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Topic: How to finesse a sampled orchestra

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  1. #1

    How to finesse a sampled orchestra

    I don\'t know how. But I\'m tring to learn. So with every new piece, I\'m focusing on something new.
    On this one I tried to have the melody violins sound more articulated. And I spent some extra time on the woodwinds. It seems like the woodwinds start a bit softer and increase volume quickly and then taper off a bit (volume) before the next note (as if taking a breath).

    I know the brass doesn\'t sound great. What is the normal volume flow for brass instruments? Louder on attack?

    I\'m not saying this is good. I\'m saying this is an assignment to learn.

    So, please give me your criticism.

    I\'m not terribly interested in the \"what software is better\" wars. Just what can I do to emulate the real thing better.

    Violin Test

    And I always appreciate comments on the composition.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Re: How to finesse a sampled orchestra

    Hi rJames,

    Is this your composition? It is so very good. Such moving melodies and strong supporting harmony and mix of instruments overall.

    Although you are only focusing on the violin lead, it’s hard not to listen comprehensively, and I’m sorry that I cannot just focus on what you are emphasizing.

    Possibly the softer intro (00:00-04:00) before the first violin kicks in at :04, could use some rework. A few options are to either extend out the intro, or just begin at :04, which i think might work ok.

    The initial violin melody and underlying string harmony/winds are then so so nice (:04 – :15). I want to hear all the interesting string counterpoints and harmonies, and the Timpani seems to get in the way of that. What do you think would happen if the timpani were omitted all together until :33?

    The horns lead and associated counter melodies starting at :33 are very moving and wonderful, the mix and supporting instruments are also very well mixed. However, the transition from the lead violins (15: - :32) into this part could use more time to develop, a also maybe some intstrument remixing to bring out the true intention of this transition. Again, I know my comments are off-topic of your focus, but this is such a nice piece, I just can’t help myself!

    Have you considered staying with and developing that wonderful melody/harmony started at :32? I was somewhat disapointed At :49 you go sort of into an abstract genre. Possibly there is a place for this later, but how I wish you would have continued building on what you started at :32. This is all composition and structure and not at all what your focus is. Again, I’m sorry.

    Hope there is something helpful in this critique that supports the particular issues you are working on. Again, such potential and wonderful melodies/counter harmonies, choice of instruments and mix to convey are excellent :04 -:15 (minus timpani) and :33-:48. Areas that you might want to revisit are :00 - :04, :16-:32, and :49-end. Thank you. Please let me know if you composed.

  3. #3

    Re: How to finesse a sampled orchestra

    Nice piece.

    You need to work on coherence, though. It sounds as if you just composed as you went along. It usually help to make a layout of your music first. Write down simple things such as harmonies, melody, dynamics and structure. Then compose a sketch with a piano sound to see if the composition feels coherent.

    As far as midi mockuping goes the most important thing is to have expressive and great sounding samples. From thereon it\'s just a matter of technique.

    One big problem with your mix is the balance between the instruments. The woodwinds are WAY too loud. Also when trombones / horns are playing harmonies to support the rest of the orchestra playing the melody / counterpoint they should never sound brassy. (That means you should make it Forte at most - if it sounds brassy it will ruin the density of the piece and make it sound thinner)

    Stay clear of passages that don\'t sound real when working with samples. That means runs (unless you have recorded performed runs) trills and the likes. They tend to bring unwanted attention to themselves. The most important instruments to balance in a midi orchestrated piece is the tuba and double basses. Find the proper volume level for those first and carry on with the rest of the instrument. This is a tedious process and is why most people use templates for their work.

    Good luck!


    Thomas

  4. #4

    Re: How to finesse a sampled orchestra

    Originally posted by rJames:
    I don\'t know how. But I\'m tring to learn. So with every new piece, I\'m focusing on something new.
    On this one I tried to have the melody violins sound more articulated. And I spent some extra time on the woodwinds. It seems like the woodwinds start a bit softer and increase volume quickly and then taper off a bit (volume) before the next note (as if taking a breath).

    I know the brass doesn\'t sound great. What is the normal volume flow for brass instruments? Louder on attack?

    I\'m not saying this is good. I\'m saying this is an assignment to learn.

    So, please give me your criticism.

    I\'m not terribly interested in the \"what software is better\" wars. Just what can I do to emulate the real thing better.

    Violin Test

    And I always appreciate comments on the composition.

    Thanks in advance.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I can\'t offer anything with regards to the \"finesse\" thing, but this piece sounds damn good to me!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Re: How to finesse a sampled orchestra

    hmm that piece sounds very nice!
    Maybe you could say us what library You using?(strings-SISS?)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gary M. Thomas's Avatar
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    Re: How to finesse a sampled orchestra

    Yes... what librarys, please.. (especially the strings library) ? I really like the composition. Good job [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Re: How to finesse a sampled orchestra

    rJames,

    I am always astounded at the talent pool here! Very nice piece. Both inspiring and depressing as it makes me realize I have so much to learn! You know with the talent in this forum I think we might stage a mutiny at Media Ventures! Who\'s with me?!!! [img]graemlins/tounge_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Darren

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: How to finesse a sampled orchestra

    Darren: I dont like Media ventures music (..I hate it but don´t wanna be rough [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] )
    I think that many composers on northernsounds can compose better music...
    Ok...Im silent
    [img]graemlins/tounge_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: How to finesse a sampled orchestra

    rJames-
    Glad you got a response from these folks so I could learn something, too. I can see validity myself in T.J.\'s comments about the brass and woodwinds, but I even liked the woodwind runs and trills, so what kind of tin ear do I have?

    Any way, if you composed this I have to say its very appealing. I know its disconcerting to you to get comments on any and all aspects of the piece when you are just looking for violin critique, but thats just the way it works here!

    Carl

  10. #10

    Re: How to finesse a sampled orchestra

    Oh, no. I love it. Thank you for commenting. That is exactly what I wanted.

    I\'m hoping to learn about finesse in any aspect. In this piece, I just did a LOT of tweaking to the viloin to see if I could make it sound real (or as real as possible with sampled library)

    I will study these comments over and over.

    I too have a tin ear. But I\'m working on it. I will gain insight as I tweak this piece to these professional critiques.

    This is my fourth orchestral piece, so everything is just an exercise. I\'m not really focusing on composition and (you\'ve found me out) am just wandering aimlessly.

    Its all just stream of consciousness.

    Can\'t tell you the library name or we\'d be back in the software wars. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

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