One Synth Challenge #165: BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover by Spitfire Audio (Schiing Wins!)

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
RELATED
PRODUCTS
User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2972 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:11 am

Yehehe, I made this a habit already, just moving the track into 3, listening to it on SC and then moving it into place. But I've already reached my commenting limit, I'm afraid. Pity, or...eh... lucky? :hihi: Not sure... :scared:

Well, I'll write something here once I'm through.
Thanks, guys! :tu:

User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2972 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 1:28 pm

I'm fairly certain the old rule of not posting covers should still apply, right? So, somebody who would recreate an existing film score probably will get DQed, right? Almost a pity, because Olof did a mighty fine job translating the score, but well... just before his track vanishes, I'd still want to congratulate him on a fine achievement. Very well done! :tu: :shrug:

SC can be so harsh...I wonder if it's a word limit or post limit, but man...I wished I could comment.

User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2972 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:30 pm

Alright, I have voted!
BUT if somehow the whole "cover" thing turns out to be tolerated in this round, then Olof jumps 4 ranks up!

Some outstanding stuff come out in this round.
Clearly many of us aren't used to composing for orchestra. Very often it seemed like some felt forced to do justice to the genre, but didn't quite know how.
Some did wonderful phrases, but then stumbled over crucial notes, creating proper cringe moments.
Others did extremely well musically, but had troubles with the sound of an orchestra, let alone the simplified Discover, which just needs a bit of extra care to avoid ugly transitions.
And then there is Milkster... damn, that was ballsy and great! :hihi: :tu:
...I honestly figured that more would go wild with it and even thought about it myself, but I just have too much fun with orchestration lately and enjoyed going back to Discover for this trip. It was super fun for me, that's for sure! :hyper: :violin:

All in all, this round was full of adventures, full of suspense, full of surprises and I'm full of myself again?! :scared: :oops: :shrug:

This was brilliant, though!

Mike777
KVRist
479 posts since 8 Oct, 2005

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:43 pm

Taron wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:30 pm Alright, I have voted!
BUT if somehow the whole "cover" thing turns out to be tolerated in this round, then Olof jumps 4 ranks up!

Some outstanding stuff come out in this round.
Clearly many of us aren't used to composing for orchestra. Very often it seemed like some felt forced to do justice to the genre, but didn't quite know how.
Some did wonderful phrases, but then stumbled over crucial notes, creating proper cringe moments.
Others did extremely well musically, but had troubles with the sound of an orchestra, let alone the simplified Discover, which just needs a bit of extra care to avoid ugly transitions.
And then there is Milkster... damn, that was ballsy and great! :hihi: :tu:
...I honestly figured that more would go wild with it and even thought about it myself, but I just have too much fun with orchestration lately and enjoyed going back to Discover for this trip. It was super fun for me, that's for sure! :hyper: :violin:

All in all, this round was full of adventures, full of suspense, full of surprises and I'm full of myself again?! :scared: :oops: :shrug:

This was brilliant, though!
He said he wrote it "for a movie we did at my work". And was in the process of converting it in BBC Discover when he found out about the competition. So technically it wasn't written for this competition. He's honest about it.

If we are allowed to ignore the rule that it must be written for this competition I have years of previous compositions I could use. I've never done that.

liqih
DASH Guy
7812 posts since 20 Sep, 2001

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:45 pm

Taron wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:30 pm Others did extremely well musically, but had troubles with the sound of an orchestra, let alone the simplified Discover, which just needs a bit of extra care to avoid ugly transitions.
Hi Taron, I indeed had had troubles with the sound of an orchestra like these BBC samples, since I didn't want my track to sound like that, with that fixed dull acoustic, I should have forced myself to compose score things I don't like very much. Therefore my challenge was to build a compromise.
http://nusofting.com
plugins: Sinnah Sinmad Echobis and more

User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2972 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:24 pm

Mike777 wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:43 pm
Taron wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:30 pm Alright, I have voted!
BUT if somehow the whole "cover" thing turns out to be tolerated in this round, then Olof jumps 4 ranks up!

