What's new

E.T. Flying theme mockup

victor_nf

New Member
Hi there, hope you guys are doing ok.

I'd like to share with you my first raw mix of this orchestral mock-up based on the famous John Williams piece that I have transcribed manually from the Hal Leonard edition (04490420). It took me several weekends from Christmas until the present weekend...

It is my largest virtual orchestration ever (about 30 instruments with hardly any layering), so really I'd appreciate a lot to get your feedback as to what can be improved and potentially how - I am an amateur composer and the aim of this exercise is to really learn as much as I can.

Thanking you beforehand for your time!

Keep safe,
Victor
 

Attachments

  • Flying theme pre-mix.mp3
    8.4 MB · Views: 5

yiph2

Senior Member
Hi there, hope you guys are doing ok.

I'd like to share with you my first raw mix of this orchestral mock-up based on the famous John Williams piece that I have transcribed manually from the Hal Leonard edition (04490420). It took me several weekends from Christmas until the present weekend...

It is my largest virtual orchestration ever (about 30 instruments with hardly any layering), so really I'd appreciate a lot to get your feedback as to what can be improved and potentially how - I am an amateur composer and the aim of this exercise is to really learn as much as I can.

Thanking you beforehand for your time!

Keep safe,
Victor
Not bad, what libraries are you using? I hear that some instruments arent using the correct articulations (playing shorts instead of legato?), and some instruments sound synthy. I think layering is very important, it makes it sound much better. I actually created one myself here:
 
Last edited:

jaketanner

Senior Member
I think it's a good start. Of course the better your libraries, the better the overall sound (once the performance is there). I think what throws this off most is the balance between your instruments. I would reference the original more closely to get where the instruments are placed...and MIDI tends to sound very "clean"...too separated, too pristine...I would use reverb to maybe blend this a bit so that it's not so "perfect"
 

yiph2

Senior Member
I think it's a good start. Of course the better your libraries, the better the overall sound (once the performance is there). I think what throws this off most is the balance between your instruments. I would reference the original more closely to get where the instruments are placed...and MIDI tends to sound very "clean"...too separated, too pristine...I would use reverb to maybe blend this a bit so that it's not so "perfect"
I agree, some instruments can't be heard, balance is one of the most important things about mockups
 
OP
victor_nf

victor_nf

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
what libraries are you using?
Thanks for your time yiph. I think I will prepare a video to explain but I used mainly Spitfire Chamber Strings and Symphonic Brass, then Berlin Woodwind and Cineperc.
I hear that some instruments arent using the correct articulations (playing shorts instead of legato?), and some instruments sound synthy
I would really appreciate if you could tell me specifically which one(s) you feel more uncomfortable with.
I agree, some instruments can't be heard
Well I admit some (piano, woodwind here and there...) are not all the time visible, however not sure that more clarity is always better ? I will take your feedback on board in any case, thank you!
 
OP
victor_nf

victor_nf

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
balance between your instruments. I would reference the original more closely to get where the instruments are placed
Many thanks Jake, I think I take your point. I started using a conduction from JW himself as a reference, however I forgot to check at the end of the process... In fact this is the reason why I use flute in the middle part as he does in his live performance - instead of piccolo as stated in the score (and many other performances).

I would use reverb to maybe blend this a bit so that it's not so "perfect"
Definitely, you touched another weak spot, as I have limited practice with reverbs. Yes, I will give a round of tests blending the stems in that direction. Really fruitful piece of advices Jake, thanks a lot!
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
Many thanks Jake, I think I take your point. I started using a conduction from JW himself as a reference, however I forgot to check at the end of the process... In fact this is the reason why I use flute in the middle part as he does in his live performance - instead of piccolo as stated in the score (and many other performances).


