Beauty of the North Lands (Soundtrack, Vocals)

Hello Folks!

"Beauty of the North Lands" is a Soundtrack-esque piece (without any movie to go with it, I’m afraid) finished yesterday, also featuring some vocal work of a good friend.

You can listen to it on SoundCloud.

As usual, all done in Cubase 6.5, orchestral samples from VSL exclusively this time, and with an approach to produce an ‘above average’ dynamic range in the mix - which isn’t that easy with (even a digital) orchestra of that size.

If you decide to give it a listen: I hope you enjoy it, and thank you so much for taking the time! All feedback is welcome; I’m always willing to improve.

~Dominik

I think it’s brilliant!

Definitely movie soundtrack material and I’m certainly not qualified to give any criticism… constructive or otherwise.

Well done.

Beautiful! Can you tell us some of the technical aspects of the recording?
Is anything organic or is this all VST? Mixed ITB?

Sure, just tell me what you’d like to know!

As for the instrumental part, it’s 100% VST, and 100% Vienna Symphonic Library (Libraries: Special Edition Plus Bundle , Appassionata Strings I+II Extended, Epic Horns).

The vocals are organic; it’s an actual recording done by a friend of mine. I admit I do not know which form of equipment she uses; I just gave her the vocal sheets and she returned some wonderful recordings to me which I then squeezed in.

What does ITB mean?

ITB -Mixing Inthe Box (Computer). Are you mixing using the Cubase mixer exclusively?

Oh! Thanks for making me a tad bit smarter. :stuck_out_tongue:

The final mixdown happens in Cubase, yes. I use Vienna Ensemble to offload the VST instances to VE (which has some nice features of persisting the actual instances, so I can open/close the project in a few seconds without having to re-load a few gigabytes of sample data each time). I could do some pre-mixing in VE, but actually all I’m doing there is panning the instruments and setting their stereo width.

Really enjoyed the orchestration and also the vocal. VE sounds wonderful, do you use VE Pro at all?

Sounds Great, and will work great for a North Lands icy landscape type of soundtrack.

Note : The only thing that I would do is cut the volume a bit on the vocal track, and maybe put it a bit more in the middle of the mix (i.e. Increase the Wet/Dry ratio to blend it a bit with the orchestral background). and maybe bring up the orchestral stem to the foreground.

The vocalist has a wonderful voice.

Cheers & Thanks for sharing your work on the forum.
Muziksculp

Yes, I use VE Pro, but only a small set of its features. I don’t have a setup where I actually need to split my VST load over several machines over the network (and I admit I never quite understood how licensing with VSL works there…).

I wasn’t working with Cubase when I bought it, and at this time the two killer features were the fact that I could bypass the 2GB limitation of my 32bit-only-DAW, and the ability to persist instances. Loading a project can be such a pain when it takes ~5 minutes to load all the samples, especially when you want to switch between versions to do some comparisons/copy&paste jobs.

Very nice indeed, good work. I agree that the vocal can come down a bit especially in the climax at about 2:45.
I also noticed the timing was a bit off at times, she has a tendency to go slightly too fast. (not in the last 2 shorter vocal parts.)

Yes, I use VE Pro, but only a small set of its features. I don’t have a setup where I actually need to split my VST load over several machines over the network (and I admit I never quite understood how licensing with VSL works there…).

I wasn’t working with Cubase when I bought it, and at this time the two killer features were the fact that I could bypass the 2GB limitation of my 32bit-only-DAW, and the ability to persist instances. Loading a project can be such a pain when it takes ~5 minutes to load all the samples, especially when you want to switch between versions to do some comparisons/copy&paste jobs.[/quote]

Licensing allows you to have VEP5/pro on 3 computers but if you use MIR (which I do) you can only install that on one computer. It is so easy to use, with 2 computer and I love it but only use when I have a large project. I still route all using separate outputs (output each instrument exp 1/2 - 3/4 - 5/6 etc…) back into Cubase but I mostly mix in VEP, do automation if needed in cubase although it can be done in VEP also. I accomplish stage placement/room effect etc with MIR. Are you still using the 32bit computer, I didn’t read you signature prior to writing back. If so its impressive that you are able to get all that going in 32bit.

I am unclear how you use use VEP to bypass the 32bit ram limitation? You should still be under same limit if you’re using a 32bit operating system…would love hear how you address the limits.
Thanks and great work

Actually, my concern are the libraries. I’ve licensed various libraries, so let’s take the Special Edition Bundle. I’d have an instance of VE Pro on my ‘Slave’ Machine with the eLicenser (and the Special Edition License on it) running; I get that. But that means I wouldn’t be able to use any of those samples standalone on my client machine anymore. That’s super-inconvenient… and buying the Special Edition twice isn’t really what I planned. :slight_smile:

The problem was with my old DAW (which was not Cubase) software. I was running a 64-bit OS with 6 GB of RAM, but the DAW itself was only 32-bit. So, even with some magic patches, I only had ~3 GB of RAM available for all the samples to load, and that’s not much for VSL. With VE Pro I had the DAW instance consume a few hundred MBs, and VE Pro effortlessly taking up 3-4 Gigs.

Actually, my concern are the libraries. I’ve licensed various libraries, so let’s take the Special Edition Bundle. I’d have an instance of VE Pro on my ‘Slave’ Machine with the eLicenser (and the Special Edition License on it) running; I get that. But that means I wouldn’t be able to use any of those samples standalone on my client machine anymore. That’s super-inconvenient… and buying the Special Edition twice isn’t really what I planned. > :slight_smile:

Yes I am not sure of how Special editions work but I use two key for my VE Cube and distribute instruments across them (exp I use horns/woodwind/perc on computer A and Strings etc on computer B) Its easy to move license back and forth as needed but I usually just carry 2 keys with me. I know its a pain though

The problem was with my old DAW (which was not Cubase) software. I was running a 64-bit OS with 6 GB of RAM, but the DAW itself was only 32-bit. So, even with some magic patches, I only had ~3 GB of RAM available for all the samples to load, and that’s not much for VSL. With VE Pro I had the DAW instance consume a few hundred MBs, and VE Pro effortlessly taking up 3-4 Gigs.

[/quote]

I know there is a work around for the 3gb limit I used to use it in XP, not sure if it works in Win 7. It is done by editing boot.ini using this line
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS=“Microsoft Windows XP Professional 3GB” /3GB /fastdetect but I think boot.ini edit depends on operating system

I never used the Mac work around I just used that as a 32bit system but its on google somewhere. Are you Mac or PC? I had 12gb ram in my desktop PC and I maxed that out in no time. I just upgraded to 24gb so I hope that won’t happen again lol.

If I understand you run a 64bit VEP inside the 32bit DAW. I hadn’t tried that glad to know it works…I did use a 32bit version inside Cubase 64bit it also works well…

I think it’s one of the best orchestral mock-ups I’ve ever heard, frankly. Dude, you really should be doing this for a living
at the highest level :sunglasses: