Old 06-17-2020, 09:08 PM   #1
Dragor
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Default Farewell to an Adventure (Orchestral)

Hi everyone,

Finally finished an orchestral piece that I've been working on. Please enjoy!

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Old 06-18-2020, 02:30 AM   #2
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Excellent! I love it. What orchesta have you hired?
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Old 06-18-2020, 02:45 PM   #3
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Cheers! It's all samples for now. Perhaps one day it may be performed.
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Old 06-18-2020, 04:35 PM   #4
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Awesome!!

The amount of work you put into composing, recording and mixing is truly impressive. Love that you have retained the dynamics of a real orchestra.

The only problem I have with it is there is now no way I will let anybody hear my lame attempts at orchestral composition.

Well done.
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Old 06-18-2020, 05:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the kind words!

You should put your orchestral works out there. If you look at my channel, you can see the progression I've made over the years, and in the beginning my attempts weren't very good either. Orchestration does require a lot of time and dedication and it's really tough to master. Unless you're an extreme talent, everyone is going to sound lame at first, and I can certainly testify myself on this. Hang in there, and just have fun. Don't worry about sounding bad, it's all part of the journey!
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:01 PM   #6
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I know it is samples, was just kidding, even though it sounds nice, you can still hear it is not real. I had some friends from the biggest orchestra in the world as for paid musicians the Gewandhaus Orchester, I know what a real orchestra sounds like
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:03 PM   #7
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I know it is samples, was just kidding, even though it sounds nice, you can still hear it is not real. I had some friends from the biggest orchestra in the world as for paid musicians the Gewandhaus Orchester, I know what a real orchestra sounds like.
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:07 AM   #8
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this is quite the composition. great stuff. the orchestral parts sound a bit midi though, i think it just needs some more mixing and tuning of the MIDI CC curves, if i may say so
cheers!
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Old 06-19-2020, 10:05 AM   #9
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Congrats for the music!

I need to ask how did you make these video effect of the lines of the score coming in? This was very cool! at first sight I was expecting an graphical score because of the lack of lines them they come in hahahha.

also great work with the samples! I make some work using VSL and spitfire and know how this part of virtual orchestration needs work hahaha
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Old 06-19-2020, 03:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reborn579 View Post
this is quite the composition. great stuff. the orchestral parts sound a bit midi though, i think it just needs some more mixing and tuning of the MIDI CC curves, if i may say so
cheers!
Thanks for the feedback! Mixing is definitely something I'm continually working on myself. And yes I agree it sounds a lot more midi than I'd like and was definitely a thought while sequencing this. I'll keep this in mind going into the next one, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by daniellumertz View Post
Congrats for the music!

I need to ask how did you make these video effect of the lines of the score coming in? This was very cool! at first sight I was expecting an graphical score because of the lack of lines them they come in hahahha.

also great work with the samples! I make some work using VSL and spitfire and know how this part of virtual orchestration needs work hahaha
I'm glad you enjoyed the video effects! I do try and put an effort into how to present the score. It's done in After Effects. When you export a score to PDF, it separates it into different layers, and so you can grab the 5 lines out. The rest is a bit technical but basically you apply this expression that can control all the lines at once to make them longer. This is the tutorial I learned the concept from if you're curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFT6W9uSwbY He's using it to make objects follow another (transform position), but I'm using it on lengthen each line (trim paths).

And yes, sequencing an orchestra CONSTANTLY needs work, to the point you have to just let go and say 'it's good enough' in order to move on!
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Old 06-19-2020, 03:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragor View Post
Thanks for the feedback! Mixing is definitely something I'm continually working on myself. And yes I agree it sounds a lot more midi than I'd like and was definitely a thought while sequencing this. I'll keep this in mind going into the next one, thanks!



I'm glad you enjoyed the video effects! I do try and put an effort into how to present the score. It's done in After Effects. When you export a score to PDF, it separates it into different layers, and so you can grab the 5 lines out. The rest is a bit technical but basically you apply this expression that can control all the lines at once to make them longer. This is the tutorial I learned the concept from if you're curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFT6W9uSwbY He's using it to make objects follow another (transform position), but I'm using it on lengthen each line (trim paths).

