Emptiness Inside

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ChameleonMusic
KVRAF
Topic Starter
1576 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:24 am

https://soundcloud.com/chameleon-music/emptiness-inside

Short (and hopefully emotional) little piece for 4 cellos and choir.

Before anyone asks about the harmonies used here...this one was entirely written 'horizontally'...
I wrote the 4 cello parts with a BIG focus on the melodic lines...any underlying harmonies simply evolved out of that process.

The sustained pedal note in the choir was actually laid down first with the various cello lines weaving around it!
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

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Medvedium
KVRist
66 posts since 8 Jan, 2022 from Великая Россия

Post Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:03 am

Interesting movement, leading to nowhere - smth between ambient of Eno and music for furniture of Eric Satie
Though to my taste it lacks some higher line, to add some sparkle and air (if cellos are capable for it)
Do we also discuss mixing? I hear some resonant freqs in the mids of the very first cello

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tomtom1
KVRian
636 posts since 21 May, 2020 from germany

Post Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:11 am

Your music goes very well with the title. It conveys emptiness. (For some this will probably be a bit too little action ;))
ChameleonMusic wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:24 am this one was entirely written 'horizontally'...
First i thought: Woah... that's gonna be interesting.
ChameleonMusic wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:24 am The sustained pedal note in the choir was actually laid down first
Then i thought... oh, uh, this is a bit of cheating :D

You know that over an "organ pedal point", you can do everything and anything. It will never sound bad. And if you go too far away again, it acts like a vacuum cleaner that sucks you back on track. (Btw. it is a very popular technique for improvising or some organ pieces - if you are interested...). Your track reminded me of that. Not in the style but principles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCkDKCLUoms
it is better to have a track with some mistakes than a track without any soul
myself in 2022

Rene Asologuitar
KVRist
353 posts since 2 Apr, 2022

Post Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:28 am

Hi ChameleonMusic,
Very peaceful.
I like the relaxation I get from your composition.
High quality recording, and well composed melodies.
You are right, quite short, very enjoyable music!!!
Rene

mediumaevum
KVRist
381 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Post Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:48 am

I actually like the underlying harmonic ideas. It's quite inspiring.

However, what does not work for me is the sustain at the beginning and end. First, it's way too long, until something happens. Secondly the sustain/pedal note needs more dynamic expression. You have 20 seconds for one note to appear and one note only. That's too long, for my taste.

When you're working with just one single note, make sure it at least has some kind of dynamic movement to it, it could be vibrato, or moving slightly up and down in dynamics. Otherwise it's just a single note "saying" nothing.

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ChameleonMusic
KVRAF
Topic Starter
1576 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:27 am

Medvedium wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:03 am Interesting movement, leading to nowhere - smth between ambient of Eno and music for furniture of Eric Satie
Though to my taste it lacks some higher line, to add some sparkle and air (if cellos are capable for it)
Do we also discuss mixing? I hear some resonant freqs in the mids of the very first cello
Thanks for having a quick listen - appreciated.

''Interesting movement, leading to nowhere'' - yep, that's the point of this one...a return to 'emptiness' at the end after the cello lines failed efforts to overwhelm it! :borg: :oops: :help: :ud:

Cellos - yeah, they can go higher than most people realize...range of 4 octaves... or more in the hands of a professional.

I think, like most 'short' pieces there is scope for expansion and here, a higher line or two would possibly be appropriate. I did try a violin line or two for this minimalist version, but felt that it actually added 'sparkle and air' that I personally didn't actually want. (Anyway - the performer is a cellist and her violin playing sucks)! :)

ALWAYS discuss the mixing if something strikes you about it...

''Resonance in the first cello'' - yep, no doubt about it...and in the the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cellos! :)

...It comes from the body of the instrument used for all of them (these are live multitrack recordings) and it was very difficult to control such aspects completely ...especially in the room we used, which wasn't acoustically the best.

