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Lord Of The Rings Symphony?

agobbett

New Member
Hi Guys, I would like to share a WIP of my Lord Of The Rings Fellowship Of The Ring piece based off the Lord Of The Rings Symphony. This started off a while ago as a ‘lets test some new libraries’ track, but I was enjoying it so much I kept adding to it… then it turned into a 15 minute monster that i’ve been working on in between other projects. It’s purely a labour of love for the music now. I have started doing something similar with the other two movies, but one at a time is enough of a challenge for now!

I’ve gotten to a stage where i’ve heard it so many times i’m starting to lose perspective on whether it is good or not, and how I can improve it any further. So i’m hoping for some critical feedback so far on what’s not working, or how I can improve on it.

Right now i’m still in the midi/orchestrating phase and haven’t started any real mixing, apart from adding an overall reverb, and a quick EQ on the busses to sweeten it up while i’m putting it together. I’m planning on bouncing out all the mics and balancing it in a separate session. I know there’s a few things poking out here and there and a few bits that don’t stand out enough but i'm try not to get drawn into moving faders just yet.


What I would like feedback on:
- Programming, which areas can be improved, anything specific that sounds weak.
- Any transcriptions that are off? My transcription skills aren’t always the best.
- Anything else that would help me get this done!

What needs to be replaced with real musicians at some point:

Solo Vocals:
00:00 - 00:30
05:00 - 06:15
08:40 - 09:20
03:40 - 15:20

Tin Whistle:
02:50 - 04:00

Solo Violin:
03:15 - 03:50

Cheers!
Alex
 

miket

Senior Member
I tried doing this a few years ago too! I'm planning to revisit it again soon with better VI's and overall skills.

The first thing that comes to mind when listening to this: did you play these parts live, or enter them note by note? There are some moments, particularly with the brass, that feel like they need some more "live" phrasing.

Also, and this is just a bit of mockup philosophy that you might want to ignore... don't wait until bouncing a zillion stems to balance things that stick out, or are buried! Get the performance right, and you won't have to muck about with much of that, if any.
 
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agobbett

agobbett

New Member
I tried doing this a few years ago too! I'm planning to revisit it again soon with better VI's and overall skills.

The first thing that comes to mind when listening to this: did you play in these parts, or enter them by hand? There are some moments, particularly with the brass, that feel like they need some more "live" phrasing.
I played in some of the simpler parts, but most of it is is drawn in. Do you have any specific sections in mind? Thanks for the feedback
 

Scamper

Sample Hooter
What a project. I like it so far, sounds pretty solid and detailed. Some parts and instruments I find a bit weaker, but I guess there are also limitations of the libraries with their behaviour and sound.
Can you list the libraries, that you have used?
 
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agobbett

agobbett

New Member
What a project. I like it so far, sounds pretty solid and detailed. Some parts and instruments I find a bit weaker, but I guess there are also limitations of the libraries with their behaviour and sound.
Can you list the libraries, that you have used?
Thanks Scamper. Here's the libraries i've used:

Berlin Woodwinds and Berlin Solo Woods
Cinematic Studio Brass
Berlin Percussion
Cinematic Studio Strings
Oceania Choir

Only other libraries are for specific smaller parts or solos.
 

Scamper

Sample Hooter
Looks like a solid lineup.
I can't really critique much here, but there is something about the brass.
For example, in the fellowship theme at 10:17, it feels like the repetitions in the brass aren't quite snappy and present enough. Do you use the repetition shorts there?

Also, at the loudest, the brass seems a bit thin. Since CSB has such a huge dynamic range, I'm not sure if it might help to tame the dynamics a bit there. Maybe the orchestration and voicing also plays a role there, but well, I couldn't do it better.

The character of the sound surely is also personal preference and I'm not too much into the top level dynamics of CSB. So, just my thoughts here, still a great WIP mockup overall.
 
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agobbett

agobbett

New Member
Looks like a solid lineup.
I can't really critique much here, but there is something about the brass.
For example, in the fellowship theme at 10:17, it feels like the repetitions in the brass aren't quite snappy and present enough. Do you use the repetition shorts there?

