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Posts posted by Amicus717

  1. Great stuff -- smooth and tight, with a great mix. Nice and clear, and I could hear all the musical details. Sweet!

  2. Like this a lot -- a modern take on a Renaissance ballad. Quite haunting.  The only thing that caught my ear was the flute being a bit uneven in loudness and dropping down behind the guitar at a few points. 

    What libraries did you use for this, Starise?

    • Like 2

  3. 1 hour ago, Hatstand said:

    @Amicus717 Thanks for taking the time mate. In regards to the panning, I was trying to keep to the orthodox orchestral soundscape apart from the bass which I kept central rather than in the traditional position. A few people have mentioned the dynamics which is strange as I used very little compression apart from on the percussion bus. Will need to look at it again. Similar to you I didn't use a lot of plugins at least on the tracks. I did use two reverbs and did originally start with a more ambient space for the IR but found the overall mix lost a bit of definition.


    In terms of reverb, I swear by Nimbus by Exponential Audio (now owned by iZotope). Easily the clearest, most airy and open reverb in my arsenal. I consider it one of my not-so-secret weapons. When I first tried out the Nimbus demo, I opened a few of my finished orchestral projects and swapped out the existing reverb for Nimbus, and the difference was huge and immediately noticeable. I bought the full version of Nimbus literally 10 minutes after trying the demo out. It's that good. 

    As for dynamics: yeah, if you used minimal compression then it might be worth looking at the arrangement itself. One of the first things I learned (and STILL haven't mastered) is the crazy-wide dynamic range that orchestral instruments and ensembles bring to the table. I think our ears expect that sort of dynamic range when we listen to orchestral style music, so if the dynamics of the arrangement are restricted, it immediately jumps out at us. That might be what is happening in this track.

    Hope you don't mind all this commentary :) -- I kinda feel I should re-emphasize that I really liked the track. Solid cinematic stuff, with some really nice elements, and I can totally see it being used in anime, or movie trailers or similar. 

    • Like 1

  4. Hi Hatstand,

    To my ears, this track is a good foray into orchestral/hybrid scoring type music. 

    In terms of offering a useful critique: while I do orchestral and hybrid-cinematic stuff exclusively, I'm also still learning the ropes, too. So take all this with a grain of salt :)

    I like the overall style and motifs in the piece - very cinematic, and would be great for a montage or an extended opening credit sequence, or similar. I also like the mix of traditional orchestral sound and the ethnic vocal stuff. Works great.

    In terms of mix, I got a sense of emptiness in the centre of the stereo image. The strings are panned to one side, the horns to the other, and the remaining instruments sort of float around the mix but don't seem to have enough presence to fill out the rest of the soundscape. The vocals occupy that middle space partway through the piece, and then the percussion comes in pretty strong, so that helps.

    But I'd recommend moving the strings and horns in from the margins and more towards the middle. Not too much; they still need to be spread across the soundscape so they don't get in each other's way, but I've never been a big fan of panning orchestral sections too hard to one side or the other, as I think it sounds unnatural and distracting. If I'm adding hybrid elements (ethnic vocals, or electronic sounds etc) to a track, I may sometimes pan them pretty hard, but only in small amounts, and usually to draw the listener's attention to an esoteric element that doesn't last long and is there to produce a specific effect.

    In terms of the overall acoustic space in the recording, it sounded a bit congested to my ears. I'd recommend a more spacious reverb sound, if possible. It also sounded a bit too compressed and lacking in dynamic range -- which is an issue that I've had in my recordings, also. Possibly this is over-compression in the mix, but it could also be addressed in the arrangement, too. For example, the string ostinato that pulses throughout the piece doesn't really develop or expand after its initial statement, so it might be nice to evolve it as you get deeper into the music. From what I could hear, the ostinato is all basses/cellos and maybe violas? I have found that expanding that out by adding violins to the ostinato can add energy, bite and excitement to the sound. 

    Same with the brass parts -- it's mostly horns playing their motif, and the other brass instruments making a tonal bed for them, but it might be nice to expand that a bit by doubling the motif on trumpets later in the piece. 

    These are just spitball suggestions, as I have found orchestral arranging to be incredibly sensitive to changes and really unpredictable - adjusting one arrangement detail can sometimes make a piece click, or completely throw it off in unexpected ways, or both! But I'd start experimenting with that sort of approach and see what happens.  

    For my own orchestral stuff, I am something of a plug-in minimalist -- aside from my instrument VSTs, I use very few audio plugins or processing in my projects. My current template loads up with exactly one processing plug-in: a single instance of Nimbus reverb that I create as a send. All my instruments and sections use it, and I dial in different amounts depending on how much I want to push instruments back or move them forward. I use a pretty broad selection of libraries, and when I built my template I used the settings within Kontakt, VSL and Engine for each library in order to position and/or eq the instruments so they occupied the same basic acoustic space right out of the gate.  I have found that one reverb works great in that setting, and doesn't clog up the soundscape.

    Of course, that approach depends on what libraries you happen to have on hand. I've got a ton -- way more than I'll ever need, frankly -- so I have lots of options to choose from, and that makes it easier to assemble a basic template that sounds good. I'd be curious to know what libraries you use. 

