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Need some good medieval/renaissance "folk" instruments.

kevthurman

Active Member
I'm needing to write some medieval/fantasy "tavern" music for a game, and I think I've encountered a bit of a hole in my libraries that I overlooked in favor of better orchestral stuff. Link below for the sort of stuff I'm talking about as inspiration. Lutes, guitars, small drums, tambourines, accordions, fiddles, flutes, zithers, bagpipes, etc. What are some good libraries for that intimate "bard" sound? I have the EW composer cloud, so let me know if I've overlooked some cool stuff in there too!

 

Henu

Senior Member
FYI, David Arkenstone - who is responsible for 99% of WoW's "medieval"- styled music pieces- uses a lot of Tari's libraries himself in the soundtrack of the game. Not in this particular song, though, but in many other (cinematic) ones.
 

Sid Francis

Senior Member
Just a hint: The Tarilonte Libraries are often sounding a bit rough, especially ERA 2 which I hardly use for this reason. You will end up with a much more raw sound than in WoW music. A sweeter sound can be achieved with Ilya Efimovs libs http://www.ilyaefimov.com/ and the instruments from Boulder sounds https://www.boldersounds.com/ Have a look at the Celtic Pipes there: Instant bard feeling for 39.95$ :)
 

Mason

Active Member
I have a lot of this and I recommend:

Highland Harps by Impact Soundworks (has a lyre and lap harp)

The Conservatoire Collection by Soniccouture (not worth full price IMO and hard on CPU, but have some good things)

Balkan Ethnic Orchestra (Awesome flutes, zourna and more, some beautiful soundscapes/pads as well)

Ilya Efimov’s Uilleann Pipes and accordion

Tarilonte’s Era 2
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
FYI, David Arkenstone - who is responsible for 99% of WoW's "medieval"- styled music pieces- uses a lot of Tari's libraries himself in the soundtrack of the game. Not in this particular song, though, but in many other (cinematic) ones.
He does? I love his WoW stuff and use Tari's libraries myself. Did you find an interview with David? Would love to know more about him and his work.
 

averystemmler

Active Member
You will end up with a much more raw sound than in WoW music.
A bit of a strange conclusion, given that David Arkenstone (allegedly) uses them in the WoW soundtrack.

I think a fairer statement would be that Era instruments take a bit of work to polish and fit into a mix. That I'll certainly agree with. They're very dry, so have an EQ and your favorite reverb at the ready.
 

Sid Francis

Senior Member
Listening to the demos of ERA 2 I stand to my statement. And "used " can mean different things: putting an instrument upfront and exposed or hiding it somewhere in the composition. And I found that whenever I wanted to play of these instruments as an exposed "solo player" it ended sounding rough. He places the microphones very near to the instruments which indeed gives you a very dry sound but also always an "in your face" sound. And thats not what I hear when I listen to the "bard like" tunes in Wow. Perhaps that will go away with EQ and massaging the sound but I would like to hear some examples. Up to now ERA 2 lies virgin on my harddrive. Though I mainly produce folk and renaissance influenced music I never used it... Perhaps my special taste in music
 
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kevthurman

Active Member
It will generally be difficult to emulate the WoW sound due to the fact that live players on these naturally very expressive instruments will be tough to compare to, but I think ERA 2 sounds pretty decent in the demos.
 

dflood

Active Member
Listening to the demos of ERA 2 I stand to my statement. And "used " can mean different things: putting an instrument upfront and exposed or hiding it somewhere in the composition. And I found that whenever I wanted to play of these instruments as an exposed "solo player" it ended sounding rough. He places the microphones very near to the instruments which indeed gives you a very dry sound but also always an "in your face" sound. And thats not what I hear when I listen to the "bard like" tunes in Wow. Perhaps that will go away with EQ and massaging the sound but I would like to hear some examples. Up to now ERA 2 lies virgin on my harddrive. Though I mainly produce folk and renaissance influenced music I never used it... Perhaps my special taste in music
I think I get what you are saying. I only have Celtic Era, and I’ve used some of the instruments in traditional Celtic arrangements. They seem to sit well enough in the mix with others, with some adjustments in EQ, reverb etc. In a perfect world, I’d prefer all instruments to be dry-sampled and close miked, so I can just ‘dial-in’ the virtual distance, room ambiance, etc. in a consistent way for all of the parts. But of course, in the real world such additive treatments seem to often fall short of a well recorded, wet sampled library.
 

averystemmler

Active Member
Listening to the demos of ERA 2 I stand to my statement. And "used " can mean different things: putting an instrument upfront and exposed or hiding it somewhere in the composition. And I found that whenever I wanted to play of these instruments as an exposed "solo player" it ended sounding rough. He places the microphones very near to the instruments which indeed gives you a very dry sound but also always an "in your face" sound. And thats not what I hear when I listen to the "bard like" tunes in Wow. Perhaps that will go away with EQ and massaging the sound but I would like to hear some examples. Up to now ERA 2 lies virgin on my harddrive. Though I mainly produce folk and renaissance influenced music I never used it... Perhaps my special taste in music
All fair points. Could be that we have different tastes in the "rough" department as well. I come to ancient instruments for their scratchy, buzzy, and otherwise imperfect nature, but I expect you do as well.

I've used Era 2 quite a bit in less authentic contexts, but I'll try my hand at something resembling tavern music, with an Era ensemble in a smaller space. I might have a few hours to rub together this week, and it sounds like fun.
 

Sid Francis

Senior Member
In fact I don´t buy these libraries for their buzzing and scratching artifacts. I´am more into the noble aspect of renaissance music. Celtic ERA would have suited my taste a bit better I think but since I play all kinds of flutes myself I thought I would not need them sampled. But the ancestors of our plucked and bowed faction are of interest and as a hint for kevthurmann: the lutes in Fluffy audios "Rinascimento" are gorgeous and very authentic. I just add them to my latest compositions and they work also very well....and they are miles apart from these in the "Conservatoire Collection" if I listen to the demos of the later right.
 
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Consona

Senior Member
I'm with @Sid Francis There's some excessive rawness about ERA's sound. Instruments sound like they were sampled very close to the mic or something. Even the close mic in Rinascimento (I only have the free plucked instrument) sound way more full and mellow, than the only mic in ERA, where it sounds like the instruments lack some frequencies or something, I just can't get the Rinascimento sound no matter how much EQ or reverb I use. Plus all the other mics, mid and far, give you way fuller sound than just one mic position. ERA bowed instruments sems to be way more playable, but I use other instruments because of the sound.
 
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