Hello Composers, Mike here. Do you want to Compose Epic Music? =)
Are you a fan of that huge, powerful and bold sound that simply fills you with energy?
You might ask: How do you compose great sounding epic music?
How do you find the right sounds, playing styles, vibe and emotional character?
Let me share some simple guidelines and tips that can help you either get started, or improve your epic music compositions.
1. Big & Bold Sounds
Epic music is about power and authority. A good way to start your epic music template is to add sounds and instruments that are massive and powerful on their own.
Like big bold brass, massive string sections, over the top percussion, and a low-end boosted by sub-bass.
Epic music is not about intimate, dynamic and authentic sounds. It is simply about BIG Sounds that stand out with their raw power.
2. Heavy Accents
Rhythm and drive is always important for energy and action in music. But for epic music compositions you should focus less on busy and complex rhythms, and more on heavy accents.
Augment your accents by layering them with lots of instruments and sounds in your composition. For example, let’s say you have a big taiko drum to play the main accents.
Then augment those accents on the chords, the driving instruments and even the main melodic instruments. Heavy accents is a big part of epic music.
3. Hybrid Workflow
Epic music often relies on a hybrid workflow. Combining the depth and power of orchestral instruments with the clarity, sharpness and focus of synthesizers. As well as heavily processed sound design.
For example, layering orchestral drums with processed sound design hits and impacts. Adding extra low-end with synthesizers, and so on.
4. Build the Energy
Most epic music compositions build the energy throughout the track. Taking the listener on a ride that goes higher and higher and higher.
You can do this by adding more parts and layers. But you can also build energy from composition techniques like increasing the dynamics, and going in an upwards direction with your chords.
Even the classic key change that goes upwards can be used to great affect on the last big section.
5. Huge Contrasts
This is an interesting point, but very important. And that is that contrast creates a sense of power.
For example: By using a soft delicate piano part at the same time as big massive sound design percussion and bold brass.
Big and massive sounds, will appear even more powerful, when played at the same time or directly after a softer and lighter sound. Huge contrast like this is a characteristic of epic music compositions.
Epic Music in Action
I strongly recommend that you go to Spotify or your favorite music streaming service and start listening to composers that make epic music, whether it is orchestral, hybrid or mainly focused on sound design.
Here are a couple of my favorite composers that have created lots of epic music compositions:
- Two Steps from Hell
- Thomas Bergersen
- Nick Phoenix
When you listen to these composer’s music, or any other epic music composer, make sure you listen with the purpose of learning at the same time as you enjoy the music.
The main point is to become as familiar as you can with the instrumentations, arrangements, sound design, layering, mixing etc.
Good luck with your epic music! =)