My First Composition Demo - DAWN BREAKS

Hello everyone! I am new to the community and also new to composing. I would love some feedback and advice on how I can progress with my compositions. It sounds very MIDI at the moment and also I haven’t begun mixing yet. I just wanted to show you guys to see what you think?

This is my first composition so any help would be amazing. I have programmed all of the sounds using Spitfire Audio’s BBCSO Discover. I am yet to invest in any real programming software because I wanted to know if I was any good before I commit to it. This track took me about 45 minutes so you can imagine it is in it’s very infant states. I believe I have two main themes and sections.

Genre/Style: Heroic, Hopeful, Relief

Creative Vision for the Track: I imagined a scene, that after a long struggle throughout the night, the sun begins to rise and there is hope on the horizon. With every further ray of light and warm from the rising sun, the feeling of faith is heightened.

Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc): 132bpm, C maj (modulating to G maj), Chord Prog: C, Em, Am, G.

Main Instruments used:

Brass: Tuba, Bass Trombone, Trumpets, Horns.
Strings: Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Celli, Basses
Woodwinds: Oboe, Clarinet
Percussion: Timpani, Snares, Triangle, Tambourine, Cymbals, Glockenspiel


I am new to composing as well and I must say that you definitely achieved your stated creative vision for the track - well done

Have you thought about adding in some timpani rolls?

Keep up the great work

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Firstly, thanks for listening! It means a lot.

That’s a great suggestion, I am still very much learning about orchestration so I thought timpani was just for major hits ha! I will work in some timpani rolls in the next iteration of the composition. Do you have any suggestions where they should be? Thanks Douglas!

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You are quite welcome

IMHO, I would try one starting alongside the cymbal crash at 1:04

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Hi Jacob, I think you did a good job of making your piece sound hopeful and there were some interesting bits, like the the interplay between your brass and the clarinet. I would be very careful how you use the timpani; while you can make your samples do just about anything, if your goal is more realism though, the timpani won’t be played like toms on a drum kit.

In most orchestras, you’re typically only going to have 4 timpani at most, maybe 5 (if you’ve got the stage space!) and each drum can only be tuned to a certain range of pitches and of course while the timpanist can certainly change the pitch on any one drum, you’d need to give them a break from playing to do it.

Just some thoughts for you on your journey–learning orchestration is a hefty task, but one that is very interesting when you get all the nitty-gritty details of all the instruments, their strengths and weaknesses and the different blend of sounds you can get. I enjoyed your piece and look forward to hearing more!

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Thanks for listening Matt! I’m happy to hear that you liked it.

You’re absolutely right, the timpani do seem a lot more like toms in this composition. I have never written with timpani before and I’m very glad that you have pointed this out. Thanks ever so much for your feedback. I’m working at understanding the workings of each instrument more and more. I am currently reading a great book called ‘Principles of Orchestration’ by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, so I hope to really understand how to use orchestral instruments in much more traditional ways soon.

Do you have any music that I could listen to please? I am really trying to soak up everything and anything that I can about composition at the moment. I hope to be able to right to picture at some point but I have no experience with it yet. Would you offer any advice on this at all?

Many thanks,


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Well, I am by no means an expert at orchestration (I’ve read the R-K book as well) and I’ve been slowly studying composition and orchestration for about tens years, but if you’d like to check out my pieces, you can go to my Soundcloud page, I appreciate it :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

This is a great community here and plenty of great feedback and advise, so if you have any questions just ask! I like sharing what I know! If you’re looking for some more orchestration books, I recommend the books or Udemy courses by Johnathan Peters and of course Mr. Mikael Baggström

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The track is not available anymore, and the posting is a whole 7 days old. I’ve noticed this alot on many posts on this site: the file in question is gone soon after being posted, so the point of conversation is pretty much moot, but the posting stays up while the key file is gone. Does anyone know if there’s a good reason for this?

Mike here, founder of this forum. Either the post author withdraw the public link on the track, or it is because the embed link is broken. It could be because it does not use the standard supported platforms for embedding on this forum platform: YouTube or SoundCloud. I mention this in the directions for posting tracks, please use SoundCloud or YouTube embed links if you can.

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OK, I see… nothing we can do about it then if they don’t use youtube or sound cloud. Not a big deal I guess - if it’s not important to the poster to keep it up, I won’t fret over it.

You are still able to make a link to the track regardless of platform you use for your music, it’s just the embedding part that can become messed up if you use anything other than YouTube or SoundCloud.

@Mikael @ivyhome Hi guys,

I have since taken this link off of my Bandcamp page and I totally forgot to remove this thread. I do apologise for the confusion! Mikael is correct, most links to Bandcamp and many other streaming platforms do work on this site providing the author doesn’t break the link or remove the upload.

I will remove this post once I see that you have both seen this response,

Again my apologies :slight_smile:



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