And yes, sequencing an orchestra CONSTANTLY needs work, to the point you have to just let go and say 'it's good enough' in order to move on!
thanks for sharing! I will see the video, still learing the basics of after effects, do you know where I can find like a list of expressions to use?
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Old 06-19-2020, 04:29 PM   #12
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I do not unfortunately. All my knowledge comes from following video tutorials at the moment. I'm still fairly new to this myself.
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Old 06-20-2020, 06:30 PM   #13
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I can easily imagine this as a soundtrack for a movie with a grand sweep. The composition is so impressive that I find comments on midi articulations to be of minor import. I especially like the changes in time signature. Very impressive indeed.

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Old 06-20-2020, 11:26 PM   #14
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Thanks! I actually didn't intend to have time signature changes in it, rather it just happened naturally when coming up with the theme.
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Old 06-21-2020, 06:54 AM   #15
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Breathtaking. And crap, hitting reply stopped the video. Oops. 2:16 after that crazy string run up.

Some Britten influences?
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Old 06-21-2020, 03:38 PM   #16
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I definitely am influenced by Britten, though in this particular piece I'm actually trying to model the John Williams suites; "Fawkes the Phoenix" in particular. Just that idea of taking a melody and transforming it into its own piece.

The ending though is modeled after Mahler's 2nd/8th, and some of Alan Menken's finales like Pocahontas. Always loves those big grand finales, and wanted to try that out too.
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Old 06-24-2020, 05:22 AM   #17
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Excellent work, Dragor, and impressive orchestration. Easy to listen to over and over. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:12 PM   #18
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Oh, this is legit! I have experience playing in orchestras (I'm actually studying performance at University right now) so I know what an orchestral score is supposed to look and sound like. You clearly know what you're doing. What did you use for the score? Is that Reaper's output? Sibelius? Did you write the notation and then do the mockup or the other way around?

As for mixing, the main thing I would focus on is instrument clarity. Right now it sounds like a big mush of elements. Properly highpassing everything will do wonders, as will more careful use of reverb. Less is more. (And make sure you're highpassing reverbs too. That's a huge culprit.)
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:11 PM   #19
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Thanks for the feedback, especially from a player's perspective! I have a lot of respect for them, so this means a lot.

In regards to the scoring process, I am not the best at orchestral imagination, so at the moment it's a bit of both. I'll structure it out in Reaper, meaning just the bare basics of melody and harmony. I do it in a DAW instead of a notation program as I don't really want to deal with fixing incorrect notation caused by my horrendous playing; I want to focus on getting ideas down, and figuring out the overall structure. This is the hardest part, as I'll only continue if I feel like the composition has a strong foundation to build upon (I have a lot of sketches over the years which I'll have to go back to one day).

I'll then take those melodies and ideas and try to score it out in a notation program, in this case Dorico. I don't have to do it this way, I could just do a pure mockup, but I do this as an exercise to practice my orchestral imagination. I won't bother if it's trailer/hybrid styled orchestral composition. I'll get to a point where I'll get stuck and can't continue on, which is when I start sequencing what I've written so far which in this case ended up at about 60% of the final orchestration. I'm noticing I'm getting better with each composition and I'm able to finish more of the orchestration before I start the sequencing stage. I mentioned in the video description, I composed this in 2018 as I couldn't figure out the orchestration back then, so I started focusing on shorter pieces first just to get the hang of it.

When I do start sequencing, this is the closest thing I have to having an orchestra play my composition. During this stage, I will start hearing extra lines and orchestration on top of it that I couldn't hear before, and also mistakes in my original orchestration. So it starts to become a back and forth; sequencing new parts and adjusting my original score as I go along. As you can imagine, this is very time consuming, but kind of a necessary process as I'm still learning. As I get better at this, this will probably change. I'm hoping that one day I can make a full, almost complete orchestration filled out, before I start sequencing. I do understand the danger of relying on a sampled orchestra, so I heavily rely on recordings of similar works and try to make my best judgement.

In regards to mixing, yes I agree it could be clearer, thanks for the feedback on this. I tend to overwrite in which there are multiple melodies at the same time, so it's a little tricky getting the balance right. This is really a job for a dedicated mixer to do which I am not, though I do enjoy the process so I'll still try my best at it.

By the way, thanks everyone for commenting! This has been a little overwhelming, I didn't expect this much response, so thank you all!
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Old 07-02-2020, 05:01 AM   #20
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Very impressive! And, very dynamic too!

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Old 07-02-2020, 05:06 AM   #21
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Works really well.

