(YOUTUBE)How to write sad music - series 1, episode 1

I’m delighted to share with you my very first “how to” youtube video! :grinning:

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to do this over the course of the past year. Without you I would never have even tried this!

I must say that I’ve grown so much in my confidence, but I still have a way to go. I hope this series of videos I’ll becreleasibg over the coming week will help you in your ventures, as much as you’ve helped me.

If you would care to like the video on YouTube (or dislike) and perhaps subscribe this alone would really help me continue.

Also, a big thank you to both @ComposerEverett for encouraging me a lot with this, and @Mikael for his diligence in promoting me in these past months.

I will get better at this, but this is the start of my journey. I am both excited and nervous.


Great vid! Love to see these types of explanations on how someone composes. Sounds good so far! Will be there for the next one.

BTW, I’m trying to incorporate Violin Swells in my sad music piece, but have been at a stand still for the last week because I have a lot of ideas, but I’m not sure what I want to do.


Thank you Matt!

This video was inspired by this competition and a suggestion that you had suggested the other night. Thank you for the idea, as it gave me the foundation for the series. In this style I can also include tips as I go along!


In regards to violin swells, it works great as a pad with the filter rolled off. Or you can double a violin part with it and mix it just underneath to add a LOT of movement! It’s very musical so will turn it’s hand to most things :slight_smile: I just use it as a drone in this but you can hear how I use it to create a full backdrop of tonal texture in the VS2 demo video!

I can send you the stem with just VS sounds without the rest of the orchestra if that would help you.


Haha! That’s what I mean. I kinda of have ideas to use it both ways, but the intro to the piece is mostly just piano with harp textures and I’m trying to figure how to bring the strings in later, but the piano doesn’t seem to be mixing well; can’t get the right reverbs in each of the instruments and a single bus reverb didn’t work either. Oh well. Off to bed to dream up some more ideas :thinking:


Do all of the mixing after you finish the track. As your adding verb before you know the final product :slight_smile:

Top tip, put the verb on a bus and then high pass up to 300/350hz and low pass down to 4K via an EQ. This will clean up the reverb a bit and if it’s still too much add a mall cut around 500/700hz :slight_smile: I’ll do a video on this at some point and talk about why we do this.

But definitely wait until you e finished composing before you start to mix. By all means add other efx if it’s part of the sound but verb and delay etc can wait.


Cool I’ll be watching the video later :slight_smile:

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Thank you Luca!

Nice video! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you Anna! How is your composition coming along?

Congrats, looks like a lot of hard work going into this.


Thank you Carl, yes there’s was a fair bit of work that went into getting everything working together. I didn’t bother recording the spoken bits to the camera through the external mic this time but I will next time I think. Thank you for your kind words!

Finally got to seeing it. Nice video, definitly interesting for me to see how you experienced guys work :slight_smile:

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:+1: :+1: :+1: Thanks man, that was a great tip. Although, what happened was I put a beat delay on one of the drum tracks, but I didn’t route it to the reverb bus, but for some reason Studio One did anyway so I got double the reverb and it made a mess of everything. So, I had to delete the instrument track and reload it and that took care of it! The separate EQ on the reverb though, really polished it up!

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That’s great news. I’m glad thet it helped, though super odd that you ended up with double the amount of verb haha.

When routing delay it’s a different story.

Delay can get in the way even more than reverb so I tend to put delay on a bus, use the inbuilt low pass filter to take the top end and make it sound a little more analogue, and finally put a compressor on the delay channel and then sidechain that wirh the instrument Im wanting to use the delay on. This way I get enough delay when the instrument is playing but I get a little more of the tail when it stops. This way the day is tamed when I want it to be and the compressor does all the work instead of having to automate the bus volume. :slight_smile:

Thank you Luca. The second video will be available to watch in the next day or so. Planning to finish this series by next Sunday. So I’ll be uploading a video a day (nearly).


thanks Geoffers, great to see how people compose and really looking forwards to the next update.

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Thank you for watching tim I very much appreciate your time.

If anyone who hasn’t already subscribed would like to, it really helps my channel.

It will be a “Brittish drama thriller series” sound but it is not that sad and very “British”. :slightly_smiling_face: Looking forward to see your next video! Good luck!

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Oh lovely. I really enjoy that drama sound! Excited to hear it now!

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