New Song: Andromeda’s Collapse

How it Was Made

So here’s something a bit different than my usual I suppose.  It’s short, it’s spacey, it’s got big synths.  This is another one of those “I got a new toy so I’m going to play with it” pieces.  The goal was to use some of the awesome sounds that I got from Audio Imperia’s Sounds of the Multiverse collection.  Seriously, that pack has some *mega* powerful bass synths that almost make creating powerful trailer music too easy (keyword: almost).

Intro

I started out with this piece wanting to play around with some of the drone sounds.  I knew ahead of time that this would likely go along with the standard trailer formula, so I wasn’t too worried about the composition.  The first 20 or so seconds were pretty simple – I wanted an eerie sounding drone in the background, some sort of subtle buildup and then a major riser into the action.

I’ve strangely been addicted to simple “heartbeat” sounding drums, and that’s pretty obvious to hear in this piece.  It seems like such a simple but effective way to push the audience forward.  Either way, I was pretty happy with how the beginning of the piece turned out and I think it does its job extremely well.

 

The final project file for this song... lots of risers!

The final project file for this song… lots of risers!

First Section

The first epic section was a bit of an experience to put together.  I threw down a few of those insanely huge sounding bass synths but I wasn’t sure what to match it with.  I initially wanted just that huge bass slam (ala inception) but it felt really empty after I had the initial run through.  My musical inner conflict then flared up as I debated whether or not to give into to my ever-present desire to make things more complex, or if I should try to keep things simple and not overcomplicate.  I ended up giving in because it honestly just didn’t sound meaty enough.  I went back and added some spacey synths to add some atmosphere, some ostinato strings to add some forward motion and then some drums.  I’m glad I did because I think doing that turned the piece into something really interesting.  The spacey background atmosphere really makes the piece sound a bit unique.  The overall power of the piece is diminished a tad bit I think, but that’s alright because the track has a lot more character.

On the subject of character, I’ll take a brief sidebar to comment on this.  Character is something that’s been a lot more difficult for me to achieve lately.  As I take more interest in producing music that’s practical and usable, I find that I’m adding fewer elements that make my music sound unique and sound like me.  I love guitars (obviously) but they’re not widely used in the industry right now, and that sucks.  If I’m looking to get my tracks placed well, my success seems a lot more likely if I give in and produce sounds that are similar to a lot of others and match the current trends in the industry.  As an entrepreneur, this makes sense but as an artist I hate it.  Either way, it’s an area that I’ll continue to struggle finding a middle ground with.  On to the finale!

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Finale

Ahhh, the finale.  This is the part of the song that *should* be the most fun to put together but lately it’s been more of a mess.  I’m realizing how important composition is to the final mix and that’s been changing my perspective quite a lot lately.  In my initial songs I’d just go balls to the wall and put every instrument I could think of in the mix in a poor attempt to create a “wall of sound”.  That doesn’t work though and it ends up being really irritating because all the instruments you want to have power don’t quite have enough.  The drums fade, the strings fade, the ambiance fades… it all gets a bit quieter and you can get some seriously nasty pulsing action going on as they’re all competing with each other.

For this piece I decided to try to keep it simple and just add a choir overtop to add that level of epicness without changing things up a whole lot.  I think it worked out alright, although I think the choir probably could have been mixed a bit better.  After the main finale section it was as simple as adding two additional bass synths for those extra dramatic ending flashes, a brief pause, and then the outro.  Simple but effective.  I’m working more towards that beautiful but evasive realm of “simple” and honestly it’s a lot harder to get to than I thought it would be.

Final Thoughts

Overall I like this piece.  I think I really nailed the “spacey” aspect of it without compromising too much with the epicness and the power.  There are certainly weak areas that I need to improve on (cough, mixing, cough) but I’m refusing to spend inordinate amounts of time on a singular piece right now.  I know that I’ll learn far more by writing more songs than by spending a ton of time on one.  I’m definitely happy with the direction I’m going though

 

If you’re interested in using this piece, you can purchase one of my licenses via the page in the shop or contact me about it using the contact page or email me directly at SkylarCahnMusic@gmail.com!

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New Song: The Virgo Dissolution

New Song: The Virgo Dissolution

So I need to start writing more about my processes, what I’ve learned and what I’m attempting to do, if for nothing else my own sake.

This was a cool song to work on and I had a major accomplishment.  I’ve always love the really meaty sound that some of the tech based trailer composers use but I’ve not been able to make one myself.  I know there are tons of packs out there like 8dio’s Hybrid Tools, but I wanted to create something myself.  Using standard packs like that are great for some things, but if you’re going after unique sounding elements I don’t think they get you quite as far.

New Synths

Anyhow, I decided to learn a bit about NI’s Massive for this song.  I know that Massive is an incredibly powerful synth that I haven’t taken advantage of so I decided to dive in and learn a bit about it.  It was an interesting process and honestly not quite as hard as I thought it’d be.  After a few back and forth posts on Reddit’s music forum I managed to get something that I thought was pretty convincing.  After that, I slapped on some reverb, added some compression and that was about it.  I’m really happy with how it turned out.

A Time Tested Process

As for the rest of the piece, I’ll be honest – it’s nothing groundbreaking.  Lately I’ve believed a bit more in the idea of having a formula for writing songs right now though.  I certainly want to create my own ideas, but for something like a trailer piece that’s going to be used for a pretty specific purpose, I think it’s helpful to build off of what’s been done thus far.  Heavy bass synths aren’t new, strings and epic percussion isn’t new, the format isn’t new, but still I’m happy with how the track came out.  Sometimes you want to write a masterpiece, but other times you want to write something that you know will work.  This certainly wasn’t a masterpiece, but that’s alright with me.

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If you’re interested in using this piece, you can purchase one of my licenses via the page in the shop or contact me about it using the contact page or email me directly at SkylarCahnMusic@gmail.com!

 

Corrupted Dawn is Live!

 

I finally broke down and did it. I tried making a song with the ever despised Hans Zimmer “BRAAAAAWWWWMMMMM” that he invented with the Inception sound track. I know a lot of people hate this technique, but as a composer, I have to say the end result is powerful. Sometimes it’s important to be different, and other times it’s more beneficial to go with the flow. Either way, I enjoyed working on this piece, and think even if people aren’t too excited about the laziness involved in an effective technique, it’s important to still consider all options when working on a composition. Let me know what you think about this technique and this piece in the comments!

Rebirth is Live!

 

I’m finally back! This is the first song that I made in my new apartment, and I have to say, I really enjoyed making it. I wanted to try another combination with metal and dubstep because I know a lot of people really enjoyed “Overlord”. It’s damn near impossible to balance the treble of the guitar and the dubstep wobbles, but I did the best I could with this one. I also tried to play around with the electronic sound a bit more – I was aiming for a more robotic sound. Let me know how I did! Feedback is by far the most important tool I have right now, so lay it on me! Also, stay tuned! I’m hoping to get another music bundle out soon, so hopefully that will be up in the next week or two.

 

Dark Horse is Live!

I decided to do an epic/heavy metal cover of Katy Perry’s Dark Horse. When I heard the song originally, I thought it would sound awesome with some heavy rhythm guitars, so I added some! Overall, I’m pretty happy with the result. It’s a tiny bit repetitive, but that’s the way a lot of pop songs tend to be. I certainly need to work on my covering skills, but I think this is a pretty good start.

The Dark Fall is Live!

This song is a bit shorter, but I was sometimes it’s best not to drag something on too long. I was really happy with my playing in this song – I feel like I was pretty well on pitch and on time with everything. I tried some sampled drum loops this time – I’m generally not a huge fan of using pre-made drum loops in a song, but sometimes it works really well. I feel the percussion in this song sounds a lot better than something I would have put together myself, and took a lot less time. I don’t like sacrificing creativity for efficiency with my music, but sometimes it’s important to look at all of the options. I’d like to continue creating my drum tracks personally, but it’s good to know that in a pinch, I’ve got some excellent sampled loops. Let me know what you think about this song!

 

Dust and Ash is Live!

 

I again tried for something more dramatic and building. I had thought about putting this into Echosystem, but with the heavier drums, I figured it had more of an “epic” feel to it. I’m super happy with how the drums turned out in this song, and I think that I’m finally starting to get a good idea of how to mix them properly. The build is again really slow, but it hangs off at the end, which is both nagging and satisfying for me. I think the general orchestration of the piece feels a bit tighter, so hopefully I can apply that to a few of the heavier pieces I have lined up. Don’t worry, I’ll be getting back to the guitar soon enough!

“Mass Affection” Is Live!

 

Finally! I’ve been working on this song on and off for the past few weeks and I’m really excited to finally share it with you guys. It’s my Mass Effect tribute piece! I’ve been listening to the Mass Effect soundtrack for about the last two months and I absolutely love it! I decided to write a medley that incorporated ideas from several of the main themes. If you’re a big ME player, I’m sure you’ll recognize some of the songs songs that inspired me such as “Spectre Induction”, “Liara’s World”,”Humans Are Disappearing”, and of course, “Uncharted Worlds”. My goal was to reflect some of the main musical themes while still creating my own melodies and adding my own spin, but I’m honestly not sure how well that worked out. I fear that I may have stayed too close to a few of the songs and not branched out enough. As a musician who is still learning, it’s often times difficult to land in that sweet spot between imitation and inspiration. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy my latest piece, Mass Affection!

 Download this song for free here!