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 several software manufacturers emphasized that education and training in this field is extremely important. Especially in the media, there is a great danger of overconfidence or overestimation of the equipments capabilities. Those who lack know-how can always seek professional help and refrain from wasting precious time through experimentation. This applies to the search for studio equipment as well as the creation of huge 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 every film composer has a corresponding study behind him. There are plenty of career changers who have developed a feel for the subject matter, who are flexible and eager to learn, and who can professionally solve projects in a variety of formats as creative employees in production teams.

The ways of getting the necessary know-how are very different. 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 prize.

The lack of aural imagination was mentioned as the greatest shortcoming by lecturers or studio directors. Especially in the situation of a studio production with live musicians or an orchestra there is always cause for criticism. The intensive study of instrumentation and orchestration pays off - it is precisely this content that is indispensable in classical study programs.

Visiting an orchestra rehearsal is often more beneficial than reading a quick guide to instrument XY. Also on this topic there are online tutorials and courses at a high level. Parallel to the classical acoustic instrumentation and orchestration one should deal urgently with the instrumentation and orchestration for virtual instruments. There are also very good course offers for this.

"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

For some products (studio software and sound samples) there is already good documentation and additional tutorials for special situations. For some manufacturers, you have to desperately search for this material. The pressure of the user is obviously not big enough yet. Anyone who gets stuck in documentaries, tutorials or forums, should turn to proven specialists (tutors) and also invest money: it will be worthwhile!

"written musical guides on manuscript..." 

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

.​.. and it goes on.

New contributions to the project are welcome!

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