Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to hear a lot of different orchestral music written by a lot of different composers. These composers use many different tools for composing… Some write at a piano. Some write using sequencers and samples. Others sit at a desk and write with a pencil and a notepad. Others go for a walk in the woods while conceptualizing an idea.
What is interesting is how much the tools composers use can affect the musical ideas they come up with. This isn’t necessarily bad, as workflows themselves can be a source of inspiration. Working with samples, as one example, can be genuinely inspiring and lead to great musical ideas. The same is true with improvising at the piano or making a notated score.
However, I have noticed some tendencies created by each of these workflows that aren’t necessarily beneficial. In this blog, I thought I’d look specifically at one type of workflow—composing with sequencers/samples—and tendencies that are common when composing with these tools. In a future blog, I’ll look at the other common workflows and tendencies that they create. (more…)