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Sound feedback before master wanted: Orchestral folk music

erikradbo

Active Member
Hi again,

I'm continuing to explore the Swedish 1940s folk singer Evert Taube, this time in an orchestral setting. This is before mastering, and I'm looking for feedback on the sound scape but also arrangement. The vocals are kept quite by intention, since they aren't really the star of the arrangement, but maybe they disappear too much? And what about the piano?

I'm hugely grateful for any feedback comments, large or small.

 
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erikradbo

erikradbo

Active Member
Anyone else w an opinion on the volume of the vocals. No need to listen to all of it just skip through it. Do they need to be louder?

Thanks in advance :thumbsup:!
 

ism

Senior Member
Hi again,

I'm continuing to explore the Swedish 1940s folk singer Evert Taube, this time in an orchestral setting. This is before mastering, and I'm looking for feedback on the sound scape but also arrangement. The vocals are kept quite by intention, since they aren't really the star of the arrangement, but maybe they disappear too much? And what about the piano?

I'm hugely grateful for any feedback comments, large or small.

A very lovely, and striking sound. I'm not sure I've ever heard anything like this before. I really like it.

Just a thought though, perhaps rather then bringing up the vocal more to the foreground, another option might be to, I'm not quite sure how to say this, but immerse the vocals even more in orchestra more. Possibly by adding more reverb, or somehow getting the vocals even more into the same space as the orchestra ... or maybe by bringing more sustain strings in earlier ... or some early woodwind ..


... or maybe I haven't any idea what I'm talking about. But I really do like the sense of the vocal being, not a tradition forward lead, but somehow a part of the orchestral sound and, I wonder just how much farther you could push the concept.
 
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erikradbo

erikradbo

Active Member
A very lovely, and striking sound. I'm not sure I've ever heard anything like this before. I really like it.

Just a thought though, perhaps rather then bringing up the vocal more to the foreground, another option might be to, I'm not quite sure how to say this, but immerse the vocals even more in orchestra more. Possibly by adding more reverb, or somehow getting the vocals even more into the same space as the orchestra ... or maybe by bringing more sustain strings in earlier ... or some early woodwind ..


... or maybe I haven't any idea what I'm talking about. But I really do like the sense of the vocal being, not a tradition forward lead, but somehow a part of the orchestral sound and, I wonder just how much farther you could push the concept.
Thanks, I have tried to blend the vocals into the various reverbs of the orchestra. Might be able to push it further, pretty interesting idea.
 

averystemmler

Active Member
Very nice! I'm listening on little Sony earbuds right now, so I don't want to give much of an opinion, but I think the vocals wouldn't be harmed by a little more space.

I really like the way the orchestra sits. Would you mind sharing a bit about your reverb configuration? And also which library(s)/mic positions were being fed onto them.
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
I think the vocals should have some more space to them.

put a verb send, blend it in so that it sounds like it was atleast not just a vocalist recorded in a separate room, then pull the lows/mids back a little on the vocals - so it losses some of it's proximity effect without losing too much clarity. I like the decision to keep the orchestral stuff on the drier side, but the vocals are still too close sounding.
 
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erikradbo

erikradbo

Active Member
I really like the way the orchestra sits. Would you mind sharing a bit about your reverb configuration? And also which library(s)/mic positions were being fed onto them.
@averystemmler:

4 main buses: WW, Brass, CSS Strings, Tundra strings. Each have their own insert of Spaces (I) So.cal for the respective instrument, all using both high and low cut on the reverb. Most of the buses have some tape warmth from J37 (full reset), some of them are treated with a little eq and/or compression. There is some work with panning but not very much, but the stereo image is widened on all the Tundra patches to make room for the vocals in the middle.

WW is Tundra with either Tree or Tree and Outrigger mic
Brass is same, except for the tuba which is CSB, main mix
String are CSS, main mix, slight EQ and compression and Tundra, always using Tree, then adding close and ambient on some, using a channel strip with slight pre, eq and compression, some individual Tundra channels being cut quite heavily at 5k and up.
A single channel piano is CSP with all mics except spot, thinking about removing close as well, since I find the piano a bit to in your face. Also with Spaces.
Single channel percussions are Damage with some tape warmth, eq/comp and spaces
Then there's a sneaky Tundra synth in there as well on a single channel.

