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FF7 Cid's Theme - Thomas Newman homage


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Hi all, I've had this arrangement sitting around for way too long, and decided to finally try to get in a finished state to submit. Feeling relatively confident about the arrangement, less so about the mix. Would love any feedback you guys can give (and sorry it's on the long side!). Thanks.

Remix: https://soundcloud.com/rhumphrey/cid-tempmix


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I think it's sounding great! It definitely has that American Beauty / Road to Perdition Newman feel. The piano, synth, and marimba parts are lovely.

Some things I would recommend is to rethink the snare drum. It really throws the beginning with the tinny sound and is a stark contrast to the smooth tones and melodies. It doesn't really fit. It could also be your samples. Try finding some heavier thicker snares, or try concert or taiko drums if you have them, otherwise leave it out in those spots.

Composition and orchestration wise, it definitely has some great promise, and there are some great moments in the piece. The samples unfortunately are hurting a bit of your expressiveness (primarily strings and brass), so I'd recommend investing in some better libraries in the future. Soundsonline.com is always running insane package deals on their orchestra libraries, especially during holidays.

If you want some Thomas Newman goodness, pick up LASS Strings (the lite version is totally fine). They are some of the warmest and richest strings in any sample library. Just listen to the demos http://audiobro.com/demos/music/. There's also the newer Cinestrings Core (cheaper version) you can pickup which I hear is also excellent. http://cinesamples.com/product/cinestrings-core. Also their Cinebrass (actually ALL their libraries) are some of the best in the business.

As a side note, I'd recommend pushing the bottom end a little more with your bass strings. Newman's signature sound is very full bodied and warm. You're getting close though.

Keep it up!

Edited by Jared Hudson
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Thanks for the comments, Jared! Been a fan of yours for a while now.

Since you mentioned CineStrings, just wanted to say that's the main string library you're hearing here. I've been using it for a bunch of mockups lately, and it's pretty great. I was kind of surprised to discover how rough it got when exposed and at a softer dynamic like at the end of this arrangement, though. I'd been thinking maybe I could get away with it, but it sounds like I need to sweeten it a little more.

The only other deficiencies in the library I'd cite are high melodic lines -- usually end up doubling those with another library (CS2 here) and runs, which they very well might add when Pro comes out. Otherwise it's good and tweakable but easy to work with; definitely recommended.

Cinebrass is pretty good (love that solo horn) but their trumpets make me want to kill myself. :-)

Thanks again for the feedback!

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