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Adventures on Earth - Mockup

Discussion in 'Member's Compositions' started by kspierson, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. kspierson

    kspierson Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    Hi everyone! Been working on a new mockup of the first part (up until the tempo change) of "Adventures on Earth" from E.T. and would love to hear what you think! I chose to use the faster tempo from the actual film cue in lieu of the slower tempo marked in the score. Please take a listen; I would appreciate any feedback on both the "performance" as well as the mix.



    Thanks and I hope you enjoy!!

    -Ken
     
  2. OleJoergensen

    OleJoergensen Senior Member

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    Wov, a lot of energy. I think it is a good mock up. The mix seems panned far left and right, still very clear to hear everything. Is the strings Vsl?
     
  3. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    Thanks for sharing, Ken. I think it is a good start. Where I can see improvement is the way that you should a bit care for the attacks of the instruments and different use of articulations for longs / marcatos and shorts. While I think the balance is good already the mockups lacks therefore of a defined articulations like in the beginning the french horns who are totally not transporting the details of the actual melody because of the articulations limiting. You need carefully to shape such line with much more interest and care for single notes. When you hear the original recording it is clear that also the short notes on the french horns are there. With your version it is very mushy. So..I think this is representative also for other spots in your mockup. My tip: Try to use the reference as a guideline to shape lines and to know how to phrase them right. Another little example those violins who do this triadic fast repetitive ostinato: They need a bit more bite and definition as well. Try using other articulations like shorts or run patches and layer them. Try out different scenarios with layering the upper lines with a shorter articulations for instance. Also the 3d Depth in Z - Axe is a bit undefined and soupy..I would put in Z - Depth: Strings, winds, then brass so that you have a better 3 dimensional depth. At this stage it sounds therefore a bit flat. Sounds like you slapped a reverb of the master bus?
    Overall I would say it is a good start but needs a bit more work to shape the lines more. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    kspierson likes this.
  4. OP
    OP
    kspierson

    kspierson Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    Thank you all for the feedback! To start, the strings are LA Scoring Strings. I also realize the mix may be a little to wide and I will investigate narrowing it. I agree in that the mockup could use more "punch," especially in the string/woodwind flourishes, though I tried to be somewhat prudent with the brass, as I didn't want them to conversely be overly present in the mix. As for the reverb, there are several instances of Altiverb being used to create a more realistic space (definitely did not just "slap" reverb on the master bus) yet keep the sound of the instruments present. I want the mix to avoid sounding extremely wet but do still want a sense of depth, so if more wetness on certain sections would help then I will check that out as well. Thanks again for the comments, I really appreciate them!
     
  5. Lino Galois

    Lino Galois Member

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    Nov 29, 2017
    I think this is actually really interesting as to why your piece doesn't sound that "engaging" or "good". I would very much like to see your adjustments on this piece. Lots to learn here!

    Two little points I noticed:
    - Lack of low end: Not just to add warmth and body, but to create a wider dynamic range. "Switching" between very low and high creates some interesting movement I think.
    - Lack of centre: I don't think this because you've panned, but rather because there are instruments missing which could take the centre spot. Simply narrowing down the stereo image wouldn't correct this imo. Furthermore that's a reason why your mix sound rather "hollow".

    Kind regards!
     
    kspierson likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    kspierson

    kspierson Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    Thank you for the feedback! I'm playing around with the stereo image now and looking at adding a virtual center channel while preserving the panning and width. And I will look at adding more low end as well!
     
  7. NoamL

    NoamL Senior Member

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    Jul 6, 2015
    Suggestion: take the section that starts at 2:33 and focus on just that passage vs the recording, with regard to placing your different instrument sections in the space as close as you can to the recording. You can A/B back and forth between the recording and a solo'd bus of just one instrument section (e.g. trombones). Once you get it to sound like you're "popping out" the instrument from the recording session, you're in good shape with that instrument.

    Strings should be in front, warm and present. Winds and brass are about equally far back. Right now the brass seems to be changing distance based on articulation, woodwinds are very far back, and strings aren't forward enough.

    It sounds like you have some low end shelved off across the entire mockup. Make sure you aren't killing the definition & punch of those unison cello and trombone bass lines.

    As far as your MIDI orchestration skills go, I think the strings and winds are pretty good but the trumpet does not sound good (which is unfortunate because the tpt is front and center at the beginning of the piece). It sounds too sustaining with almost no attack. Most of the trumpet parts in this piece have a punchy attack and then pull back a bit on the sustain. There are some other brass balance problems too - study your 1:36 against the original recording, those syncopating triplets are driving the rhythm. At 1:49 it sounds like something might be misplaced on the left side of the field.

    Also unfortunately I think your mix is overall too wet. I would start with your driest library (LA Scoring Strings?) place it in the MGM Scoring Stage (there should be a preset for that in Altiverb). And then bring in the other instruments one by one at the proper levels.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  8. OP
    OP
    kspierson

    kspierson Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    I really appreciate the feedback! I'm surprised you think the mix is too wet overall; I definitely strived to have a more present, drier sound than is generally used. I'll have to investigate the balance and reverb levels between each section, as well as the trumpet part; I hesitated to make it's attacks more forward but it might need to be adjusted. I'll also check out 1:49--any description of what you're hearing?

    Thanks again for listening and for the feedback; the more critique I receive the better my mockups will get in the future.
     
  9. JeffvR

    JeffvR Senior Member

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    I agree with most comments. I don't think it's too wet though. I think it's a bit too dry actually. This is the first couple of seconds I made a while ago. I might give it another try to finish it, great piece!

     

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  10. OP
    OP
    kspierson

    kspierson Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    Very nice! I really the sound of your strings and woodwinds; what libraries do you use?
     
  11. JeffvR

    JeffvR Senior Member

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    Thanks! It's Mural Strings (or Spitfire Symphonic Strings) and Berlin Woodwinds
     
  12. OP
    OP
    kspierson

    kspierson Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    Good to know! I have Berlin Woodwinds but decided to use a different library; I might redo the woodwinds to see how much a difference that makes. I'd really like to upgrade to the Sample Modeling woodwind collection.

    It sounds to me like your strings are playing shorts; am I correct or do you have it layered? I'm aiming for a "zippier" sound on those flourishes, and while I've found a way to add some sparkle to my strings, I think the end of the flourish is not short enough, especially in the woodwinds.
     
  13. South Thames

    South Thames Senior Member

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    Oct 15, 2017
    One thing that always bugged me about the concert piece -- I find the transitions to the parts Williams' 'interpolated' in to the original very forced. I think it would have flowed much better and been more musically satisfying had he simply left it as it was in the film -- it's always been particularly disappointing to me that concert version doesn't contain the ecstatic rendition of the ET theme (heard as the bicycles fly) which the whole piece builds to.
     

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