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Looking for feedback before sending to master. Swedish orchestral folk music.

erikradbo

Active Member
Hi again,

I'm still stuck on this Swedish 1940s folk singer songwriter called Evert Taube. This is one of his more delicate pieces, lyrics are poetic and starts "Sleep on my shoulder, the night is hiding your blushing cheek under it's wing". My translation and my apologies to mr Taube.

This is with a female vocalist, vocals are a bit smudged to make it restful. Music has some troubling elements on purpose, but are the loud tones coming in too loud? Or should they be more prominent? And would you place the vocalist further back?

Comments on the last pieces has been very helpful. I'm hugely grateful for any comments, large or small on this one as well.

 
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ism

Senior Member
I’m really starting to love this genre of 40s-Swedish-orchestral-folk.

Very lovely.

Only suggestion - maybe a bring in a quiet pedal in the first verse a bit sooner. The extended verse of just piano and vocals risk taking you out of that space if you go for too long without even a little bit of violins. Just a thought.

I think you perfected the mix and the reverb though.
 
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erikradbo

erikradbo

Active Member
I’m really starting to love this genre of 40s-Swedish-orchestral-folk.

Very lovely.

Only suggestion - maybe a bring in a quiet pedal in the first verse a bit sooner. The extended verse of just piano and vocals risk taking you out of that space if you go for too long without even a little bit of violins. Just a thought.

I think you perfected the mix and the reverb though.
Thank you! I really dread mixing, always happy to hear that the result is good.

And solid advice regarding the arrangement, the piano is probably lonely for a bit too long, adding a pedal tone or some strings a little earlier should do it.
 

ism

Senior Member
I think both the really interesting thing, and the really hard thing about this project is the way you're blending the two worlds of orchestral and trad.


So I suppose I shouldn't say that you've perfected the mix - I really don't know enough about mixing to comment definitively. But I do think that compared to your first track, you've worked out a good balance that lets the different elements sounding like they somehow belong together.


I also think that that the minimalist elements of the orchestration, as well as the textural elements, are also really working to avoid overwhelming the spare beauty of the vocals (which would make it an ochestral piece with vocals on top), while remaining unapologetically orchestra in nature (as opposed to just an orchestral accompaniment to a folk track, which would be a different thing entirely).

With, as I was saying above, the caveat that there's times where it certainly makes sense to really create some negative space for the vocals, the sin quo non here is really to keep the two worlds - universes of musical discourse even - sounding like they belong together.


So again, some kind of string pedal in the first verse, or something to prevent the vocals +piano from detaching into their own world, would help.


Similarly, while I like the minimal wind in the second verse, I think that it's texturally a little bit too ... I don't know, pure, maybe? And the risk is for the two worlds to start un-blending, like oil and water, giving you juxtaposition rather than unity.


I'd be tempted to suggest something like a textural, but not-too-crazy sul tasto evo from OACE. Or maybe one of the gentler wind evos from Orchestral swarm. Or even a woodwind with a strong progressive vibrato (I especially love the bass Cl in SSW for its progressive vibrato).


I'm not sure why, exactly, but while I think that to go minimal,and create a bit of 'negative space' for the vocals is a great idea, a certain of orchestral texture is somehow necessary to reminds us that to keep us in the orchestral world also.

Again, just a though.


Are you going to be releasing an album at some point?
 

Ivan M.

New Member
Hi Erik,

Sounds lovely!

I would have some suggestions regarding the production aspect of the track:

0:21 - 0:30 Strings: fade them out more and sooner, the chord sounds static and flat, and it's masking the piano. It will also make a better transition to the voice part.

1:17 and 2:56 resonant tone: it hurt my head, so I suggest pushing it back a few db.

The piano: it's too heavy in low frequencies and at moments overpowering. I would just EQ it somewhere between 100-700 to remove that energy (maybe a dynamic eq to preserve the color in more quiet passages).

I am listening through consumer headphones, but still, you want it to translate well.

Other than that, nice job! :)
 
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erikradbo

erikradbo

Active Member
I think both the really interesting thing, and the really hard thing about this project is the way you're blending the two worlds of orchestral and trad.


So I suppose I shouldn't say that you've perfected the mix - I really don't know enough about mixing to comment definitively. But I do think that compared to your first track, you've worked out a good balance that lets the different elements sounding like they somehow belong together.
They are very different, but in fairness they're so on purpose and the vocals in the track you're referring too was made to play more of a second violin in that piece, to mimic how it would be in a live concert hall with an orchestra and a vocalist. Not to say that idea couldn't have been implemented in a better way.

I also think that that the minimalist elements of the orchestration, as well as the textural elements, are also really working to avoid overwhelming the spare beauty of the vocals (which would make it an ochestral piece with vocals on top), while remaining unapologetically orchestra in nature (as opposed to just an orchestral accompaniment to a folk track, which would be a different thing entirely).

With, as I was saying above, the caveat that there's times where it certainly makes sense to really create some negative space for the vocals, the sin quo non here is really to keep the two worlds - universes of musical discourse even - sounding like they belong together.


