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Amicus717

"Hearts and Hope" - orchestral hybrid composition - UPDATED

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Posted (edited)

Hi folks,

This one is a purpose-written piece that was requested by a friend of mine who is making a documentary video about a historical re-enactment society we belong to. The video will focus on the arts & sciences community within our group, and he wanted something for the opening credits that was a) uplifting and energetic, and b) features a broader than usual cultural palette.  

So I've spent the past two days creating this from scratch. As is my habit, I write and record fast, don't look back and just get it done -- then go back and try to make something from the debris. This is what I have so far, and I'd be curious to get some feedback on it, if folks are willing.

Some provisos: 

1) This music is timed and tailored for the opening credit sequence, which I can't show yet (since it is neither finished nor released to the public), and so  it will probably be more musically coherent when watched with the images it is designed to accompany. 

2) This is literally a first-and-a-half draft, and about as raw a piece as I’d ever consider posting. I've tweaked and adjusted some stuff, but there are a lot of things that need more tweaking -- or even total overhauls to parts and sections.

3) For that reason, the mix is all over the damn place -- some instruments are way too forward (I'm looking at you, Viola de Gamba), and some are way too far back (elderwood flute, lute), plus a ton of other problems. I also think the last third is waaay too boomy, and I think I gotta thin it out.  And be warned: it gets LOUD towards the end. 

So, it's rough but I'd be really curious to get folks sense of how it hangs together overall. Do the transitions from section to section work ok, etc? Also does the combination of instruments work; this uses a much broader selection than I am used to, including: full symphony, sitar, lute, gallinchon, primitive flutes, viola da gamba, and a didgeridoo --  plus a bunch of other stuff that may not be audible at this point in the mix process.  What do you think of its overall energy and drive? 

There is lots to be done with this piece, but for two days work I'm fairly happy. 

I normally list all the libraries and patches I use in my recordings, but in this case that would be a damn long list, and so  to sum up: Dark Era, Era II, Cinestrings, Cinebrass, Cineperc, Taylor Davis Violin, Sampletank 4, Rise&Hit, Embertone, AlbionOne, Ethera, 8Dio Lacrimosa, Sonokinetic Tutti Vox, Strum II and a few others that escape me for the moment. 

Thanks for listening!   

Rob

Update: I have uploaded a new mix, with a slightly extended ending...

Edited by Amicus717
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Rob

for what you've described this is to be used for, it sounds very good to me - it has that sort of Historical  feel to it

Look forward to hearing / seeing the finished piece

Nigel

 

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As you have stated it is a rough I am ignoring your own mix comments @Amicus717 
 

Musically/compositional it would appear to achieve its objective, it has some tension as if there is some more to come whilst inviting one in to explore.

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Rob,
This is really good. I give it A+ on energy and drive.
Not sure I noticed some of the instruments you mentioned eg sitar, didgeridoo

Some impressions I got
0:08 scenes of India or thereabouts
0:17 Americana.  Wagon trains, Oregon Trail
0:50 March of civilization going faster and faster

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16 hours ago, bjornpdx said:

This is really good. I give it A+ on energy and drive.
Not sure I noticed some of the instruments you mentioned eg sitar, didgeridoo

Some impressions I got
0:08 scenes of India or thereabouts
0:17 Americana.  Wagon trains, Oregon Trail
0:50 March of civilization going faster and faster

Thanks Bjorn, as always I appreciate the listen and the comments. And I really like your impressions - that is pretty much the sort of "moving through the centuries/cultures" vibe I was aiming for. :)

 

20 hours ago, Wookiee said:

As you have stated it is a rough I am ignoring your own mix comments @Amicus717 
 

Musically/compositional it would appear to achieve its objective, it has some tension as if there is some more to come whilst inviting one in to explore.

Thanks, Wookie! Appreciate it. That, too, is the exact vibe I was seeking.

 

On 8/18/2020 at 3:58 AM, Bajan Blue said:

for what you've described this is to be used for, it sounds very good to me - it has that sort of Historical  feel to it

Look forward to hearing / seeing the finished piece

Nigel

Thanks, Nigel. Appreciate the listen. This one will need a bit of work if I'm going to realize the original idea in full, but I'll post it as soon as I have it finished. And hopefully, I'll be able to include the visuals. 