Some outstanding stuff come out in this round.
Clearly many of us aren't used to composing for orchestra. Very often it seemed like some felt forced to do justice to the genre, but didn't quite know how.
Some did wonderful phrases, but then stumbled over crucial notes, creating proper cringe moments.
Others did extremely well musically, but had troubles with the sound of an orchestra, let alone the simplified Discover, which just needs a bit of extra care to avoid ugly transitions.
And then there is Milkster... damn, that was ballsy and great! :hihi: :tu:
...I honestly figured that more would go wild with it and even thought about it myself, but I just have too much fun with orchestration lately and enjoyed going back to Discover for this trip. It was super fun for me, that's for sure! :hyper: :violin:

All in all, this round was full of adventures, full of suspense, full of surprises and I'm full of myself again?! :scared: :oops: :shrug:

This was brilliant, though!
He said he wrote it "for a movie we did at my work". And was in the process of converting it in BBC Discover when he found out about the competition. So technically it wasn't written for this competition. He's honest about it.

If we are allowed to ignore the rule that it must be written for this competition I have years of previous compositions I could use. I've never done that.
Oh, jeeez, yeah, that's extra tricky. Easy thing to decide, though:
• Has he started with the original composition of this track BEFORE the competition started?
If that was the case, then it's clearly against the rules.
• If he saw the OSC and THEN was asked to do the track and figured he could kill two birds with one stone, then it would be alright.
If he lies about it, he shall be shunned! :uhuhuh: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Whatever the case, fantastic work, though! :clap: :clap: :clap:

User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2972 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:48 pm

liqih wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:45 pm
Taron wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:30 pm Others did extremely well musically, but had troubles with the sound of an orchestra, let alone the simplified Discover, which just needs a bit of extra care to avoid ugly transitions.
Hi Taron, I indeed had had troubles with the sound of an orchestra like these BBC samples, since I didn't want my track to sound like that, with that fixed dull acoustic, I should have forced myself to compose score things I don't like very much. Therefore my challenge was to build a compromise.
Yeah, you had a special one again, hehe. Points for uniqueness, definitely. This round there were a few uniquely weird ones. Some of them worked shockingly well, some not at all, I'm afraid, but it felt like almost nobody was embracing the staging of the original orchestra and tried panning things around, which didn't quite help either. With a close mic recording there it would work, but with this one it just is not a great idea and not necessary either. But well... :shrug:

liqih
DASH Guy
7812 posts since 20 Sep, 2001

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:58 pm

Taron wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:48 pm but it felt like almost nobody was embracing the staging of the original orchestra and tried panning things around, which didn't quite help either.
Yeah, but after all this is the "one synth challenge" not the orchestral composer contest or the competition for the best "BBC plugin" demo track. I have still to listen to the entries but I will surely welcome who strayed from the orchestra, ha..ha...
Anyway I see you point.
http://nusofting.com
plugins: Sinnah Sinmad Echobis and more

User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2972 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 4:53 pm

True, but a good opportunity to stray from the usual a little. Also it brought out some different qualities in many of us, which I found particularly refreshing and exciting!

emikaela
KVRist
102 posts since 30 Dec, 2020

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:10 pm

i thought about whether i wanted to approach this as composing for sampled orchestra or for live orchestra, and decided that the former would be more in line with the strengths and weaknesses of the actual instrument. it's not really suited for realistic mock-ups. panning is still useful either way, of course.

ayndryw
KVRist
34 posts since 9 Feb, 2021

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:52 pm

Voted

User avatar
FrogsInPants
KVRist
354 posts since 4 Nov, 2019

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:03 pm

Taron wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:48 pm
liqih wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:45 pm
Taron wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:30 pm Others did extremely well musically, but had troubles with the sound of an orchestra, let alone the simplified Discover, which just needs a bit of extra care to avoid ugly transitions.
Hi Taron, I indeed had had troubles with the sound of an orchestra like these BBC samples, since I didn't want my track to sound like that, with that fixed dull acoustic, I should have forced myself to compose score things I don't like very much. Therefore my challenge was to build a compromise.
Yeah, you had a special one again, hehe. Points for uniqueness, definitely. This round there were a few uniquely weird ones. Some of them worked shockingly well, some not at all, I'm afraid, but it felt like almost nobody was embracing the staging of the original orchestra and tried panning things around, which didn't quite help either. With a close mic recording there it would work, but with this one it just is not a great idea and not necessary either. But well... :shrug:
I would find it useful to receive feedback on any ugly transitions or other sonically awkward bits. As for panning things around, do you mean it has some negative affect on the sonic quality, or it just sounds like instruments are out of their traditional place? From what you say about the mic placement, it sounds like you mean something more than just things sounding out of place, but I'm not sure what that would be. Maybe that it messes with the baked-in reverb?

