Sunday, April 29, 2018

How I Compose Music 2 - Reader Q & A...

by Daniel L Rappaport

A very kind reader of mine decided to ask me a number of excellent questions, as it relates to music composition.

Rather then simply answer my guest via the same way that they were asked to me, I thought I might make a blog post out of them, so that many people many receive the benefit of the answers.

This is an addendum to the prior blog post: How I Compose Music.

As well, I have graduated out of GarageBand, and I am now working in Logic!

Here they are:

Can you add some more detail to this? 

Based on what you've written in the blog piece, it sounds like you're just curating loops rather than actually composing original music from scratch. If that's the case, how are you generating melodies?
So, that depends upon the scenario. What I do is when I am viewing a video, I try to think about what the tone and style of the music might be, and then just hear what I think it could be, in my head.

Often times, I may get inspired by actual loops. Often, within the library of loops, they are grouped by name. Ex: Irish Frost. Klezmer Bend. Etc... I often start off in the strings section (because they are the "meat" of the orchestra), and audition melodies. If I find one that I like, I then type in the name of that loop, and see what other instruments come up for it.

I am not just curating loops, copying and pasting anything existing, etc.., All of the music is my own original stuff. 

The way I am putting them together is entirely different then how someone else might.

Often, I won't use a set of loops verbatim either. I will cut them up and rearrange them to create the melody that I want.

I also very much try to keep an open mind. Sometimes, I will take two, three or even four different sets of melodies and put them together.

Another angle of mine is that I try to stay as worldly as possible, should the subject matter speak to that. Think Cirque du Soleil. They use instrumentation and styes from all around the world to create their extremely unique show soundtracks. This not only puts them in a class by themselves, but also lends them to a category all of their own.

How do you match the music to the atmosphere of the story you're soundtracking?
So, I hinted on that above. Again, it's all about what energy and genre the loops are giving me. If I am working with a hip fashion piece, I may not start with strings or woodwinds.

If I am working on a fantasy piece, hip hop is definitely not my go to.

Here are some examples of my work:
The iBooks described herein will be published very soon, which is why you
don't see them at our website.

Explainer Video: About the Magick! : Exclusively from Pazzaria Productions Epic Fantasy Studio

This is theme music that generally describe the worlds of Pazzaria Productions:
Pazzaria Productions Theme Music by Daniel L Rappaport


I would also, very much like to talk about artistic creativity, here, as I believe that this discussion may warrant it?

I don't have any magical or mystical creative powers. I suppose that I have certain creative "gifts" that allow me to do what it is that I do?

If there are those out there who are frustrated that they can't do something, I would advise them to work through it, jump in with two feet, and work at it.

My background is digital media. I have about 20-25 years of experience with it, and am quite proficient and many Adobe Creative Cloud programs.

Do you think that I just walked up to Photoshop one day, and started creating logos, editorial, etc..?? Heck no!

It took me a very long time (perhaps over a year) to learn that program.

After Effects is no easy walk in the park either.

The fact that Adobe CC can do so much just makes my creativity explode, in a good way.

Work at it. That's the only way that you will be able to master anything.


I hope that the above helped!

Feel free to comment below and reach out with more!

Thanks so much!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

How I Compose Music...

By Daniel L Rappaport

I have been composing music for at least ten years. It’s an incredibly thrilling and exciting experience to put together various random sounds into something that is cohesive, has a language all it’s own and makes sense.

I have been studying music for a much longer period of time. What I am suggesting here is that you don’t really need any formal musical training to create a masterwork.

The way that I compose is with loop based music editing. This is an awesome way to make music, and I have to attribute Apple, with it’s push of Soundtrack Pro (remember that?!), and it’s heavy description of creating music with loops. When I saw that, my musical creative mind exploded with ideas. For the first time, it is possible to compose music, without having to know how to write a single note on a staff.

Another big, important part is that the software snapped together the rhythms of the loops, so nothing is ever out of sync. This happens only so much, and within a certain range. You still need to zoom in to your timeline, to make sure that thing are lining up.

I would just go into the software, throw some loops around, and see what you can do. You can’t break anything, so don’t be too worried or scared. 

For musical loops, I would definitely seek out as many as you can. GarageBand comes with a lot. You can also try loopmasters. They have a really large library. When you sign up, they also give you a lot of loops, for free. I only keep mine on my hard drive, when I am using them. The total of my loops library is 50GB. So, you may want to back it up, when not in use.

I am currently composing music for our next gen, extremely innovative new form of entertainment. With this particular video, I used stock, just because I wanted to get it out fast (which is totally fine to do so, by the way).

Please go to the second part of this blog post, as there are links to my music compositions there.

Now, this tutorial would require you to at least have a basic understanding of how GarageBand and Adobe Audition work. GarageBand is essential. For the post processing, you can use any digital audio workstation (or D.A.W.) that you wish. A very popular one is Pro ToolsLogic Pro is also widely used.

For me, GarageBand came with my Mac, and Audition comes with my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Because CC includes so many different software applications, for an amazing monthly price, I see no reason in investing in anything else.

With that being said, many people use some of the other D.A.W.s in their work, and may already own a copy. I would say that if you know how to use one, picking up another isn’t that much of a learning curve. They are all extremely similar.

