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  • Complete film score with VSL & farewell

    Hey guys! As you might know from previous posts my hobby is composing alternate scores for films and TV shows. I recently finished composing an alternate score for the 1985 film "Ladyhawke". That's about 75 minutes of music composed exclusively with Vienna Special Edition instruments. (Well, not quite: For some parts I also used Sonokinetic Espressivo which features unusual orchestral textures that VSL doesn't provide. I think it blends quite well).

    I'm sharing this also because it might be my last VSL project. I have the feeling that this is as close as I can get to getting a realistic orchestra sound, but now I'm going to stray from this set of tools and try out something new in the future. I don't know exactly what I'm looking for, maybe it's the modern kind of bombast or a thicker, warmer sound, or maybe I'm just tired of using the same sounds over and over. And maybe I will return to VSL, appreciating it even more - we'll see. :)

    I hope you enjoy the composition. Please give your feedback, I'm constantly trying to improve, every comment helps, be it on the music, the sound or its effect on screen.

    You can find the audio files and video links here: http://www.xanderscores.com/?page_id=384

    Thanks & enjoy!


  • Hi Xander,

    Most impressive, and all realised with the SE libraries? Absolutely stunning! I will definitely listen to the other themes as well.

    Jos


  • Thank you very much, Jos, for your kind words. Yes, it's all Special Edition. I'd really like to hear in detail what you think works well and what doesn't.


  • Hello Xander, great music with the Special Edition! WOW! I understand why you are bored by the sound. I had the same experience recently. But instead switching to another library (what of course is an option) I suggest to think about purchasing new effect plugins which are great to change the sound to something else (just like you would do it with a Synth) I mainly used the Vienna Suite pro and Eventide’s Ultra Channel in the past, but I decided to purchase brandnew plug ins 2018. And I already did so ... Here a short list of my purchases in 2018 until now. And 2 more which I keep an eye on and will probably purchase in the near future. Flux EVO channel - my new channel strip ... great sound EQ, Compressor, Transient Designer and more. Even the Saturation (Drive) knob sounds superb (multi channel surround / dolby athmos possible) Sonnox - Vox Doubler (2 great plugins to manipulate Voices ... great for Vienna Solo Voices) New Frangled Audio - Elevate (The best sounding Limiter you can get ... very natural sound ... excellent for VI) Softube - Weiss DS1 mk III (yes it is expensive, but is has an incredible sound like no other Dynamics plugin) Soundtoys 5 ... a creativity box of Plugins. Great sound. I love the SieQ-Equalizer and the little plate reverb. Fab Filter - Pro C 2. Many People use this Compressor, but it is new for me ;) But there will be more purchases soon. I keep an eye on Sonnox Dynamic EQ and the new Softube Tube Tech mk II collection. 2018 will be my „new & fresh effects-year“ in musical purchases. Keep us informed about your decisions and experiences, because new ways are always interesting! BTW I recently bought a Spitfire String Product too. It is interesting to go this step. I my case I was looking for a „rounder String Package“ with great sound but even a little bit „wilder“ with effects. If I could place a wish to the VSL ... it would be: Be wilder, be crazier! Give more fire with effects. Try to make more complete SY-products. No one needs so many Legati in a String product. Greetings, Lars

  • Alexander that is a very impressive job, a huge amount of work.  I couldn't listen to all but  heard some of the cues and they are excellent, really well orchestrated and imaginative.  

    On leaving VSL I don't think you should because will not find better sounds with other libraries for expanding your palette.  VSL focuses on the pure sound of the orchestra in detail, rather than gimmicky "atmospheres" etc. That VSL focus will always allow the most amount of variety - as can be seen from the whole history of orchestation.  Instead, you should get more complete VSL libraries which are important for serious work like what you are doing.  Also, some of the variations within VSL - like Dimension, Special Woodwinds or Brass -  many others. 


