After the success of my LOTR mockup, and since I have too little work and too much time since I move back to Switzerland, I decided to tackle a new piece. I asked for suggestions and received quite a few... but finally I decided to go for what I consider the ultimate challenge for string writing mockup: the Adagietto from Mahler's 5th symphony. (Sorry @celloboe, not Atonement yet, but it does have some beautiful cello lines).
Every note has a specific articulation and direction and the dynamics are constantly changing, sometimes drastically inside the notes!
I decided to go with Cinematic Studio Strings to do this job. First because it has a beautiful romantic sound and that it sounds more defined (vibrato more together) than most other libraries. Also the advanced legato mode gives me a flexibility that is necessary for this style of music. Finally it is very consistent and homogenous, especially between the dynamic layers, which is absolutely crucial for Mahler. I still added a tiny bit of Embertone Friedlander Violin to violin 1, in order to give them an even more focused sound in some sections... Though I wish I had CSSS, it would probably be even better.
The harp is Harp 1 from VSL. Actually I didn't manage to make it sound exactly as I wanted, I should maybe try with Harp 2...
My method was to first get the tempo map right and enter all the notes more or more or less rhythmically correctly. Then I went back and instrument by instrument I programmed CC1, CC11 and chose the legato types I wanted (with the rhythmic adjustments necessary). Finally I went back to the beginning and balanced all the instruments using track automation.
So here is the result of my work. Even though there are much less instruments than in the LOTR video it actually took me longer to complete the piece. Reaper, once again, behaved absolutely wonderfully. Finally I also have thank to maestro Claudio Abbado (RIP) for his guidance and for the inspiration (listen to his performance with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra if you want to hear the original)!
For those interested the MIDI and RPP files are here: