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Le Mepris (Theme de Camille) - VI mockup

Ultra

Member
Hi guys,

alright, sharing here my first VI mockup. This is done for educational purposes only, no copyright infringement intended.

This was orchestrated from the piano notes, as I do not have the concert notes. If anybody has the concert notes and could share them, I'd appreciate it. Would love to look at the actual orchestration and tweak things further.

I originally started this as a string lib comparison stress test... most libs did not sound good on their own. Maybe I'll post the individual versions of the single libs as well.

This is the final mix, using a combination of quite a few libs (OT|CSS|SF):


Hope u enjoy it... lmk what ya think ;)

Naturally, SoundCloud compression is what it is and does not come close to the clarity and depth of the original 24bit 96kHz version.
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
Welcome and congrats on your first track posting! :)

Ah, the age old question of how to mix string libraries. :) There are many times where it is useful (and probably required) to do so, but you have to be careful. Often a chamber strings library mixed with a symphonic library works well, or solo strings mixed with symphonic. Also, sometimes different parts can be played by different libraries.

The downside... I find that blending larger string libraries you end up loosing some of the definition of the libraries, and the stereo mix can be messed up to the point of becoming mush.

For this track, personally I would use CSS only, or at least as the dominant library, as my first attempt. Not to say the other libraries wouldn't also do it well by themselves - they should all be pretty good without you needing to mix them. The track has plenty of emotion and slow emotive lines that CSS really excels at. I don't know what issues you ran into... what you may be struggling with is the dynamics maybe? In the track above everything sounds as though it is the same dynamic.

Try CSS again and push the dynamics a lot harder. By that I mean use your mod wheel a lot, and only push it up to the very top occasionally. Using CSS you may need to add a bit of EQ to bring out the highs better, plus a small dose of reverb.

The second rule of string libraries (first rule is to not talk about string libraries)... always use the dynamics/mod wheel. A lot.

Re: SoundCloud quality. I find if I upload in FLAC format the encoding to MP3 seems to be fine, and the resulting quality loss isn't too noticable. I avoid uploading in MP3 format, as that means SoundClound will *transcode* the MP3... converting from one lossy version to another lossy version = bad!!
 
OP
U

Ultra

Member
Hi Markleake,

thanks for checking it out ! ;)

I uploaded a wav file to soundcloud, so same quality as a flac would provide. But after they internally convert/compress it obviously sounds a tad different.

I have standalone versions of this track for each library (just a single lib on it's own). All versions use full MIDI programming including obviously CC1 / CC11 etc.

Re CSS: it does not have the dynamic range to be used alone on this track, at least not to provide above result - not even close. CSS sound is good to for the harmony, and to provide a "bed" for the melody but not to carry the melody played by the violins. Not enough expressiveness and/or range. This can be improved with EQ, but then u lose other things. Best to layer with other libs that provide by default more clarity and pierce through, IMO.

If you listen to the original recording from the 60s, u will hear "more mud", meaning the violins going under a tad and less expressive, but since the melody is so hauntingly beautiful I wanted to "improve" on that.

Btw, Mural's standalone version outperforms CSS's standalone version of this track. Mural is 24bit 96kHz, and the difference is heard with proper equipment. But Mural has other issues.

what CSS immediately provided good results was the fast, repeating legato lines of the melody. CSS legato is good out of the box, although weak violins in the top range. Other libs needed much more work on the legato transitions of the melody.

re blending: u for sure lose some definition (when blending) as u build up frequencies. I could take some of the components out and end up with a much more defined sound that is sharper and has more clarity (it will have less richness). But I wanted to stay close to the original and not completely deviate from it.
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
I don't know the original track, so can't speak to how to imitate it. I was just commenting more in general, and how I would approach using libraries for this track. I think in a lot of cases it just comes down to personal preference though, and what you prefer in terms of workflow. Maybe the mix of the libraries causes the dynamics to be lost a bit? I certainly hear them being used, but the overall effect is quite flat, especially in some of the mid to lower strings holding longer chords. Could be just the original orchestration though, if it calls for that.

I think any difference between CSS and Mural is by far more to do with recording approach, players, location/room, etc. In terms of bit depth or rate it will make little if any difference. Particularly because the Mural audio chain is purposely passed through an analogue tape stage, any bit depth/rate difference between the libraries (within reason) won't really mean anything. Mural/SSS has a much fuller smoother tone than CSS, and more air and room tone. I really like both libraries, but tend to use SSS a lot more.
 

ghostnote

Vincit qui se vincit.
Very nice. The legato(?) lines however are a bit out of place here and there. I know it can be very time consuming messing around with those kind of things. Thanks for sharing.
 
OP
U

Ultra

Member
Hi ghostnote,

The melody is played by 1st violins in fast legato transitions, and this was by far the very hardest task on this piece. Every lib I tested had issues with that. Extensive CC work and layering multiple libs solved that.

Regarding the harmony: I only had the piano notes which were down stripped and had to orchestrate them and had to make some choices. I opted for legato transitions in most cases. Having the real concert notes would be helpful.

Thanks for listening.
 
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