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Trailer Track - Every Moment Counts

Discussion in 'Member's Compositions' started by Smikes77, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Smikes77

    Smikes77 My Avatar looks just like me

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    Heya,

    Here`s my first trailer track I wrote after studying the Evenant Course. Any feedback much appreciated!

     
  2. NoamL

    NoamL Senior Member

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    There's a lot to like here Mike. I like the energy level and I get what you're trying to do with the tension buildups. I really like some of the elements of surprise in this track like when you introduce the vocalist right in our faces.

    My main dislike was all of the hybrid perc/fx stuff. It felt prefabricated or "drag and drop." It didn't feel connected to the track, especially the other percussion elements, and there was too much variety (made it feel a bit random).

    These are my revision thoughts, of course feel free to take whatever pieces of this you agree with and ignore the rest :)

    In your intro (0:08-0:25) you're introducing two leadlines at the same time - there's one played by the piano/synthpulse and another in the violins. This leads to confusion, you can do A then A+B if you want but if you start with A+B the listener doesn't know which one's important. The piano/synthpulse one felt like the main one to me. At this tempo, consider adding a sustaining instrument to the line so that those whole notes feel more connected - the piano's sustain dies too fast. Later (0:25-0:40), that same line isn't dominant enough over the string pads. Also, while it makes sense to me on the second listen, on the first listen I kind of lost the plot when you changed the rhythm.

    At 0:40 the music just dies, the pause doesn't feel natural. A 2 beat break is fine and then it needs some orchestrated crescendo (not a riser! more like the revving-up start of a percussion groove?) that pushes us into act 2. Same problem later going into act 3.

    Act 2 I thought was strong in terms of ideas. But as said previously I felt all that hybrid perc stuff was covering up your track. Focus more on your pulsing tension elements, bring them forward, make them more dissonant and ragged.

    Loved the vocalist entrance. Really nice.

    So at this point and further on until the end of the track, the main problem is your orchestration. I hear violins, the singer, and bass drops and... ? Where's the rest of the epic orchestra? Cellos, trombones! Find something cool for them to do, probably some kind of groove. All of those hybrid fx may "fill up the frequency range" of the bass but that doesn't mean they're playing the musical role of bass.

    Try this, mute every bit of percussion in your track, then write the orchestra out vertically - big, massive, chords - until it feels full and epic. Then start thinking about where to add perc back in. Perc can only support epic, it cannot create epic singlehandedly.

    In act 3 I'm a fan of that hybrid perc fx (panned right) that sounds like a giant metal sneeze, I think it underlines the urgency of this section very well. Underneath that I think you need to build a REALLY epic huge drum line. Big spaced out hits. Continue adding the orchestra. I don't really like the vocalist in this section, she's so high that it sounds like a scream to me.

    The coda I think would work really well once you fix up the orchestration. It's strong and it keeps pushing further than the listener expects which is what that kind of section's supposed to do. I'd leave out the ambient bit with the singer, I'd rather hear a big tonic unison brammm from the whole orchestra - a Pacific Rim kind of sound. I feel like the bass drop going into the ambient bit diffuses and defeats all the cool tension you built up. Make a break with real silence and then give us the bramm ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
    Rodney Money likes this.
  3. EpicDude

    EpicDude Senior Member

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    I disagree with @NoamL about the intro, I wouldn't change it, I find it really cool and interesting. But to be honest I didn't like the vocalist, specially because she sounds right in our faces, I think for this type of music she sounds to dry and to close.
    I agree 100% with this.
     
    thov72 likes this.
  4. R. Soul

    R. Soul Senior Member

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    Superb track.

    The only comments I have in terms of improving it would be :

    - Pulse in intro is very subby, I would cut a bit of low end, and maybe let in a few more higher frequencies.
    By 'higher' I mean, don't low pass it quite so low.

    - The percussion at 1.16 could sit a bit better in the mix.

    - I don't like the vocalist' erm.. pitch bend at 2.12 min. Sounds out of key.

    But this is nitpicking to be honest. Really well done. :2thumbs:
     
  5. erica-grace

    erica-grace Senior Member

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    Sep 7, 2015
    I disagree as well. If the piano and strings were playing different melodies, then maybe. But as it stands now, the strings are just acting as support for the piano.

    I don't like the singer either. Also, your track seems to be lacking low end.

    Otherwise, it's cool. :)
     
    thov72 likes this.
  6. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    May 1, 2014
    Hi,

    I like the first minute probably the most in your track, like the vibe, the mood and the build up, it has great moments which keeps the listener in exploring adventures.

    As the track progresses after it starts for me a bit to get to a point where it feels for me that it has to feature a few certain standards to tell the crowd, ok: I am good and I give you a few things: Here you get for instance your braams. Check, well done. They sound huge and like an angry steamliner from Hell. And I can do that: here you get your Hanz Zimmer esqued Vocals, check: Pretty cool! And some dub stabberish triplets distorted ryhthms on top of that, check: Very idiomatic, and I have no idea how to do that sounds..
    which...is all cool! ..but with a considerable reason and context to prepare this things which I do personally miss at such points. They come a bit out of the blue for me or lets say I sense no real preparation for them to be a reason of dramatic apperance in your track.

