I think I’ve reached the point now where any further editing is useless until I get a decent VST.
I decided to keep most of the changes I mentioned in my last post. Any tinkering that’s left has to wait until I get high-quality virtual instruments. The composition itself is solid (or as good as it’s going to get), but on my current (free) VST, everything sounds artificial and cheap.
I have my eyes set on EastWest’s Hollywood Orchestra, but I’m not sure if my computer can run it. I think I’ll try their Composer Cloud for a month. If my computer runs it and survives, I’ll cancel my subscription and buy Hollywood Orchestra.
I’m beginning to realise—if I didn’t realise it before—that I’m very vain about my creative projects. I want to listen to my music being played on a realistic VST. I want to hire an audio engineer on Fiverr to mix and master my music. I want a logo. And I want an album cover.
Some people try to make money from their music. I seem to be bent on spending money on mine! I actually don’t mind that I’m not profiting from composing. I just need to not get carried away and remind myself that creativity is the most important thing in all forms of art.
For the second time, I have filled in all the blanks of my first composition!
I’ll sleep on it. If I come back tomorrow, and it still sounds good, I’ll keep it—I’ll make no more changes to the main melody. As of now, it stands at 3 minutes and 35 seconds.
I hope the end is near…
The 24 bars which sounded perfect yesterday don’t sound nearly so good now. Apparently, creativity likes to play tricks on the mind.
It’s not that they sound bad. It’s just that they’re not right for the piece I’m working on. Sometime yesterday, I slipped from working on one composition into creating another. I have no idea how it happened.
So now I need something else to fill up the space where the 24 bars used to be. How do other composers do this? Professional composers sound so sure-footed; when I listen to their compositions, I find it hard to believe that they’ve ever taken this kind of misstep.
I suppose that practice makes perfect. I hope that one day, I’ll be able to look back on the troubles of today and chuckle.
I spent almost 4 hours composing and finally filled in all the gaps in my first composition! It now has a beginning, an end, and a middle. I feel talented and energised.
Before I started putting things together on my DAW, I thought that I already had all the pieces and just needed to glue them together. I was both right and wrong. The main melody hasn’t changed, and the overall structure is more or less what I expected it to be. But it turns out that there’s a lot of work which can only be done on a DAW. I didn’t realise how much until I started adding multiple instruments.
Since I started using my DAW, I’ve scrapped a lot of melodies, and I’ve made some new ones, too. I must have thrown away at least 70% of what I originally came up with. You really don’t need a lot to complete a medium-length work.
I think it’s going to take a lot of time for my composition to sound polished. Right now I have exactly 24 bars which I can safely label as ‘finished, or very nearly finished’. That’s not a lot. Everything else needs to be revised, edited, and shined.
On a side note, Studio One Prime is a wonderful program. It hasn’t crashed on me once. No bugs, either. It’s hard to believe that it’s free.
An exciting part of composing is sensing that you’re making something which you’ll want to listen to.
I’ve heard composers talk about how much they enjoy listening to their own works. I thought it sounded vain at the time, but now, I agree. Bit by bit, my first composition is beginning to resemble pieces that I like. It’s still unfinished and crude, but once in a while, it lets me catch glimpses of gold.
I wasn’t confident that I’d be able to make music that I like. I thought I might succeed at making music that others like. Perhaps I felt that way because I’m too much in awe of my favourite music. Music that others listen to, in comparison, never seems quite as wonderful.
Music is powerful yet slippery; it’s easy to define good music when you don’t have to do anything but feel. However, when you try to put it into words, it becomes much harder. Like other things, composing seems to get easier with experience, and for that, I’m grateful.