I feel no great allegiance to the traditional orchestral staging, used the sounds I wanted in the ways I wanted, and moved some things around to improve the balance. If the result doesn't meet expectations of a traditional orchestra, I'm okay with that. I'm sure I could learn some things from embracing the original orchestral staging, and maybe I'll try that someday. It just isn't among my priorities at present.

BrainBeatMusic
KVRist
102 posts since 19 Apr, 2022

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:01 pm

I have just started listening and voting and wow so far everyone has done a fantastic job and is making it very hard to vote. This is especially hard for me as I usually award points based on how good the sounds are but as they are all going to be basically the same I am having a hard time not giving everything at least a 4.

User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2972 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Post Sun Dec 04, 2022 2:31 am

FrogsInPants wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:03 pm
Taron wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:48 pm
liqih wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:45 pm
Taron wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 2:30 pm Others did extremely well musically, but had troubles with the sound of an orchestra, let alone the simplified Discover, which just needs a bit of extra care to avoid ugly transitions.
Hi Taron, I indeed had had troubles with the sound of an orchestra like these BBC samples, since I didn't want my track to sound like that, with that fixed dull acoustic, I should have forced myself to compose score things I don't like very much. Therefore my challenge was to build a compromise.
Yeah, you had a special one again, hehe. Points for uniqueness, definitely. This round there were a few uniquely weird ones. Some of them worked shockingly well, some not at all, I'm afraid, but it felt like almost nobody was embracing the staging of the original orchestra and tried panning things around, which didn't quite help either. With a close mic recording there it would work, but with this one it just is not a great idea and not necessary either. But well... :shrug:
I would find it useful to receive feedback on any ugly transitions or other sonically awkward bits. As for panning things around, do you mean it has some negative affect on the sonic quality, or it just sounds like instruments are out of their traditional place? From what you say about the mic placement, it sounds like you mean something more than just things sounding out of place, but I'm not sure what that would be. Maybe that it messes with the baked-in reverb?

I feel no great allegiance to the traditional orchestral staging, used the sounds I wanted in the ways I wanted, and moved some things around to improve the balance. If the result doesn't meet expectations of a traditional orchestra, I'm okay with that. I'm sure I could learn some things from embracing the original orchestral staging, and maybe I'll try that someday. It just isn't among my priorities at present.
I was IN PAIN, listening to your fantastic creation, man! I was audibly laughing and kept thinking "genius" and "I love his consistency"..."freaking fantastic frogs".... :lol: awww, it was awesome. But I was not allowed to write comments on SC. [unable to post comment] or whatever it says.
You had the James Bond stuff in there, too, or High Noon, inspired by both, I guess, but it was fantastic. Some things went a bit sideways with notes ending on the toes of others here and there and there was a bit of a constant awkwardness in there, while it had me smile the whole time to with actual pleasure.
No, when you go all nuts like you do, you can pan the heck out of things, it won't matter. But it does destroy the natural room sound, making it sound like cheaper samples, unless you know exactly what you're doing and master the heck out of them. And you really seem to know exactly what you're doing with the mix and the sound FX, pffff, wonderful! :clap: :tu: :hyper:

User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2972 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Post Sun Dec 04, 2022 3:31 am

AH, double posting, but I just had to respond to FrogsInPants real quick. Couldn't hold back.
When I was listening to all the tracks, I constantly wanted to react, as I always do- not to my advantage :hihi: - but there are things I wanted to share with you, which I have learned over the last year in which I've done many orchestra explorations.

