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Lately I've been working on this idea for a piano + string trio piece so I composed it on musescore then dropped it into Reaper to be fleshed out by some "proper" instruments (namely Sonivox's Eighty Eight and Embertone's Intimate Strings) and also humanize it.

However I need to ask for some input on the reverb since I usually tend to drench everything in large cathedrals, but for this piece I would like something more professional. I'm using Dragonfly Hall (Large Clear Hall) for the piano and Dragonfly Room (Medium Clear Room) for the strings. I used two reverbs to experiment with different spaces but I'm open to any suggestion really. I've uploaded to my soundcloud a version with reverb and a version without reverb just for comparison and to provide a better vision of the mix and the sound of the VSTi's

Of course any other comment on the piece is welcome. Most of the expressive stuff is still under constant review.


Piano Quartet

Last version: Piano Quartet v3
I can't possibly comment on how "professional" the reverb sounds but I will note that chamber works can tolerate quite a bit of reverb. String quartets in a big hall have an especially vibrant and lush feeling to them, for example - for virtual instruments I'd imagine though that you'd need to have Panagement or Proximity to drag them back space-wise so that have appropriate placement within your virtual hall.
Beautiful, dreamy piece! Spontaneously, I'd prefer it the other way around: Big verb on the strings, intimate verb on the piano. Right now, the piano is floating in this huge space while the strings are right in your face. I guess maybe that's the way you want it, but to me it sounds backwards somehow.
This reminds me of the kind of music that appears during an aerial establishing shot of the landscape at the beginning of a movie. Or think of the flight of the feather at the beginning of Forest Gump. Something like that. Very nice.
(05-24-2020, 09:19 PM)Terry93D Wrote: [ -> ]for virtual instruments I'd imagine though that you'd need to have Panagement or Proximity to drag them back space-wise so that have appropriate placement within your virtual hall.

Didn't have thought of that! I will most definitely check those out! Thanks!

(05-25-2020, 10:20 AM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]Spontaneously, I'd prefer it the other way around

I'm not sure what I prefer either, reverb always tricks my ears and makes things sound magically better. I'm considering automating it to create different "scenes" as I like the floating piano when it plays solo but it can be really messy when accompanying. In the same manner I would like for the cello to have it's in-your-face solo moments but blend nicely with the violin and the viola when they play together. And somehow fix those pizzicati that sound like they were played inside my ears.

(05-25-2020, 10:45 AM)Paul Battersby Wrote: [ -> ]This reminds me of the kind of music that appears during an aerial establishing shot of the landscape at the beginning of a movie.  Or think of the flight of the feather at the beginning of Forest Gump. Something like that. Very nice.

Thanks Paul for listening and your kind words! My goal was to write something romantic with piano and cello, certainly in a cinematic style, and given the lockdown time I had the opportunity to develop it further.
I think I agree with Mattias! The strings need a little more concealment to cover up their fakeness, or further mics should be blended in if available, or an increase in the volume of release samples if available, while the piano has this twinkly surreality to the reverb image of it that is much larger than the strings.

As with all things of this nature, I advise listening to real recordings of this exact configuration!

In a studio recording, the string players generally face the pianist, with mics in the middle, so as to allow both good rejection of the opposite instrument(s) and to allow eye contact. In a live concert recording, the string players essentially just turn around and take a step back towards the piano from this position. The sound you have now is more of the latter, with the piano sounding like it is 15-20 feet away while the strings are only 3-4 feet away.
(05-26-2020, 12:36 AM)Samulis Wrote: [ -> ]As with all things of this nature, I advise listening to real recordings of this exact configuration!

You are right on this but my lack of recording experience cannot help much with recreating some fake ambience. However I did some pan placement and automated the reverb levels a bit and this is what I came up with:

Piano Quartet

Now with some heavily automated rate and hopefully more realism...
That really is a beautiful composition! I love it.

One thing that stood out for me a bit was the lack of any slurring in the strings. It makes it sound a little choppy. Every single note has a clear attack, even where a real string player would play multiple note on a single bow stroke to create a smoother sound. Possibly that's just the nature of the library you're using, that it doesn't have any legato? But even then you can kind of fake it by overlapping notes a bit. Don't release one note until a moment after the next one starts. That creates a reasonably plausible slur.
(05-28-2020, 03:53 AM)peastman Wrote: [ -> ]That really is a beautiful composition!  I love it.

One thing that stood out for me a bit was the lack of any slurring in the strings.  It makes it sound a little choppy.  Every single note has a clear attack, even where a real string player would play multiple note on a single bow stroke to create a smoother sound.  Possibly that's just the nature of the library you're using, that it doesn't have any legato?  But even then you can kind of fake it by overlapping notes a bit.  Don't release one note until a moment after the next one starts.  That creates a reasonably plausible slur.

Thank you! It means a lot!

I'm using Embertone's Intimate Solo Strings and although I had missed some slurs (I updated the link to the new track) most of the parts that the strings stand out are slurred. Maybe I'm doing something wrong though because I don't listen any audible change when I enable slurs. I will probably dig a little bit deeper to this and come back.
Are you sufficiently overlapping notes? Generally slur scripts work by stretching the first note longer so it partially overlaps the second. If there is no overlap or it is not long enough, it is possible for the slur not to trigger.

Some scripts/systems may rely on other inputs to determine slur character (e.g. velocity or an extra cc to determine slur length).
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