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Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Printable Version

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Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Nayrb - 04-07-2019

I originally posted this for the purpose of workshopping my template, but I think this track is probably better for that purpose. There is a lot more happening here. I imported everything from a previous file into what is becoming the new template as the song started to take shape. There are several things that I know need attention, but I wanted to get more feedback before I started messing with things again. It's gotten to the point where it feels like  I'm just turning knobs and sliding faders again Big Grin

The template is supposed to just be the basic orchestra with the idea that I'll have a better idea of how to implement other stuff once that's solidified. But there are some exotic elements here too. And I know I still need to do something about the weird closeness of a lot of the colorful little metals.


Moon Wine


RE: Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Nayrb - 07-20-2019

I updated the link to "Moon Wine" in the above post with the newest version. I'm still wondering if I'm not getting the levels right, though. Dynamics are pretty extreme now, but I'm not sure if it's having the effect of enhancing depth, expression, and realism that I want. In listening to reference tracks I get the idea that things like percussion and brass are not actually louder in a literal sense, but set back in the mix in such a way that they are perceived as being louder. Part of the challenge might be coming from having to work at lower volumes and having an annoying habit of tweaking the volume on the speakers out of some phobia that someone will come knocking Big Grin

I could probably up the violins and violas as bit, too. I think the basses are plenty present, though.


RE: Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Samulis - 07-21-2019

Makes me want to stop what I'm doing and play some M&B Warband. XD

Could use a little more quantizing in the area of 0:58 for strings.

In most cases, orchestral recordings are combinations of close (spot), main, and far (room) mics. Compression or other methods of dynamic control are not uncommon, as otherwise quiet portions of orchestral tracks would be unintelligible at a 'comfortable' listening level.

I think the low brass and woodwinds could use a little more low frequencies, same with that bass drum. Additionally, woodwinds generally read as rather dry and clean in recordings due to their placement, and the usual use of mics above/slightly behind the conductor's head, so I might go easy on the reverb on these and slightly exaggerate their panning. Overall I think the instruments in the center could be panned slightly more outward.

Arnold Bax might be a good place to start for a reference with lots of instrumental and dynamic contrast, and because almost all the recordings of his music have been done in the past 20 years-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-gFuNi8Doo


RE: Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Nayrb - 07-21-2019

(07-21-2019, 04:54 AM)Samulis Wrote: Makes me want to stop what I'm doing and play some M&B Warband. XD

Could use a little more quantizing in the area of 0:58 for strings.

In most cases, orchestral recordings are combinations of close (spot), main, and far (room) mics. Compression or other methods of dynamic control are not uncommon, as otherwise quiet portions of orchestral tracks would be unintelligible at a 'comfortable' listening level.

I think the low brass and woodwinds could use a little more low frequencies, same with that bass drum. Additionally, woodwinds generally read as rather dry and clean in recordings due to their placement, and the usual use of mics above/slightly behind the conductor's head, so I might go easy on the reverb on these and slightly exaggerate their panning. Overall I think the instruments in the center could be panned slightly more outward.

Arnold Bax might be a good place to start for a reference with lots of instrumental and dynamic contrast, and because almost all the recordings of his music have been done in the past 20 years-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-gFuNi8Doo

I didn't think that "Moon Wine" was all that Mount & Blade-y; but it's not a bad influence to have sneaking in subconsciously, I suppose!

Interesting you mention the bass. I did cut some of the low end proximity frequencies from the winds to try to set them back a bit. So that won't be too hard to tinker with. The brass and bass drum, being Project SAM, seem to just be very non-bassy samples to begin with. The bass drum has come to life a bit since mixing in some of the close mics with the stage. I'll double check that some onboard bass cut wasn't left on by oversight. Unfortunately said option is not available for the brass. As I understand it, the "stage" mics are in fact a blend of those three positions; but you don't get any control otherwise. I'll mess around a bit and see, though. I'm generally not much for messing with EQ beyond a few cuts here and there.

Good tip on the reverb on the winds, too. I was pushing them quite a bit because they are so dry to begin with; and while I am of the "more reverb!" school of thought, it might be beneficial to dry them up a tad for the sake of depth perception.

Per your point about dynamics. I'm probably not going to be compressing much here. I tend to butcher things that way. I'm still thinking the relative levels of things might need to be less drastic. I know that in reality a trombone section is much louder sound than a solo flute, but I don't know how wise it is to try to emulate that so literally in this context. Is it just me or does volume in this track sound more like it's "stacking" on itself rather than enhancing the sense of depth?


