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Amicus717

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Everything posted by Amicus717

  1. Hi Jerry, I listened to the First Movement (I will listen to the others when I get the chance this weekend), and I really liked it. The mix of synths and traditional instruments really worked for me. The movement held my interest all the way through, and was a pleasure to listen to. I look forward to listening to the rest of it. Regards, Rob
  2. So, for what it's worth: I like these libraries a lot -- they really suit my working style and I like their sound. The strings are not as smooth or pristine sounding as AlbionONE's strings, which are my current mainstays. CineStrings is raspier and more fulsome, with something of in-your-face sound, and sits pretty wide on the soundstage. There is also a fair amount of MGM's ambiance baked into the default mix, and the effect is very intense and cinematic. The different mic positions change things a lot, although I haven't experimented with all of them yet. But I can say the dry, close mics are both pretty damn close and pretty damn dry. As for their ability to blend with other stuff, so far they seem fine. I've tried my VSL woodwinds with them, and with some fine tuning I think it will work great. I also played around with the Trumpet Ensemble Articulations patch, and today I had an easier time dealing with the legato. It sounds pretty nice. I like that all their instruments were recorded in their proper place on the soundstage, which puts all the brass instruments exactly where I want them to be right out of the box (using the default mix). The default mix uses both some EQ and Reverb within Kontakt, but I disable the reverb and use my own. Cinesamples offers a couple of different ways to use these libraries in terms of mapping -- one based on velocity and pedal, and the other based on keyswitches. I find the keyswitch mappings are more suited to how I like to work. So, while it's only been a day, I'm quite glad I got these. But as always, YMMV.
  3. I'm no pro -- just a pretty motivated hobbyist. But Cubase is my primary DAW. I still use Cakewalk on a regular basis because I much prefer it for editing audio and I really like Pro Channel and its components. So most of my final mixes and any mastering I do is in Cakewalk. But for straight-up MIDI work, Cubase has the best tool set I've ever used.
  4. Hi Anthony, I really liked this a lot. Some great passages in it, and I enjoyed the various textures and orchestral arrangements you used. I do symphonic stuff, myself, so this kind of music really appeals to me and it's always great when some of it pops up in the Songs forum. Very curious to know what libraries you used (especially as I got to this post via the CineSamples post currently in the Deals forum). You mentioned CineBrass. What other libraries? The strings sound nice, as does the percussion. I always like getting feedback (both positive and constructive) from folks when I post stuff, so here are my impression and thoughts. Like you, I'm also trying hard to get better at orchestral arrangements, and so a) I know what you're experiencing, and b) I still have tons to learn and please take all this with a grain of salt 😀... 1) The overall mix sounds nice, although I did think that some of the woodwind instruments don't quite sit in the same acoustic space as the strings and percussion (in particular, that was my genuine sense of things at the 0.55 second mark). 2) 1:50 mark - I really like the arrangement here. The string ostinatos under the melody work really well, although I'd wonder if they would be better with a bit more punch and energy. Also, the woodwind that appears around 2:00 sounds very much out of place, acoustically. It sounds like it's in another room being recorded separately. Same with other woodwinds through to the 3:20 mark. The arrangement in general works, I think, but the woodwinds sit way out front and seem acoustically out of place, and it is distracting. 3) The brass sounds really far back in the mix, especially compared to the woodwinds - would love to hear this with a bit more power from the horns, and maybe brighten it up with a bit more trumpet. 4) I think it would be nice to have a more definitive thematic development to the music. Right now, there is some really lovely melodic lines and the overall feel and vibe is cinematic and enchanting, but it struck me as a bit shapeless and it sort of wandered to the end. A bit more structure and focused development might add something to the piece. 5) I quite liked the ending -- pull the sounds out and the two solo strings take over, leading to the choir floating in. Nice! I did think that the violins sort of appeared out of nowhere, and some sort of linkage to the previous section might really add something. Maybe have the solo violins appear earlier in the piece, even for a moment, so their reappearance at the end will not be quite so unexpected. Or possibly have them play through the final section and carry on through the ending without as pronounced a break - a more organic transition. I also thought the solo violin samples suffered the same issue as the woodwinds -- they did not sound like two players from the string section going solo, but rather like two violins in a totally different acoustic space than the rest of the orchestra. Those are my impressions based on three listens to your track, and as mentioned please take them with a grain of salt -- I'm working from the same place as you, in that regard. But overall, I really enjoyed this piece a lot. Really nice stuff, with tons of potential. Regards, Rob
