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Everything posted by Neifion

  1. Yeah, I had the close mics up on the vibraphone at 2:20, which increases the stereo field. I kind of like it like that, but I'll see what it's like dialed back a bit. As for the theremin slides, I'm afraid of them getting cheesy if they're any more prominent, but I'll try increasing them a little and seeing what happens. At 2:43 the low strings are following the vibraphone in a lower octave, intended to provide a slight boomy layer underneath, so yeah, they were intended to be just a subtle accent to the forefront vibes. But I'll increase them a bit like you suggest, as I do want them heard! The last part from 3:17 where the s*** starts to hit the fan, I can see where you're coming from. I think I know exactly what to do; the low strings staccs and the bass are fighting for some room. I'll probably clarify the strings there so that the bass can do it's nice boomy thing in peace. Thanks for the suggestions!
  2. Pretty sure the deadpan thing was part of the act.
  3. Some nice horn work! Not familiar with the source, but I like where this is going.
  4. Hey timaeus, thanks for listening! Yeah, I'll go ahead and raise up the drums a bit. I had intentionally kept them out of the way because I didn't want them stealing the spotlight, but certainly for the finale, they do get pretty buried. I see where you're coming from for 2:08-2:17, though I wanted to keep it sort of low-key "boogie style" with the bass, legato strings, and theremin (that's the sine wave thingy) until the wailing strings runs and brass hit it big with the jazzy sound. For the mix, do you mean that the mid-range is muddy? Think some EQ is in order?
  5. Whoa, I didn't know that! Funny because when I found him I was thinking about how much his stuff reminded me of the Infinite covers! Tainted Love was my favorite. Haven't checked out their Daft Punk cover yet. Must do!
  6. I like that. Anyone else discovered these guys? They do vintage covers of popular songs. Not a new concept by any means, but I think they do a pretty good job. Hate the original, but like their version: This one is particularly epic:
  7. Remix: https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/monster-in-the-headlights Source: DKR needs some more lovin'.
  8. Really fun to watch; great performances and arrangements (love the little dances in there too, lol). My favorite was Hot Head Bop (wish I could play as well as you, damn it)! I'm going to listen to this while I cram for my final tomorrow.
  9. Definitely agree with you here. Though to go back to my point, I was referring to effort, not how good it sounds. Sure, my songs ten years ago sound like crap because I didn't have the samples, the knowledge, technique, etc. But, I gave just as much effort back then as I do now. Similarly, if you're under a deadline or budget constraint, of course it's not going to be 100% quality-wise. But, it could certainly be 100% effort-wise. You did your best to make it work, and you can feel good knowing that although it may not be your pinnacle work, you gave it your best effort. I respect artists who continually put their best effort in for every song, even if said song didn't turn out to be what they wanted. I do not respect artists who could have put more effort in, who had the time and the means, who knew exactly what they needed to do to make it better, but just decided not to because they felt that people wouldn't notice, they got lazy, etc. In other words, people who deliberately put their work out, knowing they could have done more.
  10. Again, I feel like you're thinking too hard about it. I didn't intend for it to get that complicated, and that's my fault for not explaining myself well. Did you give it your best effort? Then to me, that's 100%. Seriously, that's it! Maybe I'm an exception to the rule, but I have a pretty good idea of what my best effort is. I can feel it when I didn't give 100%, when I got lazy, when I took the "easy way" out in my writing or programming; it bugs me, and I have to go back and make it right!
  11. All right, apparently I didn't explain myself well enough, since multiple people are analyzing my statement incorrectly. If you put your heart and soul into a song, independent of how "good" the song is, I don't consider it filler. If you did not put your heart and soul into a song (i.e. less than your 100%), I consider that filler, and I don't really respect artists who put out less than their 100% to the public. Does that explain it better?
  12. That's not really my point. How long it takes to finish a song says nothing about the effort. You can finish a great song in half an hour, and still put everything into it. Conversely, you can take a month to finish a half-assed song. Indeed, I think I finished my better songs in a fraction of the time it took for my other songs, because I was "in the groove", so to speak. Personally, I've never produced a "quick, lazy" track, and I don't plan to.
  13. I see it more from the artist's perspective: "track they didn't put very much effort in".
  14. Nice composition here, and great piano work. Strings and flute could use a lot more CC dynamics; as it is, they are quite static. Would be great to hear the strings breathe and swell naturally. Also, I would love to hear the flute a little more at 6:10, and also do some more than the same repetitive two bar phrase over and over. The notes are all half notes; it would be great to hear more variety in length notes as well; leave the regularity to the string staccatos and sustains in the back, but give the flute some more dynamism and character.