The orchestra:
The various instrument sections and their density of players represent the original analogue mastering for both volume and EQ. Each section has it's own frequency sweet spot and power. The way you "EQ" them is via your arrangement in your composition and not with your mastering. Depending on technical issues with the recorded samples or the overall space you wish to create, you could do some overall EQ, helping to hide quality flaws or altering room characteristics, but you wouldn't want to change the sound of the played instrument in order to balance out your mix. Instead you'd either play it more quietly or choose a different section. So, the true "mastering" of the mix is in your composition and arrangement. This preserves a natural feel and allows the qualities of each instrument sections to come through organically and therefore believably. That's a very pleasant sensation. But it's also loads of fun to become aware of this and make this thought process help you with arranging your composition.
For me the biggest revelation were the brass sections. They provide the true body. Most (like me) gravitate toward using strings, because they truly make us feel of an orchestra. Of course, because they audibly have the most players, creating a sense of unison, like a large group of people believe in the same thing and align. "They must be on to something, let's take them serious". :lol:
But strings are almost transparent. It's a bit ironic, because they represent air more then any blown instrument, hehehe. Funny. :violin:
SOooo, even when you have all string sections happily play together, there is a body missing, like a weight you may want. That's when the brass come to the rescue. Especially horn and even more especially the hidden monster: Tuba!
Only recently it clicked for me with the tubas. They give a bottom that can't quite be reached by any other instrument in orchestral sets like this one. Yes, there are others in larger libraries, but tuba is pretty often given and does a fantastic job on the bottom end.
Then there is the power of unisono. Again, you reach for it almost like going about mastering a lead melody. You pick together sections that play the same phrase in their natural octave to add the saturation you wish for it to have. This is not so much about volume than it is about a sense of completeness. Besides the above mention effect of many players aligning, giving a sense of understanding to the group: "They know what they want".
That brings me to another compelling thing about working with orchestra libraries (and probably real orchestras, too, but I wouldn't know): Imagine the players! It's something I virtually always do more or less and that is to imagine the player, playing their instrument. Each one is serious about their job, about the music they provide. I want to give them something to be proud of playing, even if it was just a single note here and there, but especially when it is phrases, even if they are part of a chord. Somehow it makes the entire composing and arranging an almost intimate experience with each instrument and adds a great amount of fun to me, that's for sure. You begin to feel the phantoms of your imagination.
Again, it's something I sort of always do anyway, but in an orchestra there is a different kind of feedback. On a synth you get to shape not just the sounds, but with it you shape the players into anything, be that a human playing a flute or a weird piece of machinery making organized noises (or unorganized, whatever :lol: ). But the orchestral library gives you the impression of real peers. You get to slip into their slippers, possess them in a way, whereby I rather feel possessed by them when I play/compose or "want to feel possessed by them" then.
The biggest thing is:
Don't pretend to compose for an orchestra! Don't think you have to meet any expectations for the music. Let it just happen naturally! Just feel what the orchestra can bring out of your music as it comes naturally to you!
I've had to sort of overcome this, too, more and more finding myself with the given instrumentation rather than trying to do the genre justice. It's totally not necessary and should happen naturally, but showing YOUR music, what's in your heart and on your mind and so on.
I've often heard in these tracks the kind of pretending, which can be adorable, too, but it also is a bit cringy more often than not.
Anyway, that's way too big of a post already. But a single month of doing some orchestral stuff is most certainly not enough to really get into it, yet, many of you show a real aptitude for it, like you must've caught fire and experienced the fascination and joy of working with this.
Yes, it can be intimidating and some may feel like it was a restriction, but it really isn't. It is meant to liberate you, allow for some faith in almost primal skills of humanity and let your music play. The immense range of expression it allows you to explore, from the most quiet and tiny moments to the most bombastic explosions and absolutely anything in between. You can immediately get your audience into an adventure of your making or share a most detailed emotion. No need for the listener to suspend disbelief, which is necessary with virtually all synthetic sound generators (no matter how much I deeeeeeply love them. And I do!). But a properly sampled orchestra and carefully played library can put one an alternate reality into yours and you can easily accept it.

Grrrr, I could go on and on, because I absolutely love the topic. Something to say about working with libraries, especially one like this one. It is packed with weaknesses, but it's also packed with strengths. You can use the weaknesses to offer a freedom to bend things that stay within them, but don't ride around on the weakness itself. If there are no round robins, do not repeat the same notes in too similar ways. You could strongly vary velocity or try to simply use other notes or even other instruments, but don't reveal the weakness. Once thrown out of an illusion, it's really difficult to get back in. Unless you make being outside of the illusion your theme, of course. But it has to be clear. If it isn't clear, it itself becomes your weakness or your composition's weakness.

Jazz allows you to do great many things, and you get permission to do them when you establish that it is indeed Jazz you're making, hehehehe. :hihi: ...but if you don't make Jazz, try to be all academical, you cannot allow yourself to do mistakes, as harsh as that sounds. The tiniest misstep is sticking out like a soar thumb. :tu: :scared: :ud:
That's one of the most common troubles I've noticed in this round.

Eh, I'm going to stop this now. I already feel a bit awkward about myself, but I'm still so excited about this stuff and so happy and grateful about what I have learned in the last year, I really want to share with you all I can. So.... forgive me, I'm not trying to appear important, haha, shi.... it's like you've jumped into my sandbox and I'm like a little boy being all excited to show you around, HAHA. :roll: :hyper: :hug: Oh, you know "sand" already? AHmm... :oops:

If somehow you dare consider asking me anything, please, by all means, ask away. Obviously I'm all too happy to be here for you. :help: :lol:

Return to “Instruments”