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Posts posted by Amicus717

  1. 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.




  2. 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. 

  3. 11 minutes ago, cclarry said:

    If someone does Orchestral Composing or Movie Scoring, and can justify
    this purchase, that 75% off is quite the deal.

    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. 

  4. 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.

    • Like 5
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  5. 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.



    • Like 1

  6. "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/

    • Like 3
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  7. 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. 


    • Like 2

  8. 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.


    • Like 3


    1 hour ago, Reid Rosefelt said:

    You obviously know more about Palette than me.  


    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. 

  10. 11 minutes ago, Reid Rosefelt said:

    For me there is more than a hint of a rasp, and that's my main issue with Palette--and I'm not the only one.   It is about as bone-dry a library as I have ever played.  For me, the sound of instruments include the rooms they are performed in.  This is why I love Orchestral Tools and the Cinematic Studio series.  They sound beautiful to me out-of-the-box, without adding any reverb or any other effects.

    When I add a good reverb like Spaces II and a bit of EQ to Palette, I like it.  And you get a lot more articulations in Palette than in other "sketching" libraries like the Inspires, which have practically none.  There's a lot more bang for the buck as far as sketching libraries go in Palette, particularly if you own Melodics.  

    But I would recommend Palette more not as a sketching library, but  to people who want to use it to combine with other libraries, because it's dry quality makes that easier to do than a library with baked-in ambiance.  When I load up the Inspires, I'm happy to start sketching immediately. The sound makes me want to play.  I also think Kirk Hunter's Virtuoso ensemble is incredibly inspiring.  It sounds good too and it has a very brilliant interface.

    As soon as I got Palette, I asked Red Room Audio to add effects presets.  I wanted them to set up the reverb, EQ and all the other stuff that comes with it to give you a variety of out-of-the-box sounds.  A variety of aural presets as  soooo many libraries, from NI to Sonuscore to 8dio offer, from natural to sound-designy.  And the guy didn't sign on to that but he did say they were thinking about doing something with the samples.  

    Anyway, I was very excited to see this update, and was disappointed that there is nothing like that in it.  If they'd done that, I would heartily recommend it to everybody. 

    That said, I'm excited to try out the legato in Melodics.

     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? 

  11. 15 minutes ago, Fleer said:

    Well, I think Palette is pretty, pretty good. 

    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.

    • Like 2

  12. 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.


    • Like 2
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  13. 1 hour ago, mdiemer said:


    I certainly did not mean to imply anything to the contrary. I posted a couple pieces here awhile back out of curiosity, and I did get some good feedback. Many, many rock-oriented people like classical music. I went to a Dan Fogelberg concert once, and he had Bach playing as you walked in. 

    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. 

    • Like 1

  14. On 2/15/2020 at 1:03 PM, mdiemer said:

    Larry, the problem with posting classical works on this forum is that the majority of people here are not doing classical. So, if you post your music here, out of courtesy you need to also listen to and comment on the other music people post here. but you probably have as little interest in such much music as they have of yours.

     I suggest you join the Ning Composers Forum. most of the music is classically oriented and you will get far more interest in your music. I see that several former members of Northern Sounds have moved over there (Ted Vanya, fastlane, G Prengel to name a few).  


    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.


    • Like 3

  15. 23 hours ago, Starise said:

    FYI- Although Notion isn't integral to Studio One you can "send to Notion" as a command and all the midi will be there in notation form. Something I wish Cakewalk had.That also goes in reverse and you can send notion files to tracks in SO4


    This is what I sometimes do, and is a pretty handy feature. I’ve started creating really rough sketches in Studio One Artist (which came free with the cheap PreSonus USB interface I bought for my laptop), and then send the tracks to Notion 6, which has been my notation software of choice for quite a while. I expand and finish the arrangement in Notion, then print the finished score and perform it into CuBase, where I create the final recording.

    Kind of a roundabout way to do it, but it’s pretty seamless. I find the “send to Notion” feature in Studio One is nice and works well. And Notion is great - easy to use and the built in sounds are trouble free  and work perfectly fine for composition purposes. 

    • Like 1

  16. I think those normally go for $250 each.

    I have a pair of Adam F7. Sound great, and yeah their signature ribbon tweeters put out some really nice high-end. But I've already had to have one replaced (defect in the woofer cone), and one of them serviced (electronics needed replacing), and they are only 5 years old, so I haven't been all that impressed with the quality of their build or longevity. Personally, I would hesitate to get another pair. 

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