View Full Version : what to play and what to compose

04-04-2009, 04:27 AM
Hi guys!

I"m just interested to know for all you songwriters/composers out there. What instruments do you actually physically play, and what do you compose with midi? As for myself, I am a keyboardist, so I physically play all the keyboard/piano sounds (eg choirs, strings, synth sounds) and I compose all the guitar, bass, drums and percussion sounds via guitar pro. I may also initally compose the keyboard parts via guitar pro (and have my keyboard beside me so I can play it when writing). This is good so when I transfer it to Sonar I can assign the sounds and see what sound sounds best. However once I determine what sound is the best I will remove all the keyboard parts and record them myself.

Of course some of you guys might be guitarists, some of you might be multi instrumentalists, some might prefer to compose the whole lot and put more effort into composing. I"m interested to hear what other members do!

On my next solo album I"m thinking of using real guitars, so I might ask a few friends to help me out and play guitars! It's easy enough to record guitars through Sonar! Same with Bass! Unsure how you would record Drums through Sonar though!

04-04-2009, 09:10 AM
Hi Luke,

I play Guitar and Bass. So all guitar work is direct to Sonar. Everything else is samples or synths by keyboard. I am not much of a keyboard player but I can play enough to layer tracks.

I compose on both Guitar and Keyboard. One Guitar is midi- ready and so I use that now and again. It is always interesting to see how samples play and sound differently depending on the controller.

My method is mostly intuitive so when I start writingI have a basic idea but the rest is developed as the peice unfolds.

I dropped a short video from you tube to pratice writing to and that has been a valuable experience. I could not do as I pleased since the visual requirements of the video had to be met. A good lesson in self-discipline.

You would have to mic drums in Sonar unless it is an electronic set.

Regards John

04-04-2009, 09:30 AM
Entirely VI here. I do play the piano but who needs to invest in a great sounding Grand and a good Mic when you can get QL Pianos for a fraction of the total cost? ;)

04-12-2009, 10:41 AM
It depends on the material being written, its cope and purpose, etc... For Orchestra, i am much faster at sketching every theme and/or orchestration on paper first and then, program it. For other stuff where I may be writing directly on a instrument then, the instruments goes first (be it guitar, piano or drums/percussion)

Matam Express
04-12-2009, 06:39 PM
Hi Luke

I am a world flutist, playing shakuhachi, Chinese dixi, Indian Bansuri. West Afriacan fulani, all recorders, silver flute and Native American flutes. I am also a world percussionist, specialising in djembe/dununs but also krin, udu, congas, calabash, and an assortment of other percussive instruments. I have released two successful albums of my music .....so why would I use virtual instruments? Due to my health and a disabled arm I cannot play any percussion at all so I invested in SD2, QL Symphony Orchestra and Ra. I can still play my flutes at this stage but buying Ra is a good investment especially for all the other ethnic instruments it has. In no capacity could I compare what I am able to do on my flutes as to what I can achieve with Ra, however Ra is still so much fun to work with and allows me a lot of creativity. The ethnic strings are great to have.

I has been so frustrating not to be able to play any live percussion and SD2 has really come to my aid although I am still yet to hear any package that adequately records a professionally played djembe (might be on the SD2 Pro) I achieve a lot of enjoyment creating with the virtual instruments I do have. I am about to begin recording a mixture of live flute playing and using the virtual instruments and I can see so much scope especially with the sound quality of East West software and the wonderful range of ethnic virtual instruments I have. The only hiccup I have is that I am lousy on the keyboard so recording takes lots of time!!!