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Bela D Media

DIVA Classical Female Soloists Official Demo # 2

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GAMEDEV please email fbelardino@beladmedia.com _______________________________________________ We are very proud to bring you our second official demo. Composer/Arranger, Rob Elliott has created an epic sized score entitled ANGELS LAMENT “Diva’s epic moment” http://www.beladmedia.com/sound-1.html From the composer: Hi all, I have been commissioned to compose DIVA Classical Female Soloists Official demo #2. I have to say, that this library has been a gas to work with. Also, from what I hear coming soon in the form of updates and Diva Extended, the Library will offer additional tools and new samples. I find it a great scoring tool to get just that ‘high end solo voice’ sound. By using the oo’s and ah’s and some verb (to give some distance and depth) they make a very nice intimate angelic pad as well – perfectly suited to support the more ‘up front’ solo voices. I built this ‘Diva choir’ with multiple tracks of the oo’s and ah’s each with different levels of reverb, giving the overall ‘choir’ some depth. This Library should be quite useful for years to come. Oh yea, as I know some will ask - in addition to Diva vowels, crescendo ah, moving vowels, and performances I also used VSL (woodwinds, harp, stings), GOS (Grand Sustains), LOP (cymbals and crest timps), PMI Steinway, and Sam Horns. I am also so amazed that the better libraries seems to ‘play so well together’ – certainly true with Diva. http://www.beladmedia.com/sound-1.html

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Man, that new one sounded awful. I know it''s just a demo and not supposed to be a serious piece of music, but the composer could have done a much better job in terms of arrangement and overall sound quality. The composition itself is a rather nice piece with a newage-film-score feel to it, but I think the direction the library should be taking is more operatic and less cinematic.

That’s just my opinion. I know lots of people out there will find this product amazing, but we’ve still yet to see the definitive voice/choral sample library that isn’t aimed towards the Danny Elfman/Hans Zimmer wannabes out there.

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...and the over whelming response else where has been very positive. If you are looking for the definitive voice library, you may want to set your sites higher than $149.99.

We are very proud of Rob Elliott's work. We argee that the vibrato can be over the top here and there but Diva Extended will ($49.99 straight tone vowels - delayed vibrato) take DIVA to another level.

Thank you for your opinon.


[edited by - Bela D Media on October 12, 2003 4:36:44 PM]

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You are misinterpreting me.

The library itself is really good, especially for such a low price. But your strategy of selling this to myself as well as others leaves something to be desired. So far both demos posted sound like something out of a gothic video game or Hollywood horror-flick. The demos themselves do not represent the true potential of the library. I''m not saying the compositions or the library are bad, I''m saying together they don''t do much for me.

My definition of the definitive library would be one as low-priced as yours that I know for sure can do the classical thing as well as the gothic/atmospheric thing. I’m no audiophile with piles of money from hundreds of scoring gigs that can afford anything, just another customer looking for a certain sound.

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"So far both demos posted sound like something out of a gothic video game or Hollywood horror-flick"

That is the intent of the library hence, the demos.


DIVA is designed for the slow, haunting and ethereal female vocal. Yes. I believe you can generate a focal point more on the classical opera style. Both soloists are from the Philadelphia Opera Company so it would only make sense.

There is another "official" demo being released soon by Doyle Donehoo. Doyle is known for his work on many video game titles.

Perhaps, the fourth and final demo could be of your suggestion. I have to admit ... you have me thinking

Best
FB


[edited by - Bela D Media on October 12, 2003 12:38:44 AM]

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Hi Sil, just a quick note...

Bear in mind that only two demos have been posted so far for the DIVA library. When writing the demo, I chose a genre in which to write which, as a composer, I felt would help showcase the potential of the library in that particular genre for others who may write in that style.

When you listen to the demos, it does not in any way reflect on the library''s stylistic limitations. Quite the contrary. If the two styles picked so far to demonstrate the product are not to your taste, then bear in mind that alone is not enough to reflect or form an informed opinion of the product.

I am sure I can speak for Rob Elliott when I say that neither he nor I, as working composers, are "Danny Elfman or Hans Zimmer wannabes". Rather, having had the product in our hands, we chose styles of music that would help showcase and at the same time be appealing to the general audience of such a product.

By all means, if you are dissatisfied, purchase the product from Bela D Media first, then compose an original piece of music further demonstrating the possibilities of the library in whatever genre''s interest you and you sensibly deem appropriate to use DIVA in.

On a final note, another thing to bear in mind is that we cannot please everybody all the time. If I had written the first official demo as an action piece, no doubt somebody would comment, and if Rob''s was a waltz, again without doubt, it would dissatisfy some potential buyer. This is not about "wannabe" composers, rather it''s about "wannabe" critics who need to purchase a library if they think it may be of some professional use, then post informed opinions. In the end, any library is a potential risk. How many libraries have you purchased on the strength of the demos alone, only to find out that is is useless to you? At least a few. But, that is an indigenous risk to any purchase.

Thank you,

Kaveh Cohen
Composer.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Bear in mind that only two demos have been posted so far for the DIVA library. When writing the demo, I chose a genre in which to write which, as a composer, I felt would help showcase the potential of the library in that particular genre for others who may write in that style.


Two more have been posted as of the time I''m typing this and I don’t like the pattern I’m seeing. That’s all. Actually, I was looking forward to hearing the second one, especially after reading "Diva’s epic moment" as its tagline. I''ve never considered this genre of music epic. It reeks of inhuman qualities and thrives on its own sensationalism. It''s been done before and it will be done time and time again, but not by me. I''m sorry if this sounds harsh, but as you''ve probably already figured out, I take music pretty seriously. As a music/clarinet/composition major, I think it''s within my rights.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
When you listen to the demos, it does not in any way reflect on the library''s stylistic limitations.


As an outsider that is hard for me to believe from just listening to the demos thus far. The demos don''t exactly cry out "versatility". I''ve heard four of them now, and they all sound like they’re from the same movie soundtrack. Two of them even started with the same motif for some reason.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Rather, having had the product in our hands, we chose styles of music that would help showcase and at the same time be appealing to the general audience of such a product.


I guess you''re right on this one. There is a rather large audience for this particular sound, be it dark, gothic, or whatever, and I''m sure many of them populate the northernsounds.com forum. But that''s a biased demographic. Yes, you will get their money, but why not get more by showing Diva can go much further? You''re the composers, you should know how to do this. Let''s pretend this is just a random inquiry asking if it can sound like Vaughan Williams'' film score to Scott of the Antarctic, or everybody''s favorite, Carmina Burana. I’m talking along the lines of Ave Maria, which is what I think this library just might be able to pull off. It’s not too far off from the sound I’m hearing already, it just needs to be a little more controlled and “human”. I uploaded a short composition of mine that would demonstrate the sound I’m looking for if you wish to hear it. The vocal sample is not the best in the world, but it still worked nicely.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
By all means, if you are dissatisfied, purchase the product from Bela D Media first, then compose an original piece of music further demonstrating the possibilities of the library in whatever genre''s interest you and you sensibly deem appropriate to use DIVA in.


I think it''s already been demonstrated that you can''t compose original music with this library. Seriously, though, I''d rather work up the nerve to ask one of the girls in the music program to sing some of my compositions than take my chances purchasing a product I may find no use for. Like I said, I''m no audiophile with an unlimited credit card.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
On a final note, another thing to bear in mind is that we cannot please everybody all the time. If I had written the first official demo as an action piece, no doubt somebody would comment, and if Rob''s was a waltz, again without doubt, it would dissatisfy some potential buyer.


Yeah, well, we''re up to four now, going on five, and still no waltz. Actually, a funny thing; the Donnie Darko soundtrack contains a waltz that uses those same type vocals in a waltz-like structure. I think that just goes to show that maybe you don''t have to risk dissatisfying some customers to appease others.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
This is not about "wannabe" composers, rather it''s about "wannabe" critics who need to purchase a library if they think it may be of some professional use, then post informed opinions.


Ah, but I''m not criticizing the library. I can''t, because I don''t own it. I have downloaded the demos, though. Am I not allowed to criticize those?