All buses send a little to a couple of the other buses to get some of the reverb from other instruments added. Everything is then sent through a bus with ValhallaRoom LexiHallD with 10% mix. On the master bus there is a SSLcompressor adding flavour without the needle moving.

Going through it now. I found an extra accidental instance of Spaces on one of the CSS channels. Sounds good, so it stays.

Good luck!
 
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erikradbo

erikradbo

Active Member
I think the vocals should have some more space to them.

put a verb send, blend it in so that it sounds like it was atleast not just a vocalist recorded in a separate room, then pull the lows/mids back a little on the vocals - so it losses some of it's proximity effect without losing too much clarity. I like the decision to keep the orchestral stuff on the drier side, but the vocals are still too close sounding.
@ProfoundSilence Thanks, I'm using a main vocal reverb send, and then some is sent to the orchestral reverbs, but probably not using a big enough room for the main one. And do you suggest lowering the vocals even further, except the highs, or to treat the reverb like this? Lowering the further wouldn't be my first thought, but I'll give it a go.
 

Damarus

Active Member
I actually agree, the vocals are like 1-2 db too low in some parts. I think it could definitely benefit from some soft compression as well. it sits a bit low in the beginning, then starts to blend a lot better toward the middle, then starts to get a little lost toward the higher dynamics at the end. You might have to use some volume automation to get them to sit where you feel comfortable. Ideally the vocals would sit slightly above the orchestra so you can hear that majestic voice.

Ultimately you know in your head how you want it to sound, so this is just our .02
 
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erikradbo

erikradbo

Active Member
I actually agree, the vocals are like 1-2 db too low in some parts. I think it could definitely benefit from some soft compression as well. it sits a bit low in the beginning, then starts to blend a lot better toward the middle, then starts to get a little lost toward the higher dynamics at the end. You might have to use some volume automation to get them to sit where you feel comfortable. Ideally the vocals would sit slightly above the orchestra so you can hear that majestic voice.

Ultimately you know in your head how you want it to sound, so this is just our .02
Yea, the vocals are volume automated like crazy, just want them to be almost too low all the time, but still not too low...actually had a vocal rider on top of the automation, but felt it lost some of the live feeling when it followed the orchestra too tightly. Still, finding it hard with the exact balance, in my head vocals are usually really on top things, but wanting to try something new here. Thanks for your cents!
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
I would simply not send much fully dry signal for the vocals.

if you want to pm me your piece without the vocals and then the vocals separate - I could PM you back what I (would) do. The idea is to push the vocals physically back without getting too wet, but it needs some wetness.

in a way it just feels like a nice dry orchestra with someone singing along in the control room - rather than someone singing in the same room with a close mic.
 

averystemmler

Active Member
@averystemmler:

4 main buses: WW, Brass, CSS Strings, Tundra strings. Each have their own insert of Spaces (I) So.cal for the respective instrument, all using both high and low cut on the reverb. Most of the buses have some tape warmth from J37 (full reset), some of them are treated with a little eq and/or compression. There is some work with panning but not very much, but the stereo image is widened on all the Tundra patches to make room for the vocals in the middle.

WW is Tundra with either Tree or Tree and Outrigger mic
Brass is same, except for the tuba which is CSB, main mix
String are CSS, main mix, slight EQ and compression and Tundra, always using Tree, then adding close and ambient on some, using a channel strip with slight pre, eq and compression, some individual Tundra channels being cut quite heavily at 5k and up.
A single channel piano is CSP with all mics except spot, thinking about removing close as well, since I find the piano a bit to in your face. Also with Spaces.
Single channel percussions are Damage with some tape warmth, eq/comp and spaces
Then there's a sneaky Tundra synth in there as well on a single channel.

All buses send a little to a couple of the other buses to get some of the reverb from other instruments added. Everything is then sent through a bus with ValhallaRoom LexiHallD with 10% mix. On the master bus there is a SSLcompressor adding flavour without the needle moving.

Going through it now. I found an extra accidental instance of Spaces on one of the CSS channels. Sounds good, so it stays.

Good luck!
Thanks for the details! I always love hearing how other folks are accomplishing things. It reminds me that there are a million ways to set things up, and most of them sound just as good as whatever method I've stumbled on for the day.
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
I love Swedish, I think any Germanic language sounds beautiful when sung - and it's not a surprise that my favorite baroque composers must have had good folk music growing up :)
 
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