Template test: LOTR Lightning of the Beacons / VSTi mockup.

Bernard Duc

Active Member
I'm sorry if this is in the wrong forum, feel free to movie it. After moving back from the US where I was studying, I spent the past few weeks setting up my workstation and creating a new template in Reaper. I decided to do this mockup of "The Lightning of the Beacons" form the LOTR soundtrack to test my setup with a bigger project. All I can say is that I am extremely happy with how it performs and with the workflow (took just a couple of days) but I am still very new to creating this kind of big orchestral mockups so I would love to hear what you think about it and what can be improved!


The workflow is based around three main components:
- Reaper running on my macbook pro, it's the brain of the setup and where most of the work happens
- Lemur running on an Android tablet. It allows me to show and hide tracks as well as to switch articulations in the instruments (see this post: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=207818)
The articulation switching happens thanks to Tack's fantastic script: Reaticulate. Thank you!
- A custom PC that has all my instruments and articulations loaded at all time. I have all the samples on SSDs allowing me to use much less RAM (for the moment I have 32 GB installed and still some room left).


Here are the used libraries for this track:

Woodwinds: VSL
Brass: Spitfire Symphonic Brass
Percussion: Spitfire Percussion
Bodhran: Impact Soundworks, Forest Frame Drums
Strings: mostly Cinematic Studio Strings, Spitfire Symphonic Strings for some of the trills.

Please let me know if you have any question.

Since many people asked here are the MIDI and the RPP file: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VuBGjwivIgLu9PxDI-evOtaXym0wXsRb?usp=sharing

Cheers,

Bernard
 
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Jetzer

Senior Member
Nice! I tried to do this cue once but only came like halfway because I found it so painful to program. Your sounds really good.

The brass recordings in the original are amazing though, really snappy and these super short sharp attacks.
 
OP
Bernard Duc

Bernard Duc

Active Member
Nice! I tried to do this cue once but only came like halfway because I found it so painful to program. Your sounds really good.

The brass recordings in the original are amazing though, really snappy and these super short sharp attacks.
Thanks! The brass in playing is indeed fantastic in the original and it took a lot of programming to get even close from it. The hardest was the bass trombone and tuba line. It’s absolutely epic when they come in in the original!
 

Richard Bowling

Active Member
Very impressive! Thanks for posting all the details as well. Cinematic Studio Strings really shine on this mock up!

What Reverb did you use to blend in VSL WW with the other libraries?
 

Kyle Preston

I accidentally do things on purpose
Wow, well done Bernard! Doing this piece with VIs is like swinging for the bleachers and you did a great job. The only thing that sticks out in a negative way to me is a few of the brass parts, particularly the high brass shorts around 1:04 - 1:34. The strings sound great though! Seriously, well done man.
 
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Bernard Duc

Bernard Duc

Active Member
Very impressive! Thanks for posting all the details as well. Cinematic Studio Strings really shine on this mock up!

What Reverb did you use to blend in VSL WW with the other libraries?
Thank you! CSS is quite amazing, though I had to EQ it to give it enough top end (other wise it cannot compete with the rest). I also added some excitation in the medium-high.

For VSL I first used EQ (pro-Q 2 which I am evaluating and will buy because it's fantastic), then the free Proximity plugin and finally VSR 24 which I use for all my reverb needs.
 
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Bernard Duc

Bernard Duc

Active Member
Wow, well done Bernard! Doing this piece with VIs is like swinging for the bleachers and you did a great job. The only thing that sticks out in a negative way to me is a few of the brass parts, particularly the high brass shorts around 1:04 - 1:34. The strings sound great though! Seriously, well done man.
Thanks Kyle! "Swing for the bleachers"... after living 5 years in the US I still learn new expressions!
And thank you for your comment, very useful! I listened on my phone (yes, the phone speakers) to the section you mentioned and I hear what you say. Somehow I cannot hear it on my studio monitors. The monitors are new so I still have to get used to mix on them. To get the short notes to sound more or less correctly I had to cheat (the two 16ths are the first half of a multitongue sample followed by a tenuto). To improve it I think I would have to record all the articulations on separate tracks and then do some audio editing. But maybe just EQing the articulation would already make an improvement... to try
 

celloboe

Getting Better!
Really good mockup Bernard. Well done. Thanks for offering to make the midi and RRP files available and I would certainly benefit from being able to study them both. Could you please provide download links. Thanks in anticipation.
 
