oh but you are super cool!

    This assumes it actually does increase one's output and acceptance rate. I have serious doubts. I think it actually will slow most people down.
    If you can't see your end target, how are you going to hit it?

    I mean when you look at how fast Mike can write or output of people like Jerry Goldsmith, or even Mike Post you can see the speed was never really a problem.

    Too many choices can create paralysis. I can't tell you how many times I have had a student show up to a lesson and when I ask how their composing is going I hear a long story about hard drives, templates, searching for articulations etc.

    I actually think most people compose a lot slower these days and the ones that bang-out 10-15 minutes a day are often tedious to listen to even a single minute.

    Rossini wrote Barber of Seville in 3 weeks. I mean when you look at the output of composers like Strauss and others from eras past, they really never had this issue.

    We all know it is just marketing BS, but I am surprised at how many are caught up in it.
    Martin Hoffmann likes this.
  4. #4 Alexander Schiborr, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
    Look it is not only a short deadline sometimes, it is also for many smaller business that they simply can't work that way (regardless if they would have the skill or not). There is one big aspect here and that are the small budgets: The longer you are occupied with a project the more you go into red numbers. (at least that applies for me). I could not work efficient when I would try to compose the classic way like Goldsmith did? Writing everything on paper and handing it over to an orchestrator? I would not even have a budget to justify such a procedure.

    However, I can't spend let’s say 1 or 2 months on a project writing all day music when there is a budget of 1K or even less. I mean, I can but then there is no healthy balance on the economical aspect anymore. It is anyways on a borderline here. If I was a rich man, and this would be my hobby and passion (yes it is still), maybe..but this is not the world where we live in.. Its sounds shitty mate, however I don't find clients who are willing to pay something for "music" like it was maybe in the past. These days are like that: we need the music, fast, better yesterday, how you do it, we don't care, as long you make it sound great in production and with some decent ideas that supports the project..and we pay you this and that. (Don´t ask).

    Just to give you an insight: I consider my output rate as high if not very high, I can bang out ideas and arrangements in no time. Just to give you an example: Yesterday and today I wrote around 10 minutes of minutes containing 5 Themes. Now..what I do is: I keep my templates rather small and very focussed. There is no need to load in 50 instances and gazillions of instruments. So I work with lets 10 Midi tracks and try to say the most with the least. And that keeps it pushing forward. So once I am done, of course there are few cosmetics and production related things that have to be done.

    However, I can't fully sketch out tracks on a piano, then working with dorico and then..you know...no, these tracks have to be created in realtime and simply sound that way that they can be used commercially. How I do it..it really is no point of thinking about that. In this project I use and starting to break my head using keyswitches jeez..I crap around days to program a violin line that way that it sounds realistic and the client does not tell me: Hm..the idea is good but the violin could sound more realistic. So, there are tools out there where you can get like phrase based violin Vi, that you put on top of your arrangement and chord progressions. Some of these tools allow to lego small chunks of ideas in order to glue them together. Its also work and it is not that they sound just good out of the box. You still need to give them context and put some effort into it to make it work. But the balance of "what the clients" needs vs. what "I am able to deliver in a short of amount of time is still ok".

    Also, and this maybe a bit of topic, but due to globalization and the way how easily companies can outsource projects to people who are able to work for very less, it is more and more difficult to tell the client why he should hire me since he would have options to go with someone who he pays a fraction of what he would need to pay me. Think about also the different countries and what 200 Bucks is in the US and what 200 Dollars is in Mexico or another economical weaker country, there it is quite a lot. And 200 Dollars for guys like you and me? Well..you know..it and that just doesn't work. I have some closer friends and I know that some of them did jobs where they wrote for short movies soundtracks and even did not get paid a 4 digit number delivering 20 minutes of music, working on that for weeks and going home with 750 Bucks..yeah, welcome to the reality of music composing business these days..Sure there are exceptions, but I guarantee you the vast majority either makes no money from music or that less than that can barely pay their bills.

    The competition is just extreme. And the entry level these days is sooo fucking low..and I don't mean just the skill level, also how much money you need to invest to get an okay rig to work commercially with it..its hilarous....its just mind-blowing hilarous. Buy this VI with 99 Percent off, get then 2 more VIs as a gift, get Kontakt 5 on 50 percent, Reaper for 80 Bucks, some Big Werks loop libraries for 40 Dollars from VST Buzz, a used laptop for 500, a midi 88 Alesis 88Q for 150 refurbished, and some Yamaha B-stock 200 Dollar Entry level speakers. From youtube you learn production and how to write music (learn 50 chord progressions) a bit of basic orchestration and how to apply them to virtual instruments and there you go, the rest is up to you - Really its like that. I don't say the result is great (see also what's on the market) - And nothing against Youtube (I actually use Youtube a lot and find very useful information there).
  5. #5 Alexander Schiborr, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
    Just for example..whatever that is, this I banged out in 2 hours from scratch building up a template, recording (some sort of), improvising the idea (check), mix (forget it), master (?!...forget it) everything. I don´t say that this is a strong piece, however this is the reality when you work in that business. There is not even time to breath. According to the less time I had, I consider that "job done", not my personal..hooray, yay but anyways. This piece would be millions better if I had spent a week and not 2-3 hours. Not even time to piano sketch anything thing, load in the vi shit and start recording and see what happens. How I do it? Yeah, lets take all the instruments where you can do such a job:

    - Fullstrings everywhere (part writing for vlns, vloas, Cellos)..puahh..forget it
    - Fullbrass..yeah stack the shit..use Adventure brass
    - PRC: yeah..get some hits, loops ping pong bing bingo..let the harp and glock play some on steroids.
    - Filling out the lines? Ahh forget it, just do some random bullshit..as long you maintain some sort of flow and movement..and that it keeps enough sounding sophisticated for the common crowd/producer..lol.
    - Mixing / mastering...ah you mix while you write, no time for that really. NOO! ..why totally overrated to have a descent mix/master
    - Yeah do some brute force modulations to keep the shit repeating, so that is the trick here. Throw the shit around. (Ever cleaned up the mess, no here it is the other way around.)
    - Orchestration....wowowowo...you anyways don´t hand that ever over to an orchestra, so fuck that shit.
    - Meaningful Music? hahahah :D
    - Counterpoint....yeah just fill out gaps, DA GAPPPPPSSSSSS and hope it sounds not too horrible. :D

    Welcome to 2020. xD

    LET ME GET THE f** orchestrator from EW....(no just joking..anyways no money here...ah I forget..payment is often ass)

  6. Hey Alex

    Thanks for all of your detailed replies. I appreciate them, and it is good to have your perspective on this.
    I get all the stuff about "the industry".

    I suspect we differ on the opinion of whether these devices actually help speed up the process. I can't 100% tell from your posts.

    Let me offer a short story. I am hired as the orchestrator by a composer. This is back in NYC.
    It had a combination of guitar/bass/drums/ and pop vocals, and then the orchestral background track which I was responsible for.

    So I am watching him try and put together the "band" and he bought this plug-in by Native instruments called "Strummer" or something like that.He is fucking around with it for about 15 minutes when I finally asked him what he was doing. He tells me he really needs to hear everything together and this rhythm guitar part is crucial. It turns out he spent like 3 hours the night before trying to get it just right for our meeting. The funny thing was, he had 3 really nice guitars hanging from his wall. I asked him why he didn't just record himself playing the part. It was a very simple part. He said he wasn't that confident in his playing. So I offered to play it, and within maybe 5 or 10 minutes tops we had it down.

    The "quick-fix" was the long and hard road.

    With the piece you posted of your own above; I am dubious the "Hollywood Orchestrator" would. help you at all. In fact I think it would be too tedious to use.

    I get you have conflicted feelings about the work, but let's take a step back.

    In the more abstract view of music composition .....what are we doing? We are "Structuring acoustic event across the unfolding of time".
    One simple listen tells me you have roughly a ABA form. Your orchestration acknowledges the A return. I don't think this EW product will be nearly sophisticated enough to consider form. Instead, like the "Strummer" just generic presets like "Mars". Thus you are going to be fucked trying to build the arch of your piece, and like the strummer it may actually take you more time because you don't have a clear idea in your mind. Even if you hate it, you have a clear idea in your mind on how to navigate your 2 minute in 2 hour pieces.

    Just to be clear, I am not crapping on anyone who has to make a lot of music in a short amount of time.

    See, speaking as someone who has made music my primary source of income for over 20 years, I will again tell you my view. The music industry is a lot like the financial industry.
    You know who in finance are the best people to make money on? People who want to make money. Some of it is legit, and some of it is "Snake oil".
    In general the more greedy you are the more you can be taken for a ride. Thus when I read "Award winning compositions in seconds" that to me is an instant red flag.
    Just like "You can have perfect pitch in just 6 weeks, with 20 minutes a day for $199".

    It's simply crap.
    Martin Hoffmann likes this.
  7. "I can produce the same boilerplate crap as everybody else even faster now, which is good because I only get $5 anyway."
    Doug Gibson likes this.
  8. Man, there was still passion here. Horner Phantom Commando - Composer Toolkit made from scratch :D hahahah...oh man, lets post Composer Toolkits from scratch..I need to watch that movie again..the best epic kill scenes and quotes...or raw deal: DON`T DRINK AND BAAAKE!

    Jeeezuz Lord Christ..I think I spent weeks and weeks on this piece and you know what..there was no project involved, no cent, nothing. Fuck that shit, it was fun!

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