Also, at the loudest, the brass seems a bit thin. Since CSB has such a huge dynamic range, I'm not sure if it might help to tame the dynamics a bit there. Maybe the orchestration and voicing also plays a role there, but well, I couldn't do it better.

The character of the sound surely is also personal preference and I'm not too much into the top level dynamics of CSB. So, just my thoughts here, still a great WIP mockup overall.
Thanks for the feedback, I will take another look at the brass. I'm not in the studio at the moment so i can't check what articulations I used. You're probably right about taming the dynamics, I tend to push them a bit too much on the brass in general. I think i lowered the overall volume of CSB by about 8-10db compared to the strings, but it may be better to raise the volume and lower the dynamics to get a better balance. Something I will play around with.

Regarding the brass sounding thin. If i remember I put a temporary EQ cut around 300-400hz on the buss just to cut some of the mud while im putting it together. Hopefully when I get to mixing it I can rectify this.

I will post an update when I get chance to work on it some more.
 
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agobbett

agobbett

New Member
Really nice, but you got to give the The Bridge of Khazad Dum more love. Goblin war drums and all......
Thanks for the feedback, more percussion can never hurt :)

I will try and add some more war drums, I should have plenty of libraries to help fill this out.
 

miket

Senior Member
I'm not familiar enough with the Cinematic Studio series to know for sure (maybe @NoamL can confirm?), but it's likely that the strings and brass are already balanced with each other, so turning the volume down on the brass means you're bringing in harsher dynamics sooner than you need to in order to stand out against the strings.
 

synkrotron

A creator of Stuff
Hiya Alex :)

I'm just a punter and therefore unable to provide any meaningful critique or feedback.

I'm just a massive fan of both the books and the Peter Jackson movies which is why I was drawn to this topic.

So listening to this was a total joy for me. It's been a while since I have seen the LOTR movies but I remember most of the different motifs associated with the various plots and characters.

I will have to keep a lookout for The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

cheers, and thanks :2thumbs:

andy
 

Go To 11

Member
Holy smokes my man, this is incredible. Blisteringly epic climax, all the instruments sounded lifelike and real, and the parts all sounded correct. Genuinely flabbergasted, congrats. The one thought I heard during listening that I'd tweak is 3.31-3.42, the strings sounded a bit lifeless. Maybe some more movement in the dynamics would help here? Again, congrats. I can only assume this is a ton of work.
 

Scamper

Sample Hooter
but it's likely that the strings and brass are already balanced with each other
Yeah, they are supposed to be balanced, but I think in initial tests, some people here found, that you'll get a better balance, if you turn down the brass by 6-9dB and even use the room mics for the brass.
 
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agobbett

agobbett

New Member
I'm not familiar enough with the Cinematic Studio series to know for sure (maybe @NoamL can confirm?), but it's likely that the strings and brass are already balanced with each other, so turning the volume down on the brass means you're bringing in harsher dynamics sooner than you need to in order to stand out against the strings.
Would be good if @NoamL could give his insight. He is the master when it comes to Cinematic Studio :)
 

I like music

Senior Member
I checked with Alex (the creator/dev) for the CS series, and how they are balanced. He gave some good advice, and also mentioned an update on this point. I'm just checking with him if he's OK for me to copy paste his email to me, on the forum here.
 
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agobbett

agobbett

New Member
I checked with Alex (the creator/dev) for the CS series, and how they are balanced. He gave some good advice, and also mentioned an update on this point. I'm just checking with him if he's OK for me to copy paste his email to me, on the forum here.
Let me know when you hear back, would love to hear what he says.
 

I like music

Senior Member
Let me know when you hear back, would love to hear what he says.
I heard back from Alex. He said three things:

1) He'd rather I didn't post his response, since it would be too generalised to help with specific issues, and actually could cause issues if misinterpreted (since they were an answer to my own questions). However, he was very clear that he'll help absolutely anyone who reaches out to him. I'd definitely recommend doing this. He responds very quickly, and in a lot of detail.

2) He did point to this post by @NoamL , which actually might solve a lot of issues here! Definitely recommended you read this post.

3) I asked him about CSW, and he gave me a rough timeline. But I'm not saying anything on this in case it blows up causes him more CS-bump issues ;)
 
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