Old 01-15-2010, 08:39 PM   #1
Brickwall Audio
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Default Composing in Reaper

Hi everyone!
I felt in a giving mood today, so I made this video of a typical neo orchestral arrangement in Reaper (actually, it's a track from my 4th upcoming album lol!)

Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlakHBPhYDk

//Erik
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:45 PM   #2
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I love that.
very cool I shared that on fartbook.

peace
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:46 PM   #3
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holy hot damn!!!
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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thanks pipe that was much better put than the way I said it.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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That's awesome. Now I know how the pro's do it, haha.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:20 AM   #6
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Brilliant!!! I had very much been wanting to see something large Orchestral and MIDI-centric by someone in Reaper.

Do you mind a few Qs?

1. Out of interest, I couldn't see any FX buses anywhere. Are they out of the range of the visible mixer? Is it just a single send to a Reverb bus on each track that I see?

2. Each seperate folder track "STRINGS 1", "STRINGS 2", has the Master output disabled and just sends to the appropriate submix (i.e., "STRINGS")?

3. Am I right in guessing that you're not using Multi-timbral Multi-out versions of PLAY? (i.e., you're using an instance of PLAY per-instrument to keep things simple?) I have to admit, this is what I struggle with most in REAPER.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:18 AM   #7
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Whoa! An impressive piece you got there, sounds great.

You know, I think this might be what Yep refered to as 'space marine music' in some other thread
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:18 AM   #8
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Hi guys! Thanks for listening!

OK, to answer a few questions:

The folder tracks all send their master outputs to the master channel, to save resources I print the folder tracks as separate .wav and arrange them in sub-mixes for the final mixing.

I only use the multi-timbrality in PLAY with some of the performance multis in SD2, where I assign different midi channels to different notes corresponding to the channel settings in SD2!

This way I can have a full drum section on a single track. I will have to do basic mixing in PLAY itself for each of the drum channels (standard pan, leveling, filter and reverb) and then balance the sub-mix with the rest of the tracks. The trick here is to get it right the first time around, cause it can be a pain to go back and edit a printed track later - I simply trust my ears

Now, what is Fartbook?
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:20 AM   #9
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oh and I almost forgot, I only use 2 FX busses.
First bus is a convolution reverb set to hall, second reverb is a long
algorithmic reverb that I may, or may not use to add extra depth.
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:07 AM   #10
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this is really impressive.
fartbook = facebook (with a pinch of disdain).
I shared your video.



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Old 01-16-2010, 12:12 PM   #11
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Brickwall Audio: Excellent, thank you!
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:30 PM   #12
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Amazing!
Thanks for sharing it!!!
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:58 PM   #13
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Wow, impressive work!
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:29 PM   #14
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Great work, I had always wanted to create music like this, but it seems to far away from my theoretical skills.

But it's great to see someone do such an awesome piece of music in reaper.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:48 PM   #15
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Very impressive.

Pete
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiview View Post
Great work, I had always wanted to create music like this, but it seems to far away from my theoretical skills.

But it's great to see someone do such an awesome piece of music in reaper.
Actually, I don't use much theory in creating these tracks - I mostly write by ear, and I know how to get a melody down. Tricky part really is to get all the elements in there without killing the vibe (or the mix lol)
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:07 AM   #17
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Two questions now when I have recovered from the depression caused by comparing my jingles to what you can do.
1. You said: "mostly write by ear...". Do you use notation software (Sibelius, Finale,...) or do you use some other kind of input?
2. How big is your display. My 17" Samsung was crying when she had to show the movie.

Leander,
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But does not know yet how to use it
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Old 01-17-2010, 03:18 AM   #18
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Sweet I really like the youtube channel.
Do you think Eastwest is good for this stuff? or could I get away with a kontakt library orchestration.

I can't wait until they implement sibelius rewired!
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:49 AM   #19
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Fantastic!
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lender View Post
Two questions now when I have recovered from the depression caused by comparing my jingles to what you can do.
1. You said: "mostly write by ear...". Do you use notation software (Sibelius, Finale,...) or do you use some other kind of input?
2. How big is your display. My 17" Samsung was crying when she had to show the movie.

Leander,
Who finally knows what a FX is
But does not know yet how to use it
Hi, I don't use notation software to any extent. I use my midi keyboard for input, and sometimes I use my drum-pad for interesting ways to enter notes.
I usually start by playing a melody, then build the song on top of that - standard composing techniques really - no magic!