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
In the end, any library is a potential risk. How many libraries have you purchased on the strength of the demos alone, only to find out that is is useless to you? At least a few. But, that is an indigenous risk to any purchase.


That''s right. The key to reducing risk to purchasing any product, then, would be to gather more information about it. Who better to ask for more information than the creators and veteran users?

I''m not an impulsive buyer so I hope every salesperson I meet can forgive me for my questions, opinions, and biases I bring to the table. I’m also not trying to draw out a huge debate. I find this sort of thing interesting to talk about. Perhaps one day I’ll even try making a sample library myself. That day will have to wait though.

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quote:
Original post by Sil

"I''m sorry if this sounds harsh, but as you''ve probably already figured out, I take music pretty seriously. As a music/clarinet/composition major, I think it''s within my rights."

This is not at all about taking music seriously. Although you deny it, your comments are indeed attacks on the demos themselves. Are you implying that Rob or I don''t take music seriously? You are currently a student. I am no longer a student. I am a working composer, making a living from scoring to picture. I have three pages of credits ranging from Dreamworks to Universal to Discovery to the U.S. Air Force. Believe me when I tell you I take music very seriously, perhaps considerably more so than a student since my very livelihood depends on it.

"As an outsider that is hard for me to believe from just listening to the demos thus far. The demos don''t exactly cry out "versatility". I''ve heard four of them now, and they all sound like they’re from the same movie soundtrack. Two of them even started with the same motif for some reason."

This is impossible to assertain if you don''t own the product. If you cannot afford it or don''t wish to buy it, don''t post negative critiques based on a demo in a style of music you''ve made painfully evident you either don''t appreciate or understand. We all love classical music and have been trained in it...that does not mean that it has a home everywhere or is to be a basis for showcase demos for products like DIVA aimed at film and TV composers. If the demos sounds like a familiar movie soundtrack to you, then both our demos and the product have done their job. Think demographic.

"...but why not get more by showing Diva can go much further? You''re the composers, you should know how to do this. Let''s pretend this is just a random inquiry asking if it can sound like Vaughan Williams'' film score to Scott of the Antarctic, or everybody''s favorite, Carmina Burana. I’m talking along the lines of Ave Maria, which is what I think this library just might be able to pull off. It’s not too far off from the sound I’m hearing already, it just needs to be a little more controlled and “human”."

To reiterate, there have been only a few demos written so far. You are right, we are the composers and we do know how to "do it" and much more. These are the styles we have chosen, and the developer and much of the user base is happy. To answer your question, in order to emulate a Vaughan Williams score, I will be happy to refer to you capable session singers who are appropriate for such un undertaking. The $500 Symphony of Voices and $500 Voices of the Apocalypse libraries would also be unable to assist you in this undertaking. If you are not well versed in electronically mocking up orchestra, realize the realistic limits of these libraries. There is no such thing as an end-all-be-all library. If anything, realize that DIVA is the first of it''s kind. We are lucky to have it at all.

"I think that just goes to show that maybe you don''t have to risk dissatisfying some customers to appease others."

Simply not possible as your own comments have made evident.

"Ah, but I''m not criticizing the library. I can''t, because I don''t own it. I have downloaded the demos, though. Am I not allowed to criticize those?"

Bela D Media is not selling demos. They are selling libraries. The demos are background support for the contents of the library. This is what is called a showcase. Critical remarks in this context are about the library. If you don''t like the music, then why post on a thread about DIVA? In any case, this is not how you opened your original post. Read it again.

"Perhaps one day I’ll even try making a sample library myself. That day will have to wait though."

You will then realize exactly the daunting task at hand, and the sheer effort that goes into realizing a product that working composers like myself deem "useful." You will also see for yourself that chances are your product will not be everything to everybody and cannot be used in every context. Earlier you spoke of a "biased demographic"...every single thing available for sale has a biased demographic. Every car to every can of soup on a shelf is not for everybody. This is why there are choices. In this discussion, so far there is no other choice other than to hire live singers. For that reason alone, DIVA is well worth it''s miniscule asking price. If you don''t like the dark tone of my work, or the quality of Rob''s, again as I mentioned before, that does not reflect on DIVA.

Incidentally, on a final note, in a one of your posts you said "my definition of the definitive library would be one as low-priced as yours that I know for sure can do the classical thing as well as the gothic/atmospheric thing..." This point goes back to the demographic. So just because none of the composers working with Bela D Media have written a classical composition that is up your alley, then does that means that DIVA can''t be used in a classical context? Or that it''s not a viable product? Do have any idea how many styles of music this library may effectively be used in? Well no, you don''t own it. But what are we supposed to do? Write 50 demos?

Now if I sound harsh it''s because you didn''t come out and praise the compositions, the potential of the library and that you hope to hear something in a classical vein because as a potential consumer that is what you''re in search of. Instead you posted abrasive and negative comments based on very little exposure to product you don''t own. As they say, "presentation is everything."

Thanks again,

Kaveh Cohen
Composer.

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“This is not at all about taking music seriously. Although you deny it, your comments are indeed attacks on the demos themselves.”

I never denied attacking the demos. I said I didn’t like them and why. If you think I’m criticizing the library or your composition skills, think again. I’m not.

“Are you implying that Rob or I don't take music seriously? You are currently a student. I am no longer a student. I am a working composer, making a living from scoring to picture. I have three pages of credits ranging from Dreamworks to Universal to Discovery to the U.S. Air Force. Believe me when I tell you I take music very seriously, perhaps considerably more so than a student since my very livelihood depends on it.”

It’s kind of hard to believe that you, or even several others including many famous film composers (think Media Ventures) as well as a good 50% of music artists out there in any genre take music seriously when all I hear is the same thing over and over. The commercialism involved in sickening. As far as I can tell, many artists are only as serious as what they are paid to do, even in the film scoring industry. If that makes you a living, then fine. That doesn’t mean I have to take it seriously.

“This is impossible to assertain if you don't own the product.”

This is stupid. I keep saying how I don’t think the demos represent the library well, and all you can say is how uninformed I am and I’d have to buy it to be sure. But I can only assume the gothic/dark, semi-classical thing is all it can do because no one has given me enough evidence to the contrary. So why should I bother buying it? I don’t want to write the kind of music that’s in the demos and I don’t think I should be forced to either.

“If you cannot afford it or don't wish to buy it, don't post negative critiques based on a demo in a style of music you've made painfully evident you either don't appreciate or understand.”

Why not? I thought we were making some progress here, as well as perhaps given you some ideas for future libraries. In my opinion, it is easier to adapt classical sounding libraries to do what you will than it is to adapt sounds aimed towards a specific final product. All I ask is for you to prove this can be a classical sounding library. Hey, all Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman had were the classical sounds to work with, so they figured out new things and created their own style. Now everyone wants to imitate them and I find that insulting to music. I don’t want to sound like them; I want to develop my own sound, therefore I need the raw materials to work with.

“We all love classical music and have been trained in it… that does not mean that it has a home everywhere or is to be a basis for showcase demos for products like DIVA aimed at film and TV composers.”

Basis, no. Consideration, yes. The classical roots of film scores cannot be ignored. If you draw inspiration from film scores solely, you will end up limiting yourself artistically. If you truly love classical music you will understand where I’m coming from with this. I’m not saying you have to be atonal/20th century/12-tone to be original, just be original. Elliot Goldenthal is original. So is Don Davis. Therefore I have a feeling those two wouldn’t be too interested in what we’ve heard from the library so far. Media Ventures, on the other hand, love money, not music.

“If the demos sounds like a familiar movie soundtrack to you, then both our demos and the product have done their job. Think demographic.”

“These are the styles we have chosen, and the developer and much of the user base is happy.”

But if all the demos sound the same, can’t I only assume once I purchase the library and crank out some music, my compositions will also sound the same? This is good for whom, the artistically declined? Is that what you think of your user base? Hmm, I must be listening to the wrong radio stations or buying the wrong film scores, because last time I checked there wasn’t exactly a huge demand for this style of music. It’s nice once in a while, specifically in the context of a few films, but I’m certainly not looking forward to hearing more of it in the future, especially if composer A ends up sounding like composer B.

