Lighthearted Orchestral Trance

Now… “orchestral” might be pushing it but there are many stringed parts throughout so I believe it is justified :slight_smile: Tell me what you think - I was working on this off-and-on for about two weeks.
http://soundcloud.com/user1188595/moonlight-polyphony

Good piece, as far as this genre goes I reckon your very good at it !! It could be condensed down to around 4.30 mins instead of 5.45 mins which to my mind would make it a better listen but you’ve kept it interesting by introducing a different “fabric” at crucial times during the instrumental, which has a very commercial sound…not much bass again though !!..very well done IMHO…Kevin

flails and here I was thinking that there was too much bass! I can’t think that it is my computer or mp3 eq - and my earphones are top-dollar… I guess its just something new to watch out for when mixing… :confused:

If you can avoid it, don’t use earphones / earbuds / etc. when mixing. Use monitors if possible and only use the cans to validate the correctness of the mix when you think you have something ready to print.

I think what he meant by “not enough bass” was “not enough of a bassline” whereas you’re thinking in terms of frequencies and EQ. The resonating kick that you’re using is filling up the bottom end but there’s not much else going on there.

Having said that, I think the song is great. You market it as techno/trance, and it does this very well. Good job!

Maybe I haven’t ever tried out good other options but… I immensely prefer sound-isolating earbuds over really much anything else. I can easily hear all the sounds right at the forefront - and can clearly tell sound-levels, mixing issues and pan immediately. Speakers and Headphones no matter how expensive all seem muddled and not as defined.
And I guess I basically only used two separate basslines the entire song… good point.

Ethansight,

Really enjoyed this. I listened to several of your other tracks on soundcloud as well. Really nice job. They’re easy to listen to, they stay interesting, and you have a natural instinct for form and flow. A pleasure to listen to.

People have different meanings for the word ‘mixing.’ For me, mixing is part of the composing process, even if I notate the score it’s still done on the computer using samples, so I’m writing the dynamic markings in as I write score or record parts in by performing. I’d agree that for the final mixing/mastering it’s best to do on at least $200+ monitors/speakers. Even $100 speakers don’t really give clarity like professional music headphones. But earphones are not a good choice. They don’t have the right kind of balance for frequency response (neither do expensive gaming or music listening headphones either.)

Anyway, this progression always reminds me of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy0aEj85ifY Yours especially because they are both in the key of G minor. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: The melody is, of course, different and this chord progression has been used many times before. But ride up and down Gerudo Valley so many times and it’ll stay with you for years haha.

The mix sounds fine. I didn’t think there was much bass volume either. The hi-hat clicks at like 2:47 are too loud, it’s not really the kind of thing that you want being the most prominent thing in the mix. For the strings at 3:24-3:36 you might want to try starting off with their velocities around 40 and building to 127 over that duration, they stay at the exact same dynamic for this supposed crescendo (rise in volume/dynamic) and it just sounds unnatural. I know they aren’t great samples, but there is really absolutely no excuse for not investing the extra time into doing things like that. Same for what should be a cello sample at the beginning, it’s never going to sound realistic because it doesn’t have round robin samples for up/down bowing but cellos are not central, they are to the right. ;p

But back to the bass, it doesn’t really cut through the mix well either, it’s a little low in volume, but I don’t think it has the right characteristic either. I don’t know what kind of EQing or effects are used for this style so I can’t really help, but perhaps try some of the other bass sounds and have a play around with boosting/cutting certain frequencies. I think the other part of the reason things sound a bit muddled at times is just because of the reverb. Are you using the reverb that comes with C6 Artist? RoomWorks SE?

I think the length of the piece is too long. I think you should have the climax at 3:24-3:38 rising from a lower volume to higher, the climax is clearly intended to be there, but it’s just too flat as it is. At 3:38 I’d just have the 4:53 repeat there instead. If you really did want the 3:38-3:53 section in there you should at least ditch the repeat at 3:53-4:43, it’s just an anti-climax and doesn’t work with the intended climax at 3:24-3:38. Other than that, the arrangement is fine. If you listen to the climax and then at 3:38 before the piano/synth enters skip to 4:41 I think that works so much better than how you have it.

Well done so far, continue making some improvements to it though and it’ll sound even better.

Very nice piece, funny it reminded me of Gerudo valley as well, such fond memories.
Loved the top end as well, sounded very lush, but I do agree the bass could use a little love.

@Jonathan
aaa such good advice! Always so nice… anyway, I will just respond in a paragraph instead of making fancy quotes.

First of, it does sound a whole lot alike to that song you posted - I am thinking mainly because of that last chord (don’t know what I did or what its called). On the subject of earphones… you make valid points but I just don’t have the money to upgrade to the full Cubase let alone upgrade my normally(I got em on sale) $350 earbuds…
I can’t believe I didn’t think of that velocity thing with the particularly bad pulsing string samples. I actually recorded them by ear with my MIDI keyboard because I couldn’t get what I wanted from the piano roll… it tis yet another thing to add to my musical ‘arsenal’ :smiley:
I figured out what you were trying to say about the length - and I agree it might have been a tad long. Really the only reason I have that whole new buildup is because… I wanted to bring that lead synth in slowly :confused: Again… this is at its heart trance so :slight_smile: I was thinking length is forgivable.

@Everyone
takes a mental note
"PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE BASS!!!

I just don’t think any earbuds (even if they are magical, sparkly earbuds that will clean your room and do your homework) are capable of giving the right frequency impression for music production. Panning instruments and being able to clearly pick out all the tiny details that come with producing good results from any kind of electronic/acoustic samples are best done with headphones and the final mastering (after you have a good and balanced mix) done with good speakers/monitors as foolomon said. good means a larger range. $200 gaming speakers that are tiny don’t cut it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well yeah, I either record by performing parts in or I notate (either is good.) But after that I still spend time on making the sounds (be they electronic or acoustic) sound how I want them to by editing CC1 or 11, or for some electronic sounds volume works just fine and that’s on top of any kind of automation.

Also, don’t forget to ctrl+A those orchestral instruments and first quantize them and then quantize them and change the random value to 20 ticks. It really helps for realism and in larger ensembles it helps give the impression of more players. For velocity; depending which library I’m using depends on how big a difference I need to have between each note to try and give it more of a natural and human performance. As for the actual orchestration, you’ll just learn that over time if you keep trying new things with it. You’re off to a good start anyway. I hadn’t even written one piece of music when I was your age. :smiley:

Did you ever download the 10 day trial of QL Spaces? You just can’t aurally imagine the clarity it brings. :stuck_out_tongue: