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Everything posted by Moseph

  1. Think 200 GB for a piano is bad? I have (but have not yet installed) a 25 GB sample library of old synth presets. As in, synth presets that occupied no more than a couple of megabytes on the original hardware.
  2. There's a small possibility that there's something wonky with the MP3 encoder your DAW's using. If you want to explore this, try exporting as WAV ans then converting to MP3 with a different program (iTunes, Audacity, etc.). If the MP3 player that doesn't play the file correctly is old, though, it may just be a problem with the player, since back when people first started using MP3s, no one typically encoded at high bitrates. The player may just not be designed to handle them.
  3. True, but Vienna Symphonic isn't a single piano. Production Grand has 8 mic positions sampled in 24-bit at 96 kHz, apparently. 96 kHz seems like overkill to me, but maybe there's a market for that now. The uncompressed 400+ GB figure may also be including the lower kHz/bit-depth versions, since it looks like those are also included in the full version (because nobody wants to load 96 kHz samples under normal circumstances). Specs on size of course, don't tell you everything. For example, this library has 12 velocity layers, and the Vienna Imperial, at around 60 GB, has (according to the Vienna site) 100 velocity layers. EDIT: For what it's worth, Quantum Leap Pianos Platinum has a 262 GB drive footprint (compared with ~210 GB for Production Grand), though that includes 4 pianos rather than 1 and I'm not sure if/how EastWest compresses its samples.
  4. Really good orchestration and arranging. I don't think the seven minute runtime is a problem at all, because you have enough development over the course of it to keep things interesting. My comments here mainly have to do with production and sample use, because those areas aren't as strong as the arrangement itself. It sounds like you're mostly relying on velocity to set dynamic level rather than expression control (CC11, or whichever CC your library(ies) uses). As a result, there are a lot of places where sustains feel lifeless and where phrasing doesn't hang together so well. The brass line starting at 1:38 is a good example of this. Am I correct in thinking that you're using EWQL Symphonic Orchestra? If so, you may want to experiment with the DXF (dynamic crossfade) patches, which crossfade between velocity layers in response to CC1, unlike the standard patches which have a static velocity layer set by the note velocity. Regardless of which type of patch you use, though, you can probably be more liberal with CC11 -- I think it will help to breathe some life into the performance. There are some places in the brass where the midrange is boomy -- particularly with the horns from 1:22 to 1:38. This should be pretty easy to fix by EQing the offending frequencies. Spatialization and reverb are not bad, although I think there are some details that could be improved. I find that EWQL SO (again, I'm assuming that this is what you're using) tends to have note connections that sound a little too clean in the context of a full orchestra, which is kind of what I'm hearing here. You might try adding a short reverb on everything to smear notes together. It'll be a subtle effect, but it may help the ensemble gel a little better.
  5. I write in Finale and then perform from that score to record into the DAW. I don't see the point of writing in the DAW when I'd just need to rerecord everything anyway to get the performance correct, and I'd much rather write with (and perform from) proper notation software than a piano roll or a stripped-down notation view. This also helps me separate writing from recording/editing from mixing, which I find significantly improves my workflow. Working in my favor, though, is the fact that I compose/orchestrate with only a piano patch and no automated playback. It doesn't matter to me that Finale's playback is inconvenient and doesn't sound good, because I don't use it. If anyone's looking for a Finale/Sibelius alternative, MuseScore is free and reasonably fully-featured, although when I tried it maybe a year-and-a-half ago the note entry process was nowhere near as easy as it is in Finale, so I kind of lost interest in it. (MuseScore only allows you to enter notes by setting duration with the computer keyboard and then hitting a MIDI key to enter the note, whereas Finale allows you to hold a MIDI key and then hit the duration on the computer keyboard to enter the note, which is superior because it allows you to also noodle around on the MIDI keyboard without entering notes or having to change tools.) EDIT: I really wish I could justify pen/staffpaper hand-notation for anything beyond basic sketches, but it just takes too long and is harder to perform from. There's a charm and personality (and, if done in ink, a confidence) to a hand-written draft that no computer-notated score can match.
  6. I believe the reverb numbers on that chart are the chartmaker's suggestions for additional length on the reverb tail to simulate depth without actually having to model early reflections. They're definitely not predelay times per se, because predelay is much shorter (generally under 70 ms) and scales in the opposite direction.
  7. The easiest way to get started with MIDI is to hack an existing piece of MIDI hardware rather than building one from scratch. I ripped up an old keyboard controller and wired a set of pedals from a church organ into it, which involved figuring out some of the simpler circuit boards in the unit and constructing replacements for them. Quite a lot of fun.
  8. This was already covered in the thread about Mamoru Samuragochi, but I'm posting it again because I can:
  9. Avoiding bassline jumps is more a classical music thing than a pop music thing, so it really depends on the style you're going for. Huge leaps can be extremely effective at drawing attention to the bassline, if that's what you want to do -- check out in which the bass jumps upward by a major ninth but other than that moves mostly by step.
  10. Treat the bassline like a melody. You don't have to sit on the chord root all the time; even if you want to emphasize the root, it often works well simply to reference the root in a strong metric location then move off of it.