“If you are not well versed in electronically mocking up orchestra, realize the realistic limits of these libraries. There is no such thing as an end-all-be-all library. If anything, realize that DIVA is the first of it's kind. We are lucky to have it at all.”

I’m not looking for perfect sound. I gave that up years ago, but that’s just common sense. I’m looking for a sound similar to the excerpt from 1:04 to 1:09 in the song2-1.mp3 demo. The lack of pitch-bending there actually made it sound better. It sounded like an actual woman singing, not a ghost or whatever.

“Simply not possible as your own comments have made evident.”

So you’re saying if your demos consisted mostly of classical repertoire, dj DaRkKnIgHt2000 and friends are going to e-mail you complaining that they can’t sound like Elfman? I don’t follow. As long as we’re talking about demographics, can you let me in on what research was done to come to the conclusion that you needed more demos that sounded the same?

“The demos are background support for the contents of the library. This is what is called a showcase. Critical remarks in this context are about the library. If you don't like the music, then why post on a thread about DIVA? In any case, this is not how you opened your original post. Read it again.”

Hey, I voiced my opinion, and just because I don’t fall in line like a good little audiophile doesn’t mean I don’t have a point. I will probably end up buying the library anyway because I need the sound like anyone else, and this is as close as I can get within my budget. I finished writing a 40-minute long symphony for full orchestra over the summer using solely instrumental parts (many of them cheap or freely available online) and I just feel like doing some stuff with voice and chorus now. And as a non-impulsive buyer, I tend to investigate a lot more closely the products before purchasing. I just don’t seem to be any good at getting the right information from you.

“You will then realize exactly the daunting task at hand, and the sheer effort that goes into realizing a product that working composers like myself deem "useful."”

Useful for maybe a score or two, perhaps. But then what? Wouldn’t you just be repeating yourself? If so, the library would be useless to me then.

“Earlier you spoke of a "biased demographic"...every single thing available for sale has a biased demographic. Every car to every can of soup on a shelf is not for everybody. This is why there are choices.”

In a perfect world, yes there are choices. For me this is a take it or leave it situation. You should be thankful you are not in the same position I am.

“In this discussion, so far there is no other choice other than to hire live singers. For that reason alone, DIVA is well worth it's miniscule asking price.”

So just like that you’re going to admit this library cannot even remotely (with some tweaking perhaps) do the classical thing I want? Again, I’m not looking for the perfect sound, just some sign I know what I’m getting.

“If you don't like the dark tone of my work, or the quality of Rob's, again as I mentioned before, that does not reflect on DIVA.”

“This point goes back to the demographic. So just because none of the composers working with Bela D Media have written a classical composition that is up your alley, then does that means that DIVA can't be used in a classical context? Or that it's not a viable product? Do have any idea how many styles of music this library may effectively be used in? Well no, you don't own it. But what are we supposed to do? Write 50 demos?”

And now we’re back to square-one. As far as I can tell from your demos, this library can’t even sing in a major key. I know it can (with some tweaking perhaps) but that’s for you guys to prove.

Also, isn’t it reasonable to assume many people want the classical sound? That is after all where all this came from!

“Now if I sound harsh it's because you didn't come out and praise the compositions, the potential of the library and that you hope to hear something in a classical vein because as a potential consumer that is what you're in search of. Instead you posted abrasive and negative comments based on very little exposure to product you don't own. As they say, "presentation is everything."”

You are reading too far into what I say:

-back when the first demo was posted here at gdnet, I praised the library thinking “hey, if this is how well this library handles the gothic/dark genre, just think how well it could do the classical thing by itself”
-I assumed the first demo was using something that came from a greater whole, not the library at its fullest
-thus when you posted the second, I thought “hey, this sounds just like the first one, but now with less coherency and like something we’ve already heard time and time again in the movies”
-by the third and fourth demos I had become quite disappointed, but I’ve been trying to be careful to show my disgust only towards how the library is being portrayed

Reread my comments with that in mind and you’ll see I’m criticizing nothing more than how the library is being portrayed. Are you showing the library at its full potential, or just enough to get the artistically declined to buy it?

Look, the reason this argument is so long and drawn out is because we don’t yet understand eachother. That’s what makes this tough. Maybe I’ve given you some incentive to try out the classical aspect and come back to me with a YES or NO answer. I somewhat doubt your argument stating that there are many more genres out there that this can be used in besides what you’ve already shown us. And who’s to say there has to be demos out there to show off that it can be used for techno/trance/or whatever else? Since when did non-classical artists need a non-classical demo to show that they can use it in non-classical music? I think you have the whole thing backwards.


[edited by - Sil on October 14, 2003 6:30:00 PM]

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I have to say that I am with Sil on this one, to a certain degree of course. Do you believe (Kaveh) that this would be considered one of your stronger pieces in regards to your compositional ability? I am aware that this will probably not be answered truthfully and I do not blame or criticize you for that. That is really the point to purchasing a library, isn''t it? To exemplify your compositional strengths and hide your most evident weaknesses.

The two demos that I have heard thus far have been at best average and would not sway me in any way to purchase the package. I am not in any way questioning your compositional ability, but it appears that "your best" may not have been portrayed, which makes me question the integrity of the library itself.

GameGenie

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quote:
Original post by GameGenie
I have to say that I am with Sil on this one, to a certain degree of course. Do you believe (Kaveh) that this would be considered one of your stronger pieces in regards to your compositional ability? I am aware that this will probably not be answered truthfully and I do not blame or criticize you for that. That is really the point to purchasing a library, isn''t it? To exemplify your compositional strengths and hide your most evident weaknesses.

The two demos that I have heard thus far have been at best average and would not sway me in any way to purchase the package. I am not in any way questioning your compositional ability, but it appears that "your best" may not have been portrayed, which makes me question the integrity of the library itself.

GameGenie



Hi GameGenie, interesting point. Speaking for myself I have never purchased a single library to "hide my most evident weakness." I purchase libraries to hide previous libraries'' evident weaknesses, not my own compositional ability. Sounds are supposed to get better. When the libraries improve, your work sounds more convincingly live. It does not improve your writing skills.

In regard to my demo and whether or not I regard it to be my strongest composition, I''m not quite sure what you''re getting at. I do not consider it one of my strongest. I consider it an effective piece, with enough textural and harmonic content to arouse some listeners'' interest and at the same time help showcase the possible usage of DIVA in this genre.

You must realize that the demo was written in 4 or 5 hours in one single afternoon. I have neither the time nor luxury to spend weeks toiling over a single piece of music. Working in the television scoring environment, you are expected to write great amounts of music very quickly. In the past three months alone, I have written hours of music for various shows. With that in mind, I am not at all sure what your point is in asking me whether I consider it my strongest composition. I was asked to write something, and I did. I consider all my work "strong."

If I consider a piece of music strong enough to make public, then it is also strong enough to support, as you put it, the integrity of a library. DIVA did not suffer from the strength, or lack thereof of the demo.

It is truly amazing to witness the difficulty inherent in choosing a $150 library, which is the only one of it''s kind. To reiterate, purchases in the realm of sound libraries are inevitably risky, despite the demos. I can write a list of libraries that I''ve purchased based on demos that transpired as useless, and many more that weren''t. The only thing to bear in mind is that a developer can only do so much to make apparant the possibilities provided by their product. Unless you have hands-on access, these purchases will ultimately remain a risk. Take the information provided and try to make as informed a decision as is possible.

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"It’s kind of hard to believe that you, or even several others including many famous film composers (think Media Ventures) as well as a good 50% of music artists out there in any genre take music seriously when all I hear is the same thing over and over. The commercialism involved in sickening. As far as I can tell, many artists are only as serious as what they are paid to do, even in the film scoring industry. If that makes you a living, then fine. That doesn’t mean I have to take it seriously."

