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> Trying Orchestral Stuff, need composition / mix advice
eMGie
post Sep 5 2013, 01:06 PM
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Hey!

I want to learn how to compose nice orchestral intros etc.

Here is my first try:

https://soundcloud.com/marcin-jakubek/orchestral

Its supposed to be concert intro, before the first song, so it shouldnt be too long I think somewhere between 1:00 - 1:30.
Could you please give me some advice on this composition, mixing basicly everything that comes to your mind? smile.gif


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Taka Perry
post Sep 5 2013, 01:12 PM
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Wow, this is fantastic for a first try. I think the instrumentation is great, and I think the section in the middle without drums creates a really nice dynamic contrast smile.gif

How are you planning to end this concert intro? At the moment it just cuts out, so you have a choice as to how you want to do this. You may already know this, but in classical music cadences are very common at the end of a composition, have a look at this smile.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadence_%28music%29


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 5 2013, 02:08 PM
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This sounds really good! All the arrangements sound very good. I like when you add a second line doing something rhythmically different. I would like to recommend you a book that I've read and helped me a lot with this type of compositions:

http://www.amazon.com/Orchestration-Walter...n/dp/0393097404


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 5 2013, 02:26 PM
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The composition is quite interesting

For the mix - the mix isn't too bad although some of the levels seem a bit inconsistent. An orchestra should be more dynamic and there needs to be more crest. I'd also suggest that the soundstage is a bit narrow and thin and on first liten it seems congested around a 'w'. It also sounds a touch too digital to me.

All of that though is based on a quick listen of the compressed soundcloud stream on a laptop.


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eMGie
post Sep 6 2013, 08:31 AM
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Wow, I didn't expect such positive feedback. smile.gif

QUOTE
Wow, this is fantastic for a first try. I think the instrumentation is great, and I think the section in the middle without drums creates a really nice dynamic contrast smile.gif

How are you planning to end this concert intro? At the moment it just cuts out, so you have a choice as to how you want to do this. You may already know this, but in classical music cadences are very common at the end of a composition, have a look at this smile.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadence_%28music%29


Thank you. smile.gif Well i was planning to end this just like it is now. I mean after the cut immediatelly the band starts the first song. smile.gif
Thanks for this very interesting link! Many neoclassical guitarsts end their solos this way, didn't know how was it called. biggrin.gif

QUOTE
This sounds really good! All the arrangements sound very good. I like when you add a second line doing something rhythmically different. I would like to recommend you a book that I've read and helped me a lot with this type of compositions:

http://www.amazon.com/Orchestration-Walter...n/dp/0393097404


Thank you. smile.gif I hear a lot about this book, I will for sure give it a much closer look. smile.gif

QUOTE
The composition is quite interesting

For the mix - the mix isn't too bad although some of the levels seem a bit inconsistent. An orchestra should be more dynamic and there needs to be more crest. I'd also suggest that the soundstage is a bit narrow and thin and on first liten it seems congested around a 'w'. It also sounds a touch too digital to me.

All of that though is based on a quick listen of the compressed soundcloud stream on a laptop.


Thanks! smile.gif Could you please give me some specific tips how to improve the areas you wrote about? smile.gif I'm inexperienced in mixing, so I dont know if I understood everything correctly. Would be amazingly helpful to hear something more from you! smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 6 2013, 09:17 AM
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Wow biggrin.gif Dude, this is very good - are you sure it's your first try? I listened on my laptop speakers but I will also try things on my studio monitors. If I notice something which I can tell you about, I will surely do so. What inspired you to write this?


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verciazghra
post Sep 6 2013, 10:15 AM
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QUOTE (eMGie @ Sep 5 2013, 12:06 PM) *
Hey!

I want to learn how to compose nice orchestral intros etc.

Here is my first try:

https://soundcloud.com/marcin-jakubek/orchestral

Its supposed to be concert intro, before the first song, so it shouldnt be too long I think somewhere between 1:00 - 1:30.
Could you please give me some advice on this composition, mixing basicly everything that comes to your mind? smile.gif


Listen to dynamic changes in the bass drum that would help emphasize it's driving power, it then falls below in the mix when string section joins. When it disappears you have room to add more violin and maybe a harmony, closely observe this section if that's something you want. Overall doubling the violin and put it slightly panned further to the center of the mix might add more sense of realism to the sample/vst you're using. For me these samples are fine but sound a bit synthesized as solo instruments but if you add some more and make it feel a bit more like a string section you may find that it sounds more "realistic". Also listen for spots where changing the dynamics and adding a bit of vibrato could help bring out the melodic lines.

Edit: Personally I would see if I could make the snare rolls a bit more expressive/dynamic. Stereo Monitors Rokit 8 and SHR 940 headphones.

This post has been edited by verciazghra: Sep 6 2013, 10:18 AM


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 6 2013, 11:37 AM
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QUOTE (eMGie @ Sep 6 2013, 08:31 AM) *
...


Thanks! smile.gif Could you please give me some specific tips how to improve the areas you wrote about? smile.gif I'm inexperienced in mixing, so I dont know if I understood everything correctly. Would be amazingly helpful to hear something more from you! smile.gif


If it helps I've written a number of threads that are about mixing and mastering on the forum albeit that they may be a bit hard to find. Rather than repeat them I'm going to summarise (and gloss over) some of the pints I highlighted:


The dynamic range for an orchestral piece is nearly always considerably more than for rock and pop. When you mix you need to take this in to account and you should carefully consider if you need to use compressors and limiters at all. With classical many recording/mixing engineers will avoid these and instead set their levels more conservatively. Just based on memory of listening to your stream your crest sounded rather low for a classical piece. Put a little differently it sounded as if the piece had been pushed/processed too much to get a high apparent level/volumeat the expense of retaining a wide, natural dynamic range.

Assuming this is a mix rather than a 'home' master you need to keep your levels so that you don't clip and are well away from 0dBFS on the stereo main so that the mastering engineer has room to work in: let the mastering engineer get the final appropriate level. If this is a 'home' master then you need to be aware of how soundcloud etc transcode and compress digital waves to mp3 and account for it when you set your final peak level.

With all this said you need to pay attention to the gain structure so that you have appropriate levels, noise floor and don't clip. One thing to be aware of here is that some/a lot of vsti and vst makers routinely configure their plug ins to be 'hot'. If you use them you need to trim down the input gain to get an appropriate gain structure or you can end up clipping without realising it.

I don't how you approach doing a mix but to me the piece didn't seem to be coherently constructed: I wasn't sure what the most important part/section was or how the mix built up to emphasise a climax/conclusion. How you mix is a personal thing but my preference is to decide what the most important track/section is and take that as the focus and build the mix around it. Also, and again personally, I'd start from the climax so that most/all of the tracks/sections/parts are 'on' and work backwards. Get the balance right on the climax and the rest of the arrangement becomes a case of removing rather than trying to add parts/sections.

Orchestral music tends to use the stereo field effectively without leaving gaps in the Left-Right stereo. A lot of (inexpereinced) rock and pop mixes don't achieve this but instead push everything to the centre and far L/R and so you end up with a 'w' mix with 'holes' in the stereo field.This problem is then compunded as you are more likely to end up with some sections masking others (if you listen to the mix and you can hear some dropping out etc when other sections come in when they occupy the same placement.) You need to consider how you pan the various sections across the field. Take a look at what varciazghra suggests on this.

Orchestral also tends to be 3 dimensional - it uses the LR stereo field and the front/back effectively. Pop/rock often is more 2 dimensional and sounds a bit flat in comparison. If you want it to be more 3d you again need to pay close attention to how you balance and also how things like reverb and compression can affect front/'back placement.

Some of the sections/parts sound a little digital to me (again see what varciazghra says above). If you use samples and build the same one up in layers then any artefacts etc tend to become more and more obvious. Also if you use one as a solo it will be in the 'spotlight' and so any artificialness will stand out more.

If you use a lot of vsts and vstis and mix 'in the box' you can end up with a mix that can sound digital and (too) bright. This is a bit like the digital vs analogue argument where digital = clean, precise, pristine, clarity but sterile and lacking warmth and analogue= musical, warm, more low end punch but with less (digital) clarity. You need to decide which you value the more and then consider how you build your recording/mixing/mastering chain appropriately.



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Darius Wave
post Sep 7 2013, 05:52 PM
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Edoriol Orchestarl has a tone I love and it has some good panning already adjusted in the plug in. Good point byt tonymire about the stereo gaps smile.gif In the real world there is probably no natural sound that is heard only by one ear...smile.gif))


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eMGie
post Sep 8 2013, 03:12 PM
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Thank you all. smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 8 2013, 10:52 PM
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QUOTE (eMGie @ Sep 8 2013, 02:12 PM) *
Thank you all. smile.gif


Keep going man! You are really talented and I really enjoy listening to your classical works smile.gif


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Caelumamittendum
post Sep 9 2013, 01:28 AM
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I really enjoyed that, eMGie! You should definitely continue! In regards to mixing I think Tonymiro said what was to be said.


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eMGie
post Sep 13 2013, 07:38 PM
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I think i have improved the sound and mix of this piece!

Please give it a listen and tell me what do you think. smile.gif

https://soundcloud.com/marcin-jakubek/orchestral-intro-mix-improved


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Darius Wave
post Sep 14 2013, 08:46 AM
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Very nice "Angie" wink.gif I feel a bit unconfortable with that snare because of two things:
1. Panned to much left
2. You could do an volume automation on those trills so it would add some dynamics


I also think that You could darek the whole tone - including reverb (maybe try from warming up the reverb by cutting it's highs).

Can You post some reference orchestral pieces that inspired You? Maybe we could find some key issues but being sure we talk about the same target tone ?smile.gif

While I was listening to Yours I remembered about my orchestral intro at one of my bands last album. After I launched it I thought....Damn...I could have been remove some of the telephone-mids around 1 kHz :/ But...it's to late, it's done...

Anyway...this is my orchestral for example:

Attached File  orkiestra_musztarda.mp3 ( 10.21MB ) Number of downloads: 40




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