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Topic: Getting started for $1000 -$1500

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  1. #1

    Getting started for $1000 -$1500

    Hello

    I was wondering what people would recommend to someone just looking to get started writing music for some student films. Looking at getting a setup in the 1,000 - $1,500 price range.( I have a Mac already so just need the software)

    Looking at starting from almost scratch - meaning I will be buying either logic or digital performer. I have read quite a few of the threads on specific sample libraries. What I am hoping for is advice to make sure I have all of my bases covered before I go soliciting for some student films. Here is what I am thinking so far

    1. Sequencer - logic or digital performer $499
    2. Basic Orchestral Library - EW - silver ( ??) 295
    3. Electronica Sounds : Albino or Omnisphere or Stylus RMX $200 - 500
    4. Basic Choir Library - $200-300


    Would there be any other areas you consider essential to your film scoring?
    I have thought of notation software, but I expect that there will be no budget , so I am planning on recording myself and programming the parts and will add that on later. Any other thoughts and suggestions would be most helpful.

    Many thanks and best wishes

    Happy composing

    Doug

  2. #2

    Re: Getting started for $1000 -$1500

    buying a bunch of stuff all at once is a recipe for a shelf full of unused software that you can't sell. imo, you should start out with logic as it comes with a pretty extensive library, sampler, synth, good effects, etc. after a few months you'll have a much better idea of what might be lacking and can buy with a much more informed perspective. this also gives you a chance to learn your tools in more depth.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
    Location
    Decatur Illinois
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    901

    Re: Getting started for $1000 -$1500

    What Scientist is saying is very true. However, I will say that your choices are quite logical to give yourself a quick start into each genre. If Logic or DP have a sample player that will convert the old akai samples, you might look at Spectrasonics "Symphony of Voices" as a nice starter choir. Also keep in mind that while RMX does a lot of different sounds, it is basically meant for percussion, not synth tones. Albino is great and easy to learn. If only everyone would do a mod matrix like that. Best of luck.

    Eric

  4. #4

    Re: Getting started for $1000 -$1500

    Quote Originally Posted by doug gibson View Post
    Hello

    I was wondering what people would recommend to someone just looking to get started writing music for some student films. Looking at getting a setup in the 1,000 - $1,500 price range.( I have a Mac already so just need the software)

    Looking at starting from almost scratch - meaning I will be buying either logic or digital performer. I have read quite a few of the threads on specific sample libraries. What I am hoping for is advice to make sure I have all of my bases covered before I go soliciting for some student films. Here is what I am thinking so far

    1. Sequencer - logic or digital performer $499
    2. Basic Orchestral Library - EW - silver ( ??) 295
    3. Electronica Sounds : Albino or Omnisphere or Stylus RMX $200 - 500
    4. Basic Choir Library - $200-300


    Would there be any other areas you consider essential to your film scoring?
    I have thought of notation software, but I expect that there will be no budget , so I am planning on recording myself and programming the parts and will add that on later. Any other thoughts and suggestions would be most helpful.

    Many thanks and best wishes

    Happy composing

    Doug
    How serious are you about doing this? Is this a passing fancy? Is it for fun? Is this a career path for you?

    All of these go into making your buying decisions. And BTW, which Mac? Which OS? How much RAM? FYI, you need 4GB to 8GB.

    For your price range, I'd get Logic where you have a ton of synths and loops and enough ambient stuff to get started. There's also good training available from several writers. Logic has a basic starting orchestral library, but it's not enough. I'd get the Vienna Special Edition to start ($375) and while it's on sale, Strings Essentials 2.

    This is about $1000 and you can produce a LOT of stuff with this. Another option is to replace Special Edition with Kontakt 3 where you have a starting Vienna library. SE2 really complements this.

    While it's on sale, you might consider the Miroslav Philharmonik which is priced at $199 with a buy 1/get 1 free sale. We have this at www.truespec.com.

    Skip QLSO Silver. If you're going in that direction, get what people really produce on - QLSO Gold.

    Omnisphere gives you a starting choir library.

    If this is a career path for you, always buy the right tools. You won't regret it, even if you swallow hard right now.
    Peter L. Alexander
    www.professionalorchestration.com
    www.alexanderpublishing.com
    Learn it right the first time.

  5. #5

    Re: Getting started for $1000 -$1500

    MY take

    Logic Express (unless you need electronic synth sounds)
    Kirk Hunter Ruby or less expensive Emerald or Philharmonic at $200
    Stylus
    Omnisphere (choir and more 40 gig of sounds)

  6. #6

    Re: Getting started for $1000 -$1500

    For about $200 more, you get the full Logic program. The extra $200 is more than worth the investment.
    Peter L. Alexander
    www.professionalorchestration.com
    www.alexanderpublishing.com
    Learn it right the first time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    274

    Re: Getting started for $1000 -$1500

    Before buying anything, try to figure out what you think you may end up wanting to do long term. It would be of little benefit to buy sound libraries that end up not fitting the genre you intend to work in. As you may know, once you buy a sound library it is yours, and you cannot resell the vast majority of them.

    Also, it might be worth buying slightly better sound libraries that you could grow into, rather than just getting the cheapest one to get started, and then never use it again after say six months (if your interest is long-term). IMO it would be better to buy a couple quality items. As one who has made the mistake, there is some truth in the "buy cheap buy twice" warning.

  8. #8

    Re: Getting started for $1000 -$1500

    My advice is to get Logic-that will give you a good selection of Bread&butter sounds including some taste of VSL from the included classical jampack.
    Add Omnisphere and RMX expanded and you are all set.
    This is slightly over 1000 $ and will keep you busy and inspired for years to come.


    Hans

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    274

    Re: Getting started for $1000 -$1500

    Oh, a couple other things: listen to as many demos as possible of the sample libraries you are considering. You will be able to get a fairly decent idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each library.

    As Peter mentioned, avoid Silver, it is not a full library. One caution with EWQL Gold: the samples are recorded fairly wet, and if you ever want to do any small ensemble or chamber type writing, it could be an issue (this may, or may not, be a concern for you).

    Certainly, check out Kirk Hunter's various libraries, and also give a listen to Vienna SE, among others.

    There really is no perfect orchestral library: each one has its own set of strengths and weaknesses.

    Finally, you didn't list your computer specs. That too, could be a factor in making suggestions. For example, the new EWQL "Play" libraries tend to not "play" that well on older pre-Intel Macs, whereas some older and/or more resource efficient libraries would be fine on an older Mac.

  10. #10

    Re: Getting started for $1000 -$1500

    Also, you should consider if you need

    i) A MIDI Keyboard controller (almost definitely a Yes)

    ii) A soundcard - Macs are pretty good in this area but if you want to record any live instruments you'll need a card and a decent microphone

    iii) Some decent speakers and/or headphones to work with

    Logic also does fairly good scoring so no need for a notation programme at this stage although you will need one if you're going to start composing for band/orchestra.

    Best

    Tim

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