Ad Infinitum

New piece in my favourite genre ( ;D ) and another mock-up for the album. Well, the first half of the piece anyway…I can’t continue with Cubase Artists 32 track limit, I don’t have all the articulations that I need to do some sections properly and I can’t continue without a full sustained section with the piano part either. There should be some more percussion to the left after the second bar of silence, need another track for that though.

As always, comments and critiques are welcome. I’ve looked at the mastering more and I think that I’ve gotten a more balanced sound than before (note that I’ve updated all tracks on my channel with the new mastering so there is nothing to compare from older threads, but I always felt it sounded too thin and ‘tinny.’) 320kbps download available for those wishing to listen in proper quality.


Wow – this is really, really good as far as orchestrating goes. Musically, it lacks a bit of direction, if that makes sense. But the orchestrating is as good as anything I’ve heard while playing World of Warcraft, for example, which as you may know is renowned for its music. Is that the East-West Choirs I’m hearing? I have that, I’ve toyed with the WordBuilder, it’s actually pretty amazing. My one crit would be that the orchestra is burying the choir in parts.

Well done :sunglasses:

Yet another great piece that will work well for video games / film and as the title says "Ad Infinitum’ - continues forever without limit - it does just that. I would have liked to hear a few more silent moments before the music rise again but I can see this piece was not intended for silent moments. You brass sounds so great, especially the crescendos like 1:15 and the full sound at 2:20, the balance between brass section and rest of the orchestra is perfect. Maybe you would consider making a clean break at 2:57 with a long reverb (like 1:31) before the piano starts playing because the piece changes character and just to emphasize that a little more. Always wonderful to listen to your music and these great epic pieces such a contrast to your wedding music. Michael.

Thanks for the compliment on the orchestration, it’s certainly fun to orchestrate in this way. When you say direction do you mean the sections don’t flow well enough, or the harmony doesn’t develop in the right way, or is it the piano part at the end? (Which may not be piano eventually, but I can’t really continue with a 32 track limit on with an orchestra.)

I’ve boosted the choir volume a tiny bit since your original listen, as well as a few other minor things and quite a major difference in the mastering after spending all weekend reading the manual and fiddling with things. I see that the link has no downloads. When you download the file it’s the original 320kbps upload that you download, not the lower quality compressed one btw. I made this private link just for you mate. ;D

Yeah, I played WoW for several years myself. Although after the first play-through I have the music disabled like most people. :stuck_out_tongue: But it is really great fantasy music. It’s EWQL SC yes. If I could load them twice and have one set just for sustain/legato notes/parts and one for staccato it’d make it so much easier. I do like the sound of it though, considering it’s from like 2007-2009, can’t remember exactly.

Thanks Michael, or Fox. Fox is a cooler name, like Fox Mulder. ;D Nice spot on the title, I wanted to try and develop the theme at the very beginning in different ways. The silent/building part will be where the piano is, although I’d like to have it with a full divisi string section, but because of the 32 track limit I had to remove the choice of having 2nd violins and violas playing legato, they play stacc/spicc/marcato throughout. So as I’ve said, I’m kind of stuck to continue since I can’t write the next part how I want to. Someday! The C7 Artist upgrade for £80 will give me 64 tracks, which will be fantastic but I can’t really spare any cash from food/bills.

The brass is actually just the cheaper hollywood brass ‘gold’ version too, so thanks. ;p Yeah, the piano does change the atmosphere too much, it’s mainly there as a reminder to myself for when I am able to go back to it with a bigger track limit. I have plans to have solo female vocal parts recorded in the build-up too. :wink:

And haha, you’ve listened to the wedding stuff? xD

Spectacular as always! :slight_smile:

Like always blew my mind. The way you harmonize your strings and arrange your pieces is incredible man. So dramatic and epic! It just makes me feel like grabbing my spear and riding my loyal steed down to the dragon’s den!

I actually really how you end the song with the piano in front of that tasteful delay. If it was a trailer I can picture the main hero walking away into the sunset, right after all the epicness just went down.

Mad props man.