Did you just use one orchestral pack or have you mixed different sources? Who did you use?
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:48 PM   #22
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Thanks. It's a mixed bundle of Cinematic Studio, Cinesamples, and Audio Modeling.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:47 AM   #23
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I'm glad you gave some details how you brought this project to finished piece.

In my pieces written w/ an older Finale, it warns about notes I input that are out-of-range (generally, based on beg, inter, advan player ability). As well, it warns when notes are just not possible for a particular instrument.

Does your Dorico provide you this, or are you familiar enough with the real instruments to make your pieces player-ready?

Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragor View Post
Thanks for the feedback, especially from a player's perspective! I have a lot of respect for them, so this means a lot.

In regards to the scoring process, I am not the best at orchestral imagination, so at the moment it's a bit of both. I'll structure it out in Reaper, meaning just the bare basics of melody and harmony. I do it in a DAW instead of a notation program as I don't really want to deal with fixing incorrect notation caused by my horrendous playing; I want to focus on getting ideas down, and figuring out the overall structure. This is the hardest part, as I'll only continue if I feel like the composition has a strong foundation to build upon (I have a lot of sketches over the years which I'll have to go back to one day).

I'll then take those melodies and ideas and try to score it out in a notation program, in this case Dorico. I don't have to do it this way, I could just do a pure mockup, but I do this as an exercise to practice my orchestral imagination. I won't bother if it's trailer/hybrid styled orchestral composition. I'll get to a point where I'll get stuck and can't continue on, which is when I start sequencing what I've written so far which in this case ended up at about 60% of the final orchestration. I'm noticing I'm getting better with each composition and I'm able to finish more of the orchestration before I start the sequencing stage. I mentioned in the video description, I composed this in 2018 as I couldn't figure out the orchestration back then, so I started focusing on shorter pieces first just to get the hang of it.

When I do start sequencing, this is the closest thing I have to having an orchestra play my composition. During this stage, I will start hearing extra lines and orchestration on top of it that I couldn't hear before, and also mistakes in my original orchestration. So it starts to become a back and forth; sequencing new parts and adjusting my original score as I go along. As you can imagine, this is very time consuming, but kind of a necessary process as I'm still learning. As I get better at this, this will probably change. I'm hoping that one day I can make a full, almost complete orchestration filled out, before I start sequencing. I do understand the danger of relying on a sampled orchestra, so I heavily rely on recordings of similar works and try to make my best judgement.

In regards to mixing, yes I agree it could be clearer, thanks for the feedback on this. I tend to overwrite in which there are multiple melodies at the same time, so it's a little tricky getting the balance right. This is really a job for a dedicated mixer to do which I am not, though I do enjoy the process so I'll still try my best at it.

By the way, thanks everyone for commenting! This has been a little overwhelming, I didn't expect this much response, so thank you all!
I'm several days late, but I really appreciate the in depth response! It sounds like you have a pretty solid process. I can definitely agree that it's better for creative flow to at least begin working in the daw. I haven't tried going back and forth between notation and daw, but it's something I'm interested in trying (although most of the music I make is more electronic, so there aren't as many benefits as there would be with orchestral).

Most of my orchestral stuff I make is made only in notation (I've never tried sketch using a daw, although maybe I'll try it sometime), and it's noticeably slower for me to sketch out ideas than when I'm working in a daw. But I find it's much easier to orchestrate and be really intentional about voiceleading and such when working with notation. There are definitely advantages and disadvantages.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:09 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gandsnut View Post
I'm glad you gave some details how you brought this project to finished piece.

In my pieces written w/ an older Finale, it warns about notes I input that are out-of-range (generally, based on beg, inter, advan player ability). As well, it warns when notes are just not possible for a particular instrument.

Does your Dorico provide you this, or are you familiar enough with the real instruments to make your pieces player-ready?

Thanks!
Dorico does have a range warning, and I'm assuming this is professional only. I have a rough idea of what the ranges are, though I keep it on, as it's still very helpful to me as it's easy to miss.
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Old 07-07-2020, 12:50 PM   #26
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Yeah, it shows the height of amateurism to release a detailed score with notation impossible to play. Still, in today's world, some would say, "who cares - it's the sound I wanted". My Finale showed numerous places where I was way out of the range for the piccolo.

Egg on my face. I can just see some player shouting, "Geeze, I need a bass piccolo to play this!!"
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