Opus 1

Only three things are still bothering me: percussion, mixing, and copyright.

The percussion has been giving me lots of problems. I usually don’t pay much attention to it when I listen to orchestral music; I’m a glutton for the strings and the brass. As a result, I have next to no idea what good percussion sounds like.

I’ve systematically clicked my way through every single sample that Hollywood Orchestral Percussion offers, and nothing seems right. Did my favourite composers use samples from other libraries? Or are the differences I hear due to mixing?

Which brings me to the next problem. Should I try to mix my first composition, or should I just hand the whole thing over to an experienced audio engineer?

Every article and post I’ve read tells me that mixing is the most difficult part of creating music. I have just enough knowledge to know what reverb and panning are, so I can expect a very steep learning curve ahead. I’m not sure it’s wise to try mixing hardware-wise, either. Reaper regularly freezes now.

Finally, there’s the tricky issue of copyright. I’d love to become an ‘official’ composer someday and sell my music on Amazon and iTunes. But I also want my music to be accessible, and I don’t really mind people listening to my music for free as long as they don’t profit from it or keep copies of it. I don’t want my music associated with any form of politics. I don’t want it used it for obscene or vulgar stuff.

The reasonable solution seems to be to upload my music to SoundCloud and YouTube and forbid people to download it, sell it, or use it for their own projects. That sounds slightly more conservative than what the average amateur musician goes for. But copyright is really important, so it’s probably best to err on the side of caution.

Of course, all of this worrying is probably over nothing, since people aren’t likely to be interested in the first composition of a nobody. I must be paranoid or something.