  11. AudioDeluxe is giving a free license for UVI Digital Synsations (MSRP $199) with any purchase (through June 30th).
  12. For me, Windows Media Player opens it and QuickTime doesn't. Sonar will import it without any problem, but it won't preview the track count in the file browser and lists the type as "unknown." (MIDI files are usually type 0 or type 1.) If you can find contact info for whoever runs the site, you could ask if they can give you any info about the file type. EDIT: Skimming this page makes me think that maybe the file header (which contains formatting info) is missing or corrupt. EDIT 2: Ah, yes, when I try to load it into a Pure Data project, Pure Data identifies it as a RIFF MIDI file, tells me that the header chunk is bad, and refuses to open the file. (I'm not certain whether the error means that the header is corrupt or just that Pure Data can't open RIFF MIDI.) The exact error message is: midifile: Header chunk type: RIFF midifile: bad file format: bad header chunk type (For reference, I'm using scene3.mid from the page you linked.) EDIT 3: Pure Data also can't open RIFF MIDI files saved from Sonar, so the header is probably not corrupt. Anyway, the files from that site (or scene3.mid at any rate) ought to have the file extension .rmi rather than .mid. I think your best bet is to try to find a program that specifically says it opens RIFF MIDI files and convert it from there. So what DarkeSword said, basically. (Also, RIFF MIDI is a Microsoft format, which explains why Media Player opens it without a problem.)
  13. The technical rationale for limiting lower than 0 dBFS is that there are some situations in which a digital-to-analog converter can produce clipping-like errors when converting samples at 0 dBFS. It happens becauae the DAC has to generate a voltage based on the digital samples, and depending on the arc of the waveform, the analog peak may occur between two max-value samples, which causes it to exceed the digital value (this is called an inter-sample peak). You can actually get metering plug-ins that will tell you how high these peaks will be, but the simplest way to make sure they don't cause problems is to limit your master at slightly below 0 dBFS.
  14. With Soundcloud/Youtube, the problems are most likely due to the fact that Soundcloud and Youtube both compress the audio so that it can be streamed. They're recompressing your already compressed mp3/wma file, so this might be causing sound quality issues. Export from the DAW as a wav or aif file (44.1 khz, 16-bit), upload that, and see if it sounds better. The mp3 player issue may be caused by the waveform clipping (it looks from the Soundcloud rendering like you have the level pumped really high). It may not be audible on all speakers/playback devices. Go into your DAW and see where the master track's level peaks in the problem areas -- if it's peaking above 0, it's clipping. There are various ways to address this, but the simplest for testing purposes is to pull the master fader down substantially, export it, and see if you still hear the problem on the mp3 player. (EDIT: I missed your note about levels, so this might not be the issue. Maybe double-check the master level, though, since it is still possible for that to clip even when none of the individual tracks do.)
  15. Buuump -- NI's 50% off upgrades/crossgrades is now happening.
  16. This is the first I've heard of Elias, but it looks like a video game audio engine (like FMOD or Wwise) rather than a normal music creation tool. That being the case, I think it would only be useful in the context of programming actual interactive game music (where player actions affect how the music develops) rather than ReMixes (which are completely non-interactive).
  17. Oh, money. That's why I just program my own MIDI controllers out of whatever input devices I have lying around. (no, seriously, I hacked a graphics tablet to simulate a violin and it's amazing)
  18. I don't personally use GarageBand so I can't speak from experience, but a couple minutes of googling suggests that it's not actually possible in GarageBand to assign MIDI tracks to transmit on specific MIDI channels, which is what you would need to do to access multiple patches in a single Miroslav instance. It's probably one of those features they intentionally left out to encourage people to upgrade to Logic.
  19. The violin sound you have going on right now is a bit cramped and nasal, which gives it an almost harmonica-like timbre in some places. Have you done any EQing on it yet? You might try cutting in the 1-3 kHz range to reduce some of the harshness and boosting a bit below that (maybe 600 Hz) to increase body. Boosting with a high shelf above maybe 5 kHz might help bring the overtones out a bit, which may give it a bit more sparkle. I think it would also benefit from a wider, wetter reverb. How did you record this? I ask because it sounds like a close mic in a very small space, which, if it is the case, is probably contributing to the cramped sound and may be difficult to fix in the mix.
  20. They do sometimes put the crossgrades on sale for 50% off. When it happens, it's generally in the summer or holiday season.
  21. As Carl Sagan said, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."
  22. Try going into the iLok license manager, right-clicking the iLok, and selecting Sync/Repair. There's a chance that the activation has already gone through on EastWest's end but the iLok hasn't updated itself to reflect it. This happened to me a few months ago, and IIRC "invalid or already used code" was the error that the EastWest authorization manager gave me.
  23. One caveat about Session Horns (this doesn't apply to Session Horns Pro): there are no individual instruments, only combined ensembles. It gives a decent sound without a lot of arranging work, since it auto-assigns chord notes to instruments based on range -- but you sacrifice flexibility. If you want a lot of control over orchestration details, Session Horns wouldn't be a good choice.
  24. Miroslav Philharmonik on sale for $29.99 at Audio Deluxe. http://audiodeluxe.com/products/ik-multimedia-miroslav-philharmonik
  25. Divisi patches only exist in some of the high-end libraries. Having them basically means doubling or tripling the sample content, since whoever makes the library has to record everything multiple times with the different numbers of players. The libraries I can think of off the top of my head that I know have divisi are LA Scoring Strings (Full), Hollywood Strings (Diamond), and Adagio Strings. I have actually had a bit of success using Session Strings Pro as a makeshift divisi ensemble for VSL strings, since Session Strings Pro has fewer players per section than VSL, but it's harder to get a proper blend doing this than with an actual divisi library.
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