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Topic: How fast do you write?

  1. #1

    How fast do you write?

    I'm running a poll to see how fast people can compose orchestral music with their sample libraries.

    The general consensus seems to be 1 minute of mixed music every 2 days. Is this realistic for big orchestral music? Do you write quicker than that? Slower? Keep in mind that I'm talking on the average and not when you're pulling an all-nighter for some crazy deadline or have this amazing and rare moments of inspiration and a whole symphony comes out in a matter of hours.

    So what's your speed?
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    South Ken, London

    Re: How fast do you write?

    Difficult to state an average. Probably between a minute and three minutes a day if I want it properly polished.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Boise, Idaho, U.S.A.

    Re: How fast do you write?

    Well, do you mean 8 hours, because when I am working on a project I work about 14 hours a day, and can pump out at least 2 min. So with 8 I would say about 1 min. With really big action music (which to me is about the hardest stuff to write) I usually already have my themes set up with an earlier cue so they can go pretty quick. Don't you love it when a director calls and needs his/her 15min project scored in 6 hours though?

    James W.G. Smith

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    between this place and that place

    Re: How fast do you write?

    take me like 10 hours in one day to do the music, This is before I record tracks. I have been doing this classical string quartet for couple weeks(took me a week to compose the first movement) but finished a Classical Minimilist(spelling) in two days so it depends I guess.
    Composing in Sibelius with just imputing notes in with mouse takes me a day to do huge Orchestration...But Cues are different there smaller pieces of music so like it could take half an hour to do orchestra cue... I think it could take all day depending on what the music is like 3 minutes or 2 minutes and polished 8 or 9 hours.
    All I can Say is...HA!...HA!...HAAAAAAA!!!!!

  5. #5

    Re: How fast do you write?

    Really depends. I too find that action music takes damn long to compose. It also depends on if I'm scoring to video (which I find easier). As a rule of thumb I would say 1 minute a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less

  6. #6

    Re: How fast do you write?

    I think that this is really two questions. Firstly how fast can you compose and secondly how fast can you program.
    In answer to the first part, I would expect to do up to 4 minutes a day, but if I was programming as well this would be likely to go down to about 2-3. Of course in the "old days" sample libraries were so much simpler to use that I could program almost as fast as I would be able to do a traditional score; not any more though :>(


  7. #7

    Re: How fast do you write?

    As far as "how well done must it be to be let out of the computer" I'd say Good art is never finished, only abandoned.

    I don't worry so much about however the realism is there or not. My idea is to demonstrate the musical coulors, form and feel of pulse and deliver it as demo MP3 and notation .. so on shorter projects I can go up to two or three songs (4 minutes) in full arrangement on one day. I do most of my work in the head and/or on paper before I sit down at my beloved Cubase, which speeds up the programming alot (for me).

    What takes real time is when your original computer music will be used, where you need to tweak it so it sounds realistic. If I start doing that, then the tempo drops to max 2 minutes of music a day for shorter projects. And for longer projects (where normal sleep time becomes a priority) I'd say I top at 1 minute of music each day - in a very general average.

    Then, of course, it is a matter of what kind of music and for what instrument setting, form, musical density, length, style, purpose, era etc. This makes it a very general answer indeed - not to mention the pace. In 10 minutes you might make 2 minutes of music if only a subtle string pad is needed ffor that amount of time. Then again, you might make 1 minute of music in 3 days if the density is really heavy.
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  8. #8

    Re: How fast do you write?

    I regularly participate in competitions where you have one hour to compose a full piece of music (usually I end up with 1.5 to 2 minutes of music). It's really not too difficult.. being fast at the piano roll helps, though.

  9. #9

    Thumbs up Re: How fast do you write?

    This is a great topic. It has always amazed me to read about the amount of time (or lack of ) the film composer has to produce a score for the film. It seems that the music (a very important part of any film) is given the least amount of attention by the film producer. Its almost an after thought.

    Why is that? Silent films did not do so well - I wonder why?

    I admire you guys big time. I could never deal with that pressure.

  10. #10

    Re: How fast do you write?

    Quote Originally Posted by midphase
    So what's your speed?
    Speed is defined as the distance traveled per time. Speed, per se, has very little to do with great artistic achievement.

    If your goal is simply to move from one note to the next, then there's almost nothing to limit your speed.

    If, on the other hand, your goal is to create great musical structure, then artistic speed, as the rate that one moves from desire to reality, is measured by an individual's passion and ability. The greater the passion/ability, the less time it takes.

    Of course, without passion or ability, you have nothing but time.

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