Two sides of the same coin

There are those who like to compose their stuff one little bit at a time, beginning with the most basic parts and then adding in instruments and sections if or when they’re needed in the composition. A clean slate, every time. Then there are those who like to have the whole damn orchestra available at a moment’s notice. “I might be needing this later on, so why should I be wasting time loading virtual instruments and looking for presets, right? Better to have the whole palette of sounds loaded from the get-go.”

I’m definitely in the latter camp, though I have to say the former must have its merits. If you have the whole orchestra there, it’s far too easy throwing MORE stuff at a part to make it sound good. When maybe what you should be worrying about is whether the part in question is musically interesting enough to be carried by fewer instruments.

I really need to get back to writing more minimalist stuff. Making everything go BAAAAH-HUGE-AND-EPIC gets kind of old after a while. Also, once you figure out that particular trick, you begin to understand that the real challenge is making the quieter and stripped down parts sound good.

But I love my full-orchestra template. Does this mean I’m going to have to learn self discipline? *sigh*

Become a musician, they said. Get girls, they said.

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One Response to Two sides of the same coin

  1. Why not have multiple templates? That way you can enforce the discipline, but still retain the option of migrating it to a bigger sound.

    I have several templates I use, each with a variation in ensemble size/type (winds and strings, brass and strings, strings only, brass only, etc.).

    Another trick is if I haven’t used and instrument (and have no active plans to use it) by the time I reach the B section, I delete it from the piece entirely. I originally started doing this just to save memory, but I’ve found it helpful in other ways.

    Anyway, them’s my two bits…

    Kurt M. Landre’

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