Posts by adammonroe

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adammonroe says

Maybe it’s just me, but I never use a crash cymbal without a counterpart in the low end. I don’t like the sound of an unsupported crash cymbal – but I love the combination of kick and crash, timpanis and crash, anything deep, boomy and Hans-Zimmer-like and crash… In your piece there is a lot of unsupported crash cymbal stuff going on. It always sounds halfway up and halfway down but never where you want to be. It sounds like “I want to emphasize this part of a bar with an orchestral kick drum, this part of the same bar with this cymbal and that one a half not later with that cymbal” and so on. Don’t do that! Choose the parts you want to emphasize painstakingly and let it crash and thunder at the same time. Edit all your midi-tracks according to this. Concentrate the energy on parts you want to highlight and let your musical ideas do the rest in the other parts.

I have to disagree with this. Although I agree orchestral percussion is best when used sparingly, there is nothing that says you can’t use cymbals without a corresponding low end. Just because certain styles of orchestration are in vogue right now doesn’t mean that everything else is wrong. Grieg’s use of alternating Timpani and Cymbals
Holst’s use of unsupported cymbal to end a musical phrase

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adammonroe says

I made this just yesterday , I have not had Audio Jungle actually accept any of my uploads, would this one be any different? Opinions greatly appreciated! https://soundcloud.com/anthony-toomey/battle-theme

It’s very cool man, but I think you might get the typical gripes about your sound libraries.

Actually, most of the stuff on your soundcloud sounds good to me, you just need to invest in more realistic sample libraries. It sounds good for video games from 10 years ago, or even for iphone or android games now, but Audio Jungle doesn’t really approve stuff unless the sound libraries are film-quality.

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adammonroe says

It’s funny because it’s a very clean guitar sound. I don’t mean clean like it’s a clean amp sound without overdrive or effects, I mean it’s clean like it sounds too sampled. I’m of the opposite opinion of lemega: I think the rhythm guitar sounds bad, the lead guitar sounds fine for the genre. If you are playing a chord multiple times with that kind of rhythm, it sticks out to me as being slightly “fake” sounding, especially when two 8th notes are played back to back.

However, for the genre I don’t think it really matters. You obviously aren’t going for an ultra realistic sound here. I think a live guitar would probably actually go AGAINST the rest of the production, but hey, that’s just my opinion.

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adammonroe says

AEO2 on a LAN – used to beat the puke out of all my friends.

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adammonroe says

AudioJungle is easy to join but hard to keep up with. Probably if someone is new to making music, they will submit a track, get rejected, and get discouraged. Who knows what the statistics are, but I’m guessing there is probably a high drop-out rate right off the bat in regards to new users. Once you get your tracks approved, they tend to sit around for awhile, especially if you are not writing commercial or in a genre that is “in” right now. This too can be discouraging. Really, the only people left in the long-run are people who find success, people who are extremely stubborn, and people who generally just love to make music and don’t know what the hell else to do with it. :-)

When it comes time to review, the reviewers probably have some general guidelines, they might even be instructed to “keep it general,” otherwise everyone would want specific detailed descriptions with their hard rejections. Sometimes a track just doesn’t “fit” or “gel” and it’s easier to say, “doesn’t meet quality standards” or whatever than it is to point to very specific things and then possibly have the person fix those things, feel confident enough to resubmit, and the track still doesn’t “work.”

It’s also sometimes useful to submit hard rejections in the item discussion forum – If your track really sucks, people will have no reservations letting you know why and if it’s actually good everyone will start to wonder why it got rejected! It’s good to get feedback from a whole group of people rather than just one reviewer. Individuals can be flawed. Sometimes you just catch someone’s ear the wrong way on a certain day and it is as simple as that.

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adammonroe says

I’ve tried to learn how to sight read but it interferes with my playing by ear and my intuitive side. I do know how to read music but not sight read. For me personally knowing what I do know about theory is enough and if know too much it will interfere with my creativity. I think it was Korsokov that said that creativity can make up for a lack of knowledge, but I could be slaughtering his quote.

I think when it’s time to be creative you have to be able to disengage from thinking too much about formal rules and just play whatever sounds good. Sight reading is just a dumb skill – by “dumb” I mean it’s just something you practice over and over again until you can do it. I like to play by ear, and it’s not hard for me to pick out melodies and transpose things, but I think part of being a good musician is constantly pushing yourself to do things that aren’t easy, so I have been trying to sight read for a few years, as I find it a challenge, and very slow to make progress.

I think creativity is the paramount skill to have when it comes to composition. You will absorb other peoples music – whether it be by simple passive listening or from studying sheets. Creativity is key in virtually any application, whether it be math, computer programming, music, science, whatever. Technical ability and theory can be improved/learned, creativity can only really be shaped and guided. :-)

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adammonroe says

Great stuff, thanks so much guys! Which brings me to another subject. Some of the greatest bluesguitar players in the world (like, for example, B.B. King) did not have access to all this theory, but still managed to become legendary just by practice and talent. Is this because the genre allows for it?

A lot of great musicians got great by listening to other people play, playing along with records, ect. I think this is extremely important when it comes to being a great musician.

A lot of great composers got great by writing music, which used to entail, well, writing out the music. Before things could be recorded, the only way you really got to hear someone piece was by playing it yourself.

It depends what your goals are. I think you can be a great musician without theory and being able to read music. Technology even allows you to be a good composer these days, but if your goal is to be a serious composer then at some point you will want to know how to read and write scores.

A little bit of a distinction between a composer and a musician, IMO. Two heads of the same coin but still different. Producing our own music we wear ALL THE HATS, music theory is applicable to all of them.

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adammonroe says

The advantage of not having to spend hours and hours on reading up on music theory ;) that’s what I would like to find out, if it’s worth donating so much time on it.

I wouldn’t think of it in those terms, I would approach it as a half hour/hour a day kind of thing. That’s how I approach learning to do anything in life – just a little bit each day, otherwise it becomes tedious and the learning doesn’t really “stick” – at least not for me. If you are serious about music, you are probably spending a few hours a day playing your instrument, sight reading, learning new chords, composing, transposing songs, developing intonation…why not add music theory to your routine. :-)

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adammonroe says

Hello, it would help if we knew what program you are using to record/compose your music. Most DAWS let you add multiple tracks to a project. You’ll want to create a new audio track and import the audiojungle watermark. If you are not using a DAW to make music you should consider getting one. :-)

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adammonroe says

Music theory is interesting and will open your mind to the mathematical beauty of western music (for example, the cycle of 4ths is just the cycle of 5ths played backwards, musical intervals are actually just mathematical ratios (a perfect fifth is a 3/2 ratio to the fundamental, or 1.5 times the Hz value {Hz are just cycles per second} – maybe they aren’t perfect ratios in equal temperament tuning, but a really good violin player will be able to play perfect ratios).

Writing and reading music makes it easier to get your ideas down and to play other peoples music. However, I think when it comes to actual composition (for me anyway) I just sit down at the piano and compose – I don’t really think about what key I’m playing in or anything until it comes time to write the music down. Sometimes it can help if you get absolutely stuck, but I try to avoid thinking about music in terms of chord progressions and things like that, because one tends to get stuck in the same patterns. Creativity comes more from letting your mind wander than it does from analyzing theory, at least for me.

Music is like anything else in life – if you don’t know the basics, how can you tastefully break the rules? A lot of interesting music is built around bending the rules (Jazz and Blues for example). Overall, I think it is good to have a fundamental grounding, and I think it helps when it comes time to learn a new instrument. It’s just one more tool in your toolbox.

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