Susie in Heaven

This is my first experiment with Spitfire BBC Orchestra Core. All tracks are from Core except for the solo violin and solo viola, which are from 8Dio Anthology. Core doesn’t include solo instruments for the strings.

I made a point to use a broad cross-section of the available instruments in this little piece. In BBC Core, the mix of mics is fixed, and the position in the sound spectrum is pre-set, although you can play with the panning and you can add reverb. But you can’t remove the natural reverb of the room. The idea is that with every instrument recorded from its proper place in a very good live room, featuring top musicians with top instruments, all you have to do is compose.

I felt the need for the violin and viola to have solo lines, so I did my best to fit those into the mix with Cubase Reverence (warm wooden church).

Considering that I’ve written for full orchestra 2 or 3 times in my life, this BBC Core instrument is pretty cool and probably all that I will ever need. You really have a good orchestra at your fingertips.

Would appreciate any comments; thanks in advance. Are others here using this instrument?
Susie in Heaven

Hi Leon,

As always your sounds are exquisite. I can see I’m going to have to get BBC Core – very natural sounding and effective. The solos were well made too. Well balanced overall.

I love the structure of your track with the build up of the first two sections. Will there be more developments? What you have is the basis for something special. The mood is bright and the clarity of tone really stands out.

Thanks for sharing.


Beautiful composition!

Matthias, thanks for listening!

Jonathan, appreciate the kind words! Are you suggesting that I turn this into a bigger piece?

A very well orchestrated piece. A delight. Sound nearly perfect, perhaps a little bit too much in the high end. But it’s a beautiful piece of classical music. Well done Leon!

Absolutely. Why not? Give it a big ending.

Thank you Stephane! I’ll re-examine the equalization on the track.

Jonathan, maybe I’ll think about something with multiple movements. It’s already almost 5 minutes, and the classically trained guys are probably laughing up their sleeves! My composing is more rock/jazz style generally, so this was kind of fun to do. It is very satisfying to have such a virtual instrument at my disposal.

I’m not laughing anywhere. Good music is good music. And, good ideas are always worth developing. Keep what you have but have a go at something new and extra, if you wish. Surprise yourself.

I know what it feels like to be concerned about self-indulgence but whether it’s 5 minutes, 23 minutes or even 30 seconds all we do is self-indulgent. We are creating something from ourselves, perhaps our souls. Let it out, be vulnerable. Does it matter if no-one gets it in the same way as we intend? Maybe from a commercial point of view but our reality suggests otherwise.

Keep on rocking, jazzing and orchestrating!

All the best

This was really nice. I loved the composition and development throughout. I’m not going to focus on things like the instrumental mix, etc. (I was happy with them all!). I just really enjoyed this. I think it can stand on its own, and doesn’t need to tacked on to or after anything else, unless you want to do something like that. I liked the fact that you’re still including the tuned percussion, as you did so effectively in your recording prior to this.
Your heaven, and Susie’s movements through it, seem very pleasant, and pleasant can be a wonderful place to bring someone through listening to music.

Thanks, Swetch, your comments are much appreciated.

That’s lovely! I know it’s not possible to do a blindfold test now I’ve listened but I feel like there is a definite Leon style to the melodies and harmonies in this that relate to your jazz and rock stuff. As well as a natural swerve away from 4/4! Really enjoyed it.

Thanks for listening, Steve! I hope I haven’t fallen into a rut and repeating myself too much. In my defense, I have written a couple of 4/4 pieces! The next album will have 3 or 4 of them. But my previous posted piece (North Pole Summer Festival) was in 11/8, so there’s that!

No no, not at all; more like a stylish calling card!


Ha, very kind reply. I really want to get this next album done so I can move on! Susie in Heaven is not on that album; that was more of an experiment. Anyway, Steve, I really appreciate your feedback.

Nice work Early21.

I listened to this one a few days ago but thought it needed another listen since it deserved another listen. It’s perfect for a good natured adventure comedy film like Baby’s Day Out, which I adore. About the mix I have to say you have mastered the VST you work with since it was flawless. The composition itself was very engaging meaning it promised you an adventure and it delivered one IMO.
Well done!

Thanks for listening, MusicalExperiments!

Hey Masoomi, thanks for your remarks! Haven’t seen Baby’s Day out, but understand what you mean by good natured comedy. I had the 8dio string solo instruments which I bought after hearing your use of 8dio in one of yours recently, which I really liked. I’m not sure I fit the solo viola and violin into the mix that well, because the BBC Core mix is really quite fixed and you can’t change it. Anyway, glad to get your feedback, and we’ll see if there’s something else I’ll do with a full orchestra like this!

Hi Leon,
They’re fine as far as I can tell, reverb usually masks the flaw of not having a real player for a stringed solo instrument. It’s all about experimentation bruh