  • I'll consent William,

    ....anyway go and find your way I am sure as soon you can afford you will be back here, and if ever you should care for your resources dont waste them for "alternatives" of alwys the same basic stuff on the entry level. 

    If you will ever find out that they finally do not satisfy the expectations you have had for them, than they are to expensive if you would not really make use of them. If ever you could only chose from the actually existing libraries go simply for the best.  and as William said: better search for real variety then for a bunch of "alternativs" of always the same basic stuff.

    and.....

    If you are really looking in music for something new, better think once more about your musical concepts and attitudes than to continue repeting always the same concepts just with different Libraries.


  • Hi Xander,

    Don't expect me to point out weaknesses or things to improve in your work. Of all people I couldn't tell you what is wrong, or less good. What you have realised is about perfect, both in sonic instrumental result as in recording.

    And as to experimenting with new/other libraries, I'm quite convonced like William and Steffen that you will be back pretty soon. There is so much more apart from the SE libraries in VSL. The abundance of articulations and prerecorded runs and short sequences is waiting for you to explore new horizons... Of course there are so many other sound libraries out there, but so far I haven't heard anything better and more versatile. Unless you would want to quit the "classical" approach alltogether.

    Jos


  • Hi Alexander,

    I am really impressed by your music. It sounds fantastic. You have your own style I like. I hope one day you become a teacher and give me some lessons.

    I am interested in the path you walked to become such a good composer. 

    Maybe other great composers can inspire you. I like for instance Toshio Hosokawa, Circulating Ocean

    Kind regards,

    Frieda


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    @LAJ said:

    ... If I could place a wish to the VSL ... it would be: Be wilder, be crazier! Give more fire with effects. Try to make more complete SY-products ...
    GODDAMN THIS WAS FAST 👍 ... FX Strings 1 👍👍👍 (Will be bought in June)😀

  • "f you are really looking in music for something new, better think once more about your musical concepts and attitudes than to continue repeting always the same concepts just with different Libraries.: - fahl5

    That is exactly it, beautifully put.  I guess the point is, by focusing on the actual sounds of the orchestra in detail like VSL, the most amount variety is made possible.  That is the nature of orchestration.  And there are no other libraries with as much detail, as accurately recorded, as VSL.  


  • Thank you all for your kind feedback and your advice. I assure you, I'm not going to just swap one library for the other without a reason. However, there's something that tells me "go and try something completely different".

    @Jos: you got the point in your last sentence. :)

    @LAJ: In particular thanks to you for your elaborate suggestions. I'll keep them in mind. At this point however I'm looking for the opposite which means less tweaking and tuning effects, more composing and enjoying good quality sound "out of the box".

    @frienell_3530: You're so kind, thank you for your words. Please contact me via my site www.xanderscores.com (includes e-mail and twitter links) or forum-DM and I will gladly share with you the little I know.

    @fahl5: Yes, you're right. I could and should expand my style, but my claim is that I can only do that with another library. So far every tool I used - starting with my old KORG M1, then Roland JV2080, then Opus 1 and now Vienna Instruments - has shaped my style very distinctively. My assumption is that a new library will give me the opportunity to expand my skillset once more. Maybe I can finally learn how to come up with 2-note-motifs and 7-minute-ostinatos. ;)

    @William: You're right. VSL is the most realistic. Maybe that will be my reason to return to it, but maybe I find in other libraries other qualities that VSL lacks.

    I'm going to find out soon and I'll share on my blog and also here on the forum. Thanks, guys!


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    @Xander S. said:

    @fahl5: Yes, you're right. I could and should expand my style, but my claim is that I can only do that with another library. So far every tool I used - starting with my old KORG M1, then Roland JV2080, then Opus 1 and now Vienna Instruments - has shaped my style very distinctively. My assumption is that a new library will give me the opportunity to expand my skillset once more. Maybe I can finally learn how to come up with 2-note-motifs and 7-minute-ostinatos. 😉

    Of course you should explore all which is available for you which woke kind of your interest.  I am not at all affiliated with VSL moreover I tend to constantly annoy them with radical uncompromising suggestions (of which the last they fullfied now with the Articulation-Dimension-Concept of the Synchron-Player I already demanded by myself 5 Years ago.😉)

    So believe me I do understand you since I myself do have enough of "alternative-Library attempts" more or less scarcly used on my SSD's.