RE: Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Mattias Westlund - 07-21-2019

I have no problem at all with the dynamics -- in fact I agree with you that it does help expression and realism. I say more dynamics for the people, and screw all that sausage factory mastering crap!

Other than that I don't know what specific advice to offer. As usual your compositions have a pleasing quirkiness to them, and this is no exception. The tutti thing at ~1.33 strikes me as a little thin though, and come to think of it the entire track could use a bit more body overall. Not as in booming bottom end but rather low midrange. I would say it's an arrangement issue rather than a mixing issue. Strategic use of soft horns and trombones can do wonders for filling in that "hole" you sometimes get in a mix, so that might be something to experiment with.

Nice work overall though! I'm getting medieval and at times vaguely oriental vibes from it.


RE: Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Nayrb - 07-21-2019

(07-21-2019, 08:59 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: I have no problem at all with the dynamics -- in fact I agree with you that it does help expression and realism. I say more dynamics for the people, and screw all that sausage factory mastering crap!

Other than that I don't know what specific advice to offer. As usual your compositions have a pleasing quirkiness to them, and this is no exception. The tutti thing at ~1.33 strikes me as a little thin though, and come to think of it the entire track could use a bit more body overall. Not as in booming bottom end but rather low midrange. I would say it's an arrangement issue rather than a mixing issue. Strategic use of soft horns and trombones can do wonders for filling in that "hole" you sometimes get in a mix, so that might be something to experiment with.

Nice work overall though! I'm getting medieval and at times vaguely oriental vibes from it.

Thank you! I'm glad you pointed out the hollow low-mid and the tutti part being thin. Soft brass is a good tip.

And yes, I'm all about the dynamics, too. I still wonder if I might need to up the winds a smidge, though. It could be the inherent volumes of the layers of the samples themselves that's causing my concerns, though. Or maybe I'm just fixating.

It's definitely supposed to have a semi-oriental vibe going, with a little bit of adventure and even maybe some mysticism. However well I achieved that, I don't know; but it's turned into a great template testing track.


RE: Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Paul Battersby - 07-22-2019

A very creative composition. I really liked the use of woodwinds. I don't have any suggestions for improvement except  I did find the volume to be far too low for me (and I have good speakers and good hearing). I had to turn my speakers up so much that if my computer made any other noise (like the bell when receiving an email) it likely would have scared half the life out of me. But, it was worth the risk to hear your music. I liked it.


RE: Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Nayrb - 07-22-2019

(07-22-2019, 03:25 AM)Paul Battersby Wrote: A very creative composition. I really liked the use of woodwinds. I don't have any suggestions for improvement except  I did find the volume to be far too low for me (and I have good speakers and good hearing). I had to turn my speakers up so much that if my computer made any other noise (like the bell when receiving an email) it likely would have scared half the life out of me. But, it was worth the risk to hear your music. I liked it.

Thanks, Paul! The volume thing is a known issue. I've been trying to figure out what I'm missing for quite some time. It's one of the reasons I often feel I'm barking up the wrong tree with my approach to relative levels and dynamics. My fix for it has usually been to just run finished tracks carefully through a mastering limiter.


RE: Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Paul Battersby - 07-22-2019

(07-22-2019, 11:28 AM)Nayrb Wrote: My fix for it has usually been to just run finished tracks carefully through a mastering limiter.

That's what I always do. I put a limiter on the master track, set the limit to 0.1db, then lower the threshold until the music just barely triggers the limiter. That seems to keep my volume levels sufficiently high and consistent.


RE: Moon Wine (The Template Continues) - Nayrb - 07-22-2019

(07-22-2019, 11:36 AM)Paul Battersby Wrote: That's what I always do. I put a limiter on the master track, set the limit to 0.1db, then lower the threshold until the music just barely triggers the limiter. That seems to keep my volume levels sufficiently high and consistent.

My approach has been to bounce a high res (even up to 32 bit) WAV of the finished track and run it through Maximus, which is a mastering limiter/compressor. It has a handy GUI and I can just boost the input signal, watching how close peaks are getting to hitting the limiter. These days I try to avoid hitting the limiter at all; but I allow for a little bit to go over if it seems necessary. In those cases I'll tweak the release so that it doesn't pump too much or  too noticeably. Lastly, I dither down to a 16bit WAV.