So again, some kind of string pedal in the first verse, or something to prevent the vocals +piano from detaching into their own world, would help.
Thanks for these thought through remarks. I was trying out adding just a tiny bit of strings in the first verse, but couldn't make it really fly. Might be because I've gotten used to the original arrangement. Should give it a second shot though, I think it really makes sense.

Similarly, while I like the minimal wind in the second verse, I think that it's texturally a little bit too ... I don't know, pure, maybe? And the risk is for the two worlds to start un-blending, like oil and water, giving you juxtaposition rather than unity.


I'd be tempted to suggest something like a textural, but not-too-crazy sul tasto evo from OACE. Or maybe one of the gentler wind evos from Orchestral swarm. Or even a woodwind with a strong progressive vibrato (I especially love the bass Cl in SSW for its progressive vibrato).
1:17 and 2:56 resonant tone: it hurt my head, so I suggest pushing it back a few db.
Yea those naked tones...the artistic idea is to cause a slight headache in the midst of all the softness, but not an ACTUAL headache. I've already pushed it back a lot since the start, but yea, don't want to be spreading migraine.

Are you going to be releasing an album at some point?
Yes, this is interpretation four out of five in total, when they're all done there will be a digital release.

0:21 - 0:30 Strings: fade them out more and sooner, the chord sounds static and flat, and it's masking the piano. It will also make a better transition to the voice part.
True. I'm considering changing a little more with them, for some reason I'm struggling to make these intro strings as pleasant as the ones later in the song. Fading might do it.

The piano: it's too heavy in low frequencies and at moments overpowering. I would just EQ it somewhere between 100-700 to remove that energy (maybe a dynamic eq to preserve the color in more quiet passages).

I am listening through consumer headphones, but still, you want it to translate well.
Couldn't agree more. I found taming it so hard (Olafur felt piano), so that's the one note I left to the mastering guy, and he did a good job making it sit better in his first tryout master.

Other than that, nice job! :)
Thanks :)!
 

Ivan M.

New Member
Yea those naked tones...the artistic idea is to cause a slight headache in the midst of all the softness, but not an ACTUAL headache. I've already pushed it back a lot since the start, but yea, don't want to be spreading migraine.
Maybe use a bowed glass sample, or lowpassed piano note, or simply stack the sound you have in octaves, just to have more harmonics to make it audible (without getting too loud).


True. I'm considering changing a little more with them, for some reason I'm struggling to make these intro strings as pleasant as the ones later in the song. Fading might do it.
Seems to me the strings are playing a 4th (5-1) interval. That interval by itself can be a bit harsh. The piano is changing chords, so the strings playing a static 4th can only provide color, which means they have to move back in the mix, and let the piano to the front. There's some dissonance at 0:28 - 0:29, caused by two notes, first which I can't identify right now, and a second caused by a piano bass note moving up from 5# to 6, which creates a minor 2nd with the lower note in strings (which is 5 in the scale). Hope I heard it right.
Why not play a 6th in strings (F#-D), it might work better with the piano harmony.


Couldn't agree more. I found taming it so hard (Olafur felt piano), so that's the one note I left to the mastering guy, and he did a good job making it sit better in his first tryout master.
This is best fixed in the mix. In mastering, if you put an eq and a band compressor to control it, it will affect everything else. But here, since the voice is a bit higher and there are no other instruments in that problem range, it can probably work.
 

petec

New Member
What a lovely, gentle, thoughtful piece. Thank you for that. Pleasant and interesting.

My only concern is that the Vocal and the Piano appear to be competing for front of stage at times. And when the orchestra gets its opportunity to stand out, it's slightly reticent to do so (eg melody prominence rather than volume). But that's purely my opinion on a single listen.

The whole thing has a hymnal quality about it. And very nice on the soul. Thanks
 
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erikradbo

erikradbo

Active Member
@petec @Sid Francis @Ivan M. @ism Grateful for your comments, just dropping this note to say thanks for all your insights. Haven't had time to look into the comments yet between my daytime job and a 6 months old daughter at home. Hope to be back in the studio next weekend to try out your input.
 

ism

Senior Member
@petec @Sid Francis @Ivan M. @ism Grateful for your comments, just dropping this note to say thanks for all your insights. Haven't had time to look into the comments yet between my daytime job and a 6 months old daughter at home. Hope to be back in the studio next weekend to try out your input.

I hope you'll post a link to where we can buy the final project once it release - looking forward to it!
 

ScoringFilm

Active Member
Beautiful piece; well done. I think the strings are too high in the mix in comparison to everything else (i.e. strings too loud) - I think it may well be the reverb wash as all the other elements are quite centered and dry. Small observation on an otherwise great job.

J
 
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erikradbo

erikradbo

Active Member
Have been trying it all out, ended up with fading intro strings earlier and taming the piano a bit more. Couldn't get pads to work in the first verse, and realized to late that @ScoringFilm probably was right about the strings volume. Thanks again for now!
 
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Active Member
Very nice mix! Everything sounds very round.
But to be honest: I think the orchestra is too big.
The voice and piano are so beautiful together. But the orchestra is too much, somehow. I would make the orchestra more subtle. Maybe like in the song "Älska mig for den jag är":
 
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