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  • Question about mixing electronics and Orchestra in Film Scor

    I'm interested in learning how to compose in the same sort of style as Harry Gregson-Williams and Hans Zimmer, the mix of electronics and orchestra. I would say that this style is much more prominent in Harry Gregson-Williams stuff.

    I'm wondering, where can one learn how to compose using these kind of techniques. I have played around with different synth sounds before, but never come up with anything even remotely inspiring or evocative of Harry Gregson-Williams. I know that the electronic sounds from the Moog and Prophet 5's are legendary and everything, but I have played around with some VST synths like the Pro-53 and the Minimonsta and always end up feeling like I can't use any of those sounds in my scores without it sounding dumb or cheesy. Is it a matter of composition that I'm not getting right, or is it a matter of synth programming, or both?

    Does anyone have any good resources or ideas as far as a total beginner with synths, to learn how to program good sounds.

  • it probably is a combination of composition skill and, to a lesser extent, programming. the closest thing to a silver bullet in the programming department might be spectrasonics atmosphere. it is widely used but offers the opportunity to combine two sets of sounds much like oscillators on a minimoog for example. it should begin to get you accustomed to hearing what goes into good programming. composition on the other hand takes a lifetime to develop. you can have a lot of fun (and headache) along the way, but if you want to write like zimmer, etc., why not mock up one of his cues? copying is only bad at certain levels and rarely for a beginner whose aim is education, e.g. early beethoven sounds like mozart for a reason. your own voice will come later but it will at least get you started.

  • you can easily mix deep sine sounds with your orchestra to give it more depth and bass in the low frequenzies or if you want more present sounds try e.g. using "Kyma" to morph w.g. brass sounds with synthesizer sounds... the results sound amazing

  • Yes, I second the above poster's comments. Find a score you like, and emulate how that person uses electronics + orchestra that you like. Lots of scores today are very rhythmic (Spiderman, etc.) with lots of electronic percussion or edgy synths in regular beats. So you can make your acoustic orchestra music well suited for this kind of thing by considering the pulse, if you want to add in electronic percussion sort of a texture.

    I noticed that Sean Callery of Fox's 24 uses lots of 4-pattern electronic sounds (Stylus RMX) while his string parts are in 3/4 at the same time. If you did this (4-beat percussion sounds over 3/4 music) it would eventually not line up on the same strong beats.
    But you can have four bars of 3/4 while having these 4-beat patterns of electronic percussion and it will line up at the fifth bar of 3/4. And that works. I believe that is what Callery does.

    So anyways you have to think about meter a bit, if you are putting any rhythmic electronics in your music.

  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on