Julie's Adventure - Animation Genre

Finally got a decent woodwind library! Really quite excited! So I wrote a piece in my favourite genre, Disney/animation. Might still be a few orchestration things to change, especially if I can figure out how to get the woodwinds playable scale runs sounding properly for the end triplet part to have some ascending scale runs over that horn part.


https://soundcloud.com/jonathan-priest/julies-adventure - Original link gone, sorry! Cba with SC/YT or anything.

Updated Mix: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gwjvj9h2tyrqfng/Julie's%20Adventure%20-%200.98-6%20-%20J%20Mastered%20Mix.mp3?dl=0

That is an extremely nice piece, the bass instruments sounded fine on my monitoring system but I think the instruments in the upper register where a little bit loud in the mix and from around 0.49 got a little bit “scratchy” (to use a technical term) :laughing: great arrangement and I see what you mean regarding the Cellos :bulb:
musically the piece is wonderful :slight_smile:


Thanks for listening Kevin. Glad the bass seemed to sound fine this time. ;o Probably the harmonic excitation at the higher frequencies making it sound scratchy then!

https://soundcloud.com/jonathan-priest/julies-adventure-62/s-0Apij Reduced it by 0.4 in this.

I’m afraid the high frequencies from0.49 to around 1.05 still sound rather brittle on my monitors…hopefully someone else with good monitors will chime in to either confirm or tell me I’m an idiot :smiley:

this does not detract from the fact that this is such a good piece of music… :slight_smile:

cheers, Kevin

Wonderful piece of music but you should completely loose the exciter as it makes for a unnatural sounding/digital mix. It needs warmth, and does not need to punch through in hi and mid frequencies. What sample library are you using now? Are you doing much tempo variation? might sound good at 1:56 INTO NEXT section and where the staccato parts are near end, also last note is abrupt
Great work great sounds! Biggest issue is mastering I think…

Hmm, I think you’re both right. Though the Ozone manual does say to use harmonic excitation if using samples, so it’s probably still just finding the right setting. Anyway, comparison links below. Thanks for listening Kenny!

Warm Harmonic Excitation - https://soundcloud.com/jonathan-priest/julies-adventure-062-warm-harmonic-excitation/s-lQZ2h

Tape Harmonic Excitation - https://soundcloud.com/jonathan-priest/julies-adventure-62/s-0Apij

The tempo track for this piece looks like https://www.dropbox.com/s/oel4es92hf9nfkr/JA%20-%20Tempo%20Track.jpg

As for libraries I’m still using EWQL Hollywood Strings and brass and now I’ve finally added woodwinds of the same series. They would blend together just right, however the woodwinds are using the mid mic in the cheap version so by default they sound like they are much closer than the strings/brass since the brass comes with main mic in the cheap version. I have the full version of strings so I can choose either main or mid mics, but either way there will be a mismatch. So I just dropped the dry signal for the woodwinds in the reverb and it at least helps, though it doesn’t feel right still. I’ve no idea why they didn’t match the mic positions on the cheaper versions of the libraries.

just listened to them both again and in both the high frequencies are very “brittle” reckon Kenny was right when he said you should lose the exciter.
I have Ozone 5 pro and I’ve found that sometimes it makes my track sound worse so I never used it…you gotta be carefull with that stuff,

cheers, Kevin

To ensure it isn’t simply the samples (or Soundcloud) here is the .wav which isn’t mastered, just exported from my composing stage, and the mp3 of the warm harmonic excitation which used a value of 2.0 for 6khz and above, 1.2 for 100hz-6khz and 0.6 for 100hz and below.



Couple of clicks in the .wav because I exported it thinking real-time export was enabled and my version of Cubase has a visual bug on the export window where you cannot click cancel nor see the percentage change from 0% so I cba to re-export. You can compare anyway, only the odd click.

