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Nice article about modulation, looking at the example “Braveheart”

23 Jul

Check out this nice article:

What James Horner’s Score to Braveheart Teaches Us About Modulation:

A wonderful source of orchestration learning material

15 Apr

I stumbled upon this wonderful range of detailed learning material about orchestration. It’s from Stevens Institute of Technology, by Instructor Andy Brick. Click the link and check all those Supporting Materials links on the right hand side.

What is really special about this is the amount of short instruction videos linked from the texts… This can be really helpful for those of you wanting to learn more about orchestration and the orchestra in general.


Contemporary Violin Techniques By Michael Vincent

6 Apr

Interesting script about not so ordinary string techniques… Might be a good read for you if you are writing for orchestra…

4 free VST instruments by Spitfire

30 Dec

Spitfire gives away 4 small VST instruments, just asking for a voluntary donation to charity. These are:

Toy Piano

Felt Piano (a muted piano)

Jazz Vibraphone

Dry Dulcimer (very good)

Useful or not, decide for yourself. The Dulcimer is a very cool patch I think, and the overall quality is of course top as Spitfire does professional hi end stuff, it’s a charming British company with a good sense of humour and taste… Check out their stuff…

NOTE: You need a full version of Kontakt, but if you don’t have that, you should stand in the corner for a while anyway.

Very nice Orchestra Tips page

5 Oct

Robin provides a tip a day about composing for orchestra and everything around it.

Your Music played by a Real Orchestra? Now affordable!

27 Sep

Sorry for the advertising lingo, but I simply have to share with you this wonderful service.

Next Open Orchestra Session, facilitated by my colleagues at Dynamedion, happens on November 14th and 15th.

You can send in your music (or your composer’s music), even if it’s just 1 song, and have a 66-piece orchestra record it for you, starting at 650€ per finished minute of music. YES.

This covers not only the orchestra, but also concert hall, conductor, and Tonmeister (top notch engineers for orchestra).

The price assumes you send in a final score. But you can, for slightly more, send in just a prescore or even just an MP3 (!). A brilliant orchestrator will develop the full score from it.

By the way, the whole crew is quite experienced, with dozens of sessions behind them and hundreds of happy clients. This is how awesome it will sound in the end:

You can even be present (Frankfurt a. d. Oder, Germany), which I can tell you is an amazing experience.

Isn’t this a cool thing? A session like this happens every few months, so even if the timing is not right,  you can get in touch whenever you need something.

Speaking of which, please contact me for more info, or a pricelist or to actually take part.

Game Audio Forums

1 Sep

Here we have a collection of nice websites and forums with a lot of information:


Very cool page with lots of videos about creating the sound of some blockbusters and their composers


News, free orchestration lesson, forum

Film and Game Composers

Good hints, videos and stuff

Seattle Game Audio

Forum and some nice links

Games Sound

Books and puplications


Books, articles, links


Audio community

Social Sounddesign

Everything regarding sound design.  Lots of infos for beginners!

Song-Contest for the Game Master of Maya (Prizes: 4500€)

5 Aug

The SET school of entertainment & technology is hosting a song contest for the game “Master of Maya” on their Facebook page.

The game will be published this fall  for several platforms and the main theme is still missing. You can compose the main theme and submit it on the contest page on Facebook until the 8th of September.

The prize for the winner will be publishing of the song and a scholarship for the Mediacomposer (FH) course at SET – school (value: 3480€). There is also a prize for the second place: an orchestral library from Vienna: the VSL Special Edition FUll + Ensemble Pro (value: 950€).

So take the chance and take part!


SET school Facebook page

SET school Mediacomposer (FH)

Vienna Symphonic Library

Meeting video game composer Jason Graves

26 Jul
Here is what I learned from meeting video game composer Jason Graves (Dead Space 1 & 2) at Develop conference…

Being a composer for video games and such is a lonely job. Especially in my setup, the most common one, with me working from a studio in my home more or less alone. For clients and with partners, alright, but actually quite in isolation. While I am a loner by nature, I find it inspiring to actually…

Shopping: June discounts for composers and sound designers

4 Jun

Ok here are some shopping tips for you…


is of course an amazing shop, especially for download titles like the no brainer deals they often have. Be careful with boxed orders when you are not in the US, though, as customs fees and shipping apply.

Audiomidi currently offers 20%-50% off Waves Plugins.

Also, as it’s very often the case, East West 2 for 1 on selected titles. But you can of course also get those deals in the East West Shops for USA or Europe, respectively. Most East West products, you must think real hard before buying it undiscounted, they drown you with regular not-so-special offers.


If you are in Europe and out for a higher priced East West package, you can combine the 2 for 1 East West deal with 25% off orchestra related products  on selected higher price range East West titles. Or, of course, get the 25% off other Orchestral products. Careful, the 25% off is only valid until tomorrow. These items apply for the 25% off:

As usual, buy another item at Best Service and you get another 10% off.

Let’s look at the numbers, if you buy another 50€ item, you can buy Hollywood Strings Diamond for 558€ instead of 827€ AND get another East West of lower price for free (e.g. Symphonic Orchestra Platinum Plus Complete 699€) = MORE THAN 63% OFF.

[edit] ZERO G

offer 30% off of 150 different downloadable products until end of June, including:


My recent favorite page (which is so heartwarmingly buggy) for sound effects,,  offers monthly discounts (which do not really change drastically from month to month, but anyway).  Did I say buggy? Yes. Don’t click on “JUNE SPECIALS”, because you are unable to order sound effect bundles from there. It logs you out, and you can’t continue. Instead, click on the left-hand side on Sound Track CD’s (sic!), that works. Among the insanely expensive regular bundles at the top (which are more likely to be worth every penny than not), you find some heavily discounted ones. “Sound effects” and “discounted” are usually never uttered in the same sentence, so I can recommend that! Even though the sounds may age hard, the price tags usually stay minty fresh. I will watch that page closely. Here are some discounted items from the list:

Can’t say anything about the quality, but most sets have a preview MP3. If you collect SFX like I do, you should check them out.

ALSO, if you order any 1 single sound effects there ($2 or what), check at the bottom of your shopping cart for a impulse buy sound pack, e.g. Dog Pack 4 (~$12) with 100 mixed sounds, or so. Definitely a no brainer, but I can’t link to it, because I think this is not visible otherwise.


And I would be an idiot to forget about Boom Library, which I am glad to represent. They have a preorder for Cinematic Trailers going on until June 15th. Whooshes, Stingers, Transitions and Hits, including orchestral recordings, in the fat Hi Res Quality you will expect if you have any other package from them. Grab these 100% free ready-to-use sounds from said package if you are not sure. They offered them as gift because they reached 500 Likes on Facebook.  If you need anything from Boom Library, remember to contact me first because I can offer you discounts.

Cinematic Trailers is currently discounted…

  • Construction Kit (119€ instead of 149€) containing all the raw stuff in HD.
  • Designed (79€ instead of 99€) containing a selection of ready-to-use designed sounds (these are usually very good)
  • Both Bundled 149€ instead of 199€)

I hope to compile a list like this every month for you, so if you like what you see, let me know. Have I forgotten a good deal? Please leave a comment for us!