View Full Version : Getting started... fast

Aug-10-2005, 04:15
New guy here. New to the group and new to composing... brand new, in fact. I'm involved with friends who have begun brainstorming film ideas. As the only one in the group with experience in music (playing several instruments informally for 20+ years), I've been asked to handle music. I'm very psyched https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Ultimately, I don't expect to do the composing myself, though I can't help but at least look into the exciting possibility. So, the questions to the group are:
1. Any recommendations for books to help get a quick start?
2. What are recommendations for equipment and software for a one-person effort
3. Have any others out there successfully carried off a movie compostion effort starting from square one? If so... any advice?

Aug-10-2005, 06:44
Well, I'm not a composer, so I wouldn't be of much help. But, Frederick, Corno or any of the other talents would be of great assistance! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Frederik Magle
Aug-11-2005, 00:05
Hi Duncan,

First off, congratulations on this exciting job https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Unfortuanely you can't learn how to compose if you have never composed anything before. The beginning should come naturally before you start to "learn", if you need to ask "how" you are already at a disadvantage. However, if you have made some music before (even just tiny little pieces or melodies etc.) you can refine that by studying. But it takes time, and by time I mean years.

But with that said, you could still give a try, maybe you've got a hidden talent you didn't know about yourself. Also, the music does not have to be complex (if it does you're out of luck) so you can get some help from the computer. I won't be real composition but with the computer you may still "make" some music that can actually work.

There are some technical solutions that can help an amateur composer starting out. I would recommend Apple's "Garage Band" software as the best, by far! It only costs 50$ and comes free with a new mac, but you need a mac running Mac OS X. The mac mini costs 500$ and is fine for the job so it's not that expensive to get a mac these days.

Besides that you will need a keyboard with a USB connection, so it's compatible with the mac and the Garage Band software. A decent keyboard costs a couple of hundred dollars and you don't have to worry about the sounds as Garage band has it's own - quite excellent - software synths build in.

And, that's it in regard to equipment. Garage Band, a mac and a keyboard.

Start out by making "songs" unrelated to the movie and then move on to working with the director. It will probably not be "great" music in any way, but it might just work... or not https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Aug-11-2005, 04:34
Thanks for the feedback, WalkingTheSky and Frederik. I'm not deluded enough to think I'll end up writing for the project. I view it as an opportunity to create and learn something new - exciting! And, as you say, it might just work out - optimist https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif.
I'm a Windows user, but I'll consider the Mac option - I've read good things about GarageBand. Perhaps I'll hijack the editor's system when he's not cutting https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
In the meantime, any suggestions for a Windows OS? And how about books, websites, videos, etc. for getting the basics of "making" music for film, any recommendations?

Aug-11-2005, 06:41
Glad I could help, as little as I could offer. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Rune Vejby
Aug-11-2005, 15:46
Hi Duncan,

I agree with Frederik on this one. Find out what kind of music is expected and see if you can meet those demands yourself. THEN you can consider buying software/harware ad begin composing/producing.

There are so much music-software for Windows, but I can give you a few recommendations:

Reason 3.0: Comes with an orchestral samples bank (700 mb. of multi-note samples from a real orchester), which would be suited for creation of flim music. The program is though a bit hard to figure out in the beginning. The price is approx. 500$ for the latest version.

FruityLoops: I only have limited experience with this program but it is very user-friendly. And I believe that the price is pretty decent.

Good luck!!!

Aug-12-2005, 01:36
Thanks, Rune.
Right on regarding steps: Assess the potential, then move forward if it makes sense. I'm focused now on educating myself so I can make a competent assessment. A high-level understanding of tools, processes and expectations should be a helpful start. I'll keep exploring.

btw, had a look at Reason on the propellerheads website. Very compelling intro http://www.propellerheads.se/
Makes me want to forego the whole assessment part and buy. Keep eyes open for a good price for Reason 3 on eBay https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Thanks again, all.

Rune Vejby
Aug-12-2005, 21:45
No problem, Duncan.

Yes, Reason is a nice program and the best thing is that it is "stand alone" and can run without any external hardware...
Please let us know which program you decide to purchase and feel free to post any questions you might have subsequently https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

P.S. You should consider purchasing Reason version 2,0 as it also comes with an orchestral soundbank and the improvements from version 2,0 to 3,0 are minor https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Best of luck to you!

Sep-01-2005, 21:20
Again, Rune. Thanks for the constructive response. Will consider Reason 2 should my path come to that. Will also tap this group with questions if need be.

Rune Vejby
Sep-04-2005, 00:03
You are very welcome! I hope you find the best solution https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Sep-24-2005, 05:45
I know this thread is old but...

There's a trend now to use more and more music from pop, rock and hip hop instead of scoring the movie. You might just try to find songs that you think might work which you could also get permission for. The other thing is that composition students at universities often need multimedia projects and wind up working for students in the animation department. They could work for you instead.