You''re really pushing it. I cannot believe your words. You can''t believe I take music seriously because you keep hearing the same thing over and over? How much of my output have you heard? Are you a music critic who tracks my work that I don''t know about? Commercialism is sickening? Wake up student boy, this is more than just writing 40 minute symphonies in the bedroom, this is business. If you are fortunate to ever get a gig writing, then you will be writing what the directors and producers want you to write, not what you necessarily like to write. Wake up. No matter how good you think you are, when it comes down to it, you will be asked to write all sorts of music, including the commercial music and rip-offs that make you sick. That is the nature of the work and by definition what it is to be a working composer in Hollywood. If you think you can hold out until something cute and classical comes along that you''d enjoy scoring, then you will probably never work.

If you want to be a concert composer that is a completely different discussion. Working in Hollywood? This is it. And enough with the Media Ventures comments. The composers there are more than talented and versatile. Your comments just show your ignorance toward their output and how they set trends for over a decade. There are award winning guys in that team with classical backgrounds. Have some respect.

"If you draw inspiration from film scores solely, you will end up limiting yourself artistically."

Completely untrue and ridiculous statement. Film music includes works by "classical" composers (Prokofiev, Copland etc.) and dates back over 80 years. There is a wealth of music, much of it unavailable on CD for you to become acquainted with, that includes some of the most beautiful music ever written. You can spend your lifetime learning from film scores alone. Remember, there is more to scoring than the current crop of composers that you''ve repeatedly mentioned in your posts.

"If you truly love classical music you will understand where I’m coming from with this. I’m not saying you have to be atonal/20th century/12-tone to be original, just be original. Elliot Goldenthal is original. So is Don Davis. Therefore I have a feeling those two wouldn’t be too interested in what we’ve heard from the library so far. Media Ventures, on the other hand, love money, not music."

Absolute crap. Media Ventures is not interested in music, just money? So you''ve heard all their output have you? Elliott Goldenthal and Don Davis wouldn''t like it, why? Because you don''t think they should based on your own opinion of their work and abilities? All of the aforementioned composers have had both strong output and very weak output. How a composer''s work is affected depends on a myriad factors that you are not aware of since you do not work in that environment. I own scores from both Goldenthal and Davis that despite my great respect for the composers, I consider very weak in comparison to their other efforts. Scores that are unoriginal, ineffective to picture and weak imitations of other composers. Particularly in Don Davis'' case. What does this mean? Nothing. Who know what pressures affected the outcome of the score. I have an open mind and will move on to the next score. Your Media Venture comments show a lack of a necessary open mind. You simply believe that because Goldenthal and Davis have academic backgrounds, then they are viable and original composers. What''s interesting is that so do several of the Media Ventures composers, but they receive no consideration from you. Not that it matters. And now, with absolutely zero knowledge of me or my work, you have the incredible audacity to include me in your ignorant comments.

"But if all the demos sound the same, can’t I only assume once I purchase the library and crank out some music, my compositions will also sound the same?"

No, you can''t assume that unless you feel that your compositional skills are so restricted that the library will further restrict you.

"..I tend to investigate a lot more closely the products before purchasing. I just don’t seem to be any good at getting the right information from you.

It took me two months to investigate my fridge purchase for my new home. The difference is I didn''t call the manufacturer up and give them derogatory and abrasive comments simply because I didn''t like the design of the fridge or because they don''t make something that fits my needs.

"Useful for maybe a score or two, perhaps. But then what? Wouldn’t you just be repeating yourself? If so, the library would be useless to me then."

I purchased the Voices of the Apocalypse which is $500 and used it once. Don''t expect to be able to use these libraries on everything. This goes back to my saying that there is no such thing as an end-all-be-all library. If you can purchase a product, put it to use even once and make your money back, then it was a sensible purchase. If it''s useless afterward, discard it. Owning the DIVA product, I don''t beleive this is to be the case. Why you think this is the case based on the demos, I don''t know. Do you actually think the entire contents of the library have been used in the demos?

"In a perfect world, yes there are choices. For me this is a take it or leave it situation. You should be thankful you are not in the same position I am."

Doesn''t give you the right to come out guns blazing just because the demos didn''t cater to your taste.


"-thus when you posted the second, I thought “hey, this sounds just like the first one, but now with less coherency and like something we’ve already heard time and time again in the movies”
-by the third and fourth demos I had become quite disappointed, but I’ve been trying to be careful to show my disgust only towards how the library is being portrayed"

I didn''t post the second. I wrote only the first official demo. "Disgust" is a particularly inappropriate word to employ when discussing this product and our work. If you are so disgusted with it, as I am with you, then please refrain from writing further. Evidently, public decorum is not your forte.

"Reread my comments with that in mind and you’ll see I’m criticizing nothing more than how the library is being portrayed. Are you showing the library at its full potential, or just enough to get the artistically declined to buy it?"

There you go again. How dare you. So my demo caters only to the artistically declined? Who do you think you are?

Rest assured, if the demo has been effective in selling the product to as many capable and talented real composers in the field, then it''s good enough for any bedroom student composer. I''m not sure where your Napoleon complex comes from, but it''s important that you have a great deal more respect. No one is beneath you. If anything, you''ve made it clear that you have a lot to learn.

"Maybe I’ve given you some incentive to try out the classical aspect and come back to me with a YES or NO answer. I somewhat doubt your argument stating that there are many more genres out there that this can be used in besides what you’ve already shown us."

You''ve got to be kidding. Incentive? Your presentation of your comments is nothing short of insulting. You leave a lot to be desired and have displayed much arrogance, especially in this last post of yours. What potentially could have been a civil conversation about an exciting and affordable new product, turns into a barrage of insults from someone who thinks that every product needs to cater to his needs, and when it doesn''t, or when he doesn''t have the foresight to see the potential, then that gives him carte blanche to rip everyone a new one.

Do yourself a favor. There is only one YES or NO issue here, and it''s yours. Just buy it, or don''t buy it. It''s great, it''s versatile, it''s affordable and a slew of other composers other than me who didn''t write demos think so. That''s it. It doesn''t require any more abrasive outbursts and attacks on me or other composers you think you have the right to demean. Funny thing, as a film score collector, I happen to love Goldenthal and Davis, not to mention Zimmer and Elfman...

Kaveh Cohen

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“You''re really pushing it. I cannot believe your words. You can''t believe I take music seriously because you keep hearing the same thing over and over? How much of my output have you heard? Are you a music critic who tracks my work that I don''t know about?”

What do you expect? You’re going to great lengths defending a lot of things I don’t take seriously. Let’s leave it at this: I’ve just heard a lot of music that I thought was unoriginal drivel that poorly represented the library; you’re not going to change my opinion on that.

“If you are fortunate to ever get a gig writing, then you will be writing what the directors and producers want you to write, not what you necessarily like to write. Wake up. No matter how good you think you are, when it comes down to it, you will be asked to write all sorts of music, including the commercial music and rip-offs that make you sick. That is the nature of the work and by definition what it is to be a working composer in Hollywood. If you think you can hold out until something cute and classical comes along that you''d enjoy scoring, then you will probably never work.”

“If you want to be a concert composer that is a completely different discussion. Working in Hollywood? This is it.”

Yeah, sure, “cute and classical”. That really describes a lot of Elliot Goldenthal’s music. Face it, saying you have to compose crap for a living is an excuse for being too insecure with your composing abilities. Will I have to compose crap because money demands it? Probably. Do I have to like it? Hell no.

“And enough with the Media Ventures comments. The composers there are more than talented and versatile. Your comments just show your ignorance toward their output and how they set trends for over a decade. There are award winning guys in that team with classical backgrounds. Have some respect.”

Ha! Go listen to some Prokofiev, Wolfgang Korngold, Leonard Rosenman, Maurice Jarre, John Williams, James Horner, etc. and then we’ll see who is ignorant. Media Ventures aren’t doing anything anyone else can’t do. The only reason they exist is because Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay won’t stop making crappy movies. Oh sorry! I forgot. You were looking forward to Bad Boys III and Pirates of the Caribbean II. I have no respect for their wasted talent. Hans Zimmer is okay in my book, but he really bred some hacks in his day.

“Remember, there is more to scoring than the current crop of composers that you''ve repeatedly mentioned in your posts.”

