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Topic: If ya have the time, some feedback please

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  1. #1

    If ya have the time, some feedback please

    For about the last 7 months I\'ve stayed away from my computers. I played the piano all the time, but wrote next to nothing down. After a break, I felt rejuvinated and ready to get back into things again. (I\'m ommiting the personal life stuff that drew me away from writing for so long... learned a few lessons regarding relationships affecting writing... Wow, that can be dangerous! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] ) In any case, I\'m scribbling ideas out now, and I\'d like some general \"midi-mockup\" feedback if anyone has the time.

    I welcome compsitional feedback as well, though it may be limited because these are just \"scratch ideas.\" I write in SX first, throwing ideas out. When I\'ve collected enough similiarly designed ideas, then I walk away from the computers and go to paper, elaborating on various themes and coming up with more interesting harmonic motions, etc., and most importantly, I come up with a form utilizing those variations to keep the work cohesive. Then, back to the computers to make the whole thing happen.

    At this stage, I\'m sitting down at the computers to make the whole thing happen. While I\'m working on it, I thought it might be very helpful to get some impressions regarding what works and what doesn\'t mockup-wise, so I can keep some things in mind while I\'m writing.

    These various clips have similiar modalities, etc, and most of this stuff didn\'t even make it into what I\'m putting together now. (the main theme is a more elaborate version of the 4th mp3, Resolution, and is presented more or less in the violins at the end of the clip.) But all feedback would be welcome. Also, this has not passed through any kind of mixing/mastering, this is just my monitor mix in mp3 form. And lastly, I should add that in the first phase of writing for me... I am rarely sober. My mind wanders alot, and I tend to grab more ideas that way. Afterward, I organize and elaborate them soberly, but to begin with - I want to wander around alot! (hey, that\'s my excuse, I\'m sticking with it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] )

    Libraries are varied, so I\'ll just list them -
    VSL Performance 1st Ed.
    SISS full
    KirkHunter Solo Strings
    SAM horns, freebie trumpets (still awsome)
    AO effects (trills,etc)
    G-Town Perc, mostly mixed
    QLSO Silver (is used in Resolution - first time I\'ve used QLSO, impressed!)
    I\'m forgetting some others, but that\'s the general layout...

    http://www.sonicrealities.com/mp3_files/wintry_v1.mp3

    http://www.sonicrealities.com/mp3_files/wintry_v2.mp3

    http://www.sonicrealities.com/mp3_files/W_TLG_v2_2.mp3

    http://www.sonicrealities.com/mp3_files/Resolution_v4-03.mp3

    Thank you for listening! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    mike

  2. #2

    Re: If ya have the time, some feedback please

    EDIT: If you were going to further work on dynamics during the mix stage, disregard this entire post [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    I\'m not going to comment on the things you did right, but let me stress this; It\'s 99.5% realistic, and it\'s a great composition too. The music you just posted is a lot more believable than most of the orchestral mock-up music I hear on Discovery channel.

    I think the dynamics are not 100% totally believable (I think the instruments are though). Listen to the crescendo at 1:00 on the first link. That swell should fill the room but when I heard it, it didn\'t seem much louder than the previous part, which is soft. Keep in mind that film scores have a huge dynamic range. Have you listened to the score for the first Matrix? It starts with this giant crescendo. If you adjust your volume so that the crescendo is comfortably loud, you won\'t even hear the next 30 seconds of music that occurs after that crescendo, which, in turn, if you raise the volume to hear comfortably, will cause massive brain trauma once the 2nd crescendo comes. That score must read FFF> ppp < FFF.

    the Matrix is just an extreme example. In your composition, it seems to start out as a p or pp, and the crescendo sound like it should grow into a Forte, but that dynamic difference isn\'t represented in volume as well as it is instrumentally.

    If there was any justice, you\'d be scoring Hollywood movies, winding up with your mug shot on the cover of People cause of your affinity for hookers.

  3. #3

    Re: If ya have the time, some feedback please

    No, no, just herbs, no hookers... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

    Thanks for the critique, dynamics have been a big problem for me, specifically compression. In this case I just normalized the mix down track, then output to mp3... a far cry from artistically designed compression. But I really haven\'t ever gotten the dynamic thing right.

    I think I\'m trying to handle it too much like a pop song? Bob Ludwig stuff stays in the yellow pretty much consistently, I think without realizing it I\'ve been trying to do the same to orchestral projects, which doesn\'t work well... not to mention I\'m about as far as it gets from possessing the skills to pull that off.

    I do not know how to go about it exactly. Do you have any pointers maybe, some method to help keep things balanced from the start? I\'ll eventually get it right, I\'m just hoping I don\'t have to spend too much time discovering how...

    Thanks again for your thoughts, very helpful!
    mike

  4. #4

    Re: If ya have the time, some feedback please

    I agree on the dynamics stuff, and you\'ll get there. I imagine it can be tough changing genres cold turkey like that. For me, I just try to \"feel\" my way through the piece with regard to dynamics. But to do that, you\'ve got to start out with alot of head room. Most of my pieces start out relatively soft, so I usually start out with a fair amount of headroom with my initial volume setups. But I\'ll usually set it up so that those initial volume setups are such that instruments with full expression at that volume are right about where I want my highest crescendos. And then I use CC11 expression to bring them down for the lower parts. I\'m sure there\'s a better way to do it, but that\'s how I do it. You\'ll probably have to make exceptions to this technique for instruments where different velocities are important to the sound. But in large measure, you should be able to bring alot of your stuff down low with expression (CC11). And then just save the upper half of your expression envelope for your crescendos and stronger parts.

    Great compositions though. I really like your technique and orchestrations. Keep it up!

  5. #5

    Re: If ya have the time, some feedback please

    Yeah, try what Brady suggested. Foremost, I think being conscious of it will do a lot more than anything else. Find the spot that should be the loudest and scale everything else down from there. You could also listen to scores through a device that has accurate LEDs for amplitude, and the more you do that, the better you\'ll be able to translate orchestral dynamics to pure amplitude.

    It\'s useful to listen to your mixes at different volumes, depending on what you\'re referencing. For good dynamics, turn the volume up. You\'ll be more inclined to keep the soft parts low cause they\'ll seem loud. If you want to reference balance, turn the volume down so it\'s barely audible and listen. The parts you don\'t hear at all could probably be louder.

    I don\'t know if you\'re doing this, but I burn every instrument to it\'s own channel as a .wav file, before I mix it down. You\'ll have a lot more control over the effects, plus you can automate the faders to help out if the dynamics still aren\'t there.

    The problem I\'ve had with dynamics is that a lot of these libraries have a direct correlation between timbre and amplitude. You like the tone of a particular dynamic, but at that dynamic the sound is not at an acceptable amplitude (all my engineering has forced me to replace the word volume with amplitude). This is another reason why burning to .wavs before mixing down is a good idea.

    Be sure to post your re-mixes and share how you\'ve changed them.

  6. #6

    Re: If ya have the time, some feedback please

    [ QUOTE ]
    For about the last 7 months I\'ve stayed away from my computers. I played the piano all the time, but wrote next to nothing down. After a break, I felt rejuvinated and ready to get back into things again. (I\'m ommiting the personal life stuff that drew me away from writing for so long... learned a few lessons regarding relationships affecting writing... Wow, that can be dangerous! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] ) In any case, I\'m scribbling ideas out now, and I\'d like some general \"midi-mockup\" feedback if anyone has the time.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    These scribblings do sound like they\'ve been kept inside for too long. Seven months of not venting out creativity is much too long, you know.

    The emotions are indeed intense! Nice nice nice!

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