Can projects created in Hookpad sound original?

Can projects created in Hookpad sound original?

I’m wondering if the projects I’m currently creating with Hookpad sound too obviously Hookpad sounds.
This question could also be for the creators of Hookpad since they will know by heart the sound and melodies of the loops they have created, but also for all Hookpad users since for them it may not be so obvious.
I just want to know if my projects sound a lot like Hookpad or are customized enough to pass as original.

And as an example, here I leave a link to my latest instrumental song created 90% with Hookpad.

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Open any song in TheoryTab and compare the actual song to the Hookpad piano version. Hookpad is a compositional tool, just like a guitar or a piano or a voice can be. How this composition is then crafted into a (recorded) song is what makes it original.

Thanks for answering.
Maybe I don’t explain it well.
I want to say that if the sound, melody and rhythm of the Hookpad instrument loops is too easily identifiable and could sound like so many other projects made with Hookpad or once the song is composed it easily passes for original, that is why I have attached my project which is not a copy of another.

you mention 90% is hookpad, what is the other 10%? i can definitely identify many of the hookpad sounds, but then again i have used it for a few years now so am pretty familiar with many of the instrument sounds.

Well, 10% I think was an estimate that also included the fact of being mixed with the Mixcraft 10 DAW.
It actually consists of 28 tracks, of which 2 are from instruments other than Hookpad, specifically the vocal track that accompanies the choirs, which is from Etera with Kontakt, and the second is some timid strings from Spitfire’s BBC Symphony.
10% of 28 are 2.8 but I am worried that all the Hookpad loops sound familiar to you, even if you have been a regular user of it, there will be many other people who will use Hookpad and will also recognize those loops. Do you think I should work more with the loops converted to Midi? although it will make the matter more difficult for me…what is your opinion?

for myself - i export the MIDI and then load that into my DAW, and set instruments there. i export the WAV and the WAV stems as reference and generally do not use the hookpad sounds directly. as i find some changes in the arrangement, i’ll often update the hookpad project, re-export, and reload change instrument MIDI. i use the score and lead sheet exports to create any other virtual instruments like EZKeys and EZBass, or specific strumming and finger picking in my Ample or AAS GS-Strum instruments. sometimes the Session instruments in Kontakt work nicely as well. those get exported as MIDI into the project even if they’re powering those instruments.

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I understand then that in my project it is too evident that they are Hookpad samples.
Thank you for your opinion.
All the best.

Thanks for helping us out, can you upload a videotutorial of exactly how you do all these; it is better to see actual than explaining it in hre. I hope this request in not unbecoming of me.

overall process from record to master. the inputs into the record come from Hookpad, and a number of other MIDI and audio sources. the MIDI inputs are rendered by a number of virtual instruments. some arrangement is done using clip and track mutes, and automation.

and my general mix template. important to note the monitoring and output systems are calibrated to 75db C-weighted using -12db pink noise.

Hey there. I read your question and I have been thinking about a response for you. It seems like you’re after feedback as well as answers for a complicated question that I also had when I began using hookpad years ago, so I’ll do my best. I have listened to your song - nice work. I can definitely identify the hookpad instruments as well as some of the rhythm settings on the instruments. There are a few things you can do to differentiate, if this is a concern for you.

First - Hookpad doing 90% of the work seems too much and possibly why you might not be getting the results you want, same as how you wouldn’t expect 90% of the process of drafting a house design to be possible in something like Floorplanner - at some point you have to involve an architect, a builder etc, so you can make sure it doesn’t fall down on your head. That architect/builder is you! Maybe 10% of the work is done in hookpad for me. It’s a fast way to get ideas out of your head and to fill in the gaps, so your concepts can develop, but not a complete solution.

Hookpad draws from much collective theory and convention, especially regarding chord progressions, as drawn from popular music. Many of the suggested progressions can be found in common songs - they are successful, and they sound good, so people use them. They don’t belong to anyone - the difference is how the progression exists in relation to other parts of the piece (is there a key change? dynamics? changes in rhythm?), and how it is recorded, played/performed, mixed, and if lyrics are added. So no, I don’t think chords or chord progressions are identifiable. You can pick up a “beginners songwriting” book and it will tell you much the same thing. Turn on a pop radio station and you’ll hear it too. They are popular because they can be really compelling. (I believe that’s what the “hook” in hookpad refers to.)