I completely agree. I should have been clearer in my description. You can’t learn much from Film Music of the last decade or so, you know, ever since Elfman became a cliché and Media Ventures a laughing stock. But the demos certainly don’t sound like Prokofiev or Vaughan Williams inspires them.

“I own scores from both Goldenthal and Davis that despite my great respect for the composers, I consider very weak in comparison to their other efforts. Scores that are unoriginal, ineffective to picture and weak imitations of other composers. Particularly in Don Davis'' case.”

Compared to Media Ventures, they are like Bach and Beethoven.

“Your Media Venture comments show a lack of a necessary open mind. You simply believe that because Goldenthal and Davis have academic backgrounds, then they are viable and original composers. What''s interesting is that so do several of the Media Ventures composers, but they receive no consideration from you. Not that it matters.”

I never said they are original because they had academic backgrounds. James Horner has academic backgrounds and he’s been reduced to recycling his own music (as well as Prokofiev’s) for a long time now. But it’s still lightyears beyond the things Media Ventures puts out because Horner at least takes film scoring seriously. That’s just the way it is. Let the fans speak for themselves because I know many who agree with me. I knew ripping on Media Ventures would get you worked up because I’ve spoken to others like you in the past, many whose music I find lacking in many ways, and they’re usually big Harry Gregson-Williams or Klaus Badelt fans. It doesn’t really matter who exactly because they all sound the same. They even contribute music to eachother’s scores. I think even you have enough sense to see why that is wrong. If not, then why are we even discussing this?

“And now, with absolutely zero knowledge of me or my work, you have the incredible audacity to include me in your ignorant comments.”

I’m sorry if you take it that way, but first let me say I’m in no way saying you’re a bad composer. I’m just giving you a few things to think about. I’m questioning the norm, hoping maybe in 20 years all films are not being scored by the directors themselves who found some software online and thought “hey, now I can sound like Elfman too!”

“No, you can''t assume that unless you feel that your compositional skills are so restricted that the library will further restrict you.”

Oh, so now it’s my compositional skills that are in question, not the libraries themselves? Is that why they’re releasing a new $5000 orchestral volume every two years? I already feel restricted from the impression the demos gave me. I feel that despite my best efforts, I won’t be able to do anything beyond random voices singing in a minor key, but that’s because I haven’t a very good idea what this library is all about yet. The commercial failed, so I’m currently at a loss.

“It took me two months to investigate my fridge purchase for my new home. The difference is I didn''t call the manufacturer up and give them derogatory and abrasive comments simply because I didn''t like the design of the fridge or because they don''t make something that fits my needs.”

How about the manufacturer calling you up saying they didn’t like what you said about their advertisement on TV? You said the commercial was weak and didn’t represent the product well and they blew a gasket telling you they’ve been in the business for 50 years and know a good buy when they see one and that your opinions are wrong. Is this the same thing or not?

“I purchased the Voices of the Apocalypse which is $500 and used it once.”

I’d never buy a sample library again if that happened to me. I’d rather make my own or hire a real orchestra, or both.

“Do you actually think the entire contents of the library have been used in the demos?”

Yes.

“Doesn''t give you the right to come out guns blazing just because the demos didn''t cater to your taste.”

Who exactly are you catering to? dj DaRkKnIgHt2000 and friends? Even if you had the most famous composers out there buying the library, I’ve yet to be convinced they won’t end up composing a lot of music that sounds similar.

“I didn''t post the second. I wrote only the first official demo. "Disgust" is a particularly inappropriate word to employ when discussing this product and our work. If you are so disgusted with it, as I am with you, then please refrain from writing further.”

You are not making any sense.

“Evidently, public decorum is not your forte.”

Well, obviously. I’m coming off as a very negative person so I guess I should be censored or something. You know, because you guys in the “business” can do no wrong.

“There you go again. How dare you. So my demo caters only to the artistically declined? Who do you think you are?”

I’m someone who takes music seriously. Can you honestly say you are the more open-minded than I am just because you like Media Ventures and think what they’re doing is artistically relevant in the larger musical soundscape of the world? Your demos say “buy this and compose like this!” Not “buy this and compose other things too!” That to me sounds like you are doing most of the work for your user base. Does that make you happy, knowing that a good 50% or more of the people who buy your product will sound just like you did? Because that’s how it’s turning out so far!

“Rest assured, if the demo has been effective in selling the product to as many capable and talented real composers in the field, then it''s good enough for any bedroom student composer.”

Who says they’re talented and capable? The guys who hired them to sound like Elfman? I’d like to hear what they’re able to do with this, then I’ll retract anything I said about the library itself being very limiting, which I never intended to imply in the first place.

“I''m not sure where your Napoleon complex comes from, but it''s important that you have a great deal more respect. No one is beneath you. If anything, you''ve made it clear that you have a lot to learn.”

Wow, you’re really taking this personally. All of a sudden I’m a bedroom composer who knows not as much as Mr. “spends $500 on one-time libraries” and who needs more respect for the great composers such as Media Ventures and Eminem. To me there is a fine line as to what is good music and bad music, but that is my opinion. You don’t have to like it, nor am I forcing you to. If you still think I’m close-minded, then maybe I’m taking that “world music” course for nothing. You know, it goes far beyond adding random Shakuhachi lines to the next Pearl Harbor score, just like how film music goes far beyond the “ghostly gothic vocals” sound. I’m not saying this is all the library can do, it’s just that’s all you seem to be saying it does.

“Your presentation of your comments is nothing short of insulting. You leave a lot to be desired and have displayed much arrogance, especially in this last post of yours. What potentially could have been a civil conversation about an exciting and affordable new product, turns into a barrage of insults from someone who thinks that every product needs to cater to his needs, and when it doesn''t, or when he doesn''t have the foresight to see the potential, then that gives him carte blanche to rip everyone a new one.”

Yeah, well, that’s the way things go. I didn’t find your original comments so nice and plushy either. If I don’t like what I hear from demos of any kind, I’m going to voice my opinion. If anyone questions my opinion for any reason, I’m going to defend myself. I think you’re mad because I’m not like you, or at least that’s the impression I get from someone who calls my opinions wrong or mal-informed. If they’re mal-informed, it’s because you caused them to be that way.

Foresight to see the potential? I think the word you’re looking for is “gullibility”.

“It''s great, it''s versatile, it''s affordable”

…says the commercial.

“and a slew of other composers other than me who didn''t write demos think so.”

…says the celebrity endorsement.

“That''s it. It doesn''t require any more abrasive outbursts and attacks on me or other composers you think you have the right to demean.”

Save those arguments for score review sites. I mean, those guys aren’t even composers! How dare they give Pirates of the Caribbean one star! It was a masterpiece in the vein of Alexander Nevsky and Ben-Hur! They should not be allowed to voice their opinion because they haven’t had three pages of credits yet!

“Funny thing, as a film score collector, I happen to love Goldenthal and Davis, not to mention Zimmer and Elfman...”

Funny thing, I’m mostly using Zimmer and Elfman as examples. I own scores by all of them as well, even ones I hate such as Gladiator and The Hulk, but many I love such as The Lion King and Batman. However, I know these guys make film scoring look simple, and then what you get is a whole barrage of simple film music that isn’t any good from composers who want to sound just like their idols! I don’t want to sound like anyone, not even Vaughan Williams or Prokofiev. I want my own style, and you guys certainly aren’t helping.

So do we see eye to eye yet or do we go another round?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Okay, round 10...

"Yeah, sure, “cute and classical”. That really describes a lot of Elliot Goldenthal’s music. Face it, saying you have to compose crap for a living is an excuse for being too insecure with your composing abilities. Will I have to compose crap because money demands it? Probably. Do I have to like it? Hell no."

True. I have had to write for many different projects that I''ve not enjoyed working on. And my cute and classical reference was not to Elliot Goldenthal. He''s not cute, nor all the time classical. I don''t write "crap" and never have. There is no insecurity here to make excuses for. I am perfectly at ease with my skills and people''s responses to them.

