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Topic: My first orchestral attempts

  1. #1

    My first orchestral attempts

    Hi everyone,

    I\'ve been lurking here for nearly a year and I\'ve been impressed (actually more like overwhelmed) by the quality of the discussion and the music produced on this site.

    I\'m a total newbie when it comes to producing/writing orchestral music and these are my very first attempts.

    I\'ve been using some very old libraries mainly from my old ESI-32 Emu sampler. I am gradually finding my way round Halion and the import of Giga files. I\'ve been very impressed by the G-Town stuff and the new Westgate files.

    Anyway, here are my first \'umble offerings. After listening to most of your demo pieces, I feel like I shouldn\'t bother you but I want to learn!!!

    The first piece is your \"standard\" theme type of piece. I was trying to get a slightly epic sound to the arrangement:


    Next is snare driven tune. Somehow during the compression process the snares have become peaky, quite unlike the .wav version:


    Finally, I\'ve been trying for a \"warmer\", loser and more integrated sound. Unfortunately, the cymbal sound sucks big time here as well, but I couldn\'t quite manage to tame it. Either it sounded too aggressive or else it ended-up sounding like a cardboard splash.


    All your feedback will be appreciated - this is a new area for me, so be gentle (but firm!). All of you are a role model to me!!!

    Thanks in advance,

    PS I can\'t believe I am doing this! I can tell you there is plenty of vibrato and agitato in my typing [img]graemlins/tounge_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Re: My first orchestral attempts

    You know, for a newbie at this sort of thing, those are pretty dang good. I especially liked the Rondo one. The only bad thing I can point out is the sample quality and variety. If you could get yourself some nice samples, your compositions would really shine!

    Have you ever tried using soundfonts? I\'ve downloaded a lot of free soundfonts that actually sound really good.

  3. #3

    Re: My first orchestral attempts

    Hi Rudi, these are good first attempts. I think it would be good idea for you to buy books about harmony or get some guidence from theory teacher, just so you learn the basics.

    I agree with greatzed that your Rondo piece was the best one, though it isn\'t a exactly in Rondo form. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] - I don\'t know if I like how you use the timpanis, I think you overused them.

    Btw. The French Horn tune started very well, but it didn\'t manage to keep the nice flow you started in the beginning.

    Anyway, practice makes masters so keep writing!

    Good luck!

  4. #4

    Re: My first orchestral attempts


    Hi - I think these are very good - I\'m still struggling with trying to get a big \"orchestral\" effect going - but you seem to be be doing fine. The only thing I can think of is that the samples you have used aren\'t up to the standard of the likes of VSL and that less limiting and a little extra reverb might help. Also if you have acess to any mastering s/w or h/w e.g. TC Native or Tracks24 that might improve the sound a little. Compared to your work I have a lot to learn. [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: My first orchestral attempts


    I hope that all of your beginnings of this new chapter of orchestral composition lifts you to higher levels of colors and layers among the winds, brass, strings and percussion you\'ve ever dreamed of. Make the life time committment now!
    I\'ll always be listening guy!

    Alan Russell

  6. #6

    Re: My first orchestral attempts

    Change that frown to a smile!

    Where you\'re at now is a good starting point, and if you stick with it, all you can do is improve!

    So, keep up the good work!

  7. #7

    Re: My first orchestral attempts

    Wow guys,

    Thanks for taking the time to listen and for all your suggestions. It\'s really, really appreciated and I will take them on board :-)

    Greatzed, thanks for the kind comments. I too agree about the \"Rondo\" piece, (although I also like the \"stock theme\"). The samples are first generation ones and are showing their age. I actually started using samples about two years ago but mainly for rock/pop/dance music. I only got the orchestral ones \'cos Emu had a good all-in-one deal back then. With these older orchestral libraries what I have noticed most is that they lack transparency (i.e they clutter the mix) and also lack that high-end sheen. I did try a few sound-fonts but was a bit overwhelmed by the number of them, so I\'ve stuck with my default mini-library do get a start on.

    Falcon1, thanks for the suggestions. I definitely agree about harmony and getting some books about it. My self-taught stuff is rooted in basic triads and I\'m slowly learning about more sophisticated chords and voicings. Sorry about the \"rondo\" description, it started as one (A, B, A, C) but in the end I ditched most of it and only kept the main theme. I also agree with the timp comment. I got a bit carried away with them (less is more) but that was the only way I could find of getting a bit of bottom-end oomph! Very perceptive about the Fr. Horn tune. It was done in one take and it does flag a bit after the start - I just couldn\'t capture that feeling all the way thru\'. I need to improve my chops.

    Tim, thanks for the encouraging words - I totally agree about the sample quality. I\'m saving for the GOS lite lib in September to get me started. Reverb, is hard. It\'s OK for pop stuff but orchestral one is much harder to get right. I used the Cubase SX one with some hi-cut, but it\'s hard learning how much to use. Hopefully I\'ll learn and later I\'ll have to dip a toe into convolution (SIR) - but first I need to improve my arrangements.

    Alan, you are so right - there is so much to learn out there! I must admit that simply knowing the basics of string, wind and brass is quite a daunting, but exciting prospect!!!

    Finally, Tamino, I will :-). My problem is that none of my friends play any orchestral music (they only use guitars, basses or drums) and when I played them some of that stuff, the only critique they could come-up with was: \"it sounds like film music\".

    All your comments are great and it really has made my day!

    Thanks [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]


  8. #8

    Re: My first orchestral attempts


    I just realised that I uploaded the pre-mastered versions (EQ+Compression) of the files and also that the StockThemeH3 file was encoded at 22KHz!!! I\'ve now uploaded the revised files AND tested them from the server.

    The links are still the same.


    Rudi [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gary M. Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Myrtle Beach, SC (USA)

    Re: My first orchestral attempts

    Hey, that\'s pretty good, Rudi. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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