Also - you don’t have to necessarily loop your progressions, or restrict yourself to a four measure progression. You can vary the progression in each phrase as well. This adds interest.

The arpeggio that is introduced in the first section of your track, for example, is an established technique - when doing this on an instrument, you’re playing a chord, but one note at a time. But, to address the sound on the recording, it’s a low quality midi instrument playing it - there isn’t any realism. This can be an effect in itself (such as when people create music using old game console soundfonts - NES chiptune, or Wii sounds - for a particular effect), or it can sound like you used a low quality digital instrument. Seeing as not many people would have sweet nostalgic feelings for hookpad, it would probably be the latter.

Hookpad instruments can sound quite generic (I wouldn’t expect realistic instruments from a compositional tool - representative is enough) - would you consider using some different VSTs for a wider and more distinctive sonic palette? I see you use Spitfire. Their other virtual instrument VSTs (available for free) are really good - give them a try.

If you’d like to explore some interesting sounding synths (for free), I can recommend Feldspar, delamancha, and Surge.

I would also like to say - making bizarre fx chains that sometimes crash your daw can make some truly heavenly sounds, and can really transform virtual instruments. So don’t be afraid to get a bit creative. (I actually cannot open the project file of my most-listened song of all time, outside the DAW’s safe mode, for this reason.)

Another point on the arpeggio and other features - if it sounds a bit “canned”, it’s because it is being sounded as-is, highly literally, and unedited. I think people can tell when something sounds “sequenced”, or overly quantised and homogenous, and can be put off by that.
Would you consider using your DAW’s “humanise” setting, if there is one? Perhaps lengthening and shortening individual notes (even within chords) to your preference? Deleting or adding notes? Moving them around?
Simulating a performer’s mistakes can be really powerful when making “computer music”. I know I make a lot of mistakes playing my instrument that people think are intentional and impressive flourishes. I am working on my urge to correct them :slight_smile:

Hearing about mixcraft really takes me back, by the way! I didn’t know it was still being developed. That was the first DAW I had ever heard of as a young teenager.

Overall I think you’ll need to look at it like you’re composing, because you are - I had the same worries as you, but don’t worry about “passing” for original. Hookpad is only a small part of the equation and one of the tools in your toolkit that will hopefully be ever-expanding, and I can say it’s helped me learn a whole lot as well. (Such as that sketching in the DAW back in the day was a truly avoidable slog.)

Good luck, and have fun.

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First, thank you very much for the time you have taken to think and write such a pleasant response.
Let me tell you that I am familiar with most, if not all, of what you recommend to differentiate the sound, rhythm and so on, of the Hookpad instruments and that it can also be applied to samples and loops. My problem is that I do not have any musical training and I am not an instrumentalist beyond 4 chords and two plucks with the classical guitar that a friend taught me in my adolescence, and when I say 4, it is 4… and not 5, and not I don’t know how to read a single note on a staff, so for me, making those changes in key, dynamics or rhythm is a huge job that doesn’t always end well and greatly determines the style of music that I can bring to fruition, Hookpad He technically puts everything in its place while I go by ear, the simple fact of changing the time signature other than four in the chords is already a huge obstacle. So, you might wonder…if it’s so difficult for me…why this obsession with creating music?..well, maybe because I like it so much when I hear something beautiful that I challenge myself to do something similar or I HE…
Due to this lack of training and technique when I “compose” in Hookpad, the sound result is what I like, if I transfer it to MIDI and change the sound and/or instruments it becomes something quite different. Therefore I want to believe that because not many people use Hookpad and because my creations do not follow a common pattern, I may not be recognizable to the majority.
I am the owner of several purchased VSTs and others not, including everything free from Spitfire, Symphobia, etc. so I could make all the changes and suggestions mentioned and I will try with a lot of work.
As for Mixcraft 10 Pro, you would be surprised how much it has changed since its first steps, it has become a true DAW with tools that almost no other has and with the same ease as always in comparison. I left Reaper, which for me is the best, because of all this.
Thank you very much for your listening, your time and help.
All the best.
Apologies for the translation.