When I start compose a piece, I have an idea of what it is I want to do. In the case of the theme, I knew that I wanted something iconic. I kept it around two minutes, because this is my first foray, with Pazzaria Productions, into music. So, it was important to keep it easily digestible. The piece is also completely free.

Once I go in, and favorite the loops that I want to be my theme, I then start to just throw them into tracks, and play around. The piece progresses as I hear, in my head, what the loops start to inspire.

Feel free to cut up, reverse, change the melody, etc… You aren’t stuck to what the loop gives you.

After I get a sense of the direction, I then start to seek out other instrumentation that I feel might go along with what it is I have laid out.

You definitely want to think about the different parts of the orchestra, and how you can best use those sections to create what you want.

When you are composing it’s easy to get bogged down into creating the perfect stereo mix, audio effects, EQ, etc… Don’t do that, until the end. That’s what something like Audition is for. Your D.A.W.s will have far better, and more precise tools then GarageBand for that.

Do use your volume rubber bands and keyframes copiously! Also, watch your levels.

For me, I like to kind of throw tradition out the window, just a little bit. What can your bring to the table, that is new, that nobody else is doing? When possible, I like to think about combining different styles and instrumentation from around the world.

What happens when you mix something from traditional India, with contemporary House?

Only do this, if it serves whatever point you are trying to make, however.

After you have something that you like, save off an AIFF. You want it to be high quality, for your D.A.W.

When in Audition, go to town with your EQ, compression, effects, panning, etc… But, not too much! Make sure your composition takes center stage!

For my theme, I saved it off as a high quality, 320 kbps MP3. At about two minutes, this yielded a file that is about 4 MB. For my free, web download, this is more then plenty. Adjust to your individual needs.

So, that’s that! Hopefully, I have opened up your mind to how you can be a musical composer! When done with quality, integrity and love, people are completely wowed!

Have fun!

Feel free to share your work with me, and ask questions in the comments!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Our Journey Into Imagination!

by Daniel L Rappaport

"One little spark, of inspiration
Is at the heart, of all creation.
Right at the start, of everything that's new.
One little spark, lights up for you."
 - Richard and Robert Sherman
© Disney

Lately, we have been incredibly imaginative. Often, artists
are asked where they come up with their creativity.

As an artist myself, the only answer that I can give is that
I get visions in my head, and then just find a way to make
them come to life.

It's an energy from within, that has to come out. Perhaps 
you like to go to the gym, cook, write, dance, work with numbers,
do science, etc...?

I would venture to say that it the will to create something all
comes from a similar place.

Along with creativity, I have a drive for innovation as well. Pazzaria Productions
is currently creating epic fantasy iBooks and music. We have already created two
works (which I can't talk about, unless you already know. You can find one of them
by going here, and looking for it.), with one more on the way.

This will move and propel the ebook publishing industry forward by introducing a methodology that ties directly back to our mission statement.

It's a more immersive way of looking at the niche.

How do I come up with stuff like this?

I look and keep up with the landscape of works that are out there, and seek out what I feel could be improved.

I then make that happen.

Hopefully, this has helped out with your own creativity, imagination and innovation!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

An Innovative Marketing Thrust!

An Innovative Marketing Thrust

by Daniel L Rappaport

Hello all! Pazzaria Productions is back with full force! We have been absent a bit, as we were researching some best business practices. Rest assured, we aren't going anywhere anytime soon. 

Please expect regular and periodic postings to this blog, as news becomes available!

So, marketing is, in truth, a total machine. You insert social media, e-mail, news content, etc... into one end of it and (provided you have a great product to back it up with) out the other end, money should come.

Think of it as creating your own ATM that prints money.

How is Pazzaria Productions doing so, and what have we learned?

The way that we are moving forward is definitely a “no holds barred” approach. As one studies online marketing, there are often two schools of thought for social media. One is to only utilize a limited number of accounts, that are best for your niche, and focus on those.

The other is to spread yourself out amongst as many as you can handle. Pazzaria Productions is going to move forward with this approach.


Because you never know what parts of your future audience are hiding under these stones.
Google+ and Pinterest are, arguably, less popular then Facebook and Twitter, but could hold tremendous traffic value.

Social bookmarking sites, such as Reddit and Stumbleupon are also excellent traffic generators.

We can pretty much automate a lot of this with IFTT.

Another big key is that of consistency. Posting and interacting with your audience, on a regular basis (should be at least a few times a day) is how you build that audience.

Another big part of this is e-mail marketing. This is where you give away an important piece  of downloadable content, that has to do with your mission statement, products, etc... in return for an e-mail address.

You then send out pertinent e-mails, to your list, about 3-4 times a week, selling your products.

Of course, you also want to create press releases, and then post those on your website, in an archival type of format, as they are fantastic for SEO.

Distribute those accordingly.

As well, just look at this blog! Notice that ad at the top? It's there for a reason.

When an article is published, it is then pinged out to several different services, as well as
created into a post, and published out to all of my social media profiles, as mentioned above.

Do everything listed above, with consistency and passion, and you can totally make money.

Thanks so much for reading. 


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