  15. I wasn't pointing to you or anyone in particular. I just think people who put out filler are ripping off their fans. Saying "I'll only put my heart and soul into 3 or 4 tracks but that's not enough for an album. So I'll half-ass the rest, and that way I can charge $9.99." Versus someone who puts everything they have into each and every song and charges the same amount. Again, I'm not saying this is you or anyone here, just in general. Radio City is just a nickname for the big studios over in Hollywood (and New York).
  16. People who put filler tracks on an album suck. Why would you do that? Why would you let me listen to "not-your-best"? Being naive on purpose here, because the only answers to those questions are terrible: lazy, rushed, money, etc. Leave that crap to the Radio City producers. Put your best into every song. If I want filler I'll go buy some lettuce.
  17. It's why art degrees are pretty much worthless these days (and have been for a long while). It's why I'm starting up my master's in software engineering this fall rather than settling with my BS. Trying to make a crap ton of money, so that I can spend that money (and whatever time I have) making music. Oh yeah, and then maybe spending some time with the wife.
  18. The net opinion here seems to lean towards "go for it!", and I'm not against that by any means, however, a word of caution... If you're not really interested in money (aka you're only interested in the enjoyment of making an album), then I say there's absolutely no reason you shouldn't do an album. However, if your main goal (or even your half-goal) is to make a profit, then you really need to test the waters first and see if there is a demand for your music. You can make seriously amazing music with the highest production values and you won't sell a cent if nobody wants to listen. Just because something is valuable doesn't mean people are going to line up to buy it; there has to be a demand for it. So yes, all of this can-do attitude is great, but I think it would be wise to temper it first by setting your goal: money or enjoyment (or both!), and second by testing individual tracks with the public before getting ready for the long haul. From the other side, if you're not good enough to make a profit yet, the only way to get there is to write more music. So you might as well start on an album for the practice, and by the time you're done, perhaps your skills and popularity will be at the point where selling that album will net you some cash! Kind of a Zen thing I guess.
  19. Not necessarily. As long as your stuff is good, chances are, someone will like it. I do everything from classical to electronic, and I still get people who listen to my stuff. Many who liked the classical tracks also liked the electronic ones! The thing is, if you want to diversify successfully, you should make sure you're good enough in all the styles you want to do. At least as good as the "main style" that people like you for. Sometimes I get annoyed that a particular singer always ALWAYS sings the same damn genre and the same damn style ALL the time. But maybe that's the only style they're good at. Maybe they tried other styles, but people thought they sucked, so they returned to their roots. Well, then they're doing the smart thing, sticking to their guns. That being said, even if you do stick to one or a few styles, there are countless ways to approach things and keep things fresh, including but not limited to incorporating new techniques, instruments, or hybridizing other genres into your compositions. And by then, you're already starting to branch out to different genres of music altogether. First things first though, create some tracks, put them out there, and determine the genre(s) that other people like you for, and that enjoy writing.
  20. A good way to test the water is just put out a few singles of your best work. If they sell well, make more or start on an album. If they don't, go back to the drawing board, develop your style and skills some more, and try again.
  21. I use Spitfire Sable as my divisi (chamber-sized sections of 4,3,3,3,3). Sable is a library of it's own though; doesn't come with the full symphonic sections (for symphonic-sized I use Spitfire Mural or Cinematic Strings 2). My wallet is still limping almost a year later, but since I mostly do involved orchestral compositions, it was worth it as they sound amazing. I often actually prefer the chamber sound to the symphonic sound in my writing, so Sable is my go-to for strings these days. I believe LASS has auto-divisi, which will actually split the players automatically if you play a chord (correct me if I'm wrong?) Don't have LASS, so I'm just going off what I remember hearing.
  22. Yep, you got it. My V1 patch is a single patch containing the entire 1st Violins section. Same idea for the other 4 sections.
  23. You do not have 1 patch per player. You have 1 patch per string section (i.e. 1 patch for V1, 1 patch for V2, etc.) You have 5 different string sections. V1, V2, Vla, VC, CB. You have one legato patch for each section. That's 5 patches. You have one staccato patch for each section. That's 5 patches. You have one pizzicato patch for each section. That's 5 patches. Total of 15 patches, each in it's own track in the DAW. Of course, only one articulation per section can be playing at any time. So at the maximum, you'll hear V1s playing one of the three articulations (legato, staccato, OR pizz), the V2s playing one of the three articulations, the Vlas playing one of the three articulations, and so forth. So at most, each of the 5 string sections will only be playing only one of their three available articulations at any given moment. The reason I have all three articulations up in the template is so that I can switch articulations whenever I need to. For instance, if the V1s are currently playing legato, I won't have them also playing staccato or pizzicato. That way, only 16 violins maximum are playing at one time, just as in a real orchestra. And no matter what articulation they are currently playing, they can only play one note at a time (no chords). If there is a chord in the composition, it is composed of multiple string sections, each section playing one note of the chord (as I described in my last post). The exception is that if I do want a single section to play a chord, I use divisi patches (smaller number of players) to maintain the overall section size. For instance, from 1:08 - 1:28 of the following song, I have V1 playing melody legato (1 articulation/1 patch), Vla playing counterpoint legato (1 articulation/1 patch), VC playing staccato (1 articulation/1 patch), and CB playing pizzicato (1 articulation/1 patch). If I wanted to add anything else, the only thing I could add would be V2 (choice of legato, staccato, OR pizz), but I decided to let them take a break for that segment. So only 4 patches are playing at once, 1 patch from each section (except for the V2s). And then from 1:28 - End, the V1s switch to playing pizzicato, the Vlas also switch to playing pizzicato, the VC switch to playing legato, and the CB continue playing pizzicato. So 4 patches are still playing at once, but 3 have switched to a different articulation patch. https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/aires-and-graces Hope that made sense!
  24. Late to the party here, but if you're wanting to go for a realistic sound, you really should write the way composers do for live orchestra. I know the OP said he was just doing basic stuff to support the metal work, and so obviously I'm not suggesting he should go all hyper-orchestral and all. Of course this is more to offer suggestions to those who are going for the orchestral concert sound, whether it be cinematic or classical. First, you should write for each section: V1, V2, Vla, VC, and CB separately. Play each in separately, and control CC dynamics separately, one at a time, by hand as well. And no quantize. All this goes a long way for humanization. Use proper section sizes (standard symphonic size is 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, standard chamber size is 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, though the number can vary slightly from library to library). And also know what string sections are used for what. For instance, V2 are typically used for harmony, not for melody. Stay away from ensemble patches, as in a real situation, you will virtually never hear all 5 sections playing the same note. At most, 2 or 3 sections may converge in a passage, perhaps octaved or not, to highlight a motif, chorus, or during an important crescendo, but never for long, because it gets rather static fast . Orchestral compositions are dynamic, highlighting certain sections at times, allowing two or three to harmonize for a moment, before each breaking off to do it's own thing, then converging for an important motif, etc. Of course, as people have said, having one track per articulation, multiplied by 5 sections, can be a lot. That's why I do similar to what Shrack mentioned: I have a template with just the legato, stacc, and pizz, so 15 tracks. Then, if I need additional ones like a Vla trill, or V1 flautando, I'll add them in as needed. If you're on Cubase, you can route multiple MIDI tracks to a single VST instrument, with each MIDI track routed through it's own MIDI channel into the separate articulation patch (legato, spicc, etc.) Not sure how other DAWs do it, but it makes life a lot easier, especially when I'm dealing with the rest of the full orchestra. Some people are fans of the keyswitch approach; that I am not. Another benefit of writing and playing in each section separately is that it teaches you the unique qualities that each section has to offer. Viola, Cellos, CBs all say things differently; they each provide different colors and emotions. You can slap them all on at once, sure, but if you really want to maximize the quality of your strings, you need to learn how to paint each one separately. That way you can do things like write in a cello line to emphasize a bit of dramatic depth, or a pp-mp violin trill here to add a delicate, wintry feeling, or a smooth viola legato sound like floating through the air. Also, in talking to some of the guys at EW and Spitfire, the ensemble patches are mostly there for quick idea sketching, with the intent that you'd go back and use the individual section patches to get the final sound. One thing to remember as well, is that if you have a V1 patch loaded, for example, when you press a key, that's all violins in that section playing at once. If you want to do a chord, simply split the notes of the chord so that each section only plays one note. For example, a three note chord can have the violins playing the high note, the violas playing the mid note, and the cellos playing the low note. If you need to have one string section playing more than one note of a chord, the best thing would be to use a divisi patch (section size of 4-8 for example). I admit, sometimes I fudge a little bit, you go by your ear of course, but if you're going for realism, rule of thumb is to be aware of those sections sizes and not go over the max amount too much, else the ear will subconciously start to notice. And I wouldn't even think about using an ensemble patch for chords! And then there's panning. From left to right: V1, V2, Vla, VC, CB. High to low. If you're hearing more violin in the right ear than the left, something is wrong. Finally, the ear is king of course, so if it sounds good, screw rules and go with it. But if you're doing an orchestral piece and your goal is to get a convincing orchestral sound, you definitely want to consider the rules. I tend to stick to the rules even when I do hybrid tracks, but that's a style thing. Some examples: Classical https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/aires-and-graces Cinematic https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/the-life-he-gave Hybrid: https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/blind-ambition Hope this helps!
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