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Bansaw
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140 posts since 19 Aug, 2008

Postby Bansaw; Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:55 pm Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

This is my second attempt at cinematic / orchestral.
Got some good feedback last time which I appreciated, and I think I improved on one or two things because of that.
Looking for more experienced ears than mine to point out areas where it can be improved. thanks.
(I don't have very good studio monitors, do most of my listening on headphones; sounds Ok on headphones but lacks a bit bass on my speakers here.)

UPDATE: Added more Low end. I am still somewhat unhappy with the overall mix tbh.

https://soundcloud.com/bansaw-843690132 ... ember-2017
Last edited by Bansaw on Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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annode
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6037 posts since 28 Mar, 2003, from Location: Location

Postby annode; Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:30 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

I'm not experienced with orchestral but one thing stood out for me...feeling the upfront horns were so very out of place. You can hear some other horns back and to one side but the brash in your face horn(s) are coming from the other side and are right in your face. This doesn't feel realistic. That horn could not be that loud and clean if it were positioned with the other horns, which clearly have space between the listener and the horns.
Besides that it sounded pretty good to me. Oh...the stings section from the beginning maybe sounded too thin. Maybe add some body to them.
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Bansaw
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140 posts since 19 Aug, 2008

Postby Bansaw; Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:00 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

annode wrote:Ifeeling the upfront horns were so very out of place.

Thanks. When you say horns, do you mean the brass that comes in @ 0:54 ?
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annode
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6037 posts since 28 Mar, 2003, from Location: Location

Postby annode; Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:05 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

1:50

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layzer
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4607 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Postby layzer; Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:51 am Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

Bansaw wrote:sounds Ok on headphones but lacks a bit bass on my speakers here


yup, its all midrange on properly calibrated phones here :phones:
and on the spec analyzer, but i'll spare everyone the graphic this time around :wink:
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Apratim
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229 posts since 29 Dec, 2016, from India

Postby Apratim; Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:25 am Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

i will be honest the horns at 1min mark seemed a bit unnatural (like a little reverb would have worked )
just my opnion

but the violin at the end for a tension environment was awesome

love the track
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Bansaw
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140 posts since 19 Aug, 2008

Postby Bansaw; Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:04 am Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

layzer wrote:
Bansaw wrote:sounds Ok on headphones but lacks a bit bass on my speakers here


yup, its all midrange on properly calibrated phones here :phones:
and on the spec analyzer, but i'll spare everyone the graphic this time around :wink:

Thanks. I'll put it through the analyzer and bring back some of the bass.
I initially turned down the low end with XFer OTT and it sounded better through my headphones. But then it didn't sound so good in my speakers here. Just goes to show that my headphones were not telling me the whole truth. Good to know. (I don't mind seeing your graphic by the way!)
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Frantz
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4274 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:27 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

This would be effective film music for a battle scene.

From a composition perspective, I think there are too many notes sustained across bars. The parts could be more developed. There are also a lot of spaces in the frequency spectrum which could be filled with additional parts.

Good job. :tu:
Richard deHove
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208 posts since 22 Mar, 2016

Postby Richard deHove; Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:32 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

Agree that some of the sustains are too long. Also about a third of the way through the mood changed from ominous to whimsical. A little counterpoint might be nice too, although a lot of cinematic stuff these days seems to rely more on percussion and texture.
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ChamMusic
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247 posts since 12 Jun, 2006, from Birmingham, UK

Postby ChamMusic; Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:53 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...your words, NOT mine!

There are some really good ideas in there, but for me, at the moment, it is undeveloped and too simplistic...

Rhythmically:
Needs a lot more syncopation in there to drive it along and add energy and excitement.

Too much rhythmic movement is based around simple quaver (8th note patterns) with little or no variation.

Melodically:
Some great little ostinato patterns in there, but they need developing:
1 min 17 secs The insistent high string motif could easily be developed and changed...it just repeats 4 times and then repeats even more up the octave...

I might have cut this theme back to begin....more gaps in it and then built it up to how it is in the piece...or even gone further with more complex rhythms?

