Master Mi

Master Mi - Paradise

11 posts in this topic


This might be the beginning of my first little own soundtrack I've composed within a few days.

Actually this track is based on an exercise I did for myself to imrove in writing notes for chord progressions and where I tried to find out which chords and chord sequences harmonize well with each other.
But then I was really in the mood to compose some additional melodies and it resulted in this little soundtrack.

And of course I wanted to work with my brand-new great synthesizer collection Titan 2 which I really cherish. It contains over 12500 unique synthesizer presets of famous synthesizers from the 70s, 80s, 90s and the modern digital times.
So, you can say I've bought a pretty melodic part of the human history in the form of a large, creative software.

Although I haven't had listened to all synthesizer presets in Titan 2 (the package also contains all the synthesizers from Titan 1) I've already used two synthesizers from Titan 1 for this little composition.
These are the really atmospheric digital voice pads and the pretty realistic sounding steel drums (was deeply impressed that it almost sounds like the acoustic version of some steel drums - was looking for such kind of stuff for estimated ages).

For the voice pads I've also created some volume, panorama and high bandpass filter automations.

The Celtic harp you can hear towards the end is a VSTI from my professional DAW software Samplitude Pro X3 Suite in which I have implemented the nice Titan 2 stuff.

Hope you like my first try of creating my first very own composition far away from any kind of video game remixes.
I guess I'll make a much bigger and longer soundtrack out of this one in the future.


Feel free to tell me how you like this one. ))
---------------------------------------
Newest version of my track: 1.0
>>>


>>> https://clyp.it/pct2dsny

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Pretty nice. The only criticism I have is the harp sounds a bit dull. It could probably be enhanced to the point where it really sparkles with some...I'm not great at mixing, so I'll just have a guess...EQ, saturation, and a slight volume boost? And maybe an EQ cut in the synth where the harp needs to shine.

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Hey, thanks for the feedback. ))

I'm not a big fan of cutting off frequencies of instruments (because this can make the sound really dull) - but I could add some higher frequencies to the harp at the point where the harp goes wistfully up into the bit emotional part at 0:43.
I guess this would make totally sense - because I did some high band pass filter automations of the digital voice synth at this point (added some higher frequencies there).
An early thought was that the synth at this point should go a bit higher and melt with the harp.

But now I think it's better if the harp goes higher there as well - as you mentioned it - "to shine".
(I already recognized that the synth - before I did the high bandpass filter automations - stuck out at this point much more. And it sounded pretty well.)

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44 minutes ago, Master Mi said:

Hey, thanks for the feedback. ))

I'm not a big fan of cutting off frequencies of instruments (because this can make the sound really dull) - but I could add some higher frequencies to the harp at the point where the harp goes wistfully up into the bit emotional part at 0:43.
I guess this would make totally sense - because I did some high band pass filter automations of the digital voice synth at this point (added some higher frequencies there).
An early thought was that the synth at this point should go a bit higher and melt with the harp.

But now I think it's better if the harp goes higher there as well - as you mentioned it - "to shine".
(I already recognized that the synth - before I did the high bandpass filter automations - stuck out at this point much more. And it sounded pretty well.)

If you cut the right frequencies, it definitely will not make the sound dull, but it will make it more clear and also more bright and audible (depending on circumstances of course). Cutting at the right place is usually a better solution than boosting; typically in the 200-500Hz area. Give it a shot :)

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I always recommend cutting rather than boosting, if possible. Boosting tends to lead to clutter if you don't really know where you actually want to boost and are just spitballing.

If a sound becomes too hollow by cutting, slightly undo what you just did (with your mouse, not Ctrl+Z) until you find a balance. The point is to make room for other instruments, in the context of the mix. It doesn't matter what they sound like by themselves, because instruments in a song are generally playing with other instruments.

The harp does sound rather dull. I don't think EQ would fix that (unless for some reason you gave it a low pass or a 10 dB cut in the midrange or something... THAT can be undone), though a small dip in the low-midrange (2-4 dB) would help reduce its resonance. Or try a different soundfont. If you can find FluidR3 GM out there, that harp actually comes through mixes quite well.

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I think there are much better alternatives than just cutting off frequencies - for example...

1) reducing just the volume of the less important track.
2) reducing the velocity of the VSTI samples or synthesizers at the less important track.
3) using a  wider stereo panorama distance or surround field distance to hear both competing tracks clearly or by putting the less important one far to the side or in the background.
4) changing the color/timbre of instruments - might be similar to cutting or adding frequencies but it 's a more natural, realistic variation you can perform with many instruments.
5) Sometimes it's not even necessary to cut off or add any frequencies because the blending frequencies of the different tracks make a really good new soundscape together.

When it comes to things like this I always ask myself how I would set up a track like it was an orchestra where you don't have those possibilities to cut off frequencies (except with some special playing techniques with which you can influence the frequencies a little bit) - even if I use synthesizers instead of acoustic instruments.

