Welcome back everybody! As we enter into Audio Studio 2 (AUS220) I cant help feeling like WOW, there is a lot of work ahead of us! To me our quest is very similar to the adventure that our furry footed friends from the Lord of The Rings went through, we have a task, we know our destination but we need guides to help us and to show us how to get there. So like LOTR, Audio Studio 2 is more about the journey rather than the destination and to celebrate the start of our adventure I have written some LOTR sounding music and will offer an insight on how to compose in this style.
Before we leave the shire lets take a look at the inventory we will require.
- Pro Tools or similar DAW
- MIDI controller
- Orchestral sample library
In this piece I like to think of the different sections as separate parts of a machine that come together to make it work. I have broken the instruments into groups and they are;
Lets take a look at the first section, the String section.
For the grinding rhythm I have used a patch called Action Strings from K9U (Komplete 9 ultimate). If you notice at the bottom of the picture below there are red keys, these keys change rhythms.
The idea is to build up a string section that works as a separate entity, and although the pattern sounds like it has moving notes, every instrument is just playing a single note repeated. To see how this works listen to the cellos only.
Notice how every so often there are louder notes in the pattern, these are called accents and it is the accents that give the interest. If you don’t have a program that has pre recorded patches with different accents don’t worry, all you need to do is enter them in by hand, simply change the velocity of whatever note you wish to accent (the ol’ fashioned way!).
The next section I brought in was the choir and to me its the choir that gives that LOTR feel.
Once again, as with the strings the choir has key-switches, but instead of changing rhythm they change the vowel sounds.
To make any LOTR themed track sound menacing and low we use the Brass section.
Brass instruments have been around for a very long time and help to give the primal, war-like feel that is vital if a pack of Orcs are coming over the gate shouting ‘find the halflings!’.
As well as key-switches for the type of note (staccato, legato etc.) the brass patch offers keys that change the type of note but don’t latch.
The fact that the type of note only alters for the amount of time it’s held helps to give musicality and realism to the performance.
Finally we need the Drums, BFD! I have used the Damage sampler from K9U which has some great, huge cinematic-style drums. I have also used some tympani from the Kontakt factory sound-bank to give a traditional orchestral feel.
Hopefully this has helped out those of you who enjoy creating LOTR stuff and can I say it’s great to be back in Middle Earth again!