"Ha! Go listen to some Prokofiev, Wolfgang Korngold, Leonard Rosenman, Maurice Jarre, John Williams, James Horner, etc. and then we’ll see who is ignorant. Media Ventures aren’t doing anything anyone else can’t do. The only reason they exist is because Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay won’t stop making crappy movies. Oh sorry! I forgot. You were looking forward to Bad Boys III and Pirates of the Caribbean II. I have no respect for their wasted talent. Hans Zimmer is okay in my book, but he really bred some hacks in his day."

Actually, I''ve not seen either Bad Boys II or Pirates to look forward to their inevitable sequels. I did hear Klaus Badelt''s score to the Pirates movie, and didn''t like it one bit. It''s too bad Alan Silvestri left that project. I own a great deal of work by Prokofiev, Korngold, Rosenman, Newman, Hermann, Waxman, Tiomkin, Bernstein, Horner and many others. In particular, I have more of John Williams'' music than some people have CD''s. As far as the Media Ventures team goes, it is true, you do need to look away from the summer blockbusters to find their quality output, but it is there.

"But the demos certainly don’t sound like Prokofiev or Vaughan Williams inspires them."

I was inspired by Howard Shore''s score to "Lord of the Rings"...

"Compared to Media Ventures, they are like Bach and Beethoven."

This is entirely based on the score. Listen to Davis'' score to Turbulence 2 or Universal Soldier 2 and you may think quite differently. This really depends on the project, and that''s my point. We need to give everybody an opportunity.

"James Horner has academic backgrounds and he’s been reduced to recycling his own music (as well as Prokofiev’s) for a long time now. But it’s still lightyears beyond the things Media Ventures puts out because Horner at least takes film scoring seriously."

Horner is a lost cause. He has not written an original score since the late 80''s. There is no better example of not taking film scoring seriously. He is riding the wave of comfort and being in demand for a formulaic approach that has worked for him. There is no innovation and nothing fresh. Lightyears beyond Media Ventures? In some cases, yes. In others, not at all.

"Let the fans speak for themselves because I know many who agree with me. I knew ripping on Media Ventures would get you worked up because I’ve spoken to others like you in the past, many whose music I find lacking in many ways, and they’re usually big Harry Gregson-Williams or Klaus Badelt fans. It doesn’t really matter who exactly because they all sound the same. They even contribute music to eachother’s scores. I think even you have enough sense to see why that is wrong. If not, then why are we even discussing this?"

Again, I''m not sure what you mean by "speaking to others like me" since I am not a part of Media Ventures, nor is it true that I don''t listen to or appreciate many other composers. I am not worked up because I feel akin to Media Ventures or their "sound", rather because if there is anything to consider "wrong" it is to categorically dismiss any particular composer''s output. It is important as a critical listener and student of film music to find a place for everything and give a composer his or her respective credit on a score to score basis. As far as contributing to each other''s scores is concerned, that is a time limitation issue my friend, and many times short of passing on the job, there is no way around it. I have been in that situation a number of times myself. Don''t use that as material to judge a score by. Remember, even Bernard Hermann and Alfred Newman collaborated on the score for "The Egyptian."

"I’m sorry if you take it that way, but first let me say I’m in no way saying you’re a bad composer. I’m just giving you a few things to think about. I’m questioning the norm, hoping maybe in 20 years all films are not being scored by the directors themselves who found some software online and thought “hey, now I can sound like Elfman too!”

Thank you and my hopes are with you on this one. Enough John Carpenter scores already...

"Oh, so now it’s my compositional skills that are in question, not the libraries themselves? Is that why they’re releasing a new $5000 orchestral volume every two years? I already feel restricted from the impression the demos gave me. I feel that despite my best efforts, I won’t be able to do anything beyond random voices singing in a minor key, but that’s because I haven’t a very good idea what this library is all about yet. The commercial failed, so I’m currently at a loss."

No, your compositional skills are not in question. I was merely trying to point out that the library shouldn''t impose any extra limitations on your writing. You will be able to write using more than random voices and outside of a minor key. Since the Vienna Symphonic and Quantum Leap Symphonic libraries, there hasn''t been an expensive orchestral set since Miroslav Vitous in the mid 90''s...

"How about the manufacturer calling you up saying they didn’t like what you said about their advertisement on TV? You said the commercial was weak and didn’t represent the product well and they blew a gasket telling you they’ve been in the business for 50 years and know a good buy when they see one and that your opinions are wrong. Is this the same thing or not?"

Not. It''s the way you said the commercial was weak and didn''t represent the product well, not the fact that you said it. I wouldn''t dream of denying an opinion since it is not my place. I will however defend myself from what appeared in plain English as an attack. If that was not your intention, I do understand. Please realize that your words implied this and they were interpreted in that manner. If it hadn''t rubbed, neither I nor anyone else would have responded aggresively.

"I’d never buy a sample library again if that happened to me. I’d rather make my own or hire a real orchestra, or both."

It''s going to happen. When you need something and it''s the only choice and you need to work fast, it will happen. I may not have used it since, but it paid for itself and that''s really what making these purchases is all about. Effective use in one''s work. There is no doubt it will be useful again. I personally don''t expect my libraries to be useful on a daily basis. $500 will not hire you an orchestra, let alone the hall to put them in, or will it allow you to create your own library.

“Do you actually think the entire contents of the library have been used in the demos?”

Yes.

They weren''t, I assure you.

Who exactly are you catering to? dj DaRkKnIgHt2000 and friends? Even if you had the most famous composers out there buying the library, I’ve yet to be convinced they won’t end up composing a lot of music that sounds similar.

Actually I don''t know who DJ Darkknight is, and you''ve mentioned him a number of times. Up until our first exchange on this site, I had never visited nor posted on this site. I was referred to it by e-mail by Frank Belardino of Bela D Media. I''m really not catering to anyone, rather just helping the developer.

"I’m coming off as a very negative person so I guess I should be censored or something. You know, because you guys in the “business” can do no wrong."

Sure we can do wrong. No need for sarcasm. I felt attacked and felt like defending myself. I know you can apprecaite that.

"I’m someone who takes music seriously. Can you honestly say you are the more open-minded than I am just because you like Media Ventures and think what they’re doing is artistically relevant in the larger musical soundscape of the world? Your demos say “buy this and compose like this!” Not “buy this and compose other things too!” That to me sounds like you are doing most of the work for your user base. Does that make you happy, knowing that a good 50% or more of the people who buy your product will sound just like you did? Because that’s how it’s turning out so far!"

Sil, if I had written a Paganini aria with the library, considering your points, would it be fair to say that people would have to assume that they could only compose like that and not in a dark vein? I happenned to have written a dark piece of music first and now you''re asking whether or not it can be used for other styles. I tell you yes it can, but regardless, you don''t beleive me based on the demos. My bright and classical demo would say "buy this and compose like this" and then composers would question it''s versatility and effectiveness in writing darker compositions. Either way, we would be in the same situation.

I think all of us who have a chance to have our music heard are in some way musically relevant to the larger soundscape of the world. Our work impacts on people, affecting them and inspires other composers and artists. This goes for Media Ventures too otherwise their "sound" would not be in such high demand, nor their music emulated so often and by so many up-and-comers. You don''t have to like them, and to be frank, despite my own conversation, I don''t care for some of their output. But I won''t dismiss the output when it is good. Also, based on the type of projects that they are hired for, I will not waste my time drawing comparisons between say, Harry-Gregson Williams or John Williams when there clearly is no comparison. John Williams is indeed singularly the most talented composer alive, but does that mean that we shouldn''t give Harry a listen from time to time? Surely not. When we are hired for gigs, is there a possibility that we may have to emulate another composer''s score simply because that composer was too expensive or not available? Sure, there is. But I won''t consider it an insult to my own style and talent, nor an insult to music at large. The industry has changed dramatically over the last fifty years from the time Korngold and Hermann were staff composers at the local studio. It''s best to accept and adapt to the current situation and take these gigs in our stride until we have the opportunity to do something innovative and original for a project to really showcase our true potential. As I mentioned, even composers like Don Davis or Elliot Goldenthal have had to suffer these situations. Consider the fiasco while scoring Goldenthal''s second Batman movie...

