topic: composing

Everything I’ve written on the subject, from the beginning of this version of the site.

I may also have written on this on earlier versions of my website:

  1. 2006 – 2011 (link coming soon!)
  2. did not have a blog!
  3. 2012 – 2013 (link coming soon!)
  4. 2014 – 2019
  • 2020

    • May

    • Nov

      • 07

        • 16:56 — NOTES

          A thing I’m extremely committed to: any orchestral sample libraries I buy must absolutely pay royalties to the musicians they recorded the samples with.

      • 08

        • 15:56 — NOTES

          A thing I would love: Logic Pro on the iPad and a rich instrument sample library ecosystem to go with it. I love working on my big iMac, but I’d also love to be able to work in Logic and with great sounds on my iPad.

      • 26

        • 10:59 — NOTES

          Sooooo much to learn about Logic Pro and the new virtual instruments I got via early-Black-Friday-sale… but I’m having a ridiculous amount of fun with it. (Good samples make a huge difference!)

    • Dec

      • 06

        • 20:14 — NOTES

          I’m in an archival mood this evening, so I’m exporting all my old Sibelius files into MusicXML and MIDI: proprietary formats are bad for long-term storage!

          Along the way, I’ve discovered music I wrote in the 2000s that I had completely forgotten about. 🤯

      • 11

        • 11:01 — NOTES

          Getting ready to upgrade my main machine to macOS 11. First things first, though: I have a ton of musical scores in Sibelius format, I’ve since moved to Dorico, and my old version of Sibelius doesn’t launch on Big Sur. So: spending my morning exporting everything to .mxl.

      • 27

        • 18:36 — NOTES

          Dear Apple: would it have killed you to include a headphone port on the iPad Pro? Using it for music production would be a lot easier if you had.

          cables, ugh
      • 29

        • 11:38 — NOTES

          I would love a study score of Ludwig Göransson’s Come With Me” from the closing credits for The Mandalorian Chapter 16. (Hint hint, Disney+ — there is money to be made here!)

  • 2021

    • Jan

      • 18

        • 09:44 — NOTES

          Status: not far from the point where I just sell my iMac in favor of running a 5k monitor off of my M1 MacBook Air, which is literally twice as fast.

          Only thing holding me back is RAM, which does matter for large music productions.

    • Apr

    • Jun

      • 01

      • 12

        • 15:25 — NOTES

          A thing I love about Spitfire Audio: that they pay ongoing royalties to the musicians whose playing they sample. This is as it should be!

          I’d love to learn about other virtual instrument libraries which do this as I slowly broaden out my samples — got recommendations?

      • 19

        • 20:41 — NOTES

          StaffPad is quickly becoming my favorite tool for composing. Its handwriting recognition is far from perfect, but it’s the best thing I’ve found for writing music (much the way I would on paper!) while still having digital affordances.

          Bonus: pair it with the Spitfire instruments… 🤩

    • Jul

      • 13

      • 15

        • 10:37 — NOTES

          Don’t ever let anyone tell you that music theory isn’t helpful for composition. I’m sitting here formalizing what I sketched out on a keyboard, and my ears did not mislead me: but now I understand where my ears led me and therefore can work much more intentionally with this idea.

      • 16

        • 16:07 — NOTES

          This day did not go as I expected and I feel uninspired.” I’m sitting down to compose anyway because: that’s now how art (or anything in life, really) works. Inspiration” is nice but doing the work is the important bit.

        • 20:05 — NOTES

          In the process of publishing a master of my Fanfare for a New Era of American Spaceflight”. At last! 😅 One lesson learned from working on this off and on over the last 8 months: next time, I will not use a MIDI export; I’ll perform it into Logic.

      • 18

      • 28

        • 16:20 — NOTES

          I realized, in the midst of working on a mockup in Logic, that I needed to make a small, but meaningful, tweak to the score for the piece I’m writing (move a series of notes forward by one quaver) as it stands in StaffPad… and… cannot? (This is trivial in Dorico!)

        • StaffPad Versions — JOURNAL

          Making it easy to keep track of your composing history in StaffPad.

      • 29

        • 13:21 — NOTES

          The more time I spend with other apps (looking at you today, StaffPad), the more persuaded I am that Doricos model, where notes are primary and measures are arbitrary, secondary groupings — layered on top of the notes — is both more correct and more useful design than the bars-first approach nearly every other notation software takes.

      • 31

    • Nov

      • 12

        • 19:09 — NOTES

          For as long as I have been composing, I have notionally composed for live players. Despite the rarity of that opportunity with orchestras, and the fact that all my high school works were actually composed and performed for Clavinova Festivals, I’ve only really just seriously considered taking composing purely digitally as its own distinct medium.

      • 21

        • 17:12 — NOTES

          Current hobby: opening MIDI files from my high school composing, swapping in new, excellent sound libraries (yes, nearly all from Spitfire 😂), and seeing how much better they sound even otherwise reworking them. Spoilers: way better.

      • 28

        • 16:56 — NOTES

          In high school and college, I used to joke that I wanted an orchestra I could just carry around in my bag and pull out to play for me at will. Virtual instrument libraries (and my budget!) have come far enough since then that… I basically have exactly that now.

    • Dec

      • 21

        • 18:54 — NOTES

          The Capture Recording command in Logic (or Cubase’s Retrospective Recording feature) is so. very. helpful. Hard to believe I haven’t been using it till now. Definitely will be taking advantage of it in Dorico, too!