Composing before the true legato and shorts era (early 2000),a retrospect

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by EgM, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. omiroad

    omiroad Active Member

    Oct 17, 2016
    It's an interval...
  2. AllanH

    AllanH Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    Central Coast California
    What a fun thread. In the late 90s, I relied 100% on my Kurzweil PC88MX and 16 channels of midi. It's sort of amazing what the Kurzweil team could fit into what must have been 16 MB or so. My DAW was Cakewalk Pro Audio.
    EgM likes this.
  3. Leon Portelance

    Leon Portelance Composer | Songwriter

    Jan 2, 2017
    Corning, California
    My first use of a computer was an Atar with Notator SL the Logic 1.0. I have stuck with Logic ever since. I am 63.
    mike753, Zoot_Rollo and EgM like this.
  4. OP

    EgM Game music!

    Nov 8, 2015
    NB, Canada
    I'm 20 years younger, but I will probably still make music with computers until that time and more :)
  5. Count_Fuzzball

    Count_Fuzzball Member

    May 23, 2017
    Does anyone know what sample libraries Jeremy Soule used for Oblivion(2006)?

    I heard he used Garritan Orchestral Strings for Morrowind, but I'm thinking he may have used EWQLSO for Oblivion?

  6. Scamper

    Scamper Active Member

    Dec 11, 2014
    Count_Fuzzball likes this.
  7. Brian Nowak

    Brian Nowak Active Member

    Jan 9, 2018
    I think it's interesting to see how perspective on music has changed so much in such a short time. And the clash of viewpoints it brings is fascinating.

    I wasn't big into MIDI-based music when I was in high school or in college (early 2000s), but my good friend from high school (and subsequent roommate in college) was in a very big way. I remember his painstaking attempts to sound as good as the Gladiator score. I remember the amount of cash that went into this endeavor as well! He had a DAW and spent LOTS of time making his MIDI mockups of pieces sound reasonable. I was only really interested in live performance at this point so I couldn't understand why he would take entire sleepless nights to get his piano MIDI sounding "good". I remember MIDI mockups from Sibelius 2 in college and wanting to die when you played back your score - having to remind yourself that no, you are not a horrible composer or even a horrible person for punishing the world with these sounds.

    Then there was a long gap in my awareness of Virtual Instruments in general. To the tune of 13-15 years. I was aware that technology had moved forward a great deal, but I was busy in other endeavors (guitar amp modeling, software synthesis, eurorack modular, etc.). It was only recently that my attention was turned back to sample instruments as I was persuaded to get into this world again.

    To say I was kind of FLOORED by how good everything sounds now, if programmed properly, is a god damn understatement. When I found Spitfire and OT I sent the links to my composition instructor and after listening to some of the demos he was equally awe struck. Since this world has a lot of really young folks in it, it's interesting how it's just kind of taken for granted, how opinions on sound quality are harsh, or how people complain about "how expensive" it is to do this stuff.


    At the same time, I think older people misplace their feelings about how older technology inspired more creativity, or more musicality, etc. Yes, there's an argument for limited tools meaning people having to figure out ways to express themselves. But that implies a person has an idea of what they want before they get started. I think blaming technology and quality advancement is kind of putting the cart before the horse.

    For one, there was a LOT of terrible, unmusical MIDI music written in earlier periods. People just lacked the ability to foist it upon the world stage. There was no YouTube, Soundcloud, etc. And even if you COULD load your music onto the internet it would take forever to do so in most cases. Yeah - people still burned CDs and handed them out to their friends to listen to them, if they had enough money to have a CD burner. LOL

    That doesn't mean there aren't good examples of musicality in that period. Of course not. Musicality is not judged by whether or not something sounds like a MIDI composition. And "sounds good" is a very subjective thing.

    Second, there are just a lot more uneducated people in the game today. From 1998-2002 not just anybody was out trying to make orchestral mockups. "Epic" music was reserved to a handful of dudes who were interested in making it. My roommate was one of them. Outside a professional industry for it, MIDI music was mostly considered an area that had a lot of growth opportunity, and people talked about how one day it would sound much better - daresay even completely realistic. I'm talking virtual instruments of a classical nature here, not software synths.

    The fact is, more than ever, you can make astoundingly nice MIDI mockups if you have even the slightest hint of an idea as to what you're doing with these things.

    It's not the technology's fault that people don't study orchestration, composition, arrangement, form, harmony, or counterpoint. It isn't technology's fault that people don't study scores, understand how to write for different instruments, know performance techniques, or what is even possible on said instruments. It's not technology's fault that production quality kind of overtook more disciplined areas of music, or pop music and thus, production-focused music invaded and took over orchestral literature.

    Anybody that looks back and wishes audio technology was similar to earlier periods is just kind of full of it, as far as I'm concerned.
    EgM likes this.
  8. Leon Portelance

    Leon Portelance Composer | Songwriter

    Jan 2, 2017
    Corning, California
    I started with Notator SL then Logic 1.0 on an Atari. Then followed Logic through Windows and finally Mac. I am almost 64.
  9. Pajo

    Pajo New Member

    Aug 29, 2018
    Hi, I was a "bit" obsessed with tbis topic... ...At the point that I engaged myself with a nonsense crazy project:

    I begun writing music with the early sample libraries (pc, logic, exs24, emu e6400 sampler, miroslav vitous, peter siedlackzek, distorted reality) and was ever fashinated about how the early videogame soundtracks were made. Michael Hoenig's Baldur's Gate soundtrack (especially the battle tracks) is my main unresolved and unanswered question.
    If you get some news please write me! (
    Henu and Zoot_Rollo like this.
  10. Henu

    Henu Senior Member

    Nov 17, 2017
    Marvellous work!!! :D

    The hunt for BG soundtrack goes on forever, I guess......
  11. Pajo

    Pajo New Member

    Aug 29, 2018
    Thank you! Yeah, only "the Man From Ibiza (Mr. Hoenig)" could answer the unanswered :-D
    No one interested in asking him for an interview? Composing workflow, gears, sound, libraries, recording topics.

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