• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Topic: I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

    Hi there,

    I have been composing music for over 10 years now. I am completely self taught but have managed to learn some music theory over the years (I can read music - but not sight-read - I have to learn it). I have produced some good music in that time - but limited music. My greatest musical love has been orchestral music - especially film music. Over the last 10 years we have come to the point where sample libraries and soft synths can produce some FANTASTIC sounding orchestral music. I listen to EWQLSO Platinum, VSL etc, and I think I would LOVE those sounds... but the realisation hit me the other day that if I had all of those sounds I could not use them! I discovered that what I really would love is to be able to write that level of music! So I am going to learn! I know it will take time but I want to learn properly... the theory and practice, to write and orchestrate as well as produce the MIDI performance.

    As a start I have bought a couple of books, The Guide to MIDI Orchestration and Orchestration (Walter Piston). I plan on getting some scores to study as well. I will do it bit by bit. I have a good computer with SONAR 3, EWQLSO hooked up to a Kurweil K2600 with some good sample libs (Symphony of Voices, Kirk Hunter Virtuoso Strings). However (and now on to my question), I want to move away from composing in SONAR and learn to write using notation - then move to SONAR for production and the mixdown. I have always written music in SONAR, overlaying track after track. No matter how good it sounds, but the time I have finished it I have forgotten it. I think that many on the forum will agree with the merits of writing with the score. But I need a scoring package. I don't have a lot of money (and I could not use a high end one at the moment). But I need one that can score a full symphony orchestral, work with sounds as I am writing (maybe just the Kurzweil ones), and allow me to print it and export to MIDI file. I was all for Finale Allegro 2005 - then I remembered that GPO comes with Overture SE (new I would be on-topic eventually). At the moment GPO is at £89 for SONAR owners in the UK - £40 cheaper than Allegro (and has the additional sounds as a bonus ).

    So my question is - how good is Overture SE? Is it a good enough to write full orchestral scores with? What are the limitations? And at the end of the day - which is the best option?

    Sorry for going on a bit - thanks for reading though.
    Regards,
    Wayne

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    326

    Re: I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

    Overture SE is a somewhat cut-down version of the full Overture. I'm not sure what the staff limit per score is but you can still format a full orchestra. The main differences are number of staves per score and the full version also contains provisions for guitar and jazz notation. The thing that makes Overture SE (and the full version as well) so useful for learning is that it is optimized to work with GPO and as such it is much easier to set up and work with than other notation packages. Many members of this forum use Overture for their composition work.

    The most exciting thing though is that the newest version of Overture (which is supposed to be released sometime in the near future) will feature full VSTi support so you can use your EWQL or other VST instruments right in Overture, same as you would in Sonar. Overture SE included in GPO will have an upgrade path to Overture 4 when it is released so you could start using it now and expand your options when the new version is released.

    Good luck with your studies - it is truly a rewarding challenge you've set for yourself.

  3. #3
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    1,700

    Re: I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

    The functionality I find REALLY lacking in FINALE OR SIBELIUS is a good controller editing function. OVERTURE looks like it has better capabilities here...?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    West Seneca, NY
    Posts
    11,075

    Thumbs up Re: I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

    I've laid out a full score in overture for a couple of musicals. Yet, really ... with it being bundled in GPO, use it and learn from it. Never using notational program and getting into excellent sound libraries (GPO) you just can't go wrong for the money!
    DO IT!
    Styxx

  5. #5

    Re: I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

    Thanks for the replies so far. I doubt I would be able to afford to Overture 4 for a while, so if I go for GPO, Overture SE has to be capable of creating a full score. According the documentation it is limited to 32 voices - does it mean staves, or simultaneous notes (i.e. 32 staves, but only one note per stave).

    Thanks,
    Wayne

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    326

    Re: I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

    The limitation is 32 staves. Each staff can handle up to eight voices. So you shouldn't have any problem with a full score. The overall number of voices will be determined by your system (CPU and RAM).

  7. #7
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    1,904

    Re: I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne_rowley
    Hi there,

    I have been composing music for over 10 years now. I am completely self taught but have managed to learn some music theory over the years (I can read music - but not sight-read - I have to learn it). I have produced some good music in that time - but limited music. My greatest musical love has been orchestral music - especially film music. Over the last 10 years we have come to the point where sample libraries and soft synths can produce some FANTASTIC sounding orchestral music. I listen to EWQLSO Platinum, VSL etc, and I think I would LOVE those sounds... but the realisation hit me the other day that if I had all of those sounds I could not use them! I discovered that what I really would love is to be able to write that level of music! So I am going to learn! I know it will take time but I want to learn properly... the theory and practice, to write and orchestrate as well as produce the MIDI performance.

