What am I missing here?

sIR dORT

Active Member
My ear keeps telling me that something (I don't know what, hence this post) is missing sonically here. Any ideas as to what's missing and what could help to give it a fuller sound?
 

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Mike Fox

Senior Member
Hmm...it sounds like there's a lot going on, but nothing going on at the same time. What about adding a melody? Also, sounds like you've got your basses and mids covered, but nothing really in the upper register (aside from the brass that quickly fades in and out, very subtle choir? as well as the woodwind runs/fx). A melody could also remedy that as well.
 

hawpri

Active Member
Hi David,

I like the idea and feel of the sound here, but what I think is sonically "missing" is the impression that the orchestration of this piece isn't focused on/unified in supporting any specific part. In fact, it's almost as if a mic position is turned down or off. Like Mike mentioned, adding a (clear) melody might do it. Just a thought.
 
OP
sIR dORT

sIR dORT

Active Member
Thanks for the insights guys. I'll experiment with a melody and hopefully that will help to fill it up a bit.
 

Ivan M.

New Member
Remove the toms, and it will immediately sound better. They are too high and don't fit the track character. Replace them with bright snares, or some similar ethnic percussion with transients, but subtle just enough to keep the groove.
(You could try pitching the toms down, but removing the high bass / low mid energy from them, but still not sure if it would fit).
 
OP
sIR dORT

sIR dORT

Active Member
Remove the toms, and it will immediately sound better. They are too high and don't fit the track character. Replace them with bright snares, or some similar ethnic percussion with transients, but subtle just enough to keep the groove.
(You could try pitching the toms down, but removing the high bass / low mid energy from them, but still not sure if it would fit).
Do you mean the Taikos? The toms are only playing a quick roll at the halfway point of the clip, whereas the taikos are playing that driving rhythm.
 

LowweeK

Monkeying with libraries
I feel like sonically the elements are not fit in the same room. It lacks higher frequencies
But I’d say first that it lacks surprise.
If you want to keep it more rhythmic than melodic - which is fine - you might want to introduce elements that will enrich the sound spectrum.
I’m thinking of instruments like cymbalom, twangy guitar or even sitar.
You could also add some pitched percs : xylo or marimba could bring some energy in.
You could place all these elements off beat.

Adding a melody will definitely bring something but it will also change the mood/purpose of this cue.

My 2 cents, given by a no pro composer. ;)
 

shawnsingh

Active Member
My first thought of what's missing is a good solid bouncy syncopated timpani + double bass strings drone/pulse on low D. And if you fill that in, some variations and flourishes will come to mind with cellos holding a sonorous counter harmony, and maybe if you want, some higher pitched rhythmic stuff like a subtle snare drum or very *soft* suspended cymbal swells.

Also, I think somewhere in the middle where you'd like to make the phrasing feel like it steps up in intensity, but not really move forward yet, that would be a great place to put a high violins sweet sustain on the tonic, maybe doubled in octaves.

Also, this clip is too short to really say if anything is "missing". This could be a great intro or exposition to a repeated section that adds melody on top of the same repeated texture, and that could then develop further. So thinking that this will fit in some larger context, it might be just fine.

A lot of other nuances I think minor changes might bring out the character of this a lot more. (1) I think the swells in the horns are slightly too loud compared to the rest of the textures, the woodwinds and strings get masked and sound weak. (2) Also I feel the tonal bass elements are either missing or a bit too quiet - it feels like you may have mixed on headphones that have good bass, and don't feel it's missing in your listening setup? (3) woodwind runs are a great touch, but I think you may want to program them to be slightly more messy, if possible?. (4) Choir sounds awkwardly hidden and I only hear one choir line in mid-range sopranos, it feels like it would be a beautiful sprinkle, but kinda wish it was at least doubled in octaves, or maybe doubled with altos harmonically. It might be nice to hear if there are syllable chords in the choir. (5) Somewhere in the middle, I felt the rhythm got too abstract and I lost track of where the beats are. I think it may have something to do with the misalignment between just a few too many instruments (I know it helps make performance sound more authentic, but in this case the beat got lost too).

Finally, just to be clear, the reason I have so many thoughts about it in the first place is because the basic premise of your clip was actually pretty great and interesting. So yes, it's sounding really interesting already.
 
OP
sIR dORT

sIR dORT

Active Member
Here's where the piece is at right now (nowhere near finished). Hopefully this will give you guys some context. I did add a melody to the first part of the section we were talking about (didn't have time to get the second half of it done) but couldn't find a way to get those taikos away without completely losing the momentum of the part.
 

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