Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
Forum Statistics

181,975 users have contributed to 42,197 threads and 254,642 posts.

In the past 24 hours, we have 3 new thread(s), 7 new post(s) and 44 new user(s).

  • All-special edition composition

    Hi, I'm looking for feedback on a piece I made recently with the VSL special edition bundle. Kind of a romantic/Herrmann film score kind of thing.

    I'd especially like a second opinion on the mix. It's OK right now, but I'm looking for ideas to make it more sound natural. I've had a hell of a time with the timpanis.


  • Cool piece. My level meter never went above halfway I believe. So, start with maximizing the volume. The type of strings you are using sound different from what I'm familiar with, it's like yours sound a bit more like a synth with no vibrato. So, strings should be louder in the whole perspective of things and maybe check which type you are using. I never like when a timpani jumps out at me, it always sounds like a mistake, so perhaps adjust the level of reverb on the timps to push them further away? Hope this helps. Special Edition Special Edition Plus user Kevin

  • Thanks Kevin, great suggestions, which I took and ran with. Updated piece:

    The strings were, before, just Orchestral with velocity fades. After layering some Chamber, Solo, and even a touch of Appass, it's sounding much better. Still not sure about that timpani though....

  • Oops, wrong file.

  • The second you say Herrmann you're opening up yourself to issues.

    The timps are all wrong. The rest of it is a mish mash of Hermannesque riffs lifted either from Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver and Vertigo.

    The mix is OK until the timps come in. You're using the timps as a sort of faux rythmn and up tempo beat - Herrmann would never have done that because he was too good. Herrmann (for example) didn't always want vibrato on the strings - notably the Psycho Suite, which also meant sordino most of the time.

    The sound overall is good and the piece itself is not bad at all. Well done.

  • You're right, not a smart move to take the God of scoring's name in vain! I appreciate your comments. I wasn't trying to lift anything in particular (haven't heard Taxi Driver or Citizen Kane scores in years) but it's easy to do it by accident when you're using that palette.

    So not only do the timpanis sound wrong, but they're out of place in the composition, you're saying? The timpanist is going to be so sad when I fire his ass

  • Great composition and a great mix!
    Don't worry what Herrmann would have done. You didn't claim to copy him...

    I don't think at all that the timpanis are misplaced. The only thing I would change is the velocity of the single strokes. Of course it is possible to strike a drum that hard, but I would do this only for a single tutti beat in fortissimo, but not for a rhythm that lasts several bars.
    If you make them play piano or mezzoforte, you will still hear them (if not, turn the volume up a little), but they won't disturb by being too much in the foreground.
    For example, at 0:36 they could be much softer and there would still be enough left of them.
    At 0:32 I could imagine a tiny roll with crescendo to "introduce" this first timpani note.

    The strings in your second version indeed sound very warm and romantic. But to me it seems that in the first version they had better dynamics...


  • I appreciate your comments Klaus... a voice of reason. I'll try your comments. And then I'll move on to a new piece, because I've already spent far more time on the programming than I spent on the composition. It can make you crazy!

  • This sounds good. IMO the strings could use a better legato in the opening section. The mix is in itself very transparent, for my ears the problems of sounding "unnatural" (when they occur) stem not (mainly) form the mix, but from the performance (can get a bit edgy/bland from time to time).

    The overall spatial disposition could use some "stretching" along the Z-axis.

    But all in all, I like the music and find you did the mixing aspect in a very skillful way.

  • Thanks Goran. Took one last stab at it, and then I'm moving on...

    Final mix:

    And another completely different piece, also all-special edition. The tone is the opposite - cartoon music, more or less.

  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on