I actually quite like such aspects as long as they're not too intrusive - adds a 'real world' edge to the sound that can be lost in sample libraries sometimes.

There are quite a few very quiet clicks, scratches, scrapes and squeaks in there as well! :)
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

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tomtom1
KVRian
636 posts since 21 May, 2020 from germany

Post Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:05 am

ChameleonMusic wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:27 am ''Resonance in the first cello'' - yep, no doubt about it...and in the the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cellos! :)
I know you 2 talk about (or mean) the resonance-problems which can occur in mixes. But if i understand physics correctly - sound consists always of real multiple resonances. A lot of instruments have natural resonances, i even can hear it in the organ pipes. So how do you decide when it is too much? (Do you sweep for resonances with the EQ and what hurts gets cut off, do you just listen and decide? Or do you have some tools?) - Btw. i didn't recognized the resonance as "disturbing" in the first place, but i have to say that i listen to music relative quiet - then they don't stand out that much. (In my own mixes, however, I try to get rid of them as much as possible -and how good i can do it... )
it is better to have a track with some mistakes than a track without any soul
myself in 2022

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markkuja
KVRian
1301 posts since 28 Oct, 2005 from Finland

Post Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:48 am

Pleasant tranquil soundtrack. A little melancholy but still beautiful mood.

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ChameleonMusic
KVRAF
Topic Starter
1576 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:58 am

tomtom1 wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:05 am
ChameleonMusic wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:27 am ''Resonance in the first cello'' - yep, no doubt about it...and in the the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cellos! :)
I know you 2 talk about (or mean) the resonance-problems which can occur in mixes. But if i understand physics correctly - sound consists always of real multiple resonances. A lot of instruments have natural resonances, i even can hear it in the organ pipes. So how do you decide when it is too much? (Do you sweep for resonances with the EQ and what hurts gets cut off, do you just listen and decide? Or do you have some tools?) - Btw. i didn't recognized the resonance as "disturbing" in the first place, but i have to say that i listen to music relative quiet - then they don't stand out that much. (In my own mixes, however, I try to get rid of them as much as possible -and how good i can do it... )
Hi Thomas, yeah, the use of the word RESONANCE can be very confusing as everything RESONATES! 😊

Yes, all instruments have natural resonances and that’s what often makes them sound good! 😊

In audio mixing terms it specifically refers to a significant and unwanted build-up of certain frequencies that actually intrude on the overall production quality in various ways.

In this little piece of mine, I think the edge of unwanted resonance is coming from a combination of the cello body’s natural warmth interacting with the room acoustics. I noticed it at the time (as did the cellist) and we did adjust the performer’s position to lessen it when recording.

Personally, it doesn’t bother me here at all in this piece, but I’m aware of it’s ebb and flow through it all at times….particularly when all 4 cellos play simultaneously. I think it’s most noticeable in the first cello because of the range that it plays in, maybe?

So how do you decide when it is too much?

I mainly just listen and make a judgement call.

I also tend to run a track through a spectrum analyser to actually watch for any serious frequency peaks as well…sometimes the ear can deceive after long sessions in the studio! 😉

Most Common Types of Resonances

Low-frequency Resonance (Hum)
a unpleasant hum-like sound in the lower end of your track's frequency spectrum
A serous headroom killer, and it will lend a weak, quiet quality to your mix, regardless of what volume you play it back at.
Whe you increase the gain, the hum gets even louder! If you want a loud, punchy mix, it's essential that you deal with low-frequency resonances.

High-frequency Resonance (Notch Frequencies)
Notch frequencies cause high-frequency resonance in the 10kHz to 15kHz range. If your tracks produce harsh, ringing artifacts, this is likely why.
High-frequency resonance will cause near-immediate listening fatigue, and it will make your mix more unpleasant to listen to.


How do you get rid of them?

Record instruments properly with proper sonic isolation and acoustic treatment! 😉 That’s much easier than doing it in the mix! 😉

In the Mix:

The first step in removing unwanted resonances is to identify them.