The rising brass line that joins in with the strings is just too sustained and simple over too long a period - it, again, needs to develop and morph to heighten the tension.

Structure:
Rises and falls quite effectively overall, but it has too many long stretches of repetition with no variation or development whatsoever.

Orchestral Feel / Timbres:
Ok overall, but it really doesn't convince as an orchestra.

You used Albion One from Spitfire Audio - good hybrid library, but any orchestral library is only as good as the automation / programming / playing...

Key to extra realism is ongoing movement and change, your sounds are too static:

1) Intonation can sometimes be subtly tweaked with automation / scripting so that everything is NOT perfect!
2) Ditto timing. (was it drawn in? Sounds slightly too 'good')
3) Sustained notes are NEVER totally flat and even...sounds artificial - they morph in terms of volume, intonation, vibrato, frequency content etc...automation.
3) Orchestral instruments sound very different when played louder / softer...use of scripting, (either already in Albion or done by you can enhance this...

EXAMPLE: Violins heavy bowed = obviously louder + more high frequency content + subtly sharper sometimes

This shows what I mean...on the cello programming:

https://soundcloud.com/bournvillemusic/ ... g-examples

Also this one demonstrating the constant subtle movement in those sounds:

https://soundcloud.com/bournvillemusic/ ... g-examples

4) More use of keyswitches would also help...same articulations are used too much.

5) Opening violin sustains are quite thin / insubstantial...try doubling them with two subtly different sustained violin patches or even having it playing in octaves on the one patch.

6) Trombone entry at 56 secs is too loud and intrusive for me with quite a 'honky' sound.

7) Where's the woodwind?

Realistic MIDi orchestration takes ####### hours and hours beyond the actual composing!

There is a lot of potential in this piece, but for me it's NOT the finished article at all.
Last edited by ChamMusic on Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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melomood
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97 posts since 15 Oct, 2017, from U.S.

Postby melomood; Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:23 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

I agree on the intro strings. Soften them up. Otherwise impressive.
My apologies in advance for the brutality
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melomood
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97 posts since 15 Oct, 2017, from U.S.

Postby melomood; Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:25 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

I am a long time lover of Scheherazade and that sounds a bit brutal compared to a real orchestra
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ChamMusic
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247 posts since 12 Jun, 2006, from Birmingham, UK

Postby ChamMusic; Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:00 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

melomood wrote:I am a long time lover of Scheherazade and that sounds a bit brutal compared to a real orchestra


I think you're probably right on that in certain ways, although having performed it a few times in real orchestras, they can be seriously brutal at times as well! :0)

It's definitely NOT 100% convincing in any way, shape or form, but it is a lot more so than Bansaw's composition. As I've mentioned I'm really not a fan of orchestral sample libraries as even the good ones can't really get that close to the real thing, even in the most expert of hands.
Last edited by ChamMusic on Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mark Taylor
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melomood
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97 posts since 15 Oct, 2017, from U.S.

Postby melomood; Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:10 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

I suppose I did spoil myself aurally. Still,for sampled orchestra, they've come a long way.
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Bansaw
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140 posts since 19 Aug, 2008

Postby Bansaw; Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:41 pm Re: Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...

ChamMusic wrote:Looking for more brutal (but constructive) criticism of my second cinematic track ...your words, NOT mine!

Thanks. As a fellow Brit, I'm OK with a bit of brutal honesty!
I know what you mean about sounds being static. Someone told me that my first piece (Bluebanks), the intro strings sounded a bit synth-like so he said "add some movement."
This time I added some rise and fall dynamics, a subtle flute and Pancake with a subtle pan.

Someone else mentioned brass notes being sustained too long, so I get the message.
Needs a lot more syncopation in there to drive it along and add energy and excitement.
Too much rhythmic movement is based around simple quaver (8th note patterns) with little or no variation.
I'll have to look into that and learn about it as I'm not sure exactly how to do that at this stage.

4) More use of keyswitches would also help...same articulations are used too much.

Could you elaborate on this?

Thanks. Some good advice in there I can take with me into my next track.
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