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Topic: starting out tips....

  1. #1

    starting out tips....

    i am a studio owner & musician from israel.

    i am going into composing and making some movie scores & soundtracks and hope i can get some advise from you.

    my gear list :
    ram vintage 80's console
    pc p4 1gb of ram running xp pro, cubase sx 2.2, e-mu's new 1820m sound card with an emulator x studio soft sampler,
    some mics & 4 akg 240 studio headphones.

    i am going to focus mainly on orchestral arrangements and recently bought the eastwest symphonic orchestra samples .

    my questions are :
    1. can i make a realistic and convincing soundtrack with the list above ?

    2. is one pc capble of handling 2 or more soft samplers running heavy duty multichannel sessions + the host (cubase sx) without crasdhing or needing of multiple bounces after every instrument is layed ?

    3. what other realistic sounding samples libreries do you recomand for making music with midi not only orchestral but allso drums, piano's & so on...

    4. what is your set up consist of and what are you using all the time ?

    5. is 1 gig of ram enough for running multiple soft samplers with heavy samples on cubase sx 2.2 ?

    - excuse my english....

    Music project studios


  2. #2

    Re: starting out tips....

    Hi "Musicproject".

    What you need - in terms of hardware and software - depends on what kinds of task you are planning to specialize in. If you are planning to do some work for your own sake or for friends or an occasional paid job every now and then, then you might use whatever stuff fits your own needs.

    If you plan to work your way into the professional competition however, then your foremost tools of use is personal connections, reliability, talent and speed. A large setup of tools will not make you faster. When I started getting paid I found myself having to cut down heavily on my tools to maintain the speed/reliability factor. There was no way I could the pace up while being a sound engineer, composer, conductor, programmer and musician at the same time. Even though I am practically able to do for example the engineering part to a fair level, I tend to do the music stuff and I leave the other aspects – such as engineering, notation and conducting – to others, who are professionals in their field. That way the work goes faster and the end result gets overall much better.

    Mr Zimmer for example, has a huge setup of electronical tools, but he also has a lot of assistants to maintain it and set it up for him. This is done partially for practical reasons but most presumably for the sake of time saving too, I would say. You don’t get very inspired to contribute with fitting compositions for screen or stage play when your concentration is more focused on parameters than on notes. So my suggestion is to be careful about what stuff you use, and how. Good sounds never replaces the craftmanship of a good suitable composition.

    Realism, as you asked for, is partially done with good sounds, and partially done with good programming. Some people uses samples for $$$ but care little for things as realistic-sounding rhythmically and individual player’s attitude towards their instruments. You need to get all aspects down in the programming to make it sound realistic – not just using good samples. Some samples are actually too good, since they sound cleaner and more sterile than a real orchestra would. So realism is as much in the programming as in the samples.

    One of the most respected libraries for orchestral samples today is Vienna Symponic Library. If you have EWQL SO already VSL might be another library too look into. It requires massive hardware resources to use however.

    Your list of hardware seems decent, but you might want to add more RAM to be able to use softsynths and samples efficiently. Most professionals, however, either uses several computers synchronized in a room that looks like a NASA control room, or go the John Williams’s way of using a piano, pencil and paper.

    Good luck with your music

  3. #3

    Re: starting out tips....

    thank you very much tomke.

    good points.

    please tell me what you think of this mp3 i have done for a movie.


  4. #4

    Re: starting out tips....

    If you are talking about EWQLSO Gold, then I think you are in good shape (although upgrading to 1.5GB or 2GB of total RAM would be beneficial.) Gold will also help you in terms of time because the preset settings are very good and you can get good results without spending much time doing audio-engineering. If you are talking about EWQLSO Silver, then I say upgrade to Gold. If you are talking about EWQLSO Platinum, then you need more power to make full use of it. Specifically, you need more computers. If you want to use EWQLSO Platinum on just one computer, try just using one mic position per sample. I'd guess probably stage/far most of the time with surround mics less of the time and close mics only for special occasions but you could experiment. I hope that helps.

  5. #5

    Re: starting out tips....

    I just listened to the link you posted. I'm not sure if you wanted my input also but since you had the link there I thought I might as well give my thoughts.

    It's a quite pleasant piece and I have only a few suggestions. The drums and piano are quite convincing. The intro is nice and the piece creates a very effective mood. The bass is convincingly performed but you might want to make some changes to the way it's mixed to fatten it up a bit, potentially through EQing. Also, the moment around 0:49 leaves the sample too exposed and sounds artificial. You might want to try and mask it more or re-think that particular moment a little. Also, and this is really just a matter of personal preference, but you might want to bring the synth parts out more in a few spots to add interest. Also, you might want to emphasize the drama of the piano part at the pause (I think it was around 2:44) in the other parts a little more. It's a cool moment, draw more attention to it.

  6. #6

    Re: starting out tips....

    per, thank you for your input.

    i am sorry to disapoint you but piano' drums & bass were recorded live as a trio!!! and then i add some synths & live perc. so your remarks are for playing and not for programing :-)

    but thats ok, the samples are so good today that you can easely be misled

    any way thank you for the feedback.

  7. #7

    Re: starting out tips....

    oh, and i bought the silver edition.

    i will get it this wednesday.

    so i welcome any tips you have.

  8. #8

    Re: starting out tips....

    Even if the bass is recorded live, you can still use compression and/or EQ to fatten it up.

    Do you mean to say that the instruments were recorded together on one track and that it would be hard to process them separately?

  9. #9

    Re: starting out tips....

    no marti, they were recorded live on seperate tracks but on 2" 24 track studer in a big studio & i didn't convert them to digital and move them into a daw so mixing it again would not be simple. any way, the movie is already out aand the soundtrack finished.

    your points are good but the production liked it that way so...

    maybe i'll transfer my 2" reels to a computer and play with it just for fun.

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