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  • Collaboration Status
    1. Not Interested or Available
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • Software - Preferred Plugins/Libraries
    Vienna Symphonic Library (orchestral), EastWest (orchestral), Embertone (solo strings)
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration

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suikun's Achievements

  1. To be honest I also just yoinked that idea from a Youtube video where it was explained as the orchestra following the conducter who is also not a perfect metronome. Same thing still applies if you don't have a conductor but your partner instruments to follow. This is what the tempo looks like from start to finish. There's really no pattern to the changes, and that's kind of the point. Just an avarage target tempo that the gets played around. And while I was in the project anyway, this is what the violin's automations look like during the climax at around 2:52. From the top it's bow speed (think volume), vibrato amplitude, vibrato speed, bow pressure and bow position between bridge and finger board. So yeah, this is where those 30 hours went...
  2. Thanks everyone for having me! The title is indeed a reference to the TNG episode, but I didn't expect people to actually pick up on it. I'm not the biggest Star Trek buff, but I loved the concept of that episode. Just like they used stories and metaphors to convey meaning, I wanted to put this image into the listener's head of Yuna revisiting the ruins of Zanarkand and reminiscing about her journey. One little musical easter egg I put in at 2:52 in the cello is just the first four notes of the chorus of Suteki Da Ne, which I thought was fitting to have just before Yuna's imagined breakdown right at the next bar. This is totally not a failed attempt at creating a counterpoint line from the entire chorus >_> Regarding all the humanisation and execution of the strings I very much drew on my experience playing the violin myself. I never went beyond somewhat advanced intermediate, so I also listened to several performances especially by Hilary Hahn and paid a lot of attention to how a professional does the vibrato. One of the very important tricks is never letting any MIDI CC data become flat for vibrato and bow pressure. There should always be some movement over time, even if it's just by 2 to 3 points over a long sustain. This also applies to the BPM. It's actually a rather jagged zig-zag curve with fluctiations of as much as +-10% over a single bar. This emulates that the performers are listening to each other and adjusting all the time to play in sync. It's such a subtle change and the listener can't put their finger on it, but helps immensely with realism. This works for fully orchestrated pieces as well.
  3. @Hemophiliac Interesting. Maybe I was using the wrong approach due to how I learned mixing mainly through YouTube. Tutorials hardly use orchestra music for demonstration, so the way "mud" develops (e.g. overlap from untuned percussion, resonances from recording etc.) and is handled is very different. I was actually already considering the intervals, but rather based on instruments and sections. For example close writing in the flutes is fine but for trombones open writing is better. The goal is of course to avoid smearing the sound from a musical point of view but so far I hadn't considered this in the context of mixing. In hindsight it is of course obvious, but in my head composing and mixing were two separate and independent stages with independent problems. That is also why increasing the reverb just worked. The writing was already clean with regards to intervals, resonances were fixed before the reverb and recording issues can't be present due to the instruments being modeled.
  4. @Woody mC I've never dealt with a sampled organ before and I'm not familiar with the instrument's intricacies, but I'd assume that producing a satisfactory result using samples is significantly easier than for strings (no velocities and legato transistions to worry about?), so getting the authentic experience that way sounds reasonable. I've played the violin myself many years ago, and sampled solo strings just make me want to pull my hair out. If you know what the instrument is capable of, the limitations and one-off sampling issues just drive you nuts. The SWAM solo strings are the first I've actually enjoyed using.
  5. @Hemophiliac After listening back to it I think I agree on the reverb. It's already there but intentionally pulled down because I really don't want it to mud up the mix, but I actually invested a lot of time into shaping it using EQ and whatnot. I upped it by 4db and it added more to the realism than I anticipated and less mud than I thought it would. I've updated the main post with the version I actually submitted. It has some more subtle vibrato changes, and also increased reverb. My mail submission linked to my personal webspace, so I just swapped out the old file with the one with more reverb. I'll just cross my fingers that the process is slow enough so that they hadn't downloaded it yet.
  6. And it's done! I guess? Let's see what the review says. @Woody mC The piano I'm using is Pianotec from Modartt and they also have a modeled organ. I haven't looked into it much though. The strings are Audio Modeling SWAM and I don't think I will ever buy sampled strings again. Modeled instruments are just so much more enjoyable to use.
  7. Updated the first post with what is probably the final version. I'll let it sit for a few days and then probably switch over to ready for review.
  8. Updated the first post with a somewhat current WIP. I've added the second part, so at least the arrangement is done. Now follows all the detail work like humanization and whatnot. Hours and hours of CC curve editing... I've taken care that everything should still be humanly playable. All of the violin's double stops work out fine. Starting at 2:51 the piano will have to do some far jumps in the left hand, but there should be enough time...I guess? @HarlemHeat360 The instruments are not sampled. The sound is created on the fly, so they are actually closer to a synthesizer.
