I\'ve been busy the past couple of days on a cue and SFX for a promo video for an upcomming game
Just thought I\'d toss out the music link to the music for you guys since I haven\'t posted (or written) much lately. I\'d also like to get some comments from everyone since this is the first real \"big band\" piece I\'ve written. I know it could be alot better in some areas. Like the way the writing and mixing for the bass bones is in some areas. As well the \"block chord\" feel of some of it. Its only two days work so gimme a break. I\'m only really noticing other issues now. (notes that just come out too loud, etc)
I\'m pretty suprised tho, at how it sounds. Much better than I thought could be done with sampled big bands. Maybe I just got lucky....or my ears are terrible.
This isn\'t the final audio in fact, there are \"clean ups\" that had to be done with the clicking and popping. as well as some added rips and fills, for some cue points I missed.
In the parlance of the jazz cats. It cooks man. There is definitely something going on in the whole middle section there. I\'m glad that you mentioned your lack of posts of late. I\'ve been here close to three months and was starting to wonder about you. The excellent doler of advice, tweaker of samples and wryly witted forum heavy with no music??!! Well, it\'s about time cause I\'m just here to fill up my I-Tunes. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
Look forward to hearing this after you\'ve bashed it around a bit.
Hmmm..I listened to it 5 times, since I loved you Sly...
I\'m very sorry but this, to my ears, just sounds bad dude.. [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]
The writing is good, the ideas are good, but it sounds like a cheap one man band in Vegas...
Try puting the whole brass section trough a low pass, and tweak it real time so that it doesn\'t sound so flat. Or EQing each brass track, anyhing to avoid that \"I have just slamed 5 keys on my keyboard at once\" feeling... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
Try shuffling the drums much more...they are way to much on the beat.
And the bass....do anything with it, it sounds very GMish...
The tune is so cool, so give it justice..heh..
Oh, and I really love your previous work, so I comment out of best intentions..
I\'m sorry I can\'t fall in to \"shut up if you don\'t have pleasant things to say\" stable, which is so popular around here..
Composition wise, it sound sweet! And in 2 days that\'s quite a feat, especially with big band. (Which to me is harder to emulate than orchestral) Few things though:
1. If you listen to jazz recordings, the drums sound like they\'re in the back. In this piece, it sounds like the microphones are behind all the instrumentalists, and right near the trap-set.
2. The saxaphones, since they\'re in the front, should sound like they\'re in the front. Also panning helps too. Tenor saxes usually sit on the left, alto middle, and bari on the right sitting in front of the bass tbone player.
3. Whenever a soloist plays, most of the time they come up to the front of the band and play their tune. The flute solo you have there should be right up front, and the ensemble in the back back off a little bit.
4. I think you need to use some different bones. Sounds like when they play, they\'re spitting too. The VSL bones I know would kick some booty in that piece. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I really think my suggestions would really make a difference in your piece. Also, what bass are you using? Is that the Larry Seyer (sp?) bass? If it is, add some fingerboard slaps here and there to simulate imperfection, which is absolutely necessary in big band. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I\'d say that number one is the rhythm section. If that ain\'t right then no matter what\'s on the top, the final result is not going to be convincing.
My biggest problem with the rhythm section is the bass. Make it walk, make it swing, add some noise, muffled notes...etc (use Trilogy [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] )
Try to have the drums fill the space during the first break you wrote. The silence is not typical of big band drummers. They usually jump on any chance they get to show their chops [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
For the horns, have you recorded each of the voices and section individually or just played chords and assigned the midi track to a section?
I\'d suggest recording each single voice individualy for realism.
I dig the overall arrangement, don\'t get me wrong.
Keeping in mind that you only had 2 days to do this, I\'d say you did a fine job.
The amount of time needed to write a good drums/bass alone would take 2 days!
When will a decent big band/r\'n\'b/pop horn library come out?
Haven\'t slept been touching up SFX and making edits where I could through the nite. Deadline was 5 yesterday, and while I finished, at 6 they wanted changes... ofcourse
luckily I got them to focus more on SFX changes and not much in terms of music (which would have been impossible do do on top of SFX)
Anyway, I\'m gonna let you in on a few more of the details.
