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New libraries, new template, new music! - Printable Version

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New libraries, new template, new music! - Mattias Westlund - 11-23-2020

So, I have started setting up a template using my new orchestral libraries. As expected it's both a fun and a frustrating experience. Here's what I have so far:

The Sword Coast

Feels odd to say in this context, but never mind the music. This is the same old stuff I always end up writing when I have no specific idea in mind or anything to go on. My main concern here was putting something together that has enough dynamics and enough different instruments to allow me to set levels and panning and generally hear how everything sounds together as a whole.

My own thoughts so far? Well, Hollywood Brass is awesome. Pretty much set and forget aside from learning what all the different articulations are best used for. Soundwise, it's all I could ask for. Hyperion Strings Elements on the other hand seems to require a bit more massaging. They can sound anemic if you arrange them wrong, and there appears to be no easy way of making a quicker series of notes sound convincing (case in point, 1:45). Still, the library has a lot of options and I need to dig in and experiment more. I also definitely need some good section woodwinds. I'm using VSCO 2 here, which I love for winds, but the solo instruments don't have enough body for bigger arrangements, even with some tweaks to stereo width and even a subtle doubling effect.

Anyway, I'm kind of limited in terms of what else I can add right now since it appears 16GB RAM is actually on the meager side for modern libraries Smile But I'm going to upgrade ASAP to at least 24GB or maybe 32GB if I can find a good deal.

Whaddaya think?


RE: New libraries, new template, new music! - PPH - 11-24-2020

You're right. The brass sounds wonderful. In general, a very good sound. I think the strings are fine. I have 16 GB too, but haven't stumbled upon problems yet. But I don't have any monster orchestral libraries.


RE: New libraries, new template, new music! - Paul Battersby - 11-25-2020

Good to see you've regained some interest in composing again. Looking forward to hearing more.


RE: New libraries, new template, new music! - Nayrb - 11-25-2020

I sure wish the tracks I threw together sounded this good! I need to study up on your use of percussion. There is a good amount of movement in your tracks. And yes, the brass sounds lovely! I think you made a good choice with that library. The winds actually sound fine to me, but I have no experience with any particularly "cinematic" sounding wind libraries; maybe I'm just used to the "VO wind sound."

How are the expressive articulations in Hyperion Strings Elements?


RE: New libraries, new template, new music! - Samulis - 11-28-2020

Sounds fantastic Mattias!

Might not need as much reverb with the EW brass; they're fairly wet already.

If you're interested, I have some experimental woodwinds that might end up in an eventual hypothetical VSCO 3 and in VCSL in a simplified form; I'd be happy to send over some SFZ's.


RE: New libraries, new template, new music! - peastman - 11-28-2020

That sounds awesome! It definitely has the "epic soundtrack" sound, not just in the composition but also the way it sounds like it's being played in a vast space. Maybe that's what Samulis meant about the amount of reverb? I think that's fine as long as it's the sound you were going for.


RE: New libraries, new template, new music! - Mattias Westlund - 11-28-2020

Thanks for your comments everyone!

(11-25-2020, 08:29 PM)Nayrb Wrote: How are the expressive articulations in Hyperion Strings Elements?

They're fine I guess, there's all the usual stuff. Sustain (vb/nv), tremolo, staccato (with options for tight/loose or something inbetween), spiccato, pizz, bartok pizz, col legno, plus a plethora of crescendos and decrescendos with different timings that I've decided not to use. I need to conserve RAM here and I see no point in using baked crescendos when the dynamic crossfading sounds as good as it does. Sadly there are no runs or trills or anything like that, but I'm guessing they're saving those for the upcoming Hyperion Symphonic Strings or whatever it's going to be called.

(11-28-2020, 04:38 AM)Samulis Wrote: Might not need as much reverb with the EW brass; they're fairly wet already.

Yes, you're quite right. More on that below.

(11-28-2020, 04:38 AM)Samulis Wrote: If you're interested, I have some experimental woodwinds that might end up in an eventual hypothetical VSCO 3 and in VCSL in a simplified form; I'd be happy to send over some SFZ's.

I would gladly check them out! No sections though?

(11-28-2020, 06:13 AM)peastman Wrote: it sounds like it's being played in a vast space.  Maybe that's what Samulis meant about the amount of reverb?  I think that's fine as long as it's the sound you were going for.

