Not particularly (or at all rather) sure about the mastering. Edit (12/01/2014): quite happy with the overall sound and mastering etc now. Probably, or almost definitely, still issues, but seems to be at least alright now.
I’d have liked to use some lighter/smaller percussion for variation, even woodwinds if I had a decent library for them, but 32 track limit and all. I like to write to imagery (although I came up with the initial piano idea before the picture.)
The build up with the choir and piano is beautiful, very emotional piece.
At 1.45 I can hear what I call a " Jonathan melody" , fits nice in the busy part of this composition.
The gradual cooling down with the percussion and choir sounds surprising, I like this kind of endings.
hi Jonathan ,yes i agree entirely with what the present says .
i love the choir voices they allways send a fizz through me.
if you have only got eargoggles at the moment you should still be able to use reference tracks for matching levels and wot not ,i still feel you are trying to squeeze as much volume as you can from the track and in the louder sections i can hear distortion ,i isolated the loud section and measured the RMS and it was -5db .the whole track measured -9db RMS . some people recommend round about -12 db RMS for an whole track .i would try for the louder sections alone to have them around the -10 to -12 db RMS level ,then you can still maybe get a sense of the depth of the music, a 3D scape .sorry to bable on jonathan but i think your music is excellent , but would be served better if it wasn`t so squashed.
sounded good on my monitor system!! bass nice and smooth…are the choirs east west? thought it got a little clogged up in the middle but that might be SC ruining the quality…all in all just great work…Kevin
Woah man - you can’t go hating on earphones if they are cheap!!!
Well I downloaded the mp3 and it sounds much nicer than SC I must say. I loved how the choir and strings + piano worked so well together, and randomly enough those harder panned - this is totally what I heard - strummed white noise hi-hats on both sides of the stereo. whatever they were, it really added a sense of urgency and speed to the piece. I think one of your samples sounds a bit… crackly? I can’t place what it is but it seems to be coming from the bottom left side. Also, from what my limited knowledge my ears have collected, it seems that there is a bit too much middle-bass in the mix. No idea what the professional term is, but it is the series of sounds that on an EQ fall in between the middlemost frequencies and the lowest. I might be totally wrong here but that is just what what I am garnering from this mp3… (on earbuds if you must know ) BUT with small specifics aside this was a very beautiful and epic piece - great job!
That’s why I gave two links, one with a download of the original uncompressed mp3 file. When downloads are offered on SC you get the original file that I or the user uploaded. It’s the same as using some dropbox kind of site. But cheers Kevin.
I’ve actually EQ’d some of the lower percussion that I think sound too muddy and boomy and replaced the file since I originally uploaded. Still issues no doubt, but it should be less muddy/cloggy. The choirs are EWQL yeah. Easy to work with for sustained stuff, but the bug with changing tempo data is still there unfortunately.
Babbling is good. I see the RMS meter in Ozone 5 yes, but I don’t even know what it stands for. I would like to not have to participate in the volume wars but the sad fact is that people aren’t gonna sit and listen to the entire track turning their volume knobs up and down. Music sounds better louder and typically a new listener will only listen to a small part before deciding if they like it or not in this age. Unfortunate tradeoff.
Lol, I saw some in-ear earphones for like a thousand dollars on some music store site. Really crazy… I’m just using $20 Sony ones and they don’t sound bad, actually exclude external sounds pretty well with this rubbery sheath compared to old hard plastic kind that I had when I was younger. But the fact remains that you can not master on even headphones, nevermind earbuds because of each ear being exclusive, every mastering guide/engineer tells you that. But yeah, for composing the sound isn’t that bad but I do miss my $100 Sennheiser headphones. I must say these rubber sheath kind are actually very comfortable and they actually stay in my ears, which the hard plastic kind never did and the bass response is far, far better with these rubber sheath ones. The Sony ones I bought just after writing this have a 5hz to 23khz frequency response. I don’t know what my old hard plastic kind were but the fact that they didn’t fit in my ear properly caused a lot of bass to be lost.
Oh those aren’t hi-hats. They’re from EWQL Stormdrum 2 and they’re things like egg shakers, Vietnamese shakers and rattles etc. But a similar kind of effect, yes. Glad you thought they added a sense of urgency, that was what I was hoping they would do.
Very nice arrangement Jonathan, I really like the choirs!
As the present said, the ending is superb.
Mixwise the individual elements seem to be mixed together really well, but there are some bumps in the total frequency response that might result from mixing on your earphones. Mostly a lack of highs I think, sorry I can’t be more specific.
I too really like my Soundmagic inears, they sound really good when listening to music, they’re comfortable and they exclude a lot of background noise. Never tried mixing on them though .
Thanks for listening Stroph. I think the lack of highs is/was accurate, although I replaced the audio since then boosting the tape saturation harmonic exciter on the higher frequency. I hate mastering, I like writing.
Great work, the composition moves through all moods very well. The Choir kills!
I also hear distortion in track especially where it gets loud and I really believe you have overused either compression/maximizer/limiter. I wouldn’t under estimate your listener’s ability to stay focused on softer more delicate sections, try to remaster/remix using less compression/limiter etc and see what it sounds like maybe?
Yeah, I think so too. Though maybe it was because I didn’t leave enough ‘headroom’ when exporting because the harmonic excitation tape saturation is increasing the volume. I’ve lowered it a bit now as well as the maximizer, but there is only a very small, barely any, amount of compression used; is the distortion still there?
Cheers Neil, though after listening again after some time I think the bass in the harmonic exciter of Ozone is too high and the reverb is too high also. Maybe I’ll go back to it someday, maybe not. I usually forget about pieces pretty quickly and decide they are crap, but I do have a soft spot for the end part.
My 60 year old ears don’t pick up things like that
Having said that, we’re all too critical of our own tracks. We hear faults others would miss, and the discerning public wouldn’t even be listening for.
Same with my wife as a watercolour artist. She’s put thing sin the bin before now when I thought they should be in a gallery.
Enjoy it and don’t be too self critical is my motto. Life’s too short.