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Topic: My first feature film score - free download!

  1. #1

    My first feature film score - free download!

    Hey guys

    My name is Michael Law and I've been composing film/tv/game music for 6 years now. I recently composed my first feature film score for an indie horror/gore film "Parasite Quarantine". The score is fully downloadable here:

    I've been using GigaStudio (nowadays GS3) and its sample libraries for many years now and my favourite sample libraries have been Project Sam, Miroslav Vitous and Ultimate Strings... I plan on updating to Vienna Libraries in terms of strings and woodwinds (you can't replace project sam with brass ) when I have the money. My percussion libraries are gathered from the best sounds I've recorded / downloaded through the years. As pads I use Distorted Reality 2.
    Any feedback or comments on the score are appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Ft. Lauderdale

    Re: My first feature film score - free download!

    I have listened to a few, and it is some fantastic work to these ears. When I get home tonight from work I will listen to the rest. You caught my attention now. Excellent work. Best, Joseph.....

  3. #3

    Re: My first feature film score - free download!

    Excellent work, you can be proud of it!

    Nicolas Roy

  4. #4

    Re: My first feature film score - free download!

    Thank you guys! I appreciate it!

  5. #5

    Re: My first feature film score - free download!

    Being an indie film, I got like some money to wipe my ~~~ with (150 euros : around 200-220 dollars!!)... I'll also get (I hope!) part of the dvd sales...
    So that's like an insultingly small amount of money.
    This was just a project I needed to do in order to have a feature film in my CV... I would never compose music in such cheap prices anymore And they originally were ready to pay 15 euros!!!! What? Hahahah. I negotiated 10 times that amount, so hurray.

  6. #6

    Re: My first feature film score - free download!

    Any constructive critics guys? I'd love to hear some... Any improvement suggestions about the digital orchestration and the use of samples and all that? Often I don't hear any constructive feedback, only "great job man!" or "they were ok, yeah!"

  7. #7

    Re: My first feature film score - free download!

    Hello Michael!

    First I want to point out that I like your music on the whole but you asked for some criticism...

    Personally I like the sense of space you create in your music. Especially the percussion sounds really nice. You also seem skilled with synthesizers, they blend nice and well with the orchestra. Nice soundscapes all around. I think your sample skills are very good!! Your problem lies with orchestration, composition and development.

    What I did not like was the overall simplicity of the music (Please bear in mind that this and the following comes from a horribly bad composer, so please so not feel offended!) combined with varying degrees of repetitiveness. In the beginning that was a nice device, but when you kept repeating the same pattern "take primitive melody/rythmic fragment and repeat over and over" without much variation I started to feel a certain fatigue while listening. You obviously have many interesting musical ideas but to me it seem you fall short of developing or varying them in an interesting way.

    Another area which leads to ear fatigue is the constant loudness of the music. Most of the time I hear only the topmost veliocity layer of brass instruments. After inspection of the waveform of "To the Armory" I found out that even in the less loud passage in the middle you use the FF layers of the Horns. This is very unconvincing (I am guilty of doing the same thing way too often....).

    The last area which struck me sometimes is the orchestration: You have good ideas, but don't bring them to full effect by inefficient orchestration. Many passages give the impression that you simply played them on a keyboard, without considering how a real orchestra would sound. Do you come from a pop music background? You often seem to use strings as pads, percussion as a rythmic device and the rest of instruments for simple melodies. However there are spots in your music where you make a step ahead and create effective devices! Please do that more often!

    Having said that I would like to point out that I hear a LOT of potential in your music (which is far from being bad!!). You would certainly benefit from studying more orchestration, composition, harmony, counterpoint, ... You know: The whole boring theory stuff. It would help you shape your ideas into a more coherent form.

    However: Keep up the good work! You're on the road to success!
    Greetings from Vienna!
    My website: Above the staff.net

  8. #8

    Re: My first feature film score - free download!

    Thank you so much, Peter! At last, some critic! Hurray

    Yeah I am pretty much self-educated in terms of composition. Right now I'm studying film sound and I can't study composition in this media school. I got interested in film music when I was like 10 years old and I've started composing midi music 9 years ago.
    I develop my ideas from something that "starts playing in my head" and then just "flow" with it without thinking too much on the orchestration. I don't get the ideas from some theory stuff I've learnt or read about... I think that too much theory can take away some of my imagination (I could be wrong, but that's just me ) If there was film music courses in our school I would study them!
    Too often happens a thing that I look at the picture and yes, most of the time start manually (in addition to percussive instruments I have a piano background) creating the melodies. Then, too fast I have a "well that fits to the image" feeling without trying to deepen the actual orchestrations in anyway.

    I'm a fan of John Williams and the whole concept that he does (creates themes for little objects even, in addition to characters and events.) Actually I did the same thing with Parasite Q, but I didn't take the themes further so you're right, most of the time they sound the same! Something that I did learn from this project, tho, was how to scare with sound
    They were very good points you made! I appreciate every one of them!

    Right now my composition style is that I sit down to my keyboard and take a piano sample and try to create themes with "good chord progressions"... That takes all the time and I don't have time to play with other instruments in order to create "good orchestral progressions"... I have noticed that recently myself! I use too much time to create catchy chord progressions and then melodies.. but that's just half the work! All the rest (make the music sound realistic, take themes and orchestrations deeper with variation and harmonic progression) is kinda outrun by the catchyness thing and I get bored and want to move on Does it happen to anyone else? (Don't kill your darlings too quick!)
    I kinda have a pop/rock background as I've always played in school bands and all that. What comes to the samples I use, maybe I don't have sample libraries that could do all the cool tricks and sound as realistic as an orchestra. I'm still looking for some good strings that could do fast things and not sound midi.

    I'm saving money for the VSL orchestra things or QLSO orchestra things... Do you have any suggestions on which sample libraries could "do the trick" with a flexible orchestra sound (flexible to do realistic staccatos, legatos and so on, but also sound colourful...)?

    Thanks very much for the feedback! You're the first one (after my best composer colleague) in like a hundred forum / instant messenger / e-mail / face to face comments I've had that have pointed out some issues I really need to hear
    Any other constructive feedbacks anyone? I could really use your knowledge, people!

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