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๐ŸŽปย MIDI Strings Programming Tips ๐ŸŽš๏ธ production Oct 24, 2023

Today’s video shoutout goes to Simon Passmore, a fantastic composer and mockup wizard who I’ve had the pleasure of working with on several projects!

Simon has some tips in his newest video that are almost too good to be free. But free they are, so enjoy

I especially love his suggestion of practicing a VST before recording it. VSTs are a lot like learning new instruments unto...

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๐Ÿ”Ž Find Your โ€œWhyโ€ with Ikigai ๐Ÿง  mindset Oct 17, 2023

When I ask students, they’ll often tell me “I write music because I love it.” And I hear that.

But often as those composers try to turn their passion into a profession, they run into situations where they’re not writing music—at least not at the start. They may be doing copyist work, orchestration, or even non-musical work like administrative tasks.

So how can they...

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๐ŸŽปย How to Learn Orchestration in a DAW ๐ŸŽน composition Oct 17, 2023

A few weeks back, my buddy Mattia Chiappa released an important video for composers writing in DAWs.

I often get asked by students for recommendations on orchestration books or scores to study. While I did read lots of music books, in truth, that’s not where I improved.

My improvements happened mostly by tons of active listening to music I loved, isolating sections that caught my ear, and...

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๐Ÿ˜จ Is Fear Stopping You From Networking? ๐Ÿค networking Oct 10, 2023

(Today’s topic is taken from the Networking module of my Composing Career Bootcamp program. If you want to get paid for your music and are ready to learn some powerful new skills, be sure to check it out!)

I coach hundreds of students in 1:1 sessions, many of whom dream of making music for a living.

But when I ask them what they’ve done to grow their network, the answer is usually ...

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๐Ÿผย Weekly Listening: โ€œKung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knightโ€ ๐Ÿ‘‚ listening Oct 10, 2023

Some of you may know I had the privilege of composing a ton of additional music on this show for Robert Lydecker and Kevin Lax, the main composers.

They recently released an album of tracks exclusively from the Netflix series finale, and man is it good.

And yes, I’m biased.

This track in particular impressed me for its broad range of orchestrations, moods, and clever harmonic twists. I...

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๐Ÿ“š There's More to Storytelling Than Theory ๐ŸŽฌ scoring Sep 26, 2023

Coaching students often ask me how I use theory to navigate the many emotions that music needs to convey for effective storytelling.

Theory is a great way to discover new tools, but what theory won’t do is build your emotional vocabulary. To do that, you need to connect emotional language to the tools you learn.

Here’s what to try:

When you listen to a chord progression, don’t...

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๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ Learn to Love the Journey โญ๏ธ highlights ๐Ÿง  mindset Sep 19, 2023

One of the most difficult parts about an artistic career is the the lack of a straightforward path.

Because the truth is:

There is no "magic bullet" for mastering composition, finding work, or building an audience.

And I remember feeling that frustration, too.

When I was in college, I attended an orchestral rehearsal for a composer whose wife was my composition teacher. Eager to take advantage...

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๐Ÿ“š 18 Books Every Creative Pro Needs to Read ๐Ÿ“š books Sep 05, 2023

The comfort zone of a composer is--you guessed it--writing music.

But the reality of making music for a living is that at least 70% of your time will be spent on non-musical tasks. That includes (but is definitely not limited to):

  • Networking
  • Negotiating
  • Admin & Organization
  • Ongoing communication with clients
  • Bookkeeping
  • Sending & receiving invoices

That's why today, I'm sharing...

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๐ŸŽป Is Orchestral Practical or Creative? ๐ŸŽน composition Aug 29, 2023

My parents recently got a chance to hear a piece from a live recording session I had with a full orchestra.

After listening, my Mom asked me about how orchestration works as a part of the puzzle of making music.

Some composers see orchestration as this broad color palette filled with endless possibilities. But often if you speak with a seasoned orchestrator, they’ll...

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๐ŸŽš๏ธ How to Play Your Fader Like an Orchestra ๐ŸŽš๏ธ production Aug 29, 2023

With just one week left until my Orchestral Mockup Fundamentals course release date, I thought I'd share a little preview from the course itself.

Here's a few strategies I use regularly to perform winds, brass, and strings using just modulation from a MIDI fader:

Some key takeaways:

  • Phrase the dynamics of your lines in accordance with the rising and falling of your melody
  • ...
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