Definitely, you touched another weak spot, as I have limited practice with reverbs. Yes, I will give a round of tests blending the stems in that direction. Really fruitful piece of advices Jake, thanks a lot!
Glad I can help
 

yiph2

Senior Member
As SCS is very small, you need to use the transpose trick to make it sound bigger. Also are you using the performance legato from SSB and SCS? They seem like they are way too short. You could also try to make the woodwinds blend better
 
OP
victor_nf

victor_nf

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
you need to use the transpose trick to make it sound bigger.
Many thanks Yiph, not sure though what is meant here by transpose trick? I essentially sticked to the score... few parts have CSS layered buit only on violin 1.
are you using the performance legato from SSB and SCS
I am using the legato articulation from the general articulation patch. I think you are refering to a dedicated patch that I am not yet comfortable with. If you confirm it would be worthwhile, I will definitely invest some time exploring!

make the woodwinds blend better
Well heard! In this pre-mix, the reverb for the woodwind stem was off.

Big thank you for your tips!
 

yiph2

Senior Member
Many thanks Yiph, not sure though what is meant here by transpose trick? I essentially sticked to the score... few parts have CSS layered buit only on violin 1.

I am using the legato articulation from the general articulation patch. I think you are refering to a dedicated patch that I am not yet comfortable with. If you confirm it would be worthwhile, I will definitely invest some time exploring!


Well heard! In this pre-mix, the reverb for the woodwind stem was off.

Big thank you for your tips!
You should experiment with different patches for legato and the different amount of players for the brass. SSB does not cut it as the Horns a2 patch is not good, you should use the a6 although it does not say so in the score
 

yiph2

Senior Member
The legatos on SSB are not good except for the a6 patches, but the limitation on those is that they are insanely loud, and can't do soft stuff
 

Ivan M.

Active Member
Congrats on the effort! There are a few things to improve.

The notes here have attacks that are too strong, they are all marcatos: strings, oboes etc. while they shouldn't be. Transitions between notes need to be smooth, use legato patches for the top/prominent lines (for stuff that's in the background you don't have to, as their imperfections are not always audible).
These are the biggest ones. Work on this, and you'll make the biggest progress.

Then the balance between the sections as others mentioned, winds need to be a bit quiter and brass a bit louder. Also try to avoid the ff brass bite/harshness if it's not called for.

Another thing is the space, some instruments sound a bit in-the-face, while they should be ,,pushed" back into the room and have a sense of space between the listener and the sound. Use some EQ (high shelf) + reverb (with early reflections) to simulate this, or some dedicated plugin.

Hope this helps,
Cheers :)
 
OP
victor_nf

victor_nf

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
The notes here have attacks that are too strong, they are all marcatos: strings, oboes etc. while they shouldn't be
Hi Ivan, many thanks for your detailed reply, it is really appreciated. I tried to use legato most of the time, but after your comment I have realized some mistakes here and there. Also my strings library (Spitfire Chamber Strings) has got this strong attack, so definitely something I will work on in the next loop.
Then the balance between the sections as others mentioned, winds need to be a bit quiter and brass a bit louder. Also try to avoid the ff brass bite/harshness if it's not called for.
Well noted. The brass has been the real thing to me this time. Very difficult for me to get a good sound as necessary and at the same time not standing out in the balance. Wrt to the "brassy" sound of the horns, it was my own flavor layering my old EWQL SO Gold 6 horns patch... your are probably right, if what we want is to mimic the original, let's leave creativity for own compositions then.
some instruments sound a bit in-the-face, while they should be ,,pushed" back into the room and have a sense of space between the listener and the sound. Use some EQ (high shelf) + reverb (with early reflections) to simulate this, or some dedicated plugin.
As mentioned above, never used before reverbs so you can imagine I am simply doing it by trial/error approach. I guess that the "early reflections" you mention is about short pre-decay times right?

Again, a big thank you for your pieces of advice, they are valuable to me!
Cheers
Victor
 

Ivan M.

Active Member
@victor_nf You're most welcome! Feel free to post updated versions, people here will always help, and me too if I'm around. Also feel free to tag me if I'm not here, I'm not an expert but I belive I can offer at least some usefull advice. Cheers! :)
 
OP
victor_nf

victor_nf

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Good morning in Spain, I am attaching a second version of the mock-up. In this one, I have

- Adjusted the tempo track tightly to the version conducted by John Williams (taken as reference for the rest)
- re-balanced the mix, leaving wood in the middle and some reverb, strings naturally distributed and with original room sound, brass carefully mixed (they tend to stand out all the time), and boosting a bit lows (celli, DB, bassons, tuba)
- adjusted a number of lines to legato patches, specially strings. For F Horns, it was really difficult as my 2H legato patchess loose the punch as yiph was saying... so left some stacatto intentionally until I find a realistic alternative
- applied tape saturation and analog emulation to most of stems, all very subtle
- for the final mix, I included Initial Audio Master Suite (I am a beginner for "mastering") as final touch, highlighting bass and treble a bit, not so much compression, analog touch and limiter at -1dB... all very subtle.

