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Topic: Flute concerto take 2

  1. #1

    Flute concerto take 2

    Hi everyone!

    I've tried to improve on the mix of the flute concerto movement that I posted yesterday. Here's what I did:

    - I added some reverb to place the instruments farther in the hall
    - I tried to correct some balance problems between the different string sections
    - I worked again on the EQ of the GOS violins to try to remove more high end and make them sound less "synthy"

    Could anyone be so kind as to listen to the new version (especially the people who listened to the first one yesterday) and let me know if you feel there's any improvement at all? I'd especially like to know if:

    - Is there now too much reverb?
    - Is the balance any better?
    - Did I remove too much high end from the violins? I'm afraid it sounds just as synthy as before, but that it now lacks brilliance. I'd really appreciate any tip on how I could have made it sound more realistic, as I've tried pretty much all the techniques I've ever read here or elsewhere, but I just can't seem to get it quite right. At this point, I'm thinking it may simply be a problem with GOS when writing elaborate string parts, especially when they're "naked" like this. But heck, *I'm* usually the problem, so it must be me!

    Here's the link to the old mix:


    Here's the new file:


    Thank you so much for your time and generosity!

  2. #2

    Re: Flute concerto take 2

    Personally, the strings are the issue that I hear in the piece. Not so much the mix, but they just sound a little out of place. I am not sure what to tell you how to fix it because I am not familiar with that library as much, but I think that the strings could use a little reverb, but I feel that the flute is good. I would leave the flute where it is. Compositionally your piece is good, the string writing sounds okay, I mostly hear the synth-ness at parts where the strings as contrasting to a softer dynamic. Possibly another articulation? But either way, it sounds good, just the strings sound a little strange at moments, but at other moments, they are excellent.

    Great music!
    Sean R. Beeson

  3. #3

    Re: Flute concerto take 2


    It's an improvement! The flute has more air, but the strings still seem a bit synthy. I doubt that there's anything you could do about it. Sometimes with a piece, one gets the feeling that a real orchestra is the only way to it justice, and that, ironically, the virtuosity of the music shows the limitations of the library as much as the fine musicianship. I think that's what's going on here.

    To be honest I wouldn't worry about it. It seems fine for your purposes ie. a guide to the piece you're writing. Yes, you could get VSL and SISS and spend two weeks editing and programming it to sound stunning, but that wouldn't get the writing done. Besides, that much midi editing would probably make the printed manuscript unreadable - that's something all midi composers should bear in mind if they want live musicians to play their stuff.

    As it is, it's still fun to listen to. Despite the artifice of the sound (and it really isn't too bad actually), it successfully showcases the innate qualities of the writing. I think that's been proven by the responses you've been getting.

    Anyway, I'm sure there are guys here who could give you better techie tips than me.

    Cheers and luck

    EDIT - To be fair to Garritan, maybe GOS's strength is that it can produce pretty good results fast. Other libraries may be better, but they can take a HELL of a lot of programming to sound impressive.

  4. #4

    Re: Flute concerto take 2

    Geeze- a human is going to play this?!

  5. #5

    Re: Flute concerto take 2

    Sometimes realism in a piece is simply elusive! I don't know why but I've written pieces that come out sounding like a million bucks, and others where no matter how hard I try simply don't sound very realistic. Funny thing is that the sample libraries that I use are the same!!!

    GOS can sound amazingly real in some instances, and very synthy in others. But the same can be said of QLSO strings! Cutting out too much high end in GOS will result in a muddy mix with almost no definition so be careful.

    The music is quite impressive, can you get an orchestra to perform it well enough without going nuts with rehearsals? It reminds me of Paul Hindemith's writing (definitely not Williams).

    My advice is don't get too wrapped up in a realistic simulation, focus on the composition....everything else is simply not important!
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  6. #6

    Re: Flute concerto take 2

    Thank you everyone for your comments and for taking the time to listen to the piece.

    I think as Heath says, the demo probably serves my purpose, which is mainly to give an idea of the piece to the flutist and the conductor. I could always go back and spend a lot of time trying to improve the simulation, but the results might not be all that much better and that's time I wouldn't be spending writing the other 2 movements.

    What Midphase said certainly is true: I've done a few mockups with GOS earlier this summer and they sounded much more realistic, with much less work. I guess it depends on what you're writing. I also find that it helps if you have the other sections of the orchestra playing along. With strings alone, you'll hear the imperfections much more clearly.

    And yes, I'm afraid that the orchestra (and conductor) will go nuts at the rehearsals! Mostly because the meter changes at almost every measure.

    Thanks again everyone!

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