    I do sometimes end up adding other plug-ins to polish the sound by the time I get to a project's finish, but rarely more than a couple of EQ instances and maybe a compressor or limiter (usually for solo instruments, and on the final mix), and sometimes a tape emulator for some analog mojo. In terms of EQ, I usually only need it for clearing mud or boomyness, and I almost never add anything and just do minimal cuts on a pretty wide Q for the sake of overall clarity.

    As I mentioned above, take all this with a grain of salt -- I'm just describing the stuff that has worked for me, and much of that is really just based on my own personal tastes and preferences. 

    But I figured I'd offer my two cents, and maybe you'll find a nugget or two of useful info in it :)



    • Like 2

  5. 18 hours ago, Marc Cormier said:

    Having spent the last 7 years as a marching band parent and getting 3 girls to college (yeah, my profile pic is from '08!!) I would see a lot of kids struggling with old instruments, dog-eared sheet music, and plenty of other obstacles to just learning music.  I didn't see as many kids moving on to study music at university but there were a few.  Private scholarships always went to the BA or engineering students, the ***** lauds, and the usual progression of awards that didn't require a lot of thought in the actual giving.  In Terry's case, his handle was "Musical" and he was in the process of raising three little ones himself.  I'd love to see our gift support a local kid or kids that share the same love for music that  it seems Terry did.  I just had this whimsical thought that maybe we donate the $$$ to a local middle or high school musical program in his city, it gets airplay through the local news, and Terry's family see it and recognize who it is in honor of.

    Not in favor of cancer research charities.  I have a feeling that money rarely supports the actual research.

    +1 for this idea. I like it a lot. 

    • Like 2

  6. 4 hours ago, Bad Mac said:

    Why did you guys choose RME over MOTU? As much as I don't want to change, I may have to soon.

    If we are ranking by efficiency, support and stability, there’s RME drivers, and then there’s everyone else. Best hardware/drivers I’ve ever owned; I’ve got an original Babyface that I bought used three years ago, and it sounds great,  and performs flawlessly. 

    • Like 1

  7. Hi Bjorn,

    This track sounds great, and develops nicely. I really like it a lot. Great use of Vocalise, by the way -- very organic and natural.


    • Like 1

  8. 5 hours ago, Fleer said:

    I wonder if this is still worthwhile if one has all Strezov vocal libs. 

    I am looking at this as a great way to get a start on the Strezov choir libraries. While I've heard a lot of good stuff about Strezov,  so far I haven't really been star-struck by the few libraries I do have (original Storm Choir and Cornucopia Strings 2).

    Storm Choir is useful although I find it quite limited; and I never really liked Cornucopia Strings -- a bit too rustic and uneven for my tastes.

    But their newer stuff, like Wotan and Frejya sound really amazing in the demos, and reviews suggest they are top-notch. Choir Essentials seems like a pretty inexpensive way to find out. 

    • Like 1

  9. Worth noting, I have this library, and it's pretty good. Very simple and straightforward, but has a nice sound. Definitely geared towards cinematic use.

    Also important to note that "Soaring Strings" has only legatos and sustains, and is best used in tandem with their "Adventure Strings" library, which is (apparently) recorded with the same ensemble, in the same hall. "Adventure Strings" has sustains, no legatos, and all the other basic articulations (various shorts, marcatos, pizz, etc). 


  10. Just now, Steve Madden said:

    I've been curious what happens if you buy individual instruments then decide to get the whole set. Any discount or would it be full price?

    Yep. I bought the full strings patch for Inspire 1, and now when I browse the site while logged in, it shows an additional discount on the price of the Inspire 1 library. 

    • Like 1

  11. 26 minutes ago, Arjan M said:

    Yes that works. I bought the €24 Brass patch from Berlin Inspire 1.

    Great! I've been thinking for a while that it might be worth cherry picking a few choice instruments from their stuff, rather then buy the massive libraries I really don't need. I have some gaps in my template I'd like to fill, and this might be a good way to start.

    • Great Idea 1

  12. The Sine player has made it possible to buy single instruments from the big packages, and I wonder if this voucher can be used in that fashion.

    Eg. on the Metropolis Ark 1 page, click on  the "Instruments" tab: https://www.orchestraltools.com/store/collections/metropolis-ark-1

    Nice, cheap way to try out an Orchestral Tools patch. I've never used any of their libraries before, but I've been eyeing their stuff for a while (because I totally need yet MORE trailer oriented epic orchestral libraries, of course!).... 


    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
    • Great Idea 1

  13. This is my goto reverb -- IMHO the best software 'verb in the business for orchestral music and similar.

    Open, clear, sweet-sounding, with lots of presets and really configurable. I paid full freight for it a few years ago, and I'd happily have paid double. For $29 bucks?....jeez...

    • Like 2

  14. 1 hour ago, telecode 101 said:

    anyone use this? what the resource hit? I am tempted. I tried out some freebies from 8dio. Its weird that all the interfaces are exactly the same .


    I have all these, plus Anthology Strings ( I think both are based on the same set of samples...?)

    I like the sound of them, although they are very dramatic and over-the-top -- almost schmaltzy  -- with big, swooping legato transitions. I rarely used them at full modulation (frankly, I rarely go past halfway) and tone them down a smidge with eq so they fit in with my other template string libraries. 

    I don't use the shorts (I don't really like the sound of them), and I rarely fire up the other articulations. I use them strictly for prominent (and overwrought) legato string lines.  

    • Like 1
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