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Topic: Sharing Secrets

  1. #1

    Sharing Secrets

    Considering all the different libaries out there and chosing the most realistic one, there is also the technique of sequencing. I was wondering if people on this forum are interested in sharing their secrets or techniques in sequecing their music to gain the most realism. The more people share, the more we can all learn. I am a rookie in midi sequencing but not as a traditional composer (pen to paper). I would love to learn as much as possible.



  2. #2

    Re: Sharing Secrets

    Fala mano?!?!

    If it´s orchestral , never write with the mouse neither use quantize...Play it , than make your corrections using the zoom and mouse but don´t try to make your sequence perfect!!!
    Blanding some miliseconds the release of the last note with the attack of the next one works great for legatos on libraries that don´t have legato tools!!!

  3. #3

    Re: Sharing Secrets

    In no order:

    1. I use the \'random\' function in Logic on every instrument/line. There\'s probably a similar one in every sequencer. Basically it randomizes the note position and velocity by a chosen range. In a \'real\' instrument recording context, the musicians\' notes are never exactly at the same place in time, and they never play at exactly the same dynamic.

    2. I\'m learning to use less and less compression on the final mix. I still like to use some on the individual tracks, but I find that I can have more \'punch\' in my mixes by having a wider dynamic range.

    3. I\'m starting to incorporate the GPO modwheel->volume idea to my EXS patches. I find that it forces me to play with more expression.

    4. I like doubling cello and bass pizz lines with soft piano (Malmsjo).

    5. It\'s a good idea to think that a wind player needs to breathe when you\'re trying to write a realistic sounding woodwind or brass line, so leave time for them to breathe.

  4. #4

    Re: Sharing Secrets

    I\'ll second all of the above suggestions, especially in regards to phrasing.

    When sequencing winds especially, try actually breathing like a wind player as you sequence the line. It can help you feel the shape of the phrase. Then, listen to your line - does it *really* sound the way you wanted to shape it?


  5. #5

    Re: Sharing Secrets

    My secret to sequencing is... RECORD A SINGLE PART FOR HOURS UNTIL YOU GET IT PERFECT! And repeat...

    Piece of cake!

  6. #6

    Re: Sharing Secrets

    If a certain sample, or instrument, doesn\'t sound right for a part you want to put on to your composition, DON\'T USE IT! Find some other sample or instrument that fits right in and sounds good in the mix.

    Overlapping notes slightly for legato lines is also a very very very important technique, and it works wonders.

  7. #7

    Re: Sharing Secrets


    What I find is dont quantize!!! And dont use any \'humanize\' presets which go through and randomise midi notes, because alot of the time, it will still sound unrealistic. If you have the ability to play keyboard, then use it, and record each line until you have it pretty much how you want it.

    And sometimes its quite nice to leave a little error here and there, as long as they arent major and affect the flow of the piece, because orchestras and/or band members arent computers...they dont play perfectly, they are just really good [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img].

    Also, as someone said before, if you have a sound which doesnt sound realistic, dont use it. Sometimes this cant be helped though, and perhaps you are in desperate need of an instrument for a project, and dont have the time or money to find one which sounds good....just try and double that instrument with something else which does sound realistic, cuz quite often if it fades into the background a bit, the \'unrealism\' fades too. Just think about ways you can compositionally change the music to accomodate things like this.

    Also, don\'t give parts insane ranges that in real life they wouldnt be able to play. Quite often ive heard some really bad voicings, and it really gives the music a bad colour. But quite often this is something you might want....eg. Strings 3-4 octaves below themselves sound quite brooding....flutes down the octave sound kinda like mysterious fog horns etc. I suppose it all depends on the context of the piece. But if you are going for the \'realistic orchestra\' sound, remember to keep in the right register.

    And one last thing. What I find in alot of midi-created music is that alot of people think that because its not realistic, then you need to toy with the EQ afterwards to make it sound realistic. My point its, if the samples and softsynths you are using were recorded properly in the first place, then there shouldnt be any need to EQ, as most/all the instruments should be at an optimal eq leveling anyway. Dont be drawn into a trap where you think that because you arent using a real orchestra, that you need to fix the sound. If you are lacking bass to your piece, check to see whether you are using bass instruments to fill out that bottom section. Same goes for higher instruments to fill in the top etc.

    YAY for sequencing [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Oh...and volume envelopes are your friend. Use them wisely.

  8. #8

    Re: Sharing Secrets

    Lots of good advice has already been given here. I would just add, if you are dealing with synths and samples, find away to keep the sounds evolving and moving over time.

    Read the documentation and find out what the instrument or library responds to. It might be brightness, expression, attack - any or all of those things.

    Without some help from you the composer, samples are pretty lifeless. Manipulate them in any way you can or your music might sound like a karaoke backing track. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: Sharing Secrets

    If this book is ever released, it should be a good read. I\'ve got the old 2nd edition, and while somewhat outdated techniques are presented, it still offers a number of useful concepts and guidelines.


  10. #10

    Re: Sharing Secrets

    I completely agree with Scott Buckley,

    and I migth add...If you make a good composition , orquetration and programimg , it means more than 95% of the work done...Some people spend hours equalizing and mixing in order to make the music sounds better...My point of view is that the problem is never on EQ or mixing , but most of the time on orquestration mainly!!!

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