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Or, you could actually try the advice first and make judgment calls afterwards... If you don't want the critique, then don't ask for it.

  • If you never cut frequencies and you boost instead, then I can almost guarantee that your music will sound resonant somewhere in the midrange.
  • If you neither cut nor boost, then you'll likely get midrange clutter that makes your lead compete for attention.

I get that you can adjust volumes, velocities, and panning. But those are not the prominent issues here. In fact, even real orchestras need EQ to sound right. It's often not because the instruments were faulty... it's generally because the microphone(s) used were, and EQ is often necessary to even out the frequency pickup of the microphone(s) used.

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But the orchestra exists much longer than microphones, EQs or digital music production.

So they had to solve the frequency issue with the things they had there (right choice of instruments, fitting octaves/pitch, fitting articulations, greater use of volume and timing of each sound event, right "panning"/deployment of the musicians/players of the instruments) if they played the orchestra live for the public.

I don't think that those ancient orchestras and ensemble sounded bad without this high tech stuff - maybe rather the opposite.
But I think that the people in those days could have had sharper senses, sharper minds and probably a greater knowledge of acoustic sound design within the technological possibilities the had in those days. 

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3 hours ago, Master Mi said:

I don't think that those ancient orchestras and ensemble sounded bad without this high tech stuff - maybe rather the opposite.
But I think that the people in those days could have had sharper senses, sharper minds and probably a greater knowledge of acoustic sound design within the technological possibilities the had in those days. 

So... you're saying that people's ears got... worse... over time? o_o Even a person like me, who can't really stand pop music, can admit that whoever's doing the production for each pop artist generally does quite a pristine job.

Anyways, I get your point that orchestration didn't require EQ for performances to the general public in the past, but we're talking about a digital context here. We can (and do!) use orchestral instruments in a digital setting now, and in that setting, EQ (and volume and panning tweaks) is necessary to even out the orchestral performances, which are necessarily recorded to be produced into a song in the first place.

An example that immediately comes to mind is that maybe a contrabass recording picked up too much bass, and would make the mix muddy (bass + reverb = mud!); then it would require some cutting to clear out the low end in the context of the mix.

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Yeah - the bass with reverb (plugins) topic makes a good point.
In a less technological world of an ancient orchestra you would - if the sound is halling so much that you can't hear single sound events clearly anymore - probably change the surroundings until you have found an opera house or open air location where the hall/echo reflexions won't blend the frequencies of the individual instruments into sound mud anymore.


What I wanted to say is that:


1) Natural beings have often sharper senses than beings that lost their connection to nature over generations. It's mostly a matter of species-appropriate nutrition, natural and healthy development (or degradation at the non-natural way) of the body and vital life force that makes the big difference.
And the more people (or even animals) get restrained from vital nature the more they' ll lose their potencial, vitality, their fine senses (neurological development) and their health. And lots of humans of the modern age got very far away from nature with all the painful consequences.


2) Lots of essential knowledge of former times died literally out in the core of the society and has been replaced by mere (commercial) informations of big companies and profit-over-life structures that often dumb down the people's minds and bend truth into lies for their financial sake.
You can say that - for example the pretty wise Greek doctor Hippokrates of Cos - had more essential knowledge about health than most pharma-schooled doctors - guided by pharma-sponsored universities - have nowadays.
That's something like a wisdom-versus between "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." (in this case a pretty grounded old school teaching) and "Just take these pills to win the war against those dangerous enemies in your body" (in this case a pretty contrary, small-minded new school teaching).
It's not always like this. But it's an example that new teachings don't have to be always better than old teachings - especially if mindless greed becomes more important than the devout quest for truth.


3) It can be really fatal if technological advancement & possibilities surpass the knowledge und sanity of the users.
And not every trend or technological achievement is a good one.

Just to come back to the music stuff...
Let's face what dynamic compression in the age of loudness war has done to the sound quality of modern music.
It might not blow your head off if you listen to the soundtracks with the mastering standards of today. I kinda like lots of modern tracks - but mostly because of the composition & interesting sound design, not because of the unnecessary dynamic compression and kinda deadly sound surgery (nah, no bad jokes about surgeons and the quest for the lost limbs, livers or lives at this point).

If you compare the music standards of the 80s with the music industry standards of today you might hear a perceptible decrease at the hi-fi sound quality over the years.

...just because the salesmen, marketing agents and even some producers in the music industry started the unhealthy, mindless trend of competing in loudness instead of competing in musical content, interesting compositions and sound quality.

>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcKDMBuGodU

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lowering/cutting is not gonna hurt your track as much as you'd think. I have this piccolo right now that plays some very VERY high notes on one of my tracks - the original bleeds your ear. I EQ'd some of the nastier sounds in there but still made sure it sounded like a piccolo.

 here's a series about EQ. nobody is telling you to cut something entirely or make an instrument not sound the way it's supposed to; that's for sound design. It's all about making it the best possible for the listener (without completely sacrificing your vision)

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