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adammonroe says

Just curious – is anyone in the habit of notating their Audio Jungle tracks or their music in general? I usually notate piano and orchestral stuff after I’m done writing, but other things…not so much. Reading and writing music might be a borderline-obsolete, archaic practice these days, but I think there’s still value in it, and it can definitely help in large works with many different instruments, or when you leave and come back to something after an extended period.

I use Sibelius. I’ve tried exporting scores from midi data, but it usually seems like more of a hassle then just writing out a score, especially if you are pushing large amounts of instruments, using key-switches, ect…

The obvious downside is that it adds a few extra production hours onto a song.

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MDKSound says

Do you actually spend time inputting the notation into Sibelius yourself, or do you just import a MIDI file? Props to you if you write it out yourself, that’s something a lot of people (myself included, unfortunately) don’t have the patience to do anymore!

Is there a particular reason that you do it? I find that I never really forget how to play any of my pieces that I’ve written. Even if I haven’t heard a track in a couple years, I’ll remember how to play it after taking a listen. Is it the same for you?

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descara says

My main field of study is contemporary classical music so I work with notation more often than not, actually. I don’t do much writing by hand, however, but prefer writing directly in Sibelius. When it comes to shorter orchestral works I might work with a full score from the start, but for more ambitious works I find working in a condensed score and later orchestrating the material much more comprehensive.

When it comes to most of my AJ items I usually work in my DAW from the start, though – it’s usually simpler.

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PatrickAThompson says

While I don’t normally take the time to notate my AJ tracks, I’d hardly consider notation an archaic practice. In fact, I believe it is crucial to great orchestrations (if that’s your style).. and here’s why.

In a DAW , it is SO easy to compose with 200 violins, 100 cellos, 40 french horns, etc… but that’s not realistic or balanced (for a real orchestra).

If you understand notation and proper orchestration techniques, you can compose music using the human limitations of an orchestra – which will lend itself to a more realistic sound. AND … should you ever be called upon to produce the score, you don’t have to start from scratch and re-write the entire piece because it was composed with real players in mind.

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adammonroe says

Do you actually spend time inputting the notation into Sibelius yourself, or do you just import a MIDI file? Props to you if you write it out yourself, that’s something a lot of people (myself included, unfortunately) don’t have the patience to do anymore! Is there a particular reason that you do it? I find that I never really forget how to play any of my pieces that I’ve written. Even if I haven’t heard a track in a couple years, I’ll remember how to play it after taking a listen. Is it the same for you?

I enter the notes individually in Sibelius. I think if you can get proficient at it, it actually doesn’t take that long, especially since you can usually ctrl-C and Ctrl-P pieces of your music that repeat, chords, ect. It sure beats writing it out by hand like the old masters used to do.

A lot of it I do remember how to play – and it’s usually pretty easy to go back and figure out a melody by ear anyway – but intricate details like what inversion of a chord was used, or how something was orchestrated across multiple instruments or multiple groups of instruments is easier to see in a score. I also write a lot of music that’s not really based around chords, but rather, the movement of melody and whatever happens to harmonize with it…so those pieces become harder to remember as time gos by. You can get the same information from a midi file in your Daw, but it tends to be messier.

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adammonroe says

My main field of study is contemporary classical music so I work with notation more often than not, actually. I don’t do much writing by hand, however, but prefer writing directly in Sibelius. When it comes to shorter orchestral works I might work with a full score from the start, but for more ambitious works I find working in a condensed score and later orchestrating the material much more comprehensive. When it comes to most of my AJ items I usually work in my DAW from the start, though – it’s usually simpler.

Can you imagine having to take the time to write all that out by hand? Especially orchestral stuff? And then every now and then you might have to make a correction, and re-write a good chunk of the score? Computers sure are great.

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adammonroe says

While I don’t normally take the time to notate my AJ tracks, I’d hardly consider notation an archaic practice. In fact, I believe it is crucial to great orchestrations (if that’s your style).. and here’s why.

In a DAW , it is SO easy to compose with 200 violins, 100 cellos, 40 french horns, etc… but that’s not realistic or balanced (for a real orchestra).

If you understand notation and proper orchestration techniques, you can compose music using the human limitations of an orchestra – which will lend itself to a more realistic sound. AND … should you ever be called upon to produce the score, you don’t have to start from scratch and re-write the entire piece because it was composed with real players in mind.

Oh yeah, I agree with that 100%. There are composers out there I’ve heard talk about orchestration, and they’ve stated that they don’t think it’s important (whether or not a piece could actually be played by an orchestra) and that only the end result/sound is important. Guys like Rimsky-Karsakov dedicated a good portion of their lives discerning and defining the best proportions and ideal balance between instruments and instrument groups, and indeed, when people set out to develop sample libraries, the samples are usually based around these standards (for a standard orchestra, 16 first violins, 8 double basses, ect, scaling up and down slightly for larger or smaller orchestras.) Orchestration is more or less about balance and color.

However, I think the trend in modern orchestration seems to be to explore percussion, and to deeply layer percussion beyond what a typical orchestra might be equipped to play, in order to achieve the “epic sound.” It works to an extent because the music is being produced for things like movies and game trailers, so you need to immediately grab someones attention, or make something feel “epic” without having the benefit of it having came from a more subtle piece of music proceeding it. So in this one particular instance, I think we have an example of music sounding less realistic in a traditional sense, but because it’s what people are being exposed to, it’s becoming what people expect to hear.

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studio_21 says

I only use my ear to create sounds. I never notate anything, unless I am required.

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jhunger says

I only use my ear to create sounds. I never notate anything, unless I am required.

Ditto – as a matter of fact I can barely read music anymore, since I do everything by ear. But I’m not exactly producing epic scores either.

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