Very melodic, really interesting harmonically and very good to listen to!
The heroic melody right after the break at 1:35 is somewhat of a trademark thing isn’t it, :wink: i think it is a lick that is really yours. The melody at 2:32 really grabs me, it gets into the music in a suprising way and I think it is beautiful. Emotional phrases!
The only thing that I think is a bit off is the rhythm of the fast string melodies right at 0:17 to 0:47. Maybe it is the other musical movements that are fooling my ears, I don’t know, but also after second and third listening I think it sounds like it gets a bit ahead of the other parts . After listening again, though, it is growing on me, so to speak.
Other than this little opinion, good music! And indeed mixed and mastered very well.

Really great orchestration nice builds. one suggestion the 16th note (i think its 16th note) pattern feels a very stiff around the 1:35 mark is it quantized? The snare pattern there also strikes me as not fitting the orchestration parts correctly not sure why but is it played by you or is it a pre played sample?
Really great sounds and I of coarse like the piano part, but I have prejudice towards piano lol

Hah, I am grinning with a little pride at your words about the trademark heroic part. ;p And as always, I’m glad you liked the big end part at 2:32. Although, when I upgrade Cubase so that I can have more than 32 instrument/articulation tracks I will be extending it into a 4:30-5:00 piece building the piano part with a sustained divisi string section, so it won’t be the ‘end’ then. :stuck_out_tongue:

Kenny is right though, the stacc strings there do sound a little too stiff and all notes in that section are actually randomized to 20 ticks, which is round about what you want to do for an entire section when using samples. The reason it does sound a little stiff, is unfortunately just the limitations of the samples. In 8Dio’s brand new library they have over 5 different kinds of spiccato, on top of the other shorts notes like staccato-on-the-bow, marcato etc. Some of those are feather spiccato and the notes have a very nice ‘bouncy’ sound. I couldn’t quite get that feeling out of the library that I own. As much as I love my string library for this stuff, it is now 3 and a half years old and 8Dio’s recently released string library has more variation in expressions.

As for the mastering I’ve learned that harmonic excitation using tape (in Ozone 5) results in a poor, trebly kind of sound for this stuff, whereas the same values (0.2dB across the entire stereo, 10% mix) for tube gives it that extra little sparkle. There’s no EQing in the mixing stage except to cut some bass from those taiko drums to your right ear so that the resonance doesn’t muddy things up too much (I’m also EQing the drum reverb with a HPF at 100-150hz to avoid this too,) and also only a HPF at 30z on the mastering. There is a little bit compression that really brings out the parts, especially drums, better and then a maximizer for the volume.

The piano is NI Alicia’s Keys, which I’d prefer not to use for orchestra score kind of stuff, but it’s the best sounding one that I could afford, so… :smiling_imp:

Thanks for taking the time to listen and comment. ^.^

Very nice, good composition and the orchestration we’ve come to expect from you :slight_smile:.
I thought the intro was a bit disconnected from the rest of the song, but I like it otherwise.

as always jonathan a very high standard but can’t figure out why you didn’t use the end piano theme in other places and with other instruments cause melodically that’s the best bit…Kevin

Outstanding as usual. Although I agree with some others that parts of it do feel a bit “too perfect” at times, that’s always a challenge when working with samples. I’ve never even attempted anything like this (creating full orchestral type scores). I would love to get into it at some point, but there are several road blocks–not the least of which is educating myself about how to use each instrument. I’m having trouble enough trying to get a fundamental grasp on the limitless use of the human voice.

That all said, though I wonder what your process is? Do you work exclusively in Cubase, or do you use a scoring program as well? Do you read music or are you one of those amazing freaks of nature who can read a piano roll as if it’s as simple as a restaurant menu? :slight_smile: I know of some who work exclusively with the piano roll when composing. I honestly don’t understand how they do it. I guess it must be a youth versus age kind of thing. I have to use traditional scoring to see what the heck I’m doing (or just play or sing it in based on what’s in my head). I think this is a benefit to me (in the sense that it’s much easier for me to create a song with direction, build, and melody when I score it first), but I also fear that can be a great limitation to me in others (I just can’t look at a piano roll and SEE music. I know how to use it and what it means, but at the end of the day, it’s all just blobs on a grid), but you know… there’s always more to learn. That’s the beauty of it.

Enough though. I’m rambling. I enjoyed the piece, I love your orchestrations. My hat’s off to you.