I just heard it....really great! Great programming, very musical interpretation....great mix, everything! If this doesn't sell more piles of VSL, I don't know what will. If I hadn't already bought it, this would have sealed the deal. Those epic horns are something else. I hope Andy can give some insight as to the patches used, how many computers, mixing method, etc. How long did it take to sequence it? Was this Giga 3 with Gigapulse? There was a sense of depth and power in that mix, especially on brass and winds...something that a lot of people felt was lacking in VSL. This had plenty of that LA scoring sound. Great reverb...not too much...just enough to get that sense of space. Congratulations Andy, and VSL. Really great stuff. Of course it all started with great notes, and great orchestration. Congrats again....put the right stuff in the right hands and that's what you get.
Once again, Andy has shown his great interpretive skills with VSL. His sample arranging judgements are tasteful and blindingly accurate. Like many others, I was nurtured on The Planets, and this is as good a reflection of Holst's orchestrational intentions and sheer verve as is possible to get with samples. In my opinion, Andy is one of the authentic VSL-user geniuses. You're born with it, and either you've got it or you haven't.
If Andy's monitoring here, I'd like to ask all the usual questions: how many computers, how long did it take, reverb, EQ, etc.
BUT... I hear brass mutes! Straight trumpet mutes. Where did they come from? I didn't think that VSL had gotten around to mutes yet.
Also, I love the background orchestra foley. Lately, I've been using the Bela Media free sounds, and they work very nicely on subconscious expectations. Sometimes they even fool me into thinking I've hired the RPO!
Thanks guys for the comments. This was much harder for me to mock-up than the Debussy piece I did before, and it was mainly due to the fact that this piece is SO popular and so many people are very familiar wth it. I felt like there would be nowhere to hide! Anyway I'm really pleased that you like it.
The whole thing ran real time using Giga Studio 2.5 and Kontakt - G5 Dual 2.5, G4 Dual 1.25, G4 400, P4 3.0, P4 2.4. I used 3 instances of Altiverb, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Hall as an overall effect, the Sydney Opera House Choir Stalls to give the Strings & Woodwinds a little depth and the Small Phillips Hall to add some distance to the Brass & Percussion. Sequenced on Digital Performer. I eventually had to render a handful of tracks to audio as neither of my PCs enjoyed having Kontakt running at the same time as Giga - but it's fine to work with - just the occassional pop. Obviously EQ was used, mainly to push instruments back fom the mic and finally the whole mix passed through a cheap Behringer Ultrafex II unit - I've had it for 8 years and I can't seem to be able to shake it!
"There was a sense of depth and power in that mix, especially on brass and winds...something that a lot of people felt was lacking in VSL. "
Thanks Gerard. This is something that I was eager to dismiss - the myth that the VSL brass sound weak and synthetic. The trumpet sounds amazing and I have to admit that I didn't fully realise this until working on this piece. It's the sheer amount of different articulations to choose from that makes it so convincing and there are only about 10 trumpet notes that are played legato, so it's not the performance tool with it's normal easy to astound tricks.
"BUT... I hear brass mutes! Straight trumpet mutes. Where did they come from? I didn't think that VSL had gotten around to mutes yet."
Hi Heath, they haven't yet. When listening back to it I often thought the same thing, mainly in the exchanges towards the beginning between the strings and brass, but Holst asked for unmuted and that's what went in. I think it's because the brass sounds wonderfully edgy and cutting.
Idunno, I'd rather hear some of his 'original' works... Well, I guess it helps sell the lib but most everyone has it already.... so?
Besides, if you compose for concerts do you really care to spend that much time on a mock-up (I'm assuming). I guess I'd rather listen to the 'real' Holst... (to me that negates the purpose for doing these mock-ups of classics. Yeah, I get that they're designed to show what the lib 'can' sound like playing 'great' works, but like I said, what concert composer tweaks their mock-up that hard? Maybe some do... ?)
And if you're a film composer do you care to mock up what you aren't getting paid for?
Not to try and take anything away from Andy, but, I just don't see what purpose these serve other than to show off ones 'programming skills'.... while that's cool and all, it seems like a big waste of time to me (mocking up stuff you didn't write -- unless you're some assistant).
i dunno, sometimes I get the feeling that people who use samples to write, get more caught up in 'programming/mix' than the actual piece of music, Like they're thinking "Wow, that was hard to, wonder how they tweaked that to "sound" so 'real'... It just seems like the "music" takes a back seat to programming/mix skills now a days....
Having said that, it was very impressive from a programming/mix standpoint.
And, yes... of coarse I'm envious , especially if he did that in two days.... but that's not really the point.
I know, I should have just said "Nice work"...
Now you guys can flame me... I don't have any stars left anyway....