"Wow, you’re really taking this personally. All of a sudden I’m a bedroom composer who knows not as much as Mr. “spends $500 on one-time libraries” and who needs more respect for the great composers such as Media Ventures and Eminem. To me there is a fine line as to what is good music and bad music, but that is my opinion. You don’t have to like it, nor am I forcing you to. If you still think I’m close-minded, then maybe I’m taking that “world music” course for nothing. You know, it goes far beyond adding random Shakuhachi lines to the next Pearl Harbor score, just like how film music goes far beyond the “ghostly gothic vocals” sound. I’m not saying this is all the library can do, it’s just that’s all you seem to be saying it does."

Well, if one demonstration piece can say so much, then I clearly underestimated it. You see, I wrote a "Lord of the Rings" inspired textural piece to demonstrate usage of DIVA in that context. That was my intention. It was not my intention however, to inadvertantly imply that that is all DIVA is good for. I assumed that all listeners would assertain for themselves that the demo was simply in one vein, and that if they would like to hear DIVA''s usage in other veins, that they would either have to wait for another demo to be written to demonstrate further DIVA''s capabilities, or to purchase it for themselves to find out hands-on. If I had any notion that my demo would paint such a limiting picture of a library, I would not have released it. But I don''t think it''s limiting. It''s simply one style of music, that''s all. It does not reflect on DIVA. I chose that style because I had been writing substantially different styles of music for my shows and thought I would write something different in tone and have some fun. I assure you again, the demo''s stylistic direction was not dictated by the libraries'' limitations.

"Yeah, well, that’s the way things go. I didn’t find your original comments so nice and plushy either. If I don’t like what I hear from demos of any kind, I’m going to voice my opinion. If anyone questions my opinion for any reason, I’m going to defend myself. I think you’re mad because I’m not like you, or at least that’s the impression I get from someone who calls my opinions wrong or mal-informed. If they’re mal-informed, it’s because you caused them to be that way."

I didn''t "cause" anything. The original post was yours. The original comments were yours. Not mine. I simply responded in kind. The whole reason behind this exchange between the two of us Sil, is due to my not understanding how such limitations can be decided upon having listened to a couple of pieces of music. Your opinions aren''t wrong friend, your tone was. And so was mine in response.

"Foresight to see the potential? I think the word you’re looking for is “gullibility”."

There is potential Sil. You''re not a gullible guy and neither am I, and I''m sure you will find use for DIVA as I have.

"Save those arguments for score review sites. I mean, those guys aren’t even composers! How dare they give Pirates of the Caribbean one star! It was a masterpiece in the vein of Alexander Nevsky and Ben-Hur! They should not be allowed to voice their opinion because they haven’t had three pages of credits yet!"

One star you say? I wholeheartedly agree. No need for sarcasm here...I agree with you. You can''t even mention the score to Pirates and Alexander Nevsky or Ben-Hur in the same sentence. Come to think of it, you couldn''t even mention it with Debney''s Cutthroat Island...

"Funny thing, I’m mostly using Zimmer and Elfman as examples. I own scores by all of them as well, even ones I hate such as Gladiator and The Hulk, but many I love such as The Lion King and Batman. However, I know these guys make film scoring look simple, and then what you get is a whole barrage of simple film music that isn’t any good from composers who want to sound just like their idols! I don’t want to sound like anyone, not even Vaughan Williams or Prokofiev. I want my own style, and you guys certainly aren’t helping."

Who the hell is "you guys"? I had nothing to do with making of DIVA. I simply wrote a piece of music with the finished product.

Every composer wants a signature and distinct style, something that I have strived for my whole musical career, but is not allowed to be evident all the time. I don''t think Zimmer or Elfman or the like make film scoring look simple. In fact they have both written very sophisticated scores that are worthy of a second look.

Anyway, we are surprisingly enough in agreement over many things. Nice exchange!!

Kaveh Cohen.

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Messenger, riding under flag of truce…


Gentlemen, if you would hold your fire for a moment please.
I thought it best to stay behind the front lines on this one however; I wish to send a messenger under a flag of truce and read to you some initial reports from the war department.

Publicly posted and emails in favor of Kaveh Cohen’s demo:

.62 for
. 7 against

Publicly posted and emails in favor of Rob Elliott’s demo:

.38 for
.11 against

Publicly posted and emails in favor of Daniel Moy’s demo:

.87 for
.2 against


Now why in the hell did I just share that information?

It is very simple – first, I stand behind the composers. I want it known that Kaveh, nor Rob, Doyle or Daniel have requested any form of payment for their work.
They offered their skills to help a new developer. This will shed light on the type of people they are. The above composer are all professional, not in opinion, but more so in the fact that they have taken time from a demanding scheduled of “paying” jobs to help me.

Second, it shows that you cannot please everyone.

I have invested in creating something new. I have done my very best. I understand that it is not without weakness and have announced an extended version.
DIVA is an honest product at an honest price.

If you have not been “convinced” to the “worth” of my product my answerer is…
I am sorry that you feel this product, considering the uniqueness of its content, and small price tag is not worth your investment.
DIVA cannot be all things to everyone. I will continue to move forward and I sincerely thank you for your time.

Gentlemen, you may fire when ready!

Thank you,
Bela D Media

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AP:

“Horner is a lost cause. He has not written an original score since the late 80''s. There is no better example of not taking film scoring seriously. He is riding the wave of comfort and being in demand for a formulaic approach that has worked for him. There is no innovation and nothing fresh. Lightyears beyond Media Ventures? In some cases, yes. In others, not at all.”

This is debatable as a whole other matter. Does Horner rip himself? Yes. But the degree as to what he does it is highly exaggerated. How do I know? I have almost every last score he ever wrote, including several bootlegs. Wouldn’t you say I’d hate listening to his newer scores if they were complete rip-offs? Well, I probably would if they were. But they’re not, and I’m really looking forward to The Passion (which I hear he’s on board for). I think what throws people off are the familiar motifs (that in themselves are always slightly modified) but from what I’m hearing lately, usually a good 73 of the 75 minutes available on CD is original stuff. The only real casualty was Bicentennial Man, which was mostly a compilation of many of his other scores. I can’t defend him much more than that. What he does is wrong and it is hard to believe he once composed scores such as Star Trek II, Willow, Legends of the Fall, etc.

“I am not worked up because I feel akin to Media Ventures or their "sound", rather because if there is anything to consider "wrong" it is to categorically dismiss any particular composer''s output. It is important as a critical listener and student of film music to find a place for everything and give a composer his or her respective credit on a score to score basis.”

If so, then where do you draw the line? I mean, if such as thing as “talent” exists, then there has to be those who have an abundance of it, and those who do not. In the end, it’s all a matter of opinion. And as a music student, I already have enough to worry about in terms of giving a composer respective credit outside the world of film/television.

“As far as contributing to each other''s scores is concerned, that is a time limitation issue my friend, and many times short of passing on the job, there is no way around it. I have been in that situation a number of times myself.”

That’s a whole other matter. These guys in Media Ventures are not restricted by time or funds. I have my theories on why they do what they do, but I really don’t know for sure. Silvestri leaving Pirates late in the game is no excuse for a crappy score, though, because this isn’t the first time a replacement composer had to be brought in. Why exactly are 8 people listed in the composer credits?

“Don''t use that as material to judge a score by. Remember, even Bernard Hermann and Alfred Newman collaborated on the score for "The Egyptian."”

The key word is “collaborated”. They’re not just cutting and pasting their own compositions together. They planned this one out because they both had their own styles and ideas that somehow had to merge in the end. They’re also much more talented. Much, much more.

“I was merely trying to point out that the library shouldn''t impose any extra limitations on your writing. You will be able to write using more than random voices and outside of a minor key.”

Let’s hope so. Minor keys and random voices might be nice once in a while, but in the end something more versatile-sounding should make more people happy in the end. That’s just the way I see it.

“I will however defend myself from what appeared in plain English as an attack. If that was not your intention, I do understand. Please realize that your words implied this and they were interpreted in that manner. If it hadn''t rubbed, neither I nor anyone else would have responded aggresively.”

