Tips from professional practice

"Today the composer has to be a universal genius in the field of media."

"He is expected to master almost everything: composing, write score and parts, he should be mixing engineer, mastering engineer, IT technician, studio technician, backup technician ..."

"At the top, of course, is the music composition for the film. It's a long way to that, though."

Lecturers, established composers, studio experts and some software manufacturers all emphasised the importance of education, induction, training and development in this profession. Especially in the media sector, there is a great danger of overestimating yourself or the capabilities of the equipment you are using. If you don't know what you're doing, you can always get professional help and don't have to waste valuable time experimenting. This applies both to finding studio equipment and to creating full-blown templates or setups.

"Creativity alone is not enough!"

“Ask a director why he just wants to work with one or the other film composer ..."

Not all film composers have a formal degree. There are many career changers who have developed a flair for the subject, who are flexible and willing to learn, and who can work professionally as creative members of production teams on projects in a variety of formats.

There are very different ways of acquiring the necessary skills. And the biographies of TV and film composers show that it is not always the graduates of the relevant schools who get the jobs or win the prizes.

The lack of sonic imagination was cited by lecturers and studio managers as the biggest shortcoming. Especially in the special situation of a studio production with live musicians or an orchestra, there is always room for criticism. The intensive study of instrumentation and orchestration is worthwhile - it is precisely this content that is an integral part of classical studies.

Attending an orchestra rehearsal is often more useful than reading a quick guide to instrument XY. There are also high-quality online courses and training programmes on the subject. In addition to classical acoustic instrumentation and orchestration, it is also highly recommended to study instrumentation and orchestration for virtual instruments. There are now some very good courses available.

"What sounds good with "real instruments" can also be easily realized with virtual instruments. Conversely, I have my doubts ..."

"For mockups it is also essential to know how to play and to understand how a real musician would do phrasing ..."

"A differentiated instrumented score or piano roll is a precondition". On this basis, one can start with audio editing ... "

"... The way one has to orchestrate an electronic demo and then re-orchestrate for a live ensemble are similar but not exactly the same. In some instances they can be quite different ..."

"Cinematic conciseness ... awful, I'm allergic."

"Depending on the arrangement and the sound concept, audio material has to be mixed differently, which is the same for virtual instruments as it is for recordings with real musicians ..."

"There is always a risk when someone does not know exactly why he does what and when ..."

"Virtual instruments ... have the disadvantage that they often do not sound authentic, which users try to conceal, for example, with the layers of multiple libraries, reverb excesses, depth staggering, etc. That they do not sound authentic is usually not because the quality of the samples is poor, but because of either a lack of programming by the composer or a lack of articulation, sound-bridging artefacts, dynamics inputs or bursts etc ... "

"As far as post and mixing, I only buy samples that do not have added reverb, just the original room sound. But that can also be dangerous since 20 samples with 20 room sounds can mess up your sound...."

"... By the way, even here: every single note is touched and musically different ... which, among other things, leads to a pretty realistic result, and probably not many would think that these were samples."  

"This becomes clear in the 1000th bad copy of "Pirates of the Caribbean", which I have found: horns are accompanied by a percussion thunderstorm! Terribly !!!!! (Klaus Badelt's original is great !!) ..."

... avoidable mistakes

from the long list of possible errors.

… and frequent formulated desires

Some products (studio software and sounds) already have good documentation and additional tutorials for special situations. This material is desperately needed by some manufacturers. The pressure from users is obviously not yet great enough. If you don't get anywhere with documentation, tutorials or forums, you should turn to recognised specialists (tutors) and invest money in them: It will be worth it!

"written musical guides on manuscript..." 

"There should be offered many more courses and tutorials in different levels and step sizes ..." 

.​.. and on it goes.

New contributions to the project are welcome!

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