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.

2 thoughts on “Opus 1

  1. Too bad reaper is freezing now, I have that happen to me a lot too. May just be the curse of running it on a computer with low ram. I’ve looked intro professional mixers and honestly….I think it’s a skill you should learn as well, because they’re pretty expensive :/ reverb, panning, volume leveling and EQ are the four things you should probably get a grasp on, oh and compression too! Once you dive into it it’s easier than it seems.

    lol I wouldn’t worry about copyright. You can just put “Copyright 2017 ___” with your name and stuff and I think you’re good. Unfortunately, if someone wants to take your music and use it, they’ll do it regardless of teh precautions you take so in my opinion I think it’s best to just share your work then if anything like that happens take preventative measures against it.


    • I know. I swear that I’ll eventually mix my own music—and become good at it, too. But I’m just so impatient right now. I want to listen to a half-decent mix of my first piece without burning up another month of spare time. I haven’t quite made up my mind yet, but if I do decide to hire an audio engineer to mix and master my track for me, I’ll set myself a budget, and I’ll make it a one-time thing.

      I envy experienced musicians. I can’t wait to get where they are now. But I’m a lazy, lazy woman, and I can’t do anything for long without feeling impatient. It’s the Korean curse.

      I’m not as worried about plagiarism as I am about somehow wrecking my own copyright status. I don’t want to accidentally sign away something important and ruin any hopes of publishing my music. I suppose I worry too much, but I’ve never done this before, and it makes me nervous.


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