Begin by instantiating a dynamic EQ plug-in in a track and creating a large (+15dB or more) EQ boost with a narrow Q bandwidth.

Solo the affected track. Then, while your mix is playing, sweep around the frequency spectrum and listen for any annoying droning or ringing frequencies that seem to be dominating the sonic spectrum.

When you locate a resonant frequency, place a frequency band on that spot. After that, lower the gain on the frequency band — -3dB is a good starting point, but use your ears.

Don't overdo it! If you get too heavy handed with this, you'll end up with a hollow, unnatural, low-quality sound.

Now repeat the process until you locate and attenuate all the resonances on every track in your mix. You may also have to repeat the process on your master bus.

Be patient, this could take a while! That said, it's sometimes an essential part of the mixing process.

NOTE: There are custom VSTs that will do the above for you automatically, but I’ve never used them…RESO is one of apparently better reviewed ones?

SORRY – got carried away! 😉
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

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Medvedium
KVRist
66 posts since 8 Jan, 2022 from Великая Россия

Post Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:00 am

tomtom1 wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:05 am So how do you decide when it is too much? (Do you sweep for resonances with the EQ and what hurts gets cut off, do you just listen and decide? Or do you have some tools?)
I hear disturbing resonances when listening on louder volume - when most of instruments still dont disturb. When an instrument produces the resonance - it cuts my ear and wrinkles my face, like sine from the bad mic, or wrong note of a singer. Wrinkled face - is the best analyzer tool ))

There still is a vst tool for smoothing any sound and to automatically fight any resonances - soothe2 by oeksound. You don't even need to hear the resonances - it kills them without your efforts )

mediumaevum
KVRist
381 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Post Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:00 am

mediumaevum wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:48 am I actually like the underlying harmonic ideas. It's quite inspiring.

However, what does not work for me is the sustain at the beginning and end. First, it's way too long, until something happens. Secondly the sustain/pedal note needs more dynamic expression. You have 20 seconds for one note to appear and one note only. That's too long, for my taste.

When you're working with just one single note, make sure it at least has some kind of dynamic movement to it, it could be vibrato, or moving slightly up and down in dynamics. Otherwise it's just a single note "saying" nothing.
I forgot to say:

Btw. set aside my critique it was a nice listen.

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Medvedium
KVRist
66 posts since 8 Jan, 2022 from Великая Россия

Post Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:20 am

ChameleonMusic wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:27 am Thanks for having a quick listen - appreciated.
Always welcome!

And: I believe people love your detailed reviews, answers and comments! :tu:

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tomtom1
KVRian
636 posts since 21 May, 2020 from germany

Post Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:59 am

ChameleonMusic wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:58 am SORRY – got carried away! 😉
No, no, everything is super fine... that is what i was hoping for... ;) :lol: :hug: :tu:
it is better to have a track with some mistakes than a track without any soul
myself in 2022

guitarmiester
KVRist
186 posts since 30 Dec, 2018

Post Thu Jun 23, 2022 11:34 am

This was the perfect track to stumble across after a pretty exhaustive workday. When you've gotta handle and resolve an excessive number of things on a daily basis, listening to a song like this really brings you back to earth so thank you for sharing this. You've done a great job of slowing down time to create an actual space of nothingness which I mean in a very positive way. Liked this track so I can come back to it again in the very near future *cough* tomorrow *cough*.

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seismic1
KVRAF
10770 posts since 13 Mar, 2009 from UK

Post Fri Jun 24, 2022 2:01 pm

The opening 50 seconds was slightly reminiscent of "Birth of Liquid Plejades" by TD (a much under-rated, and much longer piece of music).

This is minimal (in a very pleasant way), and the dissonances are very enjoyable.

I don't have a problem with any resonance here. Acoustic instruments feature many resonant characteristics whose removal could make those instruments sonically unrecognisable. Synths are a different kettle of fish.

It was a very satisfying listen which certainly lives up to the titular billing.

Good work :)

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