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My arrangement (w/ video)
Last post Thu, Oct 03 2019 by littlewierdo, 6 replies.
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Posted on Thu, Aug 22 2019 13:05
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 213

Edit - Newer version found here: Changed the font in the video, removed the last quote, and used the full audio of the jet flyover. Musically, I changed a note that the woodwinds were playing that clashed with the brass very briefly, during the second verse, tweaked the snare drum roll that starts the key change (as I recall, or it might have been just before this, anyway, the attack didnt sound right), and added the Taiko drum that Vienna included with Epic Orchestra 2.0 to some key places to really add impact to some key places. Also, the audio has lowered about 2 db as it was clipping just a tad in the original version (not noticeable unless viewing the actual waveform). The music has been normalized, the jet audio normalized, and the overall volume levels are now where they should be.

Amazing Grace

*

This is an arrangement of Amazing Grace, that Ive been working on the past few weeks (in honor of the psuedo 9/11 holiday coming up here in the states). It uses mostly Vienna special edition, but I had to go outside this library for a few sounds that Vienna doesnt have, for example, wood blocks (I had to use Cinesamples percussion for this, all other percussion is from Vienna Special Edition). I also used Cinematic Studio Strings in lieu of Special Edition 3, because I can shorten the attack time, which I was never able to figure out how to do with the SE 3 collection. Probably about 70-80% of this is Vienna Special Edition, which I think makes it worthy of posting here.

Anyway, this is work I am REALLY proud of, by far, my best work. I can hear a few things that could be better, but hey, the way I figure, only I can hear those things considering I lived with this arrangement for the past month. The general public probably wont hear anything wrong...

Linked below is the old version...

Amazing Grace

Posted on Sat, Aug 24 2019 09:25
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1498
It's an interesting arrangement and I think it sounds pretty darn good.

Something like this is so much more appropriate for the 9/11 remembrance instead of Enya's "Only Time" which was completley inappropriate and it got even worse when some DJ decided to lay a stupid dance beat on the track. Don't get me wrong, I love Enya's music but it just wasn't appropriate.

I'm sorry to go off on a negative tangent but I wish someone had done something like you did here with this beautiful arrangement for 9/11. Also those Special Edition collections are sounding better and better as time goes on.

BTW how did you get that footage? Is that some stock footage you found somewhere? They didn't let you fly a drone through Arlington National Cemetery did they?

"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 Sat, Aug 24 2019 12:29
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 213

Originally Posted by: jasensmith Go to Quoted Post
It's an interesting arrangement and I think it sounds pretty darn good.

Also those Special Edition collections are sounding better and better as time goes on.

BTW how did you get that footage? Is that some stock footage you found somewhere? They didn't let you fly a drone through Arlington National Cemetery did they?

Thanks :)

This took alot of massaging to get them to sound nearly realistic, there are a few parts that a trained ear will probably hear right away, 1 spot in the second verse, the beginning of the key change, and the grand canyonn pan / flag shot, and maybe a few other places, but I feel like I am getting a much better idea of how to do this.

As to the footage, it all came from Youtube, each scene from longer clips that I cut out to string together the video you see.

The Declaration is actually just an image, and I programmed the movie software I use to pan down the image.

There was also the dilema of watermarks, many of the clips contained watermarks, and I wanted clean video with no distracting and ugly watermarks, so I zoomed in slightly so that the watermarks were not visible in the video, for example, the slow pan of Lincoln at the beginning (which is why the top of his head is slightly cut off haha). One video, I used the same technique of zooming into the image, because the drone propeller was visible in the video (the Mount Rushmore flyby).

Finally, the video needed to line up correctly, so I time stretched some of the video clips to make it timed exactly to the music. The Lincoln video was time stretched, the Declaration was programmed, so no stretching required, and everything else was the left alone all the way until the very end, starting with the grand canyon where I had to stretch that scene and the flag scene I think I sped that up, and the jet flyby was also sped up dramatically.

As to the cemetery footage, this is not Arlington, I believe it is a cemetery in Georgia, where they built a replica of the reflecting pool and washington monument, this is what you see just after the key change / modulation. The actual real Washington Monument is significantly taller, and the real reflecting pool is significantly bigger.

Arlington does not allow photography without a permit, which is why there is very little amateur footage available of it.

The video editing itself was done with Vegas Studio, and I used a plugin for Firefox to download the video, and an online video editor to cut out the parts I wanted from the videos I downloaded. Once I had everything, it was relatively easy to just drag and drop everything in, and once I learned how to use the software, the time stretching, text, and zooming was very easy and straight forward to do, as well as programming the pan across the image. Vegas Studio was made for this exact sort of thing, it seems to have everything you could ever want for putting together a video collage, with exception to font choices and font animating (programming animated text is a pain in the butt, so I didnt do this... I originally wanted to use a handwriting font for the text at the beginning of the video).

Anyway, more info than you probably wanted to know haha...this was my first time using Vegas, and probably my 10th complete composition, Im starting to really get the hang of it.

Posted on Thu, Sep 19 2019 21:05
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 401

I'm sorry to be responding so late to your post. The video is very professional. I do not see how you could get anything better, even if you paid pros thousands of dollars.

The music, both arrangement and mid-performance was fabulous. No "civilian" (non VR user) would ever think this was anything but real. The performance was very musical. 

The mixing and mastering were awesome. You managed to get rid of the harsh upper frequencies without losing clarity. If you can do this with just the special editions, I would love to hear how you would do with the full libraries. 

Posted on Fri, Sep 20 2019 01:26
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5382

I also didn't hear this until today.  That sounds excellent - congratulations on that work!   

Posted on Thu, Oct 03 2019 11:24
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 213

Originally Posted by: Paul McGraw Go to Quoted Post

I'm sorry to be responding so late to your post. The video is very professional. I do not see how you could get anything better, even if you paid pros thousands of dollars.

The music, both arrangement and mid-performance was fabulous. No "civilian" (non VR user) would ever think this was anything but real. The performance was very musical. 

The mixing and mastering were awesome. You managed to get rid of the harsh upper frequencies without losing clarity. If you can do this with just the special editions, I would love to hear how you would do with the full libraries. 

Thank you for the kind comments <3 As a student, I can barely afford what I have, it will be a long, long time before I am able to afford the full libraries. The mixing and mastering I have to admit is made easy by Ensemble Pro 7, its almost not even fair to take credit. I mean, the EQ and compressor almost do the work for you, you just have to move a slidy knob or fiddly slider and use your ear :)

Quote:

I also didn't hear this until today.  That sounds excellent - congratulations on that work!  

Thank you, this is high praise :) I really enjoyed writing this arrangement. Too bad homework keeps me too busy to write as much as I want, Physics, as interesting as it is, is not as interesting as music.

I am very much looking forward to whenever you finish and finalize your giant orchestral piece! I enjoyed the 40 minute one you put up a few months ago, but if I recall, you eluded to it not being finished?

I know there is a sale going on right now for students, unfortunately, the timing is awful. If this sale were going on in November, Id take advantage of it, but alas, the first two months of a new semester involve paying for my classes and text books. Since I pay out of pocket (no grants / loans / government assistance), it costs me about $1200 for 2 classes just for enrollment, and another $500 for textbooks, which leaves just enough for ramen noodles and bills...

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