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Bernard Duc

Bernard Duc

Active Member
Really good mockup Bernard. Well done. Thanks for offering to make the midi and RRP files available and I would certainly benefit from being able to study them both. Could you please provide download links. Thanks in anticipation.
Thank you, I will post everything later today.

For everybody: this wouldn't be possible without the amazing and free Reaticulate script by @tack! I still have to update to the new beta but the first version is already rock solid and very capable.
 

CQrity

Member
Awesome. Thanks for sharing!
A custom PC that has all my instruments and articulations loaded at all time. I have all the samples on SSDs allowing me to use much less RAM (for the moment I have 32 GB installed and still some room left).
Mhhh, what do you mean with that? Can I choose how much RAM is used?
My single machine also has 32GB and I already had Cubase crashing because of overload. I have a Spitfire template with a little LASS for shorts. I don't even use close to all articulations, just the most common 7 I think. Some instruments only come with 3 of those 7. I wonder if I can imrove that...

Any particular scripts beside Rearticulate that you find most valuable?

Thanks again for sharing :)
 
OP
Bernard Duc

Bernard Duc

Active Member
Awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Mhhh, what do you mean with that? Can I choose how much RAM is used?
My single machine also has 32GB and I already had Cubase crashing because of overload. I have a Spitfire template with a little LASS for shorts. I don't even use close to all articulations, just the most common 7 I think. Some instruments only come with 3 of those 7. I wonder if I can imrove that...

Any particular scripts beside Rearticulate that you find most valuable?

Thanks again for sharing :)
If you have the sample libraries on SSDs:
In Kontakt go to the parameters -> Memory -> set the preload buffer side to minimum and make sure to check the checkbox.

If you don't have SSDs you can still play around with different values. Basically the lower the value the less RAM is used but the more needs to be streamed from the disc.

As for script do you mean Reaper scripts? If yes there is obviously my custom script that allows Lemur to interact with Reaper. Otherwise Julian Sander's CC editing scripts are extremely useful. I have Reapack installed so I can immediately see if there are new scripts available and automatically install them if I want. I also have some custom actions that allow me to show or hide groups of instruments using Lemur.

 
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Bernard Duc

Bernard Duc

Active Member
Thanks for sharing this Bernard.
You're welcome! Some people on Facebook asked me cover some other cues. Is there any track (from another movie and ideally another style) that people would want to hear? I think it could be very educative for everybody since I would share again the MIDI and session files (and I learn tons doing that)!
 

celloboe

Getting Better!
You're welcome! Some people on Facebook asked me cover some other cues. Is there any track (from another movie and ideally another style) that people would want to hear? I think it could be very educative for everybody since I would share again the MIDI and session files (and I learn tons doing that)!
That's a really kind offer Bernard although I may not have the same taste as the majority, for me it's all about emotive string writing and right up there with the best is "Elegy For Dunkirk" from Atonement (there is a version by City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra without the male voices). It did win Dario Marianelli an Oscar so if you were ever able to attempt a mockup I truly believe that there would be a lot of folk eager to press the download button. Thanks again.
 

Henu

Senior Member
I've been fighting to get my SSB to sound even remotely like that. How the HELL you managed to do it? Kudos!
 
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Bernard Duc

Bernard Duc

Active Member
That's a really kind offer Bernard although I may not have the same taste as the majority, for me it's all about emotive string writing and right up there with the best is "Elegy For Dunkirk" from Atonement (there is a version by City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra without the male voices). It did win Dario Marianelli an Oscar so if you were ever able to attempt a mockup I truly believe that there would be a lot of folk eager to press the download button. Thanks again.
I love this cue, this would be a wonderful piece for CSS to shine! I think I might do this one next.
 
OP
Bernard Duc

Bernard Duc

Active Member
I've been fighting to get my SSB to sound even remotely like that. How the HELL you managed to do it? Kudos!
It's first about knowing all the articulations and patches available (since Spitfire tends to have many different articulations). I have them all constantly loaded in VEP and when I select an instrument track all the available articulations show automatically on my tablet running Lemur, so I can very easily test different possibilities. The other thing is to program almost every single note. SSB doesn't have the strongest attack and realistic brass writing is all about having solid attacks and then coming down as you can see in the video.