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SSO Mockup - "Dartmoor, 1912" from War Horse

Karma

Spitfire Audio
Hello fellow MIDI tweakers, I'd like to share what I've been working on in my free time for the past couple of months. I recently purchased some John Williams scores and wanted to mockup something that to my knowledge hadn't been done before. It was definitely a challenging piece at times (tons of divisi and exposed parts), but overall I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out.

I had plenty of help with feedback and mix advice along the way, so big thanks to Jdiggity, Blake, Andy B, Paul, Farkle, Lawson, Ding and the rest for tolerating the relentless questions!



All of the libraries used are Spitfire:

Chamber Strings (layered with Solo Strings)
Symphonic Woodwinds
Symphonic Brass
Joby Burgess Percussion
Orchestral Grand
Skaila Kanga Harp

Dropbox link with the .wav here.
 
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Tanuj Tiku

Senior Member
Excellent work Karma!

I am sure this was not easy to pull off and you have done a great job at it. The only suggestion I have is to add some close mic into the mix or bring it up if its already on. The instruments need a little presence. Specially strings.

From a programming point of view, I thought the woodwinds were not realistic in phrasing but that is because of how Spitfire woodwinds are. It is very difficult to work with the legatos and manage that massive hall in the back. It does have a good sound but very poor playability.

Something like a VSL flute might give you better results on such a piece of music because it will sound more musical even at the cost of production aesthetic.
 
OP
Karma

Karma

Spitfire Audio
Excellent work Karma!

I am sure this was not easy to pull off and you have done a great job at it. The only suggestion I have is to add some close mic into the mix or bring it up if its already on. The instruments need a little presence. Specially strings.

From a programming point of view, I thought the woodwinds were not realistic in phrasing but that is because of how Spitfire woodwinds are. It is very difficult to work with the legatos and manage that massive hall in the back. It does have a good sound but very poor playability.

Something like a VSL flute might give you better results on such a piece of music because it will sound more musical even at the cost of production aesthetic.
Thanks Tanuj! I'm a bit of a sucker for distance in samples which is why there isn't much close in there, although I did layer Solo Strings in the hope of adding a bit more detail. The mix in general is actually based on a live performance from the John Williams Prom in 2017. If you compare that to the soundtrack it's quite a significant difference in terms of balance!
 

Tanuj Tiku

Senior Member
Thanks Tanuj! I'm a bit of a sucker for distance in samples which is why there isn't much close in there, although I did layer Solo Strings in the hope of adding a bit more detail. The mix in general is actually based on a live performance from the John Williams Prom in 2017. If you compare that to the soundtrack it's quite a significant difference in terms of balance!
Aahh, yes the original soundtrack has great presence over all, specially with the strings and I am probably biased with the original score performance. The agility of the strings compostionally really works well in that recording context. I am sure that a different performance sounds a certain way.

Nonetheless, you have done a really great job! You absolutely captured the spirit of the music very well!
 
OP
Karma

Karma

Spitfire Audio
Aahh, yes the original soundtrack has great presence over all, specially with the strings and I am probably biased with the original score performance. The agility of the strings compostionally really works well in that recording context. I am sure that a different performance sounds a certain way.

Nonetheless, you have done a really great job! You absolutely captured the spirit of the music very well!
I'd post the recording here but I'm not actually sure if that's technically allowed... the BBC are pretty strict with their Prom stuff! Thanks a lot for your comments!
 

muk

Senior Member
Amazing work, very well done! Must have been a lot of work, but I bet you learned a lot as well while working on it. Keep it up.
 

DMDComposer

Member
Great work. I love this score so much. It's nothing new that J.W. hasn't done or said before, but its such a beautiful score and just great to listen to. A master working his craft.
 

Farkle

Senior Member
Karma, what I really like about this cue that you mocked up (and I think you really got there in so much of it), was that you paid such close attention to the musical performance of each line; everything really feels like it's being delivered with energy and expression; the mix is definitely top end, the spatial placement of the orchestra is superb, and the articulations balance really well. But you know me, I'm all about selling the line, the energy, and your parts really sound musical.

Great job, brother. Spot on!

Mike
 
OP
Karma

Karma

Spitfire Audio
Fantastic job! I am just wondering what mic mix you used because the spatial placement is top notch. Keep it up!
Thanks a lot! This is all mainly Outriggers and Ambient mics. As for the imaging/placement, I actually narrow the stereo images of certain signals a little bit (I think the woodwinds in particular benefit a lot from this). A nice thing about the Spitfire interface is that you can collapse/expand and pan specific signals right there, so I just used that. A little bit of panning to 'enhance' is nice too, as long as it's not on the roomiest mics!
 

rainierjmartin

New Member
Thanks a lot! This is all mainly Outriggers and Ambient mics. As for the imaging/placement, I actually narrow the stereo images of certain signals a little bit (I think the woodwinds in particular benefit a lot from this). A nice thing about the Spitfire interface is that you can collapse/expand and pan specific signals right there, so I just used that. A little bit of panning to 'enhance' is nice too, as long as it's not on the roomiest mics!
Thanks! Do you think the tree mics can be a useful substitute for the outriggers in your combination?
 

sinkd

Senior Member
Excellent work. I would say that the only slight weakness is in the overall effect of the strings. Woodwind and brasses were pretty stunning, actually.
 

miket

Team Dany
Yeah, I'd be interested to hear it with SSS for any unison string parts and SCS reserved for divisi simulation.

It's still fantastic, though. I really need to scrape together about $1700....
 
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