I also have a Samsung monitor, 22" - but I'd like to have at least 25". As you can see in the vid, using around 50+ tracks needs a big screen.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:58 AM   #21
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Oh, and in case you guys don't know already, I offer some free, and pretty cool composing Kontakt sounds here:

http://brickwallaudio.com/download/advanced-distortion/

http://brickwallaudio.com/download/metallicdreams/
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayendra View Post
Sweet I really like the youtube channel.
Do you think Eastwest is good for this stuff? or could I get away with a kontakt library orchestration.

I can't wait until they implement sibelius rewired!
I think that the East West stuff is simply essential - The new Hollywood Strings (570GB strings library) is something out of this world...yes, it was made by aliens.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:13 AM   #23
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Tremendous! Very exciting stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickwall Audio View Post
Hi, I don't use notation software to any extent. I use my midi keyboard for input, and sometimes I use my drum-pad for interesting ways to enter notes.
I usually start by playing a melody, then build the song on top of that - standard composing techniques really - no magic!
Can I ask, do you do much midi editing once you have the notes in? If so what sort of things? We saw the midi volume thing on the trumpets in the vid - much else?
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:32 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spikemullings View Post
Tremendous! Very exciting stuff.



Can I ask, do you do much midi editing once you have the notes in? If so what sort of things? We saw the midi volume thing on the trumpets in the vid - much else?
Yeah I edit the shizzle out of recorded notes! I usually start by quantizing them (I am a sloppy player...) and then I edit the velocities of every note to get the specific dynamic (or RR sample) I want. I may or may not offset notes to create a human feel, but going to live concert with orchestral music, you notice that professional players play almost as robots them selfs, so little humanization is needed

I use a lot of modwheel or velocity programing, and I also use key switching a lot.

Now, I almost never use reapers automation these days, it all midi data.
I come from an industrial synth music background so my habit of programing music comes natural.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:35 AM   #25
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Thanks for that

I just got Miroslav Philharmonik CE as part of a group buy so I'm looking to get as much idea as to how people are wrangling this stuff as possible.

I've got to learn quite a bit more about midi I think
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:17 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by spikemullings View Post
Thanks for that

I just got Miroslav Philharmonik CE as part of a group buy so I'm looking to get as much idea as to how people are wrangling this stuff as possible.

I've got to learn quite a bit more about midi I think
Honest comment: Miroslav Philharmonic lacks in depth me thinks - the sounds are pretty dry and got too few articulations. however, it's a good starter library, but please don't rely on it for your Hollywood productions!
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:23 AM   #27
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Quote:
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Honest comment: Miroslav Philharmonic lacks in depth me thinks - the sounds are pretty dry and got too few articulations. however, it's a good starter library, but please don't rely on it for your Hollywood productions!
True, in a sense. The Miroslav samples are quite old and they're really aimed at classical pieces rather than modern blockbuster movie scores. That said, it is definitely possible to get some impressive mileage out of more modest libraries if you have the time and will to experiment. Layering stuff can get you a long way, either using free samples or even synths. Not to mention mixing MP with samples from other libraries. As long as it sounds good in the end it doesn't matter how you got there.

And 'dry' isn't necessarily a problem. You're going to want to add a good hall reverb to everything anyway, and if some instrument or section still sounds too up front you can add a 100% wet room ambience on the channel to get that extra distance before it's fed to the verb. Obviously it's more work than just loading up some samples with pre-recorded reverb but that's also part of the fun.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:59 AM   #28
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I would not necessarily have got Miroslav if it were not for the group buy but I'm very happy with it (not really having anything else to complare it with TBH). BTW I have the LE version - the full version has more articulations etc. I need to learn a great deal more before it is worth me upgrading I think.

It does some things better than others - high ensemble strings in isolation and brass are always tricky and can have a synthetic undertone sometimes. I really like the lower and solo strings though and the woodwind is impressive to my cloth-ears.

Also, most of my use of this will be to sweeten rock/pop stuff so, y'know . . .

Entirely FWIW, I must admit that the website audio demos for Miroslav impressed me a great deal more than the other main orchestral audio demos, including East West, Garritan and whatnot.