  9. An arrangement of "To Zanarkand" for piano trio (piano, violin and cello) titled "Yuna at Zanarkand, Her Mind on Lost Friends". It was a lot of fun and a great exercise to bounce the melodies between the different instruments to give them all their spotlights. Spinning counterpoints from previous melody snippets is such a great cheat. All instruments are modeled (i.e. synthesized on the fly) and don't use samples. It's amazing not having to fight them to get them to do what I want or wrestle with sampling limitations and inconsistencies. The downside is that you have to explicitely tell them what to do in excruciating detail. Update (16.06.22): Changed the attachment to the current WIP. The second part is done, so at least all notes are put down. Now to the ardous task of humanization... Update (30.06.22): Updated to somewhat final version and decided on the title. The realism can probably improved a bit more, but for now I'm out of ideas. I'll let it sit for a few days to listen to it again with fresh ears, but I think the mix should be fine. Update (10.07.22): Some finishing touches here and there. Ready for review! Update (25.07.22): Updated with the submitted version. Original song: 20220723.mp3
  10. Thanks for the feedback. It's true that there is not a lot of contrast. There's a actually a lot going on in the instrumentation, but many key elements remain largely the same, so there's not much percieved variation.
  11. I completely re-did the mixing to address some issues that had been bugging me forever. The mix should be a lot more transparent now, and all instruments have moved closer to the listener. Through the magic of parallel compression many quiet parts should be more audible. I've also eq-ed most instruments to sit better in the mix.
  12. After some more deliberation I don't think I have anything to add to the piece and am marking it as ready for review. I'm still a bit concerned about the tension management because the overarching crescendo is not that noticeable, but the bridges between the different themes should provide enough variation to keep things interesting.
  13. This is a mashup between Lifestream and the themes for Cloud (i.e. the FF7 main theme), Tifa and Aerith. The original plan was to include all character themes, but squeezing them into the 6/8 meter and completely changing the harmonies around to fit the Lifestream backing proved to be a bit too challenging. Every character has their dedicated woodwind instrument: Cloud is the clarinet, Tifa is the oboe and Aerith is the flute. When a character's theme becomes the main focus they are also doubled by a solo string instrument in the same register order: Cello for Cloud, viola for Tifa and violin for Aerith. Every focused theme is also accompanied by fragments of the other character themes using their respective instruments. The fragments are sometimes stretched or squished, and sometimes only the melodic idea remains. Mostly for Cloud this can render the original song somewhat unrecognizable, for example at 2:18. And again for Cloud, because the main theme is so long and they had to be changed to fit, the two fragments at 2:46 and 2:54 may not immediately ring a bell because they are from completely different parts of the original and preserve only certain musical aspects. This is my first try at really integrating multiple songs into one arrangement, but I'm highly satisfied with the result. I think the piece in its entirety is cohesive enough to be perceived as one and not just multiple arrangements tacked together, so it should still qualify for OCR submission. Edit: Updated attached music file. 20210912.mp3
  14. Thank you for the evaluation! I definitely struggled with setting apart the second iteration of the main theme from the first one. To visualize the structure to make it more explainable, the parts are Intro, A1, A2, B1 (brass) , C (tremolos), A3, A4, B2 The intensity is currently A1 < A2 = A3 < A4, in fact the only major change between A2 and A3 is swapping the melody support from second to first violins and the tacit on second violins. This is mainly to set A3 apart from A1, and back then I couldn't easily think of more what I could have done. Your comment about subtractive arranging is spot on though. I could have removed the irish flute from A3 and A4 completely and replaced it with alternate instruments; for example have woodwinds do the melody in A3 with the strings supporting and swap that around for A4 (I really like the current sound of the doubled melody across the violins and violas). The irish flute could then come back in for the finale in B2. I might toy around with that before submitting, which I definitely will do And I will have to come up with a name for the song, oh dear...
  15. Thanks for your impressions. The flute is Embertone's Shire Whistle which punches way above its price point. The ornaments were just me being a derp, most notes were input via mouse and not played in. The general idea is now to have the first run of the theme melody be just that and the second run to add some more variation in the form of ornaments and portamentos. As for how to make the arrangement stand out more, right now this is as far as my current ability will carry me. This is only my fifth finished work and I will need to gather more experience with other songs to get a better grip on what could be further improved. I already learned a lot from this arrangement, and I hope this trend will continue with the next arrangements I will attempt. However, my main goal was not to make the arrangement different for the purpose of making it different, but to create something that I would enjoy listening to, and regarding this aspect I am quite satisfied. I'm particularly proud of the various counterpoints, the use of tremolos and trills, and the brief Prelude phrase.
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