Windforce - Fantasy Genre

Edit: I’ve resigned to just using Chinese instruments as the main melodic focus for now to put this project out of mind until a later date when a live recording is possible. I can’t claim to be an expert with samples, but if Chris or anyone else wishes to hear individual sections I’m happy to upload those as private links upon request. Key signature was also transposed up E minor up from C minor for the vocalists range so i kept it in E minor for the purposes of coming back to it with her at a later date.


Original Post: As usual critique about the mix/mastering (and orchestration) are very welcome. It’s intended to have a female vocal over the majority of it, so 1:20 will sound a little empty as the vocal melody doesn’t follow the high violins as it would in the main sections. Not sure when that’ll be though.

Original link removed.

Libraries used are; EWQL hollywood strings, brass, symphonic choirs, stormdrum 2 and the piano is Alicia’s Keys unfortunately, not very fitting to the style. Everything at one mic position only, main mics.

Cheers, J.

Hi Jonathan,

I love this piece - really.
I don’t think it is empty… it’s just right !
The piano is not so really my thing… would love it a littlebit brighter - but melody sounds good!

In my opinion this song one is really great and I love it much more than older ones from you - it fits my taste :slight_smile:

Best regards

Definitley epic!!!, I think the begining could’ve maybe started a bit quieter, .(maybe with some of the piano section that starts around the 1.40 mark} just seems a bit sudden.

some great sounds and the piano is pefectly acceptable in this mix…love to hear it with a vocal…that would be awesome!!!


Great work - do you write for games? If not I’d suggest getting a portfolio together and looking into that asap. This sounds pretty epic even on my laptop speakers, which is quite an achievement. A female vocal could definitely work - not sure how you’d balance that with the choral vocals but I’ll look forward to finding out.

I’m recording the vocals within the next week so you’ll see what I mean when I post the vocal version. :smiley: I’m quite excited. The piano is £79 Alicia’s Keys, it just isn’t the right piano for orchestra. But it’s the best one I could afford so… :slight_smile: Thanks for listening Chris.

I’ll be uploading the vocal version next week sometime. It has the piano part in the intro, but it’s quiet. It should be harp so that the timbre blends in much better, but the harp is in EWQL symphonic orchestra gold, and it’s just bugging in Cubase 7, so it’s unusable. Cheers for listening!

I don’t write for games but I do other stuff. I’d like to work at Blizzard on World of Warcraft or future fantasy games. Though Disney/Studio Ghibli would my dream job, if you wanted to know. :stuck_out_tongue:

I find orchestration fascinating and this piece was, in general, inspired by concert. The choir is beneath the solo vocal there at 18:06 timestamp so I thought I’d try out that kind of orchestration since it’s always good to try and learn new things! The vocalist I’m using is a classically trained music/opera student at a music academy at Croatia. I’m looking forward to it a lot. Thanks for listening.

For anyone interested (possibly Kevin, Chris and Bane) here is a strings only version;

1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, double bass. Nothing is playing divisi. The cello generally doubles the double bass and the 2nd violins generally double the 1st violins an octave lower for the reasoning that the extremes of low and high pitch are too distant from the rest of the notes.


Very dramatic! :smiley:

Just listened to the strings only…found it very intersting,

Can you explain further what you mean by the extremes of low and high pitch are too distant…etc…can’t really grasp what you mean. are saying that the second violins are filling a gap?

cheers, Kevin

Sorry, poor choice of word mate. ;D I mean disconnected instead of distant. If the melody line up high on the 1st violins on the main sections isn’t doubled an octave below then it sounds too disconnected for most music.

Ok thanks…was wondering what the 2nd violins were for…Kevin

Well the string section is spread out from left to right on the stage/recording environment. The violinists get split into two sections first and foremost for balance from left to right in the stereo field. But secondly so that even if the string section isn’t playing divisi they can play 5 different notes to make up a chord/harmony. In full orchestras on stage, if you youtube, to the left/left center there will be 16 1st violinists and 14 2nd violinists. The reason there are 2 more in the 1st violin section is because they typically take the higher line of the melody so it cuts through more.

There are different ways to score strings of course. Sometimes a cello melody up high can sound wonderful with violins sustaining chords down low. But generally from 1st vln, 2nd vln, vla, cl and db, the notes will be distributed by pitch from high to low in the aforementioned order. When you use 8Dio Adagio you’ll need 2x violins and have one panned further left and one left center. Though in pop strings seem to not be spread so far left and right, but one can still hear they are divided, I mean…they must be due to the physics of the universe that dictates umpteen humans can’t all sit at the exact same spot. ;p

cheers Jonathan…just finishing a song now that has not got strings but intend to use 8dio and LASS on my next effort, so may take a while…Kevin

I’m just now listening to this.


In my opinion, Alicia’s Keys is fine for what you are doing. What you are missing is a bit more reverb on the piano only. Get it to float a bit, but be sure you don’t add so much that it gets lost in the mix.

Hi Jonathan,

thanks for the “String Only” version… very interesting for me!

Best regards

So I downloaded the track, and it sounds amazing on my brand new IEMs. I agree with foolomon, maybe the piano could use a little bit more reverb, but I really think that sample fits perfect. The mix is great, those drums mixed with the fast strings creates an awesome feeling. If I could change one thing it would be to bring that synth up in the mix a little… :smiley:
Can’t wait to hear it with the vocal, that should polish it off nicely :wink: Awesome job as usual!

like this one … very good and epic. could easily pass of for gaming , film etc as it stands. Joe public would not know anything different from real players.

This piece sounds very polished and utterly perfect. The samples are undoubtedly a big factor, but I know it’s owed in no small part to your own technique and writing skills. I found the strings only version pretty insightful, again no where near a fair comparison to these sh*tty HALion SE samples I’m working with. I’m a big fan of the underlying rhythm you used with Stormdrum; it definitely added urgency. Alicia Keys piano has one of the more colourful tonal characters of the piano libraries out there, so I certainly say it gets the job done with attitude as always. Reverb is always such a subjective subject which everyone has an opinion about, it’s your piece so always do what fits your taste.

what can i say ,excellent composing and arranging just wow.