Yes, well, I've made some edits Smile

New version here.

First of all, I changed the reverb. Originally I used my standard ValhallaRoom custom presets, but as much as I love the lush denseness of the Valhalla verbs, they can sometimes make things a little too muddy. So I switched over to Exponential Audio's PhoenixVerb which is a lot cleaner and more natural sounding. Still might require some tweaking, but so far I like it better.

Secondly, Hyperion Strings has a sort of "stage positioning" feature that it uses in lieu of separate mic positions. Problem is, the feature appears to be using parallel stereo processing, since I noticed that when you pan things to the sides, you gradually lose half the stereo signal. Beyond a certain point, it's just a panned mono signal. So I set everything to the default mid positions and used the regular REAPER stereo panner instead.

Thirdly, I first used the built-in EQ in Hyperion Strings. But since flipping between Kontakt instrument slots and the different panes of the instruments was quickly driving me up the wall, I turned the EQ off and used an external one instead, one for each string instrument family. Still not happy with the sound of the strings, but I'm getting there.

On a related note, I have at long last joined the family of Kontakt users, which has opened up a lot of possibilities, but I'm also feeling a little overwhelmed. Right now I'm mainly trying to incorporate some nice freebies into this template (the Kontakt versions of them that is; previously I used a few SFZ-converted patches).


RE: New libraries, new template, new music! - Terry93D - 11-28-2020

(11-28-2020, 02:26 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: New version here.

First of all, I changed the reverb. Originally I used my standard ValhallaRoom custom presets, but as much as I love the lush denseness of the Valhalla verbs, they can sometimes make things a little too muddy. So I switched over to Exponential Audio's PhoenixVerb which is a lot cleaner and more natural sounding. Still might require some tweaking, but so far I like it better.

Secondly, Hyperion Strings has a sort of "stage positioning" feature that it uses in lieu of separate mic positions. Problem is, the feature appears to be using parallel stereo processing, since I noticed that when you pan things to the sides, you gradually lose half the stereo signal. Beyond a certain point, it's just a panned mono signal. So I set everything to the default mid positions and used the regular REAPER stereo panner instead.

Thirdly, I first used the built-in EQ in Hyperion Strings. But since flipping between Kontakt instrument slots and the different panes of the instruments was quickly driving me up the wall, I turned the EQ off and used an external one instead, one for each string instrument family. Still not happy with the sound of the strings, but I'm getting there.

On a related note, I have at long last joined the family of Kontakt users, which has opened up a lot of possibilities, but I'm also feeling a little overwhelmed. Right now I'm mainly trying to incorporate some nice freebies into this template (the Kontakt versions of them that is; previously I used a few SFZ-converted patches).

Apologies for not seeing this sooner... this sounds lovely! You said earlier that this is the "same old stuff" you always write but I think I must have a natural affinity for it because I really like it. The new strings sound good -- I'm not fully sold on the shorts at 2:05 but that may be unfamiliarity. I also use PhoenixVerb -- glad that you like it!

I don't know if you still use the G-Town percussion but there is a Kontakt version of them that I found so I've been using them -- it takes some volume fiddling and a heavy dose of Panagement to get it to fit into the virtual spaces but that's simple to the point of absurdity and it sounds excellent besides. It takes some digging up but if you want them and can't find them I can send them to you.


RE: New libraries, new template, new music! - Terry93D - 12-01-2020

Am considering getting Hyperion Strings Elements -- what do you think of it, Mattias?


RE: New libraries, new template, new music! - Mattias Westlund - 12-01-2020

(12-01-2020, 02:33 PM)Terry93D Wrote: Am considering getting Hyperion Strings Elements -- what do you think of it, Mattias?

I'm not sure what to think of it yet. It's weird, because I hear other people using it and it sounds awesome. But when I try to use it, it sounds thin, harsh, unpleasant. Might be an arrangement issue, might be an EQ issue, might be a combination of both or something else entirely. But right now I'm struggling to make it sound like I want it to. Having said that, it has a nice assortment of articulations and the UI is wonderful.

My suggestion is get Hyperion Strings Micro. If find you like it, the full price will be discounted if you decide to get elements. If you don't like it, well, you will have parted with a smaller amount of money.