I can see how I would come off as being hostile, that’s just because a side effect of my being serious about music is my emotions about it. I’m not saying you have to be very emotional about music to take it seriously; this is just how I am. I can guarantee you I’m the only one in the music program at my University who actually goes home and willfully listens to stuff similar to what I was playing during the day. I’m also the only one who doesn’t groan at the mention of “mandatory concert attendance” to see the local symphony play, etc. So in the end, if it sounds like an attack, it’s probably because it is to a certain extent, but not aimed directly towards you. I told you near the beginning I had my biases. But that’s human nature and I don’t really want to loose them. I don’t embrace the future of music in the same way others do.

“It''s going to happen. When you need something and it''s the only choice and you need to work fast, it will happen.”

I might as a last resort, but I’d really like to rely on my own abilities before making any rash decisions. I’d also like to make sure those decisions are never rash in the first place.

“$500 will not hire you an orchestra, let alone the hall to put them in, or will it allow you to create your own library.”

$500, $50000, it doesn’t really make a difference to me at this point in time having university expenses to pay first. If it did make a difference, though, I don’t think I’d be much different. I’ve never really understood why it is so important for new orchestral libraries to be released. It’s a known fact music using samples will never match the real deal, so in the end it all comes down to fooling the audience that the music is being played/sung by living musicians. The only answer I can think of is that they haven’t been fooled yet.

“They weren''t, I assure you.”

Then what was the point of so many demos sounding the same? In the grand scheme of things they were the exact same. What would be neat is if it could be demonstrated how original sounding you can be with the library, or at least show its versatility using some popular angle. Whether the accompaniment was a techno beat or rhythmic cello lines, the library usage was always the same. I can accept that it was an unhappy coincidence, but it was really surprising to hear.

“Actually I don''t know who DJ Darkknight is, and you''ve mentioned him a number of times.”

“DJ Darkknight” is a stupid name I made up to represent the kind of people who would like the demos and like to write music exactly like the demos. You know, because having a realistic voice singing overtop a techno beat is cool and original and works in the context of every movie, game and TV show you can think of. It also makes a great stocking stuffer for kids who play Counterstrike 24 hours a day.

“Sil, if I had written a Paganini aria with the library, considering your points, would it be fair to say that people would have to assume that they could only compose like that and not in a dark vein? I happenned to have written a dark piece of music first and now you''re asking whether or not it can be used for other styles. I tell you yes it can, but regardless, you don''t beleive me based on the demos. My bright and classical demo would say "buy this and compose like this" and then composers would question it''s versatility and effectiveness in writing darker compositions. Either way, we would be in the same situation.”

No, no one would think the library could only do operatic music if you composed operatic demos. Why? Because it’s never stopped them before. I believe the people currently being catered to would use the sounds carelessly despite it sounding ghostly or operatic. No, a demo showing its operatic capabilities would not have damaged the campaign one bit. Your user-base already knows pure orchestral music is versatile and that’s what you should be catering to. This isn’t one genre versus another; this is deciding what is a purer sound.

“This goes for Media Ventures too otherwise their "sound" would not be in such high demand”

I agree; it is high in demand. But so is reality television.

“It''s best to accept and adapt to the current situation and take these gigs in our stride until we have the opportunity to do something innovative and original for a project to really showcase our true potential.”

It shouldn’t take so long, though. Horner went from concert work, to Roger Corman films (some of which had some decent music), right to Star Trek II. I say if you haven’t been given the opportunity to show off your true talent, you’re looking in the wrong place. I do not believe everyone has to rely solely on lucky breaks.

“Well, if one demonstration piece can say so much, then I clearly underestimated it.”

You forget, there was more than one demo that led me to this belief.

“You see, I wrote a "Lord of the Rings" inspired textural piece to demonstrate usage of DIVA in that context.”

You and everybody else. Actually, a lot of music I hear online from composers has suffered from LotR syndrome. The sad thing is, Shore’s Lord of the Rings isn’t the masterpiece everyone is making it out to be.

“The whole reason behind this exchange between the two of us Sil, is due to my not understanding how such limitations can be decided upon having listened to a couple of pieces of music.”

But the impression I get from you is you would only buy it because you are looking for that specific sound, you know, to use in the case where your own original stylings are unwanted by the director/producer. But that doesn’t matter; you’d only use it once or twice anyway. This is far from my own situation.

“Who the hell is "you guys"? I had nothing to do with making of DIVA. I simply wrote a piece of music with the finished product.”

“You guys” refers to those who came up with the advertising campaign including composers, and those who gave their demos the a-ok. You guys showed me the demos, and it is those demos that are not helping me develop my own style because they sound like they don’t give me anything to work with.

“but is not allowed to be evident all the time.”

And as far as I can tell, that is the premise of why the demos sound the same.

“I don''t think Zimmer or Elfman or the like make film scoring look simple. In fact they have both written very sophisticated scores that are worthy of a second look.”

That’s not really what I meant. They use certain things over and over, clichés, if you will. I know you can spot them as well as I do, and so can anyone who wants to sound like them.

“Anyway, we are surprisingly enough in agreement over many things. Nice exchange!!”

Yep, I confess I had you somewhat mislabeled. I’m actually somewhat confused because I just don’t like those demos very much. It was half-expected, though, because there are so many composer websites out there full of demos that I feel I’ve already heard before.

Bela D Media:

“Second, it shows that you cannot please everyone.”

Yes, it shows you cannot please EVERYONE, but I think I’m on the right track of knowing how to maximize positive user response. It’s simple logic: the less the demos are alike, the less probability your music will be also. Thus you have to decide: is your user-base made up of those who want to sound like eachother, or not?

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Sil,

I''m about to buy DIVA (payday''s tomorrow!) and I''ll compose something in a more reflective and less dark vein to showcase the library in a different light. Then you can rip my demo to shreds. =)

For future reference, if you are here to compose art music, then what the hell are you doing in a commercial field (alluding to Kaveh''s comments?)

Just my thoughts.

Be aware of how much work it takes to create a decent sample set, and show some respect.

(shrugs)

_______
scott b. morton
composer
www.scottbmorton.com

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sonicthreadz:

"For future reference, if you are here to compose art music, then what the hell are you doing in a commercial field (alluding to Kaveh''s comments?)"

Why does commercial music have to be different from art music?

"Be aware of how much work it takes to create a decent sample set, and show some respect."

Show some respect? In what way? By blindly praising every library that comes out? Actually, I do respect the library in its own right. I never meant to imply I didn''t. The issue at hand here is how I percieve the library through the demonstrations.

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Win some awards, post some critical acclaims you''ve gotten . . . for that matter, prove you have any extensive professional experience (or true artistic ability) at all . . .

and maybe then your comments will have some legitimacy.

(blindly praises DIVA set)

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quote:
Original post by sonicthreadz
Win some awards, post some critical acclaims you''ve gotten . . .



Is this how these kind of discussions are settled? The guy with the most awards and the highest acclaim is always right?

What''s up with your posts? If you have anything to add to the discussion, then go ahead and add it. If you''re interested in hearing my compositions, then why not contact me personally? Then you can judge for yourself whether or not I have "true artistic ability".

Anyway, if you listened to my compositions and loved them, does that mean I''m right? If you hated them, I''m wrong? If Phillip Glass hated them, I''m right?

Suffice to say, I''m not currently looking for work in the field. I will be one day, but for now I''m going to concentrate on my studies and individual compositions. If I enter and win a composing competition, I''ll let you know.

quote:
Original post by sonicthreadz
extensive professional experience (or true artistic ability)



Sorry, but to me "extensive professional experience" does not equal "true artistic ability".

Anything else?

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Nope, no more comments. If you are a real composer, I''m sure I''ll hear of you down the road someday. If not, well then . . .

What a massive ego you''ve got. For your sake, I hope you can put it in check somewhere in the near future. If you can''t, I''m sure there''s a place for you as an old crusty serialist composing professor who can debate his way out of anything but can''t compose for ****.

That''s my last post. =D

-S

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It''d better be your last post. You''re too prejudiced about me to talk to me reasonably. You know, musician to musician?


On a sadder note, it has come to my attention James Horner is not on board for scoring The Passion. That''s just too bad, in my opinion.

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