  5. I finally gave in and picked this package up -- I've been eyeing the Cinesamples stuff for a while and couldn't resist the price for all these. I only got them installed last night, so this is a really preliminary overview, but for the most part the libraries sound quite good. I've come across some things I like: CineBrass Sonore is outstanding from top to bottom, CineHarps is very, very nice and perfectly fills a gap in my template. And I've come across some things I don't like: I'm not sure about the legato for the Ensemble Trumpets in CineBrass Core -- it's kind of laggy and the transitions are a bit punchy, although I'm still fiddling with the settings and getting a feel for the libraries overall. The adaptive legato in these libraries has a number of settings and adjustments that can be made, so I would re-emphasize that all this is very preliminary. The CineWinds are nice -- in particular, I love the solo bassoon sound, and there are two quite different (and nice sounding) oboes to play with. I literally got the CineStrings installed at 1:00am last night and auditioned them for 5 minutes before going to bed, but they do sound great - although I did notice a lot of hissy ambiance on the legato violins patch. Dropping the volume helped a lot, but I have a long way to go before I get a real sense of the library and whether it will work for me. Based on what I've experienced so far, though, at the above price this deal is a real win. I haven't yet tried to mix these with my other template mainstays -- that will be tonight's experiment -- but I think it should work pretty well. There are lots of mic options in these libraries, and they come with a decent set of mix presets for various occasions and needs. Example: CineHarps has mic mixes called: "Tim's Mix", "Dry and Close", "Orch Left", "Orch Right", etc and they all sound good, and quite different, and I'll be likely adding CineHarps to my template using the "Orch Left" mix (which is where I usually like to position the harp in the orchestral landscape). Arznable: in regards to the CinePerc, I haven't come across any problem samples yet, although it's a mammoth library with a ton of instruments (over 90 gigs of samples) so I've had no time to really find out. I do like what I hear so far, however. I've already decided to add some of it's patches to my template. One thing I did notice about all these -- they are heavier on memory usage than some of my other libraries. So they'll test my hardware a bit more, I predict. I have an Ensemble Pro network going, so I may farm these out to one of my satellite machines and see how it handles them. As I said above, this is only a first impression based on two hours of noodling around with the fresh installs, so take it all with a grain of salt. And with libraries like this, what works for me may not work for you anyway. But so far, I like what my $800 cdn got me.
  6. Yeah it is. Those Core packages have all the fundamental articulations, including legatos -- both for sections and solo instruments -- and the various other bits and pieces make a really complete set of tools.
  7. Agree completely. I think it's a perfectly arguable point, with a fair amount of grey area...and there are jerks out there who will exploit this crises for gain.
  8. "Cinesamples’ meticulous sample libraries put a wealth of soundtrack instrumentation at your fingertips. For a limited time, get 75% off the Hollywood composer toolset, and 50% off 10 individual libraries." Info is here: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/specials/komplete/cinesamples-offer-2020/
  9. Full disclosure: I work in advertising, so I'm getting an inside view of how the current pandemic situation is affecting various sectors and industries. It's a genuinely terrifying time, and a lot of money is going to be lost -- which doesn't just affect the corporate bottom line, but also the lives of the employees who depend on those industries for their income. In the case of the marketing opportunities that crop up in a time of crises, it's a very difficult set of decisions that the business world in general will have to confront, and some really choppy waters to navigate: they are watching their markets collapse (or drastically change as people transition to working from home and alter their shopping and buying patterns); they are watching their earning projections and marketing plans become basically meaningless overnight, and with so much chaos they have no real idea what tomorrow or next week will hold; and they are trying very hard to minimize the impact this will have on their employees and customers. And so they are trying to find what positive side they can to this crises. I personally have no problem if a company tries to flow with the times and get through this with minimal damage, as long as what they do isn't exploitative. And by exploitative, I mean things like price gouging, tasteless advertising that makes light of the crises, product or service offerings that have too many strings attached or are offered as a generous bonus for the times but in reality are merely old deals in new clothing, etc. Folks like Fluffy Audio giving away things for free and/or redirecting money to a worthy cause is great, and they set a wonderful example and deserve credit for it. But Folks like Steinberg offering fully functional versions of their products for two months free, with no strings attached, doesn't bother me either. I believe their normal demo time is 30 days? They don't have to do anything at all, and if they can give folks something to use for a little while and NOT lose money in the process, I have no issue with that. Part of their reasoning, I'm sure, is they want to give folks exposure to their products -- you use Dorico Elements for two months, and love it so much you decide to pay for it. Good for you, great for them. That doesn't bother me, either. They are not forcing anyone to do anything, and selling their products is their business and the only reason they exist, and in the end everybody gets something. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, as long as they are not exploiting anyone or anything to achieve it.
  10. Cinesamples just announced they are going to extend the Choir sale through April 1st (original end date was today, I believe). FWIW, I finally caved and bought a copy of "Voices of War: Men of the North" over the weekend, and spent some time messing around with it. Sounds really good, and I found it to be a very nice companion to Dark Era's voice stuff, and the Era Vocal Codex stuff -- all of which are libraries I use a lot. It's obviously got a really specific sound and intended use, so it's not for everyone, and you get exactly what it says and nothing more (Michael Patti's video walk-thru covers it pretty thoroughly). But it is totally built for the kind of stuff I like to do, and $119 is a pretty good deal...I'm pretty happy with it. Rob
  11. Hmm, doesn't seem to work for me. Logged out, logged in, different browsers, no pop-up blocker... But no free JAM points.
  12. It seems Project SAM is producing a stripped-down budget version of the Symphobia 4 Pandora library. Big difference in price -- but judging by the comparison specs, a big difference in depth, too... Info is here: https://projectsam.com/libraries/symphobia-4-pandora-core/
  13. Mix magazine ran this article way back on 2002, about the recording of "The Gambler", and I remember reading it at the time and enjoying it...https://www.mixonline.com/recording/classic-tracks-kenny-rogers-gambler-365083
  14. "Working from home means more studio time! To keep the vibes colorful, here's Analog Dreams on us." From the email: "It’s a challenging time for music, but we’re all in this together. That’s why we’re giving away ANALOG DREAMS free until the end of March – wander through the technicolor world of vintage tones with one of our favorite Play Series instruments. Make the most of the extra time inside, and keep making amazing music – we look forward to hearing what you do with it." Site is sloooow, right now: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/play-series/analog-dreams/
  15. I was somewhat critical of their main sketchpad library in a previous thread, but credit where due: the update they released a couple weeks ago (which I had not had a chance to install previously) helped a bit. Seemed to fix the problem with the Glockenspiel in particular. I've heard good things about both melodics and the runs library. They are available individually, at $79 each, which seems a decent price. I don't recall exactly, but I think I pad $99 for sketchpad (or somewhere in that range) and while there are things I'd like to see improved, I don't regret the purchase. $79 for Melodics is tempting.
  16. Amicus717

    RME Babyface Pro

    I bought a used original Babyface for $300 about 3 years ago, and it has been -- hands down -- the absolute best interface I have ever used. Clean sounding, solidly built, rock solid drivers that are still supported and updated, great latency and designed to last. RME pretty much locked me up as a permanent customer going forward. They're the best, in my books. Rob
  17. One of the NI folks is responding to people over at VI Control, talking about this issue, including the updating to the FAQ, etc. Some worthwhile comments here, I think: https://vi-control.net/community/threads/ni-will-no-longer-activate-discontinued-products-from-may-31st.90761/page-15#post-4522462
  18. Nah, I make it up as I go. The dudes who make Palette do talk a lot about how blendable their library is, I think partly because it is fairly dry compared to others. I think they consider it a feature, and folks who have other libraries will benefit from adding this to their toolbox because it will compliment what they already own. So, possibly I am just using it incorrectly, maybe not getting the correct balance of mic positions.
  19. I find the Close mics really dry, but I find the Decca mics to have a lot of muddy ambiance baked in. It's not a huge space, but I really don't like the sound of it. Do you find it blendable with other libraries?
