A Pirates Life for Me

Discussion in 'Member's Compositions' started by KEM, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. KEM

    KEM Active Member

    328
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    Mar 31, 2018
    St. Louis, MO
    My new track "A Pirates Life for Me" is out now!! As always, constructive criticism and feedback is greatly appreciated and welcomed, enjoy!!

    SoundCloud:


    YouTube:
     
  2. calebfaith

    calebfaith Active Member

    Nice track!

    The bottom end was very boomy and quite a bit too loud for me.
     
    TheSigillite likes this.
  3. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    May 1, 2014
    Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing your track. I think your first idea is quite cool and gives or sets the vibe. Though I have to say also that I think you could structure your piece a little more in form. There are also sections where you instanly drop a lot of elements which created motion before which causes like that I feel you end the idea. While that is not wrong to do, I feel you should take a bit more time in developing your first statement before going other places. Orchestrationally you are very string / low brass focussed. A little idea would be to hand over the melody to different voices, why not using also at times Woodwinds supporting at least your melody? Or even overtaking it? building orchestrational contrast and di versity creates and keeps the interest even if you keep on riding on your same idea.
    Did you sketch out the track before? Maybe on a Piano? I don´t know if you work like that, but I do that all the time in order to keep control about the core idea element and structure.

    One little last thing: Those ethnic flutes at 45 seconds around are quite cool though I feel they are a bit of context regarding your vibe you set in the beginning. You know the title of your track reminds me of course that you maybe want to make that pirates of the carribean thing. But think a little about that reference and how that track I mentioned utilizes strong chord progressions which not only is supported by a driving motion but also by its easy to follow its harmonic construction. Maybe an idea would be to deconstruct those harmonic progressions and pastiche a little bit that to make an exercise for yourself. You don´t need to exactly copy the progression by itself but be aware of the way how the melody builds up with the progressions.

    Your harmony in the track is a bit loose therefore doesn´t really build up a harmonic tension with a pleasing resolution. It hangs more there which makes it feel more like a gesture instead of a motif which creates also harmonic momentum together, which I guess you are after. My advice: Learn more basic composition.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 8:30 AM
    Vladimir Bulaev and TheSigillite like this.
  4. BenG

    BenG Senior Member

    Cool/fun track!

    Really liked some of the material you have going on here and I would love to hear the different sections connect a bit more. Think it would really drive a lot of your melodies home more! Also, I agree with Caleb, that the low-end is a bit 'boomy', but that is an easy fix:)
     
  5. Architekton

    Architekton Active Member

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    Jan 18, 2017
    I bet this is mixed on headphones. Mix is not good, too much reverb, bad eq-ing (too much low and low mid freqs and no proper highs). On top you maximized the volume to heavens, hitting limiter or compressor to much and creating unwanted distortion and clipping.

    From artistic side, I agree with Alexander, spot on feedback.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    KEM

    KEM Active Member

    328
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    Mar 31, 2018
    St. Louis, MO
    Thanks! This was my first time using HZ Strings and the cello/basses were incredibly loud and the low end just didn't feel tight even when I turned down all of the far mics, that's probably what attributes to the "boomy" sound, it wasn't what I intended, but I couldn't find a way to fix it, I'll have to play around with it more.

    I appreciate you taking the time to write all of this out! This is stuff I'm working on all the time, I know almost absolutely nothing about theory which I feel has been a HUGE hindrance to my progress as a composer, so it's something I've been trying to really focus on as of late, as far as orchestration that's something I'm always studying and trying to improve on a lot, so if you have anything that you'd recommend to help me learn more theory/orchestration feel free to let me know!

    I don't know how to mix haha, like not at all
     
  7. kmaster

    kmaster Just moved to LA! Let's get coffee!

    iZotope's Tonal Balance Control is a very useful tool to determine...well, tonal balance...when mixing, especially if your room isn't perfect or your ears aren't experienced.

    I believe it only comes bundled with Ozone though.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    KEM

    KEM Active Member

    328
    205
    Mar 31, 2018
    St. Louis, MO
    Thanks! I hear about Ozone all the time, might as well get it at this point.
     
  9. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    May 1, 2014
    Hey, sure. Imo you don´t need to learn that much theory to fix that. In fact I believe you only need really the most basic theory about learning how to deal with tonic - tension - resolution aspects. The more important thing is to learn to get an understanding and a better ear for harmonys but that you will not learn in any theory book, you need to look more closely at pieces you like and you should learn the harmony behind them. You can start very basic with easy pieces and just sit there listen to them and use a piano and listen out the basic underpinning harmony, mostly it is for that kind of music: Major / Minor / Diminished, Suspended and sometimes dominant 7h chords. Suspended and Dom7 are mostly used there as chords for resolution like Diminished chords quite often either as setting the tone or as passing chords. Once you transcribe more of the pieces you like we will get a better understanding for that. Also you develop your ear by doing that. Trust me: It might sound boring to do that but you will inherently boost your compositional muscles a way forward. Reading books passively don´t get you there, you have "actively" to do it therefore I won´t see so much theory to learn first. Theory is reverse enginered from pieces which sounded good before somebody said that this is a I-IV-VI-II-V-I progression. Just Practise it.

    The track you wrote is fine, and it has some cool ideas, but its lacking of controlling that ideas which you would improve as well. And control is something what most pieces here which are posted by people simply dont have imo. Sure we can argue about stylistic things and maybe I don´t write pieces which are that interesting but one thing I tell you: I have gained more control about what I want to write and where to go with my ideas and I think that this is something everybody can learn because it is not at all difficult. Sure it depends on what style you want to write. Like in my case I am hailing classic Williams and 40s soundtrack and therefore learning that idiom isnt easy for me but with that method I have made a lot of progress during the last couple of years and I would like encourage others to try it out as well.

    You know other people here spoke about some production flaws in your track and while I think that production value is important too, I think you should concentrate first on those more fundamental apects imo. You know mixing and getting a better mix with a tighten lowend whatsoever is good to know but a lot of things can be fixed prior that stage because most of the bad sound is a result of "wrong balance" and "ineffective orchestration". I say that because I have had in my past the same problems with that and nowadays a lot of those problems simply are not anymore present because I have gained a better understanding for the instruments in the orchestra and what they do and when and for what purpose.

    There is another thread here on ViC where a guy asked about equing orchestral mockups and he seems to fall into the same trap that fixing issues in orchestration and balance is saved by using extensively plugins like eq which isn´t. Eq can fix problems for sure, but when there is e.g. something harsh or boomy it is often a missbalance or just a bad orchestrational choice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 10:30 PM

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