However this piece of yours Brickwall (and yours in the other thread Cerendir) is just fabulously convincing and I am sure that is due in no small measure to your skill in midi editing and choosing articulations carefully.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:34 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by spikemullings View Post
I would not necessarily have got Miroslav if it were not for the group buy but I'm very happy with it (not really having anything else to complare it with TBH). BTW I have the LE version - the full version has more articulations etc. I need to learn a great deal more before it is worth me upgrading I think.

It does some things better than others - high ensemble strings in isolation and brass are always tricky and can have a synthetic undertone sometimes. I really like the lower and solo strings though and the woodwind is impressive to my cloth-ears.

Also, most of my use of this will be to sweeten rock/pop stuff so, y'know . . .

Entirely FWIW, I must admit that the website audio demos for Miroslav impressed me a great deal more than the other main orchestral audio demos, including East West, Garritan and whatnot.

However this piece of yours Brickwall (and yours in the other thread Cerendir) is just fabulously convincing and I am sure that is due in no small measure to your skill in midi editing and choosing articulations carefully.
The secret to great scoring is to have a smattering of cowbell, just below human hearing! (-125db usually does the trick )

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Old 01-19-2010, 04:40 PM   #30
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Quote:
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The secret to great scoring is to have a smattering of cowbell, just below human hearing! (-125db usually does the trick )
Ah, the well known cowbell-dither. Definitely a necessity
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:25 PM   #31
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I use a lot of modwheel or velocity programing, and I also use key switching a lot.
quick question, are you primarily assigning the modwheel just to overdub velocity info? or do you find yourself using this for other stuff as well?

amazing stuff btw.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:11 AM   #32
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quick question, are you primarily assigning the modwheel just to overdub velocity info? or do you find yourself using this for other stuff as well?

amazing stuff btw.
That really depends on what I am doing. I actually don't have a regular modwheel on my keyboard, but a joystick, so I don't use the modwheel for things like live expression control. Now, it's up to the sound source (obviously)how the modwheel data is set up, but when I am working with choirs or orchestral instruments, it's used to control dynamics.
(I can't even remember the last time I did a pitch bend...)
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:48 PM   #33
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This rocks! Wanted to bump this in case someone missed it.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:27 PM   #34
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Thanks for the bump!

I just want to make an addendum:

In the beginning, it's not actually "timpani" that plays the initial drum part. It's the orchestral bass drum mixed with timpani, hence the more "wooden" sound! Just a little head's up.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:10 AM   #35
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Thanks a heap, brother. If that don't get me out of my creative slump and in the mood to write some awesome music NOTHING will. Right now I'm just trying to figure out this midi thing, but hopefully I'll get the remix book today and be on my way.

Thanks again for sharing.
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:06 PM   #36
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Only just stumbled across this as I await delivery of Kontakt. I'm just stepping into the world of sampling and am very much inspired by your work. I'll be studying it for quite a while. Invaluable to someone in my position who needs real practical advice about how other people route signals, when they print, how they handle effects. That kind of specific detail is what people used to learn by being the studio tea boy and just looking over people's shoulders. And loads of great producers started out as tea boys. So -- anyway, heartfelt thanks for drawing back the curtain on your work and letting us all see how it's done. It took a good deal of work on your part to put the video together, but it was a great service.

Great music, too, by the way (obviously).
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:10 PM   #37
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Amazing!!!
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:40 PM   #38
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Awesome work!


This is a great example that you DON'T need Logic, or Cubase, or DP to do your cinematic scoring!


The template looks very good!
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:42 AM   #39
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Thanks guys - I never realized this little video would gain so many plays!
Now, I have improved on the template since this video, so I may actually do another once featuring some new music!

I'll keep you updated!


@ EvilDragon:
Indeed, I made this video just to show how complete I feel that Reaper is in the composing department (as long as you set it up correctly).
I am a long time user of Logic and before that I was on Cakewalk.
With a little tinkering, I got Reaper to be all that I was used to and soooo much more! It's a great application created by (obviously) super geniuses!
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:06 AM   #40
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Wow. Just watched this video, and I have to say it again... WOW! I've scored for full orchestra (my degree is in Music Theory and Composition, Baylor -- go Bears! , so I know the kind of work you put into this. It takes a bit to impress me these days, and I must say I am impressed.

I'm seriously considering selling one of my children for that Hollywood Strings package. Boy is it huge, they ship it on a feakin hard drive!

I know it's been over a month since you posted the video, but do you think you could repost it in HD (720p)?

Also, I would love to look over your project template, if you feel up to sharing it...
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