    Otherwise your vertical packing throuhgout the track is really good, the sound is wide and cinematic, the voice could be a bit treated here and there it popped my ear. But overall cool track!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  7. OP
    OP
    Smikes77

    Smikes77 My Avatar looks just like me

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    Thanks everyone for taking the time to listen to the track and offer your comments and feedback, all of which I think are valid points. I`ve been pulled left and right with differing comments/thoughts for this track over the last week or so!

    Thanks @NoamL for all the depth you went into there. The track actually was more orchestral on the first mix, with minor hybrid fx, (just a few risers, drops etc), and I was advised to put more hybrid stuff in. When I did that, I had to streamline the orchestration. Cellos etc are all there, but not prominent. I do understand what you mean about the disconnect, but just so you know there were no presets or drag and drops used. Most of the hybrid stuff was "hand made". especially the percussive elements.

    Thanks to everyone also who commented on the vocals. I have put them further back with a wetter reverb and it does sound better.

    I`m going to put this track to bed, as I feel it has come to its natural end.

    Thank you for all your comments!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Smikes77

    Smikes77 My Avatar looks just like me

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    I know it lacks a bit of low end, annoying because there are more subs in it than in the US Navy.
     
    thov72 likes this.
  9. Paul Owen

    Paul Owen Senior Member

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    Really nice track, was wondering....where did you get the vocal samples from?
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Smikes77

    Smikes77 My Avatar looks just like me

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    Thanks!

    They are real.
     
    Paul Owen likes this.
  11. Paul Owen

    Paul Owen Senior Member

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    Dec 9, 2016
    Damn! All the vocal libraries around and none have samples like these. Good work on the track, really like it!
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Smikes77

    Smikes77 My Avatar looks just like me

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    There`s one called Clara I think. That one is free, and for trailer vocals I don`t think you can go far wrong with Realitone`s The Ladies, you can get pretty close with them. Patty is great for the epic sound. In fact, I used them on this track (I Eat Gravity For Breakfast, top of the playlist) and you can hear that trailer track against some visuals (not that they line up, because I didn`t write the music to it).

    https://mikeellawaymusic.com/showreel

    Thanks again for the comments!
     
  13. dannymc

    dannymc Senior Member

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    hey Mike sorry if this is too blunt but i want to push every composer including myself to be the best composer they can be. for me trailer music is not so much about sound packages and structure and more about mood. the overwhelming mood that comes to the fore when i listen to the best trailer tracks out there is STRUGGLE. i just didn't get that here. by 40 seconds in the build towards struggle had faded on me. also you have no accents big hits to emphasize the mood.

    anyway this is just my opinion but for your next tracks i would suggest listening to lots and lots of reference tracks rather than following courses and really get into the frame of mind the MOOD.

    Danny
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  14. OP
    OP
    Smikes77

    Smikes77 My Avatar looks just like me

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    Hi Danny, thanks for the input. You can be as blunt as you like, I'm not precious. I was just following expert advice. Part of that expert advice was to listen to lots of reference tracks which I did. LOADS! Lol! (I would do that anyway tbh, it`s not my first rodeo). Not sure if you listened all the way through but there are indeed big hits in there and I used zero "sound packages". Everything was done from me hitting some drums, reversing them, distorting a tin whistle, pitch shifting them. You get the idea.

    Anyway, this track is pretty old now, I`m sure trailer music has changed since. For me, trailer music is not my cup of tea. After a couple of hundred I found them boring and a little tedious to listen to, even the ones that get used a lot. But that`s not to say there was nothing I could learn from it because there was. And I did.

    If you haven`t taken the Evenant course or want to delve into trailers, I would recommend it to you. You`ll get something out of it for sure.
     
  15. dannymc

    dannymc Senior Member

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    yes i listened to the whole track. sorry i didn't mean using samples out of the box was an issue i just meant there is this opinion out there that to make great trailer music you need this sample library and that plug in. my point was that composers need to focus on the mood and arc of the music.

    Yes definitely plan to take the course when i find some time but for now i'm kept pretty busy writing to briefs so i wont complain :)

    Danny
     
  16. Puzzlefactory

    Puzzlefactory Senior Member

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    I like it, love all the sound design and the intro is awesome.

    My only criticism would be that all the bass seems to disappear from the mix after the climax. The intro and buildup seem to have loads of bass/sub going on and then the climax hits and it drops away.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Smikes77

    Smikes77 My Avatar looks just like me

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    Thanks!

    Yes, I agree. This is something that has been brought to my attention on my last couple of compositions too. I had a comment where someone said I was lacking in low mids, and another experienced composer who said I was lacking in bass. I have since rectified that in my mixes now hopefully. Thanks for listening!
     

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