Rob

 

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12 hours ago, daryl1968 said:

love this Rob. It's a bit of a musical tour of the world. Very well done

Thanks Daryl. Appreciate the listen and the comments :)

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On 8/18/2020 at 12:58 AM, Bajan Blue said:

Look forward to hearing / seeing the finished piece

I'll just second that, but add you're being a bit hard on yourself...

t

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I believe all of that hard work has payed off! This would be perfectly content to sit in many documentaries. It has all of the energy needed to bring the video into a better place. My only small nit would be it was a hint too low in volume overall. I know you don't traditionally mix  this sort of music at the volume you would mix say , a rock track. Some of it might be the quality of the mp3 after upload. I'm sure the wav file sounds slightly different. I don't hear it as extremely low. Just maybe a few db. I'm thinking you really want it to pop when the video comes on. If you could get it in surround even better.

 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, DeeringAmps said:

I'll just second that, but add you're being a bit hard on yourself...

t

Thanks, I appreciate the comments :) I have a wee bit of a perfectionist streak...

19 hours ago, Starise said:

I believe all of that hard work has payed off! This would be perfectly content to sit in many documentaries. It has all of the energy needed to bring the video into a better place. My only small nit would be it was a hint too low in volume overall. I know you don't traditionally mix  this sort of music at the volume you would mix say , a rock track. Some of it might be the quality of the mp3 after upload. I'm sure the wav file sounds slightly different. I don't hear it as extremely low. Just maybe a few db. I'm thinking you really want it to pop when the video comes on. If you could get it in surround even better.

 

Thanks, Starise!   Appreciate it. And yeah, I was thinking along the same lines. The finished version will be a bit hotter. 

Edited by Amicus717
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Hi folks,

I updated and revised a bit of this track, added some more details and improved (I think) the  mix, including taming a few instruments that were getting a bit out of hand. I'd be very curious to hear folks comments on the newer version:  

 

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Posted (edited)

Enjoyed this. I'm on laptop so hard to judge but the overall mix is coming through nice & clear. Also good use of instruments & dynamics. - great job

Edited by Hidden Symmetry
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21 hours ago, Hidden Symmetry said:

Enjoyed this. I'm on laptop so hard to judge but the overall mix is coming through nice & clear. Also good use of instruments & dynamics. - great job

Thanks, HS - appreciate the listen and comments.   Getting the right progression of instruments abd making it all sound organic took a surprising amount of try and re-try - one of the side-effects of having so many different options to choose from in my library collection :)

3 hours ago, Douglas Kirby said:

It sounds like an opening theme - nice job.. The mix sounded fine to me.

Thanks Douglas!    Glad to hear the mix worked for you -- this was a tough one to put together, from that perspective. There is so much going on, especially in the final quarter, that it was a real balancing act, and I've listened to it so much over the past few days, I no longer have perspective on it.

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It sounds really good. It develops the theme well, but has enough variation to keep things interesting. Short and sweet, but really enjoyable. 

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This second mix was a lot better.
I liked the way the drums came through more... they where masked before.

Well done.

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I've composed music for training videos, and found it frustrating. Trying to develop a musical story with a beginning, middle and end that fits precisely inside N seconds ain't easy.

We can't know yet how well your piece suits the video, but I am surely impressed with how you've managed to construct such a compact but cohesive tune. Yes, the mix is superb, but really what makes it work is the arrangement. It builds, not just by getting louder but via the successive addition of elements and building complexity. All crammed into a little over one minute. Good stuff.

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On 8/29/2020 at 5:57 AM, Chandler said:

It sounds really good. It develops the theme well, but has enough variation to keep things interesting. Short and sweet, but really enjoyable. 

Thanks, Chandler! Appreciate the listen and comments.

 

On 8/29/2020 at 8:13 AM, Wookiee said:

The newer version made the furry ears smile even more @Amicus717 :) 

Thanks, Wook! 

 

On 8/29/2020 at 8:51 AM, garybrun said:

This second mix was a lot better.
I liked the way the drums came through more... they where masked before.

Well done.

Thanks  garybrun! Appreciate it. Getting more clarity on the percussion was something I  was deliberately attempting to do. :)

 

On 8/29/2020 at 9:59 AM, bitflipper said:

I've composed music for training videos, and found it frustrating. Trying to develop a musical story with a beginning, middle and end that fits precisely inside N seconds ain't easy.

We can't know yet how well your piece suits the video, but I am surely impressed with how you've managed to construct such a compact but cohesive tune. Yes, the mix is superb, but really what makes it work is the arrangement. It builds, not just by getting louder but via the successive addition of elements and building complexity. All crammed into a little over one minute. Good stuff.

Very kind words, Bitflipper. Thank-you very much.  One of the real benefits that I've discovered in    creating purpose-built music like this: you are given definite limits and requirements, and meeting those limits is both    really instructive and, in my opinion, can greatly enhance creativity. It forces you to be very disciplined, but also pushes you to be very inventive at the same time.  And I have been finding that a very productive place to be. 

Thanks for all the listens and kind words, folks.  Very helpful, and greatly appreciated :)

Rob

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