Would be great to check whether in your view there is progress or still not kind of acceptable... Many thanks before hand @Ivan M. @yiph2 @jaketanner for any help!

Cheers
Victor
 

Attachments

  • 0422 Flying theme.mp3
    8.7 MB · Views: 0

Ivan M.

Active Member
@victor_nf

Oh, it sounds much better now! :) Great improvement! Better sense of space, brass is much more pleasant, less marcatos, and those strings are singing!

There is even more to improve. I don't want to discourage you here, just pushing you in the right direction, hopefully (others can jump on me if I say something stupid).

Oboes still sound odd to me, notes don't connect naturally, they really really need a legato patch.

The reverb on winds sounds a bit off, it adds the effect like flutes and oboes have some synth-like release time. Maybe high shelf the reverb a bit to reduce air.

The end sounds a bit distorted, maybe it was hitting a limiter or that saturator too hard. I would also suggest to avoid running it through mastering suites, and rather practice making a good mix on it's own.

And most importantly, something you can't fix immediatelly, but comes with time and practice, is phrasing. Play the dynamics control like an artist. No note is ever flat, especially in dynamics. I usually ease it out on each sustained note. Also a breath controller helps a lot for winds/brass.

But, overall, great improvement
 
OP
victor_nf

victor_nf

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Hey Ivan, no discouragement at all! I am really grateful to count on your feedback, I just wish I could invite you to have a couple of beers! 🍻

May I ask, what you mean about "high shelf the reverb to reduce air"?

As for the rest, points well taken, I think it'll be worth it to spend some more time with it. Such an enjoyable piece to work on...

Thanks again Ivan
Cheers
Victor
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
Good morning in Spain, I am attaching a second version of the mock-up. In this one, I have

- Adjusted the tempo track tightly to the version conducted by John Williams (taken as reference for the rest)
- re-balanced the mix, leaving wood in the middle and some reverb, strings naturally distributed and with original room sound, brass carefully mixed (they tend to stand out all the time), and boosting a bit lows (celli, DB, bassons, tuba)
- adjusted a number of lines to legato patches, specially strings. For F Horns, it was really difficult as my 2H legato patchess loose the punch as yiph was saying... so left some stacatto intentionally until I find a realistic alternative
- applied tape saturation and analog emulation to most of stems, all very subtle
- for the final mix, I included Initial Audio Master Suite (I am a beginner for "mastering") as final touch, highlighting bass and treble a bit, not so much compression, analog touch and limiter at -1dB... all very subtle.

Would be great to check whether in your view there is progress or still not kind of acceptable... Many thanks before hand @Ivan M. @yiph2 @jaketanner for any help!

Cheers
Victor
I'd say better...yes. However I think it's a mixing issue at this point IF you want it to be closer to the original. Brass is still a tad low and winds should be fuller...strings are a bit overbearing...but better than before...so that's good :)
 

Ivan M.

Active Member
Hey Ivan, no discouragement at all! I am really grateful to count on your feedback, I just wish I could invite you to have a couple of beers! 🍻

May I ask, what you mean about "high shelf the reverb to reduce air"?

As for the rest, points well taken, I think it'll be worth it to spend some more time with it. Such an enjoyable piece to work on...

Thanks again Ivan
Cheers
Victor
You're welcome, this is what the subforum is for, and I'm happy if I can help :) I also get an opportunity to play smart :D
I don't know what reverb you're using, sounded like an algorithmic one, they tend to be bright, so I usually to put an EQ on the reverb bus and reduce frequencies above 5k (and bellow 800Hz if I'm doing electronic, approximatelly). Some reverbs have these controls built in.
 
Top Bottom