Fairy Tale

Hi alltogether,

some time ago I presented a little channel trailer which music was cut from a longer piece called “Fairy Tale”.
In the tread I got many good suggestions and tips on how to make it sound more realistic.
This week I reworked the song and tried to take care about the things mentioned in the other thread.

Music is a hobby for me and these are my first steps deeper into orchestration.
I hope this is better than the last one :unamused:

Current version:

Opinions are always desired :slight_smile:

Best regards

As much as i respect the work involved in producing this genre on a computer I believe this is an over arpeggiated chord progression and there is no real tune to grasp…I feel bad saying this but that’s how it sounds to me…sorry my friend…Kevin

I really like this track. All the stringed and brass parts went together very well. I noticed a few instances of some pretty non-realistic samples, but I suppose that can’t be helped sometimes. The drums seemed like they could be tweaked a bit, maybe with some variation in the ‘melody’ or sound (maybe a bit more velocity variation as well). The other big issue I could see is the piano. It seemed pretty dry, some more reverb could probably help. It also seemed, I don’t know how to describe it, ‘slow’. With some more notes thrown in here and there to keep it flowing that would probably help. Other than that you threw just enough chord variation to keep it interesting and the instrumental arrangement sounded great.

Hey all,

thanks for your oppinions.

Kevin - no need to say sorry :wink: This is your oppinion and it’s ok… I’ll think about it again and perhaps a melody will come in mind (perhaps not) :mrgreen:

Ethansight - could you tell me the samples, that didn’t sound realistic?
Is it in brass, flute, string, choir, piano, harp or drum section (or was it the bright trumpet again)?
Drums… yeah … I always have problems with drums… I will think again bout it.

Best regards

Hi Christian, this is a great piece with many instruments and lots of parts, I can hear that a lot of work goes into this. When I listen to it I get the feeling there is something not quite right with your brass section. Like 1:01 to 1:04 it doesn’t sound quite right, I think it should swell and fall more to make it sound realistic. Another thing that drew my attention is that violins playing staccato on the arpeggios right through and it starts to sound to unrealistic. I would try and make it more legato or perhaps only make the first violins play staccato and the rest legato. The part 2:13 to 2:15 and the following minutes also makes me think the violins are not playing correctly because it sounds as if they strike the very first part of the note very hard and then immediately fade away. I’m just trying to help you and not just crit your work because you have great great potential to make big epic pieces. At 3:00 to 4:05 it really sounds like the fairy tale and I think that is the best part of this piece. Michael

Hello Michael,

thanks for your suggestions and time examples. This helps me to figure out what your critic is about.

Brass… yeah… everybody does think something is not ok with the brass section… hum… I don’t play a brass instrument but I will keep on trying to get it more realistic :slight_smile:

The violins… well I think I’ll have to record my own in staccato and try to get the library as close as possible to it. Some weeks ago I found the staccato too lush - so I used the mod-wheel to get more bow strike into the sound… But of course if I drive the mod-wheel up, I have to get it down again… so perhaps I should customize the automation with the mouse after recording to get the tail a bit longer.
I want each violin stroke to sound unique, so I don’t copy and paste… it’ll be a lot of work again but it’s worth a try.

I also think you are right with the slower played viola after 2:13. It has to be played a bit more relaxed (less bow).

So still work in progress.

Thanks for all your tips and suggestions again - it can only become better :wink:

Best regards

Possible to upload it with all percussion muted? It’d be easier to comment on orchestration that way.

Hi Jonathan,

I think I will change some little things this weekend and then also upload it without percussion.
I’d really love to hear your opinion again!

As you suggested last time I cut off the bass frequencies of the drums.
Do you think that they sound better now?

Best regards

Hi alltogether,

I worked again on this piece and took care of some suggestions posted here :slight_smile:

This is what I changed:

  • reduced overall compression to get more dynamic
  • reduced instruments in some parts to get more dynamic into the piece
  • overworked solo strings bow-strikes (e.g. violin staccatos, slower viola and cello parts)
  • changed expression range of brass sections (still unsure if this is better now)
  • changed volumes of percussion hits a little bit

(Links deletet - current version updated)

Thanks again for listening :sunglasses:

Best regards

I’ll take a listen on Sunday when my ears are fresh and my mind is alert, I won’t be on tomorrow.

That would be great, Jonathan. :smiley:

What I mentioned while listen to it again and again… in the first part of the brass section - might it be better to let the horns and trombones raise “faster” ? (someone called it “swell”)?
I’m unsure but they sound a bit as if they are way too late :unamused:

What do you think?

Best regards

I like it. I’m wondering why the arpegiating violins drop out at one point? Also, for that arpegiating part is much too loud. What library is this? Or is this a workstation?

Hi twilightsong,

the violin patches are from VSL Dimension Strings (Vienna Symphonic Library).
Do you think they are too loud at the intro, or at the second time they come in (there are violin and celli playing same notes together) - or in both parts?.
I dropped them out because I found it too boring having the arpeggios all the time in the background.

Best regards

Ok, so just listening to the non-percussion version only;-

The cello and 1st violins are too far spread to sound good with what they are playing. You’d be better off having the 2nd violins and violas doing it, possibly an octave down. But aside from that, the cello part just doesn’t work as an ostinato and the parts don’t work in synergy with each other anyway. However, the expression is noticeably much, much better than the first version, so well done with that aspect of it. It just takes time to get a feel for editing the expression in at least as convincing a way as is possible with the technology that you have allows. Although, it just takes time and practice to improve any skill.

The arpeggios would be better on 2nd violins and/or violas and the melody line on 1st violins. In terms of real life orchestration the 1st violin section is larger in players for a start and the middle just sounds empty and bare with those arpeggios so far to the left. But I don’t think the melody itself is very strong or memorable. The melody notes just don’t seem to align with chords as well as they could. The horn parts could work as a melody line, but yeah, all the melody notes just aren’t working. The 1st violin arpeggios are playing at too high a dynamic/volume too. If it’s an ostinato/riff then that’s fine, that is your melodic hook. But they are supporting a melody and they are too loud/intrusive for that.

Also, your trumpet player is sitting on your horn players laps. While this may be a comfortable arrangement for them; trumpets, trombones and tuba are seated to the right for balance.

The expression is much better as I said, but the biggest problem with it as a standalone piece of music or a film soundtrack is that the melody just isn’t memorable and it just doesn’t work with the chords very well, or as well as it could do with more time spent focusing on the relation between the melody notes and the bass/chords. The chord progression should really have more variation. It’s just dull to listen to the same 4 chords over and over without even at the very least an A and B section to alternate between. Especially for a piece that goes on for over 6 minutes. Plus, I’ve heard that chord progression a few too many times in different genres of music, but quite a lot with orchestra and it doesn’t get more exciting each time unfortunately.

There just aren’t defined A and B (verse/chorus) sections for it to pass as an enjoyable standalone piece and for film/game/story kind of score there isn’t enough variation in; dynamics, orchestration, chords, melody, rhythm.

Other than that, just keep on writing new pieces and practicing and trying out different ways of forming the chords/melody across the orchestra and discovering what works. You’ve made a good effort here and orchestrating well is just something that takes practice, like anything. Perhaps try to orchestrate for less instruments and build up that way. At least that’s how I began when I first started learning music and trying to compose with notation.

I’ve probably missed out a few things that I should or would have commented on, but I’m pretty tired. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Jonathan,

thanks for listening in the deep detail into the piece and thanks for your opinion and suggestions.
Of course I will go into myself again and think about it and… hopefully I become better again next time :slight_smile:

I will try to consider your thoughts on 1st and 2nd violins and of course enhancing chord progression.
For me it was much easyer on trying things out and listen to the differend sounds of the orchestra while playing the same cords.
A real song of course could need a bit more variation.

Best regards

Hi alltogether… it’s me again :slight_smile:

This score is going to become an endless story :slight_smile:

Although I am ill and can’t hear anything on my right ear since three weeks I continued developing this piece.
Since the last version many changes have been done.
I wrote a new startup, switched the notes of the two violin sections, used different cellos, overworked instrument expressions, worked much on percussion and also tried to change the mood of some parts of the song.


Opinions, tips and suggestions of course are always welcome!

Best Regards

I was playing the devil’s violin when a glowing butterfly settled down and told me a fairy tale.

I decided to declare the project as finished.
Even if it’s not perfect and the melody might not be remembered I reached my personal goal to come deeper into orchestration and let the instruments sound more realistic than before.
So it’s time to start something new :ugeek:

The final version:

Best regards

Sorry I’m getting back to this so late

I was thinking they were too loud at around the 1:00 mark and after, because I hear some sustained strings and brass behind it and I kind of assumed that was playing a melody. Now that I realize they’re just playing chords, I still think the arpeggios are too loud