I listened to last two you provided and they are both much better to me!. I love the first one because it sounds more analog but the second is also good just not quite as warm. I would try using an EQ instead of exciter maybe and using the Limiter/and MS compressor if you want to get spread the stereo field and bring out the highs w/o messing with the wonderful samples.
That is all just a guess though but I love this music Jonathan!!!

the wav file sounds better to me, I think we all know that Soundcloud is not a friend to high reproduction of music and maybe they’re the culprit but I still believe those high registers could be smoother, but maybe it’s just down to taste.

still a beautiful piece anyway…Kevin

I appreciate you both taking the time to listen through. I’ve selected the Symphonic - Score preset and bypassed the reverb module (since it is not a dry recording, though I’m not using that much reverb anyway) and the compression module (for now.) The EQ and harmonic exciter setting are default and the maximizer is on, though there isn’t any gain reduction trace on the line at the top so it should not be squashing/distorting it (I think.)


If this sounds alright compared to the .wav from the previous post then I guess I can solely focus on the compression module and try out some stuff including what Kenny suggested.

A good reference track would probably be parts of ;-


Well…y’know, just listened to both examples and it seems to me that the upper register is mixed to high in comparison to your reference track, that could be all it is…particularly from 0.45 for a minute or so…just my opinion though, need some other peeps to chime in…

Okay ;D Added the Vintage Compressor MKII from the Cubase plugins on the instrument sections and started with the dynamics module in Ozone 5.


Well it doesn’t sound much different to me Jonathan…I still think the upper register instruments are mixed a little high thus making them appear “brittle” again from 0.45 area for a minute or so, does this piece really need the effects you are using?


Just with Ozone 5 EQ;-


It’s around the same volume as 90’s/00’s film scores and that’s alright…but for regular ear/headphone users the volume has to be turned up to a point where you can hear some unpleasant hiss. I’d like to discover a decent setting for the dynamics module to increase the volume similar to the more recent film scores of the Harry Potter and Disney movies.

Ideally I’d just like to find a setting to push the volume up to this level, which isn’t much but is a better volume for earphones/headphones users;-


The highs and sound in general on the 0.71 version sound a bit dull and smooth to me compared with this, which is why I began using tape saturation because the samples just sounded dull and lifeless, though the amount on the first version posted is too much and definitely is too harsh on the highs as you pointed out. If it were just my in-earphones though shouldn’t they both sound dull to me?

well they both sound very similar to me so I reckon you’ve cracked it!!! your presumably using good headphones?


Okaaay, last version and I’ll settle with one of these last two.


Trying out a free compressor plugin I found on the stereo out on the mix at a 1.5:1 ratio and then zero compression in the mastering.


I did add the Analog Punch preset in Ozone 5 for the Harmonic Exciter module at a value of 1.6 and 33% mix up from the default of 1.4 and 21.1% mix. Highs harsh again or has it added a subtle brightness/life to the otherwise lifeless samples? The manual does say to add this when using sample libraries to help match live recordings sound.

And my headphones haha. My £100 Sennheisers broke probably a year ago or so now so I’ve been using £12 Sony in-earphones, I was surprised at how much bass and clarity they have considering they are cheap and well, earphones. That rubbery shit makes a big difference to how ‘tinny’ sounding I remember those plastic ones were.

It’s a beautiful piece of music!
I only think the strings, especially the faster lines, should be a bit more legato. The gaps between the notes don’t sound natural to me.
But other than that you did a great job!


there was only one track available there…and it sounds pretty good, I think it’s reached the stage where it’s down to personal choice.

I’ve got a pair of technicsRp-F400 headphones that I don’t use, If you want them pm me your address and I’ll post em to ya!!! :slight_smile:

cheers, Kevin

Cheers for listening Wim. I agree that the short string notes sound too stiff/rigid, there are only 3 to choose from and staccatissimo was closer than the staccato and staccato-on-the-bow patches.

Thanks for lending your time and your ears Kevin, really helped improve the sound. (y) I’m touched by your generous offer, though the first trailer tracks I’ve been writing for a company come out very soon so I’d feel kinda greedy to accept at this point! Appreciate it a lot though, cheers bud. (y)


Yeah, I changed to some cheap (but fairly balanced) Behringer headphones and I now hear all the things you’ve been saying. ;p

Updated Mix: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wi1rk0xztkuggxn/Julie's%20Adventure%20-%200.93%20-%20J%20Mastered%20Mix.mp3?dl=0