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War March Sketch
Last post Thu, Jul 11 2019 by Veyzo, 8 replies.
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Posted on Wed, Jun 26 2019 02:44
by Veyzo
Joined on Fri, Mar 29 2019, Posts 4

Hi,

This is my first post and I just created a soundcloud account to share a first attempt at an orchestral sketch. If anyone listens to it and is kind enough to comment it would be very appreciated. I am pretty much a newbie with mixing/mastering and I'm wondering how to make the piece sound louder. I've tried to add depth with some reverb and tried to EQ a bit. Overall I think the composition itself has potential but it doesn't sound very good yet.

Well any comment is welcome!

This is using VSL SE vol 1 and 1+

Thanks!

Posted on Wed, Jun 26 2019 22:30
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 320

Hi,

when I read your self-criticism, I think: wow, this man has very high standards! 
I was amazed to hear your music and how the performance is, knowing that it is your first attempt at an orchestral sketch!!
You wanted some debth in it: I hear a beautiful debth in it!
You wanted to make it sound louder: well, I hear a majestic brass that sounds loud in a very musical way.
Concerning the strings: of course, there are libraries that sound better, but it is expressive, also the very last seconds with long notes and crescendo and decrescendo.
And last but not least, the music captivates me until the end.
Congratulations!

I'm curious about one thing: is this the SYNCHRON-ized Special Edition or the VI version?

Posted on Thu, Jun 27 2019 15:57
by Veyzo
Joined on Fri, Mar 29 2019, Posts 4

Originally Posted by: MMKA Go to Quoted Post

Hi,

when I read your self-criticism, I think: wow, this man has very high standards! 
I was amazed to hear your music and how the performance is, knowing that it is your first attempt at an orchestral sketch!!
You wanted some debth in it: I hear a beautiful debth in it!
You wanted to make it sound louder: well, I hear a majestic brass that sounds loud in a very musical way.
Concerning the strings: of course, there are libraries that sound better, but it is expressive, also the very last seconds with long notes and crescendo and decrescendo.
And last but not least, the music captivates me until the end.
Congratulations!

I'm curious about one thing: is this the SYNCHRON-ized Special Edition or the VI version?

Hi, thanks for the feedback!!

I do have high standards. I would be very curious to try different libraries, especially for the string staccatos but I do not have the bucks to upgrade anything for now and when I see what's available with VSL and other libraries I'm a bit lost...so many options! To answer your question it was the VI version.

Thanks again!

Posted on Sat, Jun 29 2019 06:38
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1501
The brass doesn't sound half bad actually. Pretty good coming from the SE collections.

Unfortunately the dat... dat... dat... dat... dat... dat... strings is kind of annoying. I'm guessing the SE libraries are limited in variations so it's hard to not get a machine gun effect but that's what I'm hearing.

So how to deal with that? Well consider purchasing VI Pro because it has neat tools like Humanize and start offset that will help get some variation with repeating notes

But in lieu of VI Pro set your tunning fader to about 20 cents then play with the fader while recording. Also. Mess with the velocity x fader and or the Expression to vary volume levels slightly.

Another trick is to vary the tempo to not more than 5 or 6 BPM fast and slow. Slightly lengthen and shorten notes.

Also, if you have a smaller string ensemble like solo strings then layer the strings with solos being about 60% less volume but vary that too.

The key to these tricks is subtlety. If it draws attention to itself then it's too obvious. You just want the listeners brain to think, 'the notes are the same but they're not quite the same and I don't know why.'

But I'm kind of wondering what the piece would sound like without the string staccato.

Overall the whole piece sounds a little dry especially the strings.

I hope some or all of this was helpful.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Tue, Jul 02 2019 23:40
by Veyzo
Joined on Fri, Mar 29 2019, Posts 4
Originally Posted by: jasensmith Go to Quoted Post
The brass doesn't sound half bad actually. Pretty good coming from the SE collections.

Unfortunately the dat... dat... dat... dat... dat... dat... strings is kind of annoying. I'm guessing the SE libraries are limited in variations so it's hard to not get a machine gun effect but that's what I'm hearing.

So how to deal with that? Well consider purchasing VI Pro because it has neat tools like Humanize and start offset that will help get some variation with repeating notes

But in lieu of VI Pro set your tunning fader to about 20 cents then play with the fader while recording. Also. Mess with the velocity x fader and or the Expression to vary volume levels slightly.

Another trick is to vary the tempo to not more than 5 or 6 BPM fast and slow. Slightly lengthen and shorten notes.

Also, if you have a smaller string ensemble like solo strings then layer the strings with solos being about 60% less volume but vary that too.

The key to these tricks is subtlety. If it draws attention to itself then it's too obvious. You just want the listeners brain to think, 'the notes are the same but they're not quite the same and I don't know why.'

But I'm kind of wondering what the piece would sound like without the string staccato.

Overall the whole piece sounds a little dry especially the strings.

I hope some or all of this was helpful.


Thanks a lot for the tricks!!

The strings are annoying yes. I did purchase VI pro not long ago but haven’t played with the settings yet. I’ll try what you suggest and see how it helps. Thanks again!

Posted on Sun, Jul 07 2019 00:51
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 214

One more suggestion, turn up the reverb tail on the stacatto strings. When the brass comes in, adjust the timing of the brass so that the higher brass stops playing shortly before the mid brass, and finally the low brass. Aim for something like 20 ms different for each section. This is realistic to how brass sections actually play (the last tones heard are the low brass).

I like this piece, have no idea how you got the percussion to sound this good :)

Not really sure why sound cloud is playing a rap track immediately following yours, somehow something called Lil Tecca - Bossanova is related to yours...

Posted on Tue, Jul 09 2019 13:45
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 401

Hi Veyzo, 

You have received some really excellent advice here in my opinion, so I will not offer any additional advice. However, I did want to offer encouragement. You have, I think, good musical instincts. The overall direction, flow, and arc of the piece are good. I hope you will continue to compose and share your work here on the forum. 

Paul McGraw

Posted on Thu, Jul 11 2019 14:05
by Veyzo
Joined on Fri, Mar 29 2019, Posts 4

Paul and littlewierdo, thank you both for the comments! No idea what's happening with soundcloud...I'll try to figure this out.

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