    But in one point you just touched ( not to say hurt) my very musical ideology:

    It is the musician and his intentions who shapes the music wiith help of more or less always imperfect instruments and not the instruments who shapes the musicians intentions or the music just by its self. 

    Believe me you can do the most awfull things even with the most wonderful instrument, and if you are gifted your talent will always find its appropriate instrument to express what you are bearing in your  musical intention.

    So allow me just to recall who is responsible for the music and what is nothing else than the tool you use for.

    The Musichistory is full of wonderfull examples of ingenius musicians making the most touching music with most awful, limited and primitive instruments. Many belive using those awful instrumtens would be what  makes those ingenius musicians authentic. Imho it is not, it is their Idea and Intenttion , which was strong enough even to come along with the short coming of their instrument.

    However our "shortcomming" today is more or  less our incredible wealth of available opportunities, do not let yourself be distrackted from keeping your inner ear just for what you want to do. That is imho your most important "Librarie" to care for.


  • Steffen some very good points and I totally agree.


  • I never meant to hurt anyone's ideology, but my way of composing relies heavily on playing around and trying out things. That might be due to my musical upbringing which is non-academic, but the point is, different sounds and libraries are a factor of inspiration, and everything that inspires me to do new things is welcome. I agree, however, on the statement that the musical vision shouldn't depend entirely on the tools at hand.


  • @Alexander Übrigens, ich war gerade bei Sonnox einkaufen (Dynamic EQ + Envolution). Die haben eine 50%-Aktion! Falls doch noch Interesse besteht ...

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    @Xander S. said:

    I never meant to hurt anyone's ideology, but my way of composing relies heavily on playing around and trying out things. That might be due to my musical upbringing which is non-academic, but the point is, different sounds and libraries are a factor of inspiration, and everything that inspires me to do new things is welcome. I agree, however, on the statement that the musical vision shouldn't depend entirely on the tools at hand.

    @"hurt" Sorry I didn't intended really that personal meaning of "hurt" at all. I know that you are far from that.

    @ "factor of inspiration"

    Everybody here know that very well. However I see two possible problems.

    1) You might get trapped by the businesmodel of Sampleproducers who give you some earcandy to wake the Idea of increadible potential to make something touching. And if you are lucky it is even possible for you to imitate that effect in your studio to have once again the joy you had hearing nice demos of the product what gives You for a moment the feeling as if you can create something likewise beautiful while you do not understand, that you are doing not much more than reproducing this earcandy-effect you've bought that poduct for.  What a disappointing situation if you will once wake up recognizing that it was nothing but the imitation of the advertismentstrategy of the Sampleproducer, but scarcly anything realy creative.

    2) The good composers of all time have always done their research with the instrumtens/tools they have ahd. Those have always been imperfect. the research tried to find things which match with their musical intentions although the abilities of the instruments available always have been that limited and seemingly overused. I fear its again my point while they are playing around with the inabilities of their tools they did at the same time an exploration of what they intend to do. Their inspiration woke up in the moment when they found Ideas how to handle this limited tools in a way that fits to what they like. Couldn't it be that you might neglect that second Part of playing around which is nothing else than playing with your own Ideas and intentions the more you avoid it to make  your tool speek with all its own limitations.

    OK I talk to much: take it just as "my two cents"....😉


  • I appreciate your thoughts, fahl5, and I'm grateful for your caveats. However at the moment I want to make things simpler for me, not more complicated. This is why I just do and try and do, not thinking much about what might be the best thing to do next and how to adapt this or that. That said, your two cents do resonate with me and will have an impact. Thank you!

    @LAJ: Danke - ich schau's mir gleich an! :)


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on