Monday, 7 August 2017

Tools, Tools And More Tools!

I can't remember ever really explaining the tools behind the music I create but there are no real secrets behind what I do. But knowing how to play music is pretty much standard. You don't need to be a prodigy and the tools certainly help both at work and helping to inspire.

The DAW I use is Reaper. Incredible value with all the modern assets for the modern producer. I can't afford Pro Tools or the like but I have everything I need with Reaper. Pro Tools is a great tool but extortionately overpriced and Reaper has every thing I possibly need.

A great producer only sounds as good as his samples and that's why I have chosen my libraries VERY carefully. High quality samplers and plugins are usually not cheap:

EastWest Quantum Leap Silk (Caters to my love of Indian and Persian sounds)
EastWest Quantum Leap Gypsy (For that ethnic folk sound - think Violin, Accordians, Dulcimer)

These are my go-to samplers. I have a certain "sound" in my head and I always seem to find it in these.
For the big lush Hollywood sound, I employ:

EastWest Hollywood Strings Gold
Eastwest Hollywood Brass Gold
Eastwest Hollywood Orchestral Percussion Gold
Eastwest Hollywood Woodwinds Gold

The realism in these is at all times absolutely breathtaking and can be upgraded over time as a less costly option when purchasing the licences.

For the more interesting "blockbuster" sounds, I use U-he Zebra. A Synth with incredible capabilities and highly adaptable sounds. Hans Zimmer is a big fan and he uses it in virtually all his later scores such as The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk.

Kontakt Instruments I employ are

SoundIron Apocalypse Ensemble (For a huge drum sound)
SoundIron Mercury (A boys Choir)
SoundIron Olympus (Full Adult Choir)
India (Again a lot of fun ethnic sounds)
Soniccouture Glass Works (Weird and wonderful Glass Instruments)
Waves Factory Mercury (Piano)
Kirnu Cream (A fun arpeggiator)

A pretty modest collection but one that is growing slowly but surely!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

For The Love Of Woodwinds.

The venerable Woodwind section. I've never really used it in my pieces, but I do love listening to them. Especially when they are used well. Media-wise Ennio Morricone and Jerry Goldsmith do them the most justice. It takes a certain talent and subtlety to bring them to the fore (and well) but being I do love a good brass section, I've overlooked them.

Let's be honest, a loud enough brass instrument on it's own could probably demolish and entire orchestra, and seeing as I don't do "subtle" well, it's been a learning curve both writing and producing a piece which utilises two woodwind instruments as the lead. Namely the Oboe and the Flute.

I've actually employed an older piece (Magpies & Rockstars Pt. I) to create this piece and I've kept it true to the original but I've replaced the guitars with Violas & Violins and the two above instruments. I didn't want to copy it exactly as regards melody and the two Woodwinds both compete and harmonise with each other throughout the piece, but never impeding each other. I hope. I through in a restrained trumpet duo just to add a little "ooomph" in the final third. I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed producing it. Thanks for listening.