Music Libraries Buyer's Guide - Musical Enrichment

Music Libraries Buyer's Guide - Musical Enrichment

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Half an hour ago, before

artsmith's picture
Half an hour ago, before I decided to attend to my emails, I was in the process of matching a piece of music to the rhythm, (if you can call it that), of sealions chasing each other across a sandy beach, part of an on-going documentary project of five years, to date, and 'adding', (to the 99 DVD's I have packed with DV-AVI footage from past shooting sessions). Picking through the copyright minefield, became such a chore, that I am currently stripping my series of all music not composed 'in-house', in favour of what I have written myself. If you grew up in a musical family, as I did, there is much excellent software which is able to make the job easier. It need not be inordinately expensive. I use, for example, a rather obscure sequencer of Canadian origin, which did not break-the-bank. I have gradually added the other things I need, Native Instrument's 'Kontakt 4', three DAW's, of which only one gets hard-use, a 'cleaner-up' for the audio, audio-editor, and so-on. You need not have a 'music degree', in fact, I doubt if that even helps very much. If you can read sheet music, it's highly likely that you would have no great trouble writing it. My education in musical theory ended in the lower-grades, at age 12, but that has not proven to be a problem. If you can pick out a tune on a keyboard 'bar-room piano' style, you will have little difficulty in getting started. The one thing which is indispensible, is to have been a good 'listener', especially to the kind of music you are most likely to wish to feature; I favour the classics, (and it matters not much, what 'kind'), although taking notice of good film/TV music also helps, as some of it is surprisingly well-written these days. It's really matter of getting down-and-dirty with the equipment, time spent 'hands-on' is of much greater value than classrooms and tutorials as long as you are prepared to learn from your experiences and past mistakes. The one drawback, it can be a bit time-consuming. If you take your music and audio generally to be of equal importance to your visuals, that is normally not a problem. It is a great way of combining dual interests I have found, and the satisfaction of steering a symphony orchestra in full-cry, puts truly awesome forces at your disposal.

I hail from a country wit

artsmith's picture
I hail from a country with the national symbol of a 'Kiwi', a flightless bird, sans lifting appendages, with the performance envelope of a brick; but that is not why I am typing this. After reading, restrospectively, what I had written regarding roll-your-own music, it seemed to me that such thoughts could only have come from a race of masochists with a penchant for endlessly re-inventing the-wheel. Allow me to explain, then, that this characteristic is by now genetically imprinted into most of us, although I have my doubts about today's 'me-first' generation, for all that. Robert Louis Stevenson, (or was it writer Anthony Trollope), once wrote of our country as 'last, loveliest, loneliest' on the planet, and who am I to argue? Unfortunately, we were, in our early days, and for far too long, a British Colony, as indeed was most of the U.S. Being twelve-thousand miles from the source of spares in the event of the family 'wheels' breaking down, meant communication by-telegraph, to Britain, usually, then a six weeks wait, minumum, for the parts to be shipped halfway around the planet. With luck, it might have taken less than that interval, again, for New Zealand Railways to get them the remaining 35 miles, or so to your local service-centre. With 93 shipwrecks having taken place during the history of our Province's coastline, whether you received the spares, at all, was frequently something of a lottery, more so during two World Wars. Not unnaturally, under-the-circumstances, we developed a reflexive instinct for doing things for ourselves, and somehow it became genetically imprinted into the nation's psyche. Just thought I would explain that, but seriously, writing and performing your own music in a 'virtual' environment can be fun, and unlike copyright-free music from its various sources, it needn't all sound pretty much 'The Same Old'.