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Topic: Is the percussion in this mix OK?

  1. #1

    Is the percussion in this mix OK?


    The snare sounds cool.. just the right placement, I think. The timpani is what I\'m concerned about. It\'s in the back of the stage where it belongs.. but it\'s barely audible. Maybe that\'s the way it should be? If I crank up my bass, then it sounds pretty nice. But at normal levels of treble & bass, it\'s just a little too quiet. Any advice? Does it need a bass boost? Should I bring it forward more?

    Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your time and opinions.

    EDIT: Just a side comment.. SAM Horns rules. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] It\'s one of the very few samples I have that I\'m not afraid to put right up there in a piece and have it carry the main melody. You\'ll never catch me doing that with my AO flute or oboe.. not until I get better winds. Oh and PS, let me know if I\'ve subconsciously ripped off a major composer, before I get too attached to this theme.

  2. #2

    Re: Is the percussion in this mix OK?

    Hi Sam, it sounds like you are going for a Zimmer/MV sort of action sound?

    I think you can break the traditional rules of placement and volume for percussion in this case.

    You could try putting a delay of 20 to 60 milliseconds on the Timp\'s between the left and right channel. This will give a nice stereo spread.

    Also, try adding a little EQ around the 3-5k mark for more attack on the sound.

    Since you have QLRI you could even try layering in some Taiko\'s.

    I am convinced that Zimmer does this along the way with his pieces.

    I would possibly also reduce the amount of reverb in this piece in a bid to make it sound more up front and urgent.

    Just my two (Aus) cents. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: Is the percussion in this mix OK?

    Actually Tob did a smiliar mock-up called G-Town goes MV;

    Regards, Scott.

  4. #4

    Re: Is the percussion in this mix OK?

    I agree with scott. Throw caution to the wind and don\'t worry about standard placement or orchestration for the percussion in this cue. I can\'t hear the timpani at all, so if they need to be moved up, move them up.

    I\'m not even so keen on the snare being panned a little to the right. Sampled snares sound so tinny and unlike other samples to me that I\'ve been putting them dead center and layering a couple of snare drums of my own just to give some meat to the sound of the drum. I don\'t have a good example to show you right now because we\'re moving, but when I get the studio up, I\'ll be sure to post it.

    I think that the other problem with sampled percussion...especially snare drum... is that the attack is so damn sharp that it sounds a little out of sync with the rest of the orchestra. Drums often sound ahead to me. My possible solutions to this are 1.) add embellishments to the drum part (flams/ruffs/drags...etc) 2.) move your percussion track slightly earlier than the rest of the orchestra 3.) add some bass drum 4.) be very careful of the reverb on the snare and on the whole piece. I\'ve even done some mixes where the percussion goes through an entirely separate reverb and it sounds fine.


  5. #5

    Re: Is the percussion in this mix OK?

    Scott, pardon my ignorance, similar in what aspect?

    Sam, I like the melody carried by the Horns. I think you put too much reverb on this piece. This also sounds like only one reverb and panning was used. To bring the timpani up I\'d try to change a tiny bit on the volume, and perhaps instead of some hits throw in one or two rolls towards the end of the piece. I\'d also try to let the double basses play mf-f instead of ff for the timpani having a lead roll in the piece. I thought the snare was left-panned, I\'d center it a bit more, not dead-center (having the percussion vs. horn thing), and perhaps EQ them a bit.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6

    Re: Is the percussion in this mix OK?

    Thanks for the feedback.

    First off, the snare is panned left, not right.. so if you\'re hearing it in the right, you may want to check your speakers. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Too much reverb you think? I think this sounds richer than my usual demos that I used to do with just one NFX1 reverb and MIDI panning.

    Also, there is definitely more than one reverb going on. I have nine different reverbs.. front left, front center, front right, mid L/C/R, and rear L/C/R. Three stage positions (forward to back) and three pannings (left, center, right).

    The problem with this DSP setup in Giga is that everything is either far left, center, or far right. In order to create more subtle placings between left & right, I have to make more DSPs, which eat up CPU, and I\'m only at 900MHz.

    I\'ll have to think about this one...

  7. #7

    Re: Is the percussion in this mix OK?


    Seems that there may be too much reverb on the tympani. It is kind of mushy in the background. It needs to be tightened up, and I can barely hear the snare.

    -- Martin

  8. #8

    Re: Is the percussion in this mix OK?

    Scott, pardon my ignorance, similar in what aspect?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">With no disrespect intended toward Sam what I meant is that both pieces appear to be Zimmer inspired, mid-tempo, horn based, action cues.

  9. #9

    Re: Is the percussion in this mix OK?

    Hm... this theme seems strangly familiar to me... but I can\'t remember where ist\'s from. The rythm is a bit changed but the rest that\'s it. Hm, has it something to do with russia... anybody can identifie the original theme?

  10. #10

    Re: Is the percussion in this mix OK?

    Hi Sam,

    If your aim was to compose stereotypical heroic game music (which would certainly be the easiest to sell) then I\'d say you nailed it. Nice work.

    Regarding the timpani, I listened on a typical computer sound system (with a small sub) and while there\'s a good dose of bass I wouldn\'t have known there was a timpani in there if you hadn\'t told me. It seems it gets lost in the low ambience (of which there\'s plenty). If you want to actually hear the timpani I would reduce the reverb on it and either bring up the level or compress it a bit.

    As to the theme resembling something else. You\'ve done what many film composers do when composing heroic music in the minor mode, you went to the minor 6th in the second half of your theme. It\'s a very common technique, which would indicate to me that it\'s an effective one, though perhaps a bit overused.

    Good luck with your work.

    Steve Chandler

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