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Predator Theme for virtual orchestra

Discussion in 'Soundtracks Discussion' started by alexballmusic, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. alexballmusic

    alexballmusic Senior Member

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    I had a pop at recreating Alan Silvestri's Predator Theme with virtual instruments. The libraries are shown in the video along with some broad analysis of the harmony.

    What do you guys think?

     
  2. NoamL

    NoamL Senior Member

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    Petition to move this to Member's Compositions on the grounds that your mockup kicks ass and ain't got time to bleed!!! (and you clearly aren't claiming it as your music)

    Mix - nice, I think you need to move the percussion groove back a lot, the piano back a little, and bring the brass forward a little (also make it more dry and distinct). Also, snares-on on those snares! ;)

    There are some transcription errors if you don't mind me pointing out some things -

    bar 47 - violins should be (half rest) quarter quarter dottedQ-eight.

    2:21 - brass should be more staccato and militaristic I think

    bar 71 - same as 47

    87-90 - wrong notes, the "interjections" are supposed to be F-Db, E-F (for all instruments)

    91-98 - wrong notes, Trombones play E major (with the top voice doing the 5-#4-5 decoration, the other voices just repeat E and G#). Then the next measure the horns copy this exactly - same octave. Then back to trombones, then horns. Then at 95 everybody moves up to G major, but the same idea. The tuba goes from low E staccatos to low G as well.

    99-102 these are the wrong chords too, IMO. It's hard for me to hear exactly but I think they're just major chords with the french horns doing a sextuplet warble on the same 5-#4-5 idea. Don't take my word for it on this one though.

    91-102 you could emphasize the crescendos more on these chords.

    I only critique because it already rocks ;) well done Alex!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
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  3. Kony

    Kony Senior Member

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    Really enjoyed this, Alex! Thanks for sharing :)
     
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  4. Anami

    Anami Active Member

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    Well done! Really like your channel. Great quality and craftsmanship. My compliments.
    One question, Do you search for specific kind of strings to layer with spitfire strings? Or is it enough that they are 'different'?
     
    alexballmusic likes this.
  5. Kony

    Kony Senior Member

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    I'm keen to know more about your layering LASS with SCS as well :)
     
    alexballmusic likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    alexballmusic

    alexballmusic Senior Member

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    Wow, thank you!

    Yes, I couldn't put the brass as far forward as I wanted as they gave themselves away as being midi. Certain sections were impossible to get the same sound, tried all the patches and articulation combinations and it was never right. Guess that's the limitations of the libraries I have right now.

    I wondered if something like the Bernard Herrmann library would have a closer sound off the bat. The original is relatively dry and close. And also a little distorted.

    Thanks for the transcription points. I have the score and worked from it, but did have to correct some things just sounded off, so obviously there were more things that were not right that I've missed. I'll go back with you notes and time stamps and check.

    Thanks again, that's really awesome of you to actually go through it and feedback.
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    alexballmusic

    alexballmusic Senior Member

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    I bought LA Scoring Strings first in about 2012. Then added SACS 18 months ago. I had some Sable patches before that too.

    They seem to work well together and blur the sound enough to help the realism a little a little bit more than when they're in isolation. Particularly as this cue has both violin parts and viola in divisi a lot, so you have different instruments defining each part. Sounds less homogeneous.

    Neither are a huge sound either, which I find works better. The big libraries sound more washy and less defined to me. And also less nimble, which is top of my priority list: can it play a fast line?

    SACS and LASS both can for the most part.
     
  8. South Thames

    South Thames Senior Member

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    Great stuff, Alex -- always look forward to your mock-up and this is superb as ever. I salute the great time, skill and care you must put into these!

    Question though -- I actually much prefer the tom-toms you've used for the third part of the percussion riff (cabasa, snares then tom-toms) but on the original recording it sounds like synth percussion used for the third part, probably a Synclavier I guess. You say you were working from the score (I assume that was in the messy hand of James Campbell, so I'm sure this wasn't easy!) - were the tom-toms scored for, or were you 'gap filling'? Also, the piano on the original is clearly a synth element (probably doubling acoustic pno I guess) - but it sounds entirely acoustic in yours?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  9. OP
    OP
    alexballmusic

    alexballmusic Senior Member

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    Yep hand written score, although have an engraved version that looks to have been made for live performances. Bit like the live versions you get of Star Wars themes.

    The percussion isn't on the original handwritten score. I've read in an interview with Silvestri that it was Synclavier.

    I decided to do a straight acoustic / orchestral cover and not recreate the Synclavier sounds on this occasion.
     
  10. South Thames

    South Thames Senior Member

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    Good call - sounds much better IMO.
     
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  11. NoamL

    NoamL Senior Member

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    Yep, the percussion actually sounds more impactful here than in the real track. :)
     
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  12. OP
    OP
    alexballmusic

    alexballmusic Senior Member

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    Thanks. I like the character of the original with those Synclavier samples, but thought this was a more interesting for a remake.
     
  13. Divico

    Divico Senior Member

    Great mockup. Love that you included a harmonic analysis.
     
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  14. KEM

    KEM Senior Member

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    Hey Alex, would you consider doing a mock-up of Danny Elfman’s iconic Batman theme? I’m pretty sure there’s tons of sheet music already out there for it, and I’d love to see the full thing in midi with you’re theory analysis over it, it’s so complex and I’d love to be able to understand it more.
     
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  15. OP
    OP
    alexballmusic

    alexballmusic Senior Member

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    Funnily enough, someone else asked me the exact same thing and I said I'd do it, yes. I've already got the score, it's just it's pretty huge and will take a while to put together and I've got other things I wanted to clear out of the way first. So might be in a few months time. It's an incredible theme, would be really interesting to get underneath it and understand how it works, definitely!

    I've just picked up Metropolis Ark 3 actually, and that will be very useful for Batman. In fact, I wish I had it when I did Predator as I could have done some of the sections way better with it!
     
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  16. KEM

    KEM Senior Member

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    Awesome!!! I’m excited for it!!!
     

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