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davidstiles
KVRian
 
637 posts since 3 Nov, 2013, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby davidstiles; Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:31 am The Empire Strikes Again!

Hi everyone,

It has been a while since I last posted something, but here's a new track that I did in an effort to capture the spirit of music for sci-fi space opera type cinema. Any comments or critiques that you might have would be most welcome!


https://soundcloud.com/davidstiles/the- ... ikes-again
kloon
KVRist
 
176 posts since 25 Nov, 2013

Postby kloon; Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:46 am Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

Very nice and filmic indeed.
I would personally maybe add a little bit more reverb and stereowidth to the overall mix.

Great!
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layzer
KVRAF
 
4614 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Postby layzer; Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:04 am Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

kloon wrote:Very nice and filmic indeed.
I would personally maybe add a little bit more reverb and stereowidth to the overall mix.

Great!


agreed, although Frantz would say it sounds perfect as-is :hihi: ohhh hi Frantz! :wink:
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aaron aardvark
KVRian
 
1327 posts since 22 Jan, 2011, from near Los Angeles

Postby aaron aardvark; Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:55 pm Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

david,
Thank you for the review! Now your recording: I have never recorded anything that orchestral with sampling stuff that good. What are you using? My best sampled orchestral gear stuff is a Korg TR-Rack (synth rack module), which I thought sounded amazing back when I bought it in 1999. I think the entire ROM is 32 MB, which is hardly anything nowadays. I know the newer software is way more advanced and sounds more realistic. I agree that maybe it would sound better with a bit more reverb, so I would experiment with that. It still sounds very good as is now. It does sound quite Star Wars-esque. I think that the more layers you have, the better and more realistic it sounds. The intro has probably the fewest layers, so it sounds the least impressive relatively speaking. But I know music generally sounds better with lesser layers in the beginning, and then building on that.
davidstiles
KVRian
 
637 posts since 3 Nov, 2013, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby davidstiles; Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:03 am Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

layzer wrote:
kloon wrote:Very nice and filmic indeed.
I would personally maybe add a little bit more reverb and stereowidth to the overall mix.

Great!


agreed, although Frantz would say it sounds perfect as-is :hihi: ohhh hi Frantz! :wink:


Thanks, layzer and kloon! I definitely see your point about the reverb and the stereo width. Those are two areas in which I struggle sometimes to get the right sound without making everything muddy. Recently, someone recommended that I look at EQing the reverb, so I'll see if I can do that and then increase the overall strength of the reverb.
davidstiles
KVRian
 
637 posts since 3 Nov, 2013, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby davidstiles; Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:08 am Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

aaron aardvark wrote:david,
Thank you for the review! Now your recording: I have never recorded anything that orchestral with sampling stuff that good. What are you using? My best sampled orchestral gear stuff is a Korg TR-Rack (synth rack module), which I thought sounded amazing back when I bought it in 1999. I think the entire ROM is 32 MB, which is hardly anything nowadays. I know the newer software is way more advanced and sounds more realistic. I agree that maybe it would sound better with a bit more reverb, so I would experiment with that. It still sounds very good as is now. It does sound quite Star Wars-esque. I think that the more layers you have, the better and more realistic it sounds. The intro has probably the fewest layers, so it sounds the least impressive relatively speaking. But I know music generally sounds better with lesser layers in the beginning, and then building on that.


Thanks, Aaron! I'm using Kontakt 5 with string libraries from 8Dio, Cinesamples Cinebrass and Hollywoodwinds, Rhapsody Orchestral Percussion from Impact Soundworks, and some free samples from this new company called Performance Samples (they do great stuff). And I think there are a few other things thrown in there too.

Interesting observation about how it sounds better when there are more layers. I agree. I'm not completely satisfied with how the opening few bars sound. They sound just very slightly robotic or something. But as you say, that's how I wanted the music to be composed, so I just did the best I could.

Anyhow, thanks for listening and commenting! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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Laguna Rising
KVRAF
 
6699 posts since 4 Apr, 2005, from here and there

Postby Laguna Rising; Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:54 am Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

Very nice ! I have a feeling this is more energetic than your last sci.fi themed tracks
Kind of a cosmic march for a fictional military parade
Solid arrangement, I like the sound, it has great impact

Nicely done, once again

Cheers
thedeadsoul
KVRist
 
238 posts since 22 Oct, 2009, from Bandung, Indonesia

Postby thedeadsoul; Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:32 pm Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

hi David, indeed it's been a while. Sounds very professional! Indeed adding a bit more reverb may add to the cinematic feel, but even now it already sounds very well done! :o

Now, where are those Star Wars DVDs..? :D

Best,
Adi/Thedeadsoul
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jancivil
KVRAF
 
13179 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:30 pm Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

davidstiles wrote:
layzer wrote:
kloon wrote:Very nice and filmic indeed.
I would personally maybe add a little bit more reverb and stereowidth to the overall mix.

Great!

agreed, although Frantz would say it sounds perfect as-is :hihi: ohhh hi Frantz! :wink:


Thanks, layzer and kloon! I definitely see your point about the reverb and the stereo width. Those are two areas in which I struggle sometimes to get the right sound without making everything muddy. Recently, someone recommended that I look at EQing the reverb, so I'll see if I can do that and then increase the overall strength of the reverb.

It isn't muddy.

There are two spots where it is probably drier than a hall will be IME, given the implied size. One of them is the end. I would rather hear that than something weirdly wet.

(there is a VSL demo where a very fine musician, Jay Bacal has done the entire Le Sacre du Printemps, Stravinky which is terribly wet and obviously 'reverb' rather than naturalistic.)

I think it's an excellent production. Echoing other comments, the beginning is less convincing to me.
davidstiles
KVRian
 
637 posts since 3 Nov, 2013, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby davidstiles; Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:03 am Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

Laguna Rising wrote:Very nice ! I have a feeling this is more energetic than your last sci.fi themed tracks
Kind of a cosmic march for a fictional military parade
Solid arrangement, I like the sound, it has great impact

Nicely done, once again

Cheers


Thanks, Laguna Rising! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I definitely took some inspiration from the Imperial March, so you're not far off on the cosmic march for a fictional military. :)
davidstiles
KVRian
 
637 posts since 3 Nov, 2013, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby davidstiles; Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:05 am Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

thedeadsoul wrote:hi David, indeed it's been a while. Sounds very professional! Indeed adding a bit more reverb may add to the cinematic feel, but even now it already sounds very well done! :o

Now, where are those Star Wars DVDs..? :D

Best,
Adi/Thedeadsoul


Thanks Adi, and nice to see you around here again. I think you were one of the very first people to follow me on Soundcloud way back in 2013 or so. Anyhow, glad you liked it, and thanks for listening!
davidstiles
KVRian
 
637 posts since 3 Nov, 2013, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby davidstiles; Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:09 am Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

jancivil wrote:It isn't muddy.

There are two spots where it is probably drier than a hall will be IME, given the implied size. One of them is the end. I would rather hear that than something weirdly wet.

(there is a VSL demo where a very fine musician, Jay Bacal has done the entire Le Sacre du Printemps, Stravinky which is terribly wet and obviously 'reverb' rather than naturalistic.)

I think it's an excellent production. Echoing other comments, the beginning is less convincing to me.


Thank you, jancivil! I was definitely trying to go for a somewhat drier sound (with the idea being that we are in a relatively small recording space, just like the OSTs for the Star Wars films were recorded in). I'm not generally a fan of an extremely wet sound, although I do like to have at least a touch of reverb.
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Frantz
KVRAF
 
4279 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:45 pm Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

A first rate composition. That's an action packed 2:50 minutes! :D

At the very beginning, it was reminiscent of the Holst Mars / Star Wars rhythmic motif but it quickly developed in all sorts of interesting ways.

I have some budget live classical recordings where they hung two microphones in the back of the hall, hit record, and whatever was captured was released as a CD. That's what this reminds me of. For my tastes, too much hall reverb and the brass overpowering other instruments at times. But this is a minor complaint.

Good job. :tu:
davidstiles
KVRian
 
637 posts since 3 Nov, 2013, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby davidstiles; Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:54 pm Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

Frantz wrote:A first rate composition. That's an action packed 2:50 minutes! :D

At the very beginning, it was reminiscent of the Holst Mars / Star Wars rhythmic motif but it quickly developed in all sorts of interesting ways.

I have some budget live classical recordings where they hung two microphones in the back of the hall, hit record, and whatever was captured was released as a CD. That's what this reminds me of. For my tastes, too much hall reverb and the brass overpowering other instruments at times. But this is a minor complaint.

Good job. :tu:


Thanks, Frantz! I appreciate the feedback about how you perceived the sound mixing. I am still not totally satisfied with how the mix for this track sounds either, so it is very helpful.
fastlanephil
KVRist
 
336 posts since 3 Jan, 2016

Postby fastlanephil; Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:42 pm Re: The Empire Strikes Again!

This sound pretty much like a soundtrack march to me. I wouldn't say it's awsome but it's a solid no nonsense track. It would work for sci-fi but probably also for other film genres. If your're going for orchestral realism it does seem to lack something.

Maybe it's a little dry which is better than too wet. Are you using a convolution reverb like EW Spaces with forward and rear instrument placement effects for more dimension? These are mostly short notes so CC1 for expression isn't of going to add much.

If it's about getting "that sound" then you can experiment with arranging that is not exactly an orchestra layout to fool the ear. I use to add just a little solo violin to a violin section to correct the accordion effect but now string libaries can have first chairs which is the same idea and they are higher quality samples.

Good work!
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