    As a start I have bought a couple of books, The Guide to MIDI Orchestration and Orchestration (Walter Piston). I plan on getting some scores to study as well. I will do it bit by bit. I have a good computer with SONAR 3, EWQLSO hooked up to a Kurweil K2600 with some good sample libs (Symphony of Voices, Kirk Hunter Virtuoso Strings). However (and now on to my question), I want to move away from composing in SONAR and learn to write using notation - then move to SONAR for production and the mixdown. I have always written music in SONAR, overlaying track after track. No matter how good it sounds, but the time I have finished it I have forgotten it. I think that many on the forum will agree with the merits of writing with the score. But I need a scoring package. I don't have a lot of money (and I could not use a high end one at the moment). But I need one that can score a full symphony orchestral, work with sounds as I am writing (maybe just the Kurzweil ones), and allow me to print it and export to MIDI file. I was all for Finale Allegro 2005 - then I remembered that GPO comes with Overture SE (new I would be on-topic eventually). At the moment GPO is at £89 for SONAR owners in the UK - £40 cheaper than Allegro (and has the additional sounds as a bonus ).

    So my question is - how good is Overture SE? Is it a good enough to write full orchestral scores with? What are the limitations? And at the end of the day - which is the best option?

    Sorry for going on a bit - thanks for reading though.
    Regards,
    Wayne
    I'm pretty new to GPO, and can't comment on Overture's notational abilities. That being said, I use Sibelius for notation, save it as a MIDI file, then import it into Overture if I need to do a lot of tweaking. I really like Siblius, and have become very comforatble and fluent with it; I do, however, like Overture's graphical interface for modifying data.

    You can always start with Overtuer SE (which comes with GPO) and if need be move up to the full version at another time.

    R. Pearl

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Wilton, NH
    Posts
    2,450

    Re: I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

    A couple of things to think about:

    Pick up a few scores and read through them. You might be surprised at how few staves are used, remembering that more than one part is often use on a staff. Here is an example – Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 has 21 staves including 4 percussion staves. If you’ve listened, he gets a huge sound. So OK, Mahler did use 33 staves in his Symphony No. 6, but you rarely get much bigger.

    The other thing is this – if you are really going to do it right, start small. Don’t start your studies with a piccolo, 4 flutes, 4 oboes, english horn, E flat clarinet, 3 B flat clarinets, a bass clarinet, 4 bassoons, a contrabassoon, 8 horns, etc. that Mahler uses in his Symphony No. 6. Start with a few solos, duets, quartets, small ensembles, etc. and work your way up. In the end I think you will get more out of it.

    Anyway, I don’t think you can get a much better deal than GPO. You may find you need more than Overture SE but you’ll at least be starting out with a great sounding library.
    Trent P. McDonald

  9. #9
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    1,700

    Re: I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by trentpmcd
    A couple of things to think about:

    The other thing is this – if you are really going to do it right, start small. Don’t start your studies with a piccolo, 4 flutes, 4 oboes, english horn, E flat clarinet, 3 B flat clarinets, a bass clarinet, 4 bassoons, a contrabassoon, 8 horns, etc. that Mahler uses in his Symphony No. 6. Start with a few solos, duets, quartets, small ensembles, etc. and work your way up. In the end I think you will get more out of it...
    And you might actually be able to get it read by a real musician.

    For a good orchestra size: 2222-4221-2-pa-hp-str

  10. #10

    Re: I am going to learn to do it properly!!! ... a little advice please

    This may or may not apply to you, but... In terms of writing the actual music, the two biggest problems I've had with Overture are:

    1. Non-metered music. Overture doesn't explicity support this. I simulate the lack of a meter by making each measure really long and making each line a seperate measure. This is somewhat annoying, especially if you decide late on that you want to reorder any significant amount of material - you can't just copy/paste it, but need to spend a long time fussing around to keep things lined up. However, none of the other notation problems I've used have a truly outstanding solution to this.

    2. Positioning of the details. Maybe I'm just picky, but Overture sometimes formats things, like stem length, distance from the accidental to the note, etc. in ways I don't like. Fortunately, Overture lets you move everything around with plenty of precision, but I waste time getting things spaced well (Sibelius, for example, is much about this).

    Andnewmewzikboy - Overture does have good controller editing functions. You can do it manually in the piano roll view, or assign controller values to markings of all types, and it's easy to assign GPO-friendly defaults to those.

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •