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Film Composition


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Dear anyone who will listen,


I want to try my hand at composition for media. I have been composing for several years now but only for myself.


I am looking to purchase Logic Pro at the advice of other contemporary composers. However, hitherto I know nothing about computer music.


Composers nowadays seem to have a lot of music produced simply through virtual instruments. Is this music produced through programs like Logic Pro? If so, how is the score translated into the program? If I write a score in Sibelius can Logic Pro then "publish" it using the sampled instruments. Finally, can Logic "read" any sampled instrument available?


Sorry for the many questions...but any help would be really really appreciated.


Any websites or books on the subject any of you can recommend would be brilliant.


Hoping someone can unconfuse me,



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Composers nowadays seem to have a lot of music produced simply through virtual instruments. Is this music produced through programs like Logic Pro?

Yes. Other choices include Digital Performer, Cubase, Pro Tools...

If so, how is the score translated into the program?

In Logic, the score is simply a different way to display the MIDI notes. I'm not sure what you mean by "translated into"?

If I write a score in Sibelius can Logic Pro then "publish" it using the sampled instruments.

Yes. It will take a few minutes for you to demix the MIDI performance and assign each one the correct instrument, but it's possible.

Finally, can Logic "read" any sampled instrument available?

No. Sample libraries are built for a certain sampler. Most sample libraries are built for most major samplers, and the EXS24 sampler that comes with Logic has become a big standard on the Mac platform, so most major sample libraries are available for Logic.

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if you wan't to print out sheets you'ld be better off with Sibelius. If you want the virtual instruments to play the music, there's no better than Logic! :wink: hehe.. I mean you can program the various articualtions very detailed. It also depends on which 3rd party VI's you have
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I assume you mean Virtual Instruments by VI.


I've heard a lot about the Vienna Symphonic Library samples. The examples of audio from there sound very detailed and almost indistinguishable from a real live recording. Are the details of the music recorded in those samples all done by programs such as Logic? Or do sample instruments have their own programs for that?

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well lets seee.


in general:


most if not all media coposers use logic or Digital performer. sometimes Pro tools and cubase.



logic comes with an array of orchestral samples but for more realistic there are libraries like vienna and sonic implants and Eastwest symphonic orchestra. all of these are expensive but if u get these gigs, then its balances it out.


you can import files to and from sibelius. when you import a midi file from a score you will assign the midi track to the instrument and then fine tune the midi parameters. this is a pain in the ass cause you just cant expect an instrument like a violin which has hundreds of years of evolution just to be played perfectly using a computer. you have to program parameters like velocity whih is not the same of volume. and each instrument can have many tracks like a violin will play a legato and then staccato you wil have to have 2 virtual instuemets unless u have "keyswitches" which is a giga format of pressing a low notes to change from staccato to legato etc,by changing the samples.



so for media composers , they will use logic pro with an exstensive template of many many tracks of midi to complete an orchestra. the usuall setup will include logic pro as a main sequencer in a mac and then having "farm" computers , usually PC, that have all the samples that are very RAM and CPU consuming. these willl be trigger by logic via midi and using MIDI interfaces or midi over network they will trigger samples in the PCs which go out via audio into logic pro to be later recorded into audio. this is becuase real samples take a big load of ram and CPU from computers.

you can start by one good computer and then see if it can handle the samples. these sampler can be use with any sampler.

a sample is one recording a a note of a violin or any other instrument (wav, aiff)

multi samples are samples of each note of an instrument

a program is a set of multi samples that have been lad acorss a keyboard and are loaded into samplers. these are giga files( .gig), kontakt(.kni), EXS24 (.exs.)

samplers are virtual instrument that generate sound by using samples.

synthezisers are also virtual instrument that use osilator to generate sound.



with a setup like this you will play te parts and hear them and orchestrate them on the fly and logic has markers and tempo variations you can program to hit cue spots.

if u know about composing then cool, if u dont u will be limited by what our samples dictate.



fro mthe score you compose you can print it out and then give it to a reaal orchestra after the director approves of the score u made with logic. as no matter how talented people are, their vision of music is very diferent than others so a midi mokup is the best thing.






you will open up logic. select a virtual instrument track and load a sampler like kontakt or EXS24. in that sampler you load up a violin or string patch and play the keyboard to play the violin sample. always the samples are in C and there ir no transposed samples. so if u have a trupet part you will have to adjust it a m2 in the score before printing.


after load the sample and pplay a little, you hit record and play the melody. then you select another track and load another violin , viola or cello and play counteproint or orchestrate parts in the same way; hitting record and play along with the violin you recorded.

there is a click always which u can change to diferent meters.

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iI find that, with many legqto string samples, the voicr "speaks" more slowly, so it has to be played slightly early to "sound" on the beat.


When you use samplers and synthesizers that are not internal to Logic, they have varying degrees of latency, and your timing on the attck of those notes may have to vary somewhat.


Partly because of this, I always set up my click with an external sample player (an old Proteus unit) and do not rely on the internal click in Logic (whose tone I also find very annoying).


When recording MIDI tracks ion Logic, it is'nt necessary to press "Record." Instead, press "Play" and after playing the passage, use the command "Control + K" and the performance will be captured, which can be quantized or edited.


While it may be possible to use your Sibelius tracks to translate to MIDI sequences, the aforementioned llatency problems may lead to timing problems in playing the sequences back. Maybe they could be put into the proper place by dragging the sequence and sliding to the correct place (definitely true in Pro Tools).


Trills and articulations will have to be played in. You can make very detailed tempo maps to emulate rubato, ritards, accelerando, etc. Logic 6 is a great sequencer.


I've been learning that "quantize" doesn't necessarily line up beats and subdivisions in different synthesizers and samplers (I have an EMU Emulator IV that lags behind the beat).

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One caveat about bringing MIDI files into Logic; if use the Import MIDI File option, Logic assumes you want the MIDI to conform to the tempo and meter of your present Logic arrangement. Instead, highlight the MIDI file in the Finder, ctrl-click it and select Open with->Logic Pro. Your file will open with all tempo and meter info intact.
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