I hear what all of you are saying. I wish I had a better bass. I\'m looing at Larry Seyers and Tilogy., but I\'m also waiting for some other people who\'ve mentioned doign an upright to do theirs (or to do my own). The VR Sounds one has some extra notes and slaps and stuff, but I didn\'t take the time to delve into it.
The block chord stuff, yah I know [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] All I can say is I\'m terrible at keys, and writing for sections in general. I had to work out my arrangement ideas (what ideas, jsut had to find what worked) first. If I was doing this for myself I\'d have taken a day to play the lines in using the Ztar. Or better yet, tweaked the lines using real rips, bends, and falls. Still my skill at this style of music is very lacking, so alot of the time was spend writing and arranging...AND syncing (how the hell do I get myself into these gigs?)
Aaron, you\'re right I also feel that the drums are a bit more in your face, but I kinda wanted the punch for the video. I actually have a perfect/prefered mix idea, thats on an album I really dig. A real mono room return for section stuff(including drums, it soudns awesome), and solo\'s up close and in front, mono. With some snare and tom close for definition. Sounds freaking great,.....but thats when I hire a live band [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I was going for a way more \"studio\" sound than live and airy, way against what I traditionally do with the orchestral stuff.
Patrick, jsut remember this is a score for a video/animation. So there\'s reasons why there isn\'t much playing here and there.
The music at the end is just \"generic\" modulation stuff. Its gonna be generic music in the background with some footage of the game.
I\'d rather honest opinions than anything, since I\'ll only learn from this.
Its my first attempt at Big Band/swing. I just actually began to understand the basics this monday. Making sure to count in triplets, and understanding what makes certain horn hits cool. It jsut clicked after spending an hour talking with my old drummer.
I also figured out why I always had a problem counting time by beating my hands on the table or my chest, its all in the form [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] hehee
I know the drum writing here has some rock n roll in it, but its a hard habit to break [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] , and I kinda like it too! ;P
anyway lex, you\'ll be happy to know that alot of it was step written [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] , so believe me when I say I completely understand!
To be honest I\'m just quite happy with myself. I know its not technically the greatest tune ever, but I get a bit more confident in my future abilities when I make something like this. Something I honestly didn\'t think I could do not too long ago.
Alot of this comes from hanging out here and Mirc, and being somewhat \"surrounded\" by other musicians and mockuppers. A bit in the same vein as being in an actual flesh and blood music community. cant really say why. [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]
Sharm, thanks man, great advice. I also think one of the rasons is soudns synthy is I used mostly only one legato/sustain patch for each instrument and only some stacatto. As well the trumpet and bones stuff is all section samples, ...quantized...blah blah.. you knwo how it goes. Thanks for the tips tho. When I get some time I\'m gonna come back to this one to toy around with the concepts and find what works. I\'m not a jazz player at all, so I can get lost in this thing easily when it comes to reworking voicings or adding color. Thats why I need a horn arranger....and a live band! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
Sorry to be late to the party, but I\'ve been giggin\'!
What I hear here is \"West Side Story meets Mission Impossible\" I can just see the dancers doing that pseudo-Apache-style dance thing. Great musical concept, KI.
Now about the mix, etc. - I agree with Sharmy about the verticality of some of this, but I think that\'s what gives it the Broadway stage dance feel. I also like the drums out front, especially in the context of a game. And Larry Seyer probably is the way to go, though I find the brass sweeps and falls more objectionable than the bass performance (nobody plays that tightly in the real world.)
But I don\'t think I\'m saying anything you don\'t already know. And in two days, that\'s a great job!
Broadway meets MI, man if that isn\'t a perfect description... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I was definitely going for the MI feel, as well as some Charlie\'s Angels (but ultimaely failed on that), but mixed with a more band feel to make it more \"hip\" and exactly what you say with broadway...making it \"showy\".
I definitely agree with you about the falls. Most of them are copy/paste or realtime played falls, and some even step written and moved around.
I\'d use real falls in a best case scenario, I didn\'t even use my legato versions of the QLB files. I just couldn\'t be bothered, since I had to focus so much on getting hte basic sound and arrangement ideas right (or atleast close).
Liek I said tho, I\'m feeling more onfident after this try, and even more so with the comments and suggestions. It helps me learn where to focus, and what I should be doing without thinking. Thats the key I think. Finding the things I\'d have to do in the \"tweak\" dept that should be done without even spending the time figuring out I have to do them.