  20. I think it's a pretty decent starter kit, with lots of tools. I can see students getting a lot of good use out of it. And its a great library for travelling with a laptop -- which is what I use it for on a regular basis. I'd really like it if they gave it some more polish, though. I haven't downloaded the update yet. Might do that later this week.
  21. I have the main library Palette Symphonic Sketchpad. It's...ok-ish. It's actually kind of an odd package, in terms of quality. For a sketchpad it is quite complete, with many useful parts -- but also a bit rough around the edges and variable in quality from patch to patch. I don't like the interface much, and the samples are a distinctly mixed bag. It ticks all the boxes in terms of orchestral sections, with strings, woodwinds and brass being the main players, and additional patches for various percussion, timps, hand percussion, piano, harp, choir and some synth patches. For the ensemble patches (strings, woods and brass) Palette has a full set of articulations (all the usual suspects, plus tenuto and major/minor trills). And surprisingly, it has a separate chamber-sized patches for each ensemble. There are three mic positions: Close, Decca and Hall. The Decca is the default, but with more baked in room ambience than I expected. I find it a bit muddy and difficult to blend with other libraries. The Close mic is a lot better for that, but needs a fair amount of added reverb. The sound of the strings players is decent, but not the most refined sound (certainly not the glossy and pristine sound of the Albion ONE strings I regularly use). Rather, it is solid and workmanlike, with a hint of rasp. The basic articulations are fine, except I don't like the spiccato - too abrupt and punchy, and not enough velocity layers for my tastes. Admittedly, I haven't really played around with the settings in the GUI, so possibly that can be adjusted. The trills are a nice articulation option, and are the only parts of the package that are currently in my orchestral template, as they are the best trill samples available to me when it comes to blending them with my Albion and 8Dio strings (Albion doesn't have trills, and I don't like the 8Dio ones - and while the Pallete samples take a bit of work, they do fit in fairly well after some reverb, panning and eq). The woodwinds are adequate - nothing special, but they get the job done. The brass is okay when played en masse. But for both the winds and brass patches, the overlap points of the instruments is kind of obvious and does not leave enough room for individual sections to play melodies cleanly. I also don't like the position of the brass players in the soundscape. There are some weird bits to the library... The glockenspiel is really not good -- quite unusable, to my ears, which was something of a surprise. How do you mess up a glockenspiel? The Close mic sounds nice, but it's really dry and in-your-face, and thus hard to place in my orchestral soundscape. The Decca is really ambient, and has the weirdest sound when played hard -- there is a deep banging sound to the highest velocity samples, as though the percussionist is hitting his knees on the glock stand in his enthusiasm. The Hall mic is no better. Quite odd and quite unusable. The Harp has lots of nice strings, and one or two strings that sound brittle and obvious, and thus make the patch hard to use. Those strings (high C and D) stand out way too much, and draw all kinds of the wrong attention to themselves. They only fit in with their brethren when played at the lowest velocity. So I don't use the harp. The timps are perfectly fine, and include a nicely programmed set of mod wheel crescendos that drop in a final hit upon release. They work well, and I've used them to good effect. The piano sounds surprisingly decent for a small add-on to an orchestral package. Quite usable. The hand percussion, trailer percussion and orchestral percussion are all decent, with a generous number of different instruments. The choir is very limited, but adequate for the very basic stuff (oh, ah and mm). So, it's kind of a strange package -- almost like the alpha release of a good orchestral library, with solid potential but some genuine rough spots. It is good for sketching and works well on my laptop (where it sees most of its use, along with Da Capo). I bought it on sale earlier this year (I don't recall what I paid for it), and it has been useful - but I'm glad I didn't pay full price. That's just my two cents. As always, YMMV. Rob
  22. Oh, I wasn't suggesting you were implying anything. Apologies if I gave that impression. I think you made a fair point about seeking out forums that specialize in one's primary musical interest. Makes a lot of sense.
  23. I had not heard of this forum before your mention of it, M, so I wandered over to see what it was about, liked what I saw and signed up. Thanks for suggesting it. Definitely a good place for orchestral aficionados like me I should mention, though, I personally have never felt at all ill-served by the folks on this forum. I only do classical/symphonic stuff exclusively, but when I've posted my music, folks here have been generous with their time and commentary. And it's been really appreciated.
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