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I've finally managed to put some new music together performed by my Virtual Playing Orchestra sample library and the not yet released dynamic cross faded brass patches I have.

Cemetery For The Soul

It's about time I gave the library a good shake down while composing something new. Fortunately I didn't find any new problems.

As is usual for me, I started with someone else's unfinished composition (with permission) and added (a lot of) orchestral accompaniment. More details and the music at the above link.
Wow, on first listen you really added a whole world around what you started out with. Not at all what I would imagine given the same source material as you. I often listen to music a lot of the day while at my job and I find myself adding ideas in my head over the top of stuff i'm listening to so this was a fun listen for me. Great work and thanks for VPO (which I do have).
Thanks Axfinger! The first time I heard the original tracks I had a bunch of ideas right away so I figured it would be good source material for me. I also wanted to try out some counterpoint tips I'd learned recently which I think helped a lot with the music.
Great stuff Paul! Some really cool symphonic/progressive rock going on there, reminded me of both Kansas and Styx in places. The title had me expecting something dark and sad so I got quite a surprise! Lovely work on the orchestration, it really shows what VPO is capable of.

However... (yes, with me there is usually a "however" when commenting on music) the mix leaves a lot to be desired IMHO. I think this illustrates very clearly why rock and orchestral instruments are so damn difficult to combine -- both styles simply munch up all available frequencies all on their own, and then combining them you get a ton of masking and lack of clarity. Especially when you have distorted electric guitars, as distortion is basically wideband noise. I would recommend some really drastic EQ'ing to help free up space for everything: the drums for example are barely discernible, all I can really hear when everything is playing is the hi-hat.

There's also the matter of front to back placement. Right now it sounds like the orchestra is waaay in front of the rock instruments, which sounds a bit weird to me. Maybe I have listened to too much metal, but I think having the rock instruments fairly dry and in the foreground providing punch and intimacy, while the orchestra is wetter an further back, makes much more sense.

Just my $0.02
(05-24-2017, 08:57 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]The title had me expecting something dark and sad so I got quite a surprise!
I have no idea how the title was chosen. The original composer had a finished version of this but he didn't like it so he stripped it down to just the guitars, synth and drums, then I came along and messed with it. Maybe the original version was darker.

(05-24-2017, 08:57 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]Lovely work on the orchestration, it really shows what VPO is capable of.


To address your comments on the mix (which I appreciate, thank you), I made the following changes:
  • panned one guitar left, other right to better separate them from the orchestra (and each other)
  • removed unneeded low and high frequencies from synth to make room for the orchestra at higher and lower frequencies
  • added small db but wide range mid freq cut to entire orchestra to make room for the synth
  • boosted synth volume
  • boosted snare frequency in drum track
  • added low shelf to drum track to increase kick volume
  • changed the reverb plugin and increased it for the orchestra
The guitars have a lot of reverb baked into them unfortunately. I can't undo that. All I could do is add more reverb to the orchestra. Since synths and an entire orchestra cover a wide range of frequencies all I could think to do is have a mild cut to mid frequencies in the orchestra sub mix and pan the guitars wider. They were in the middle. For this music, that was probably a mistake.

As for the drums, unfortunately it is a single track so I don't have individual control over snare / kick but I added an EQ boost at the snare frequency and a low shelf for the kick. I never had trouble hearing either snare or kick in the mix but you are not the only one to comment on the drums so it seems there is something different about my monitors. I can certainly see the difference in the wave form.