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So this is a relatively new composition I titled Forgotten. I'd like critical feedback on the quality of writing, orchestration (this is a big one) and the overall mix. 

I'll be the first to say it, there is something missing in the overall production. I feel like there's a "clear brilliance" that's missing, like there's a "fog" over the composition. My thought is it's a post-production issue, that I could get more of what I'm looking for if I ran it through some analogue gear (for example an aural exciter to give it a bit of high end "air".) Or maybe the mix/master could just be better in general?

I've heard compositions with just sound libraries that really do sound "Big Screen" ready. So what's holding this piece back? Is it the post-production? 

Your feedback and advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Paul Cating

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Hi Paul,

Thanks for sharing your piece. I am not an expert on this so I'll just comment on what I can. As far as the quality of your writing, I say it is good. "Forgotten" really kept my attention the entire time and I really enjoyed the buildup and a feeling of moving forward. I don't have any detailed notes at the moment. I'll try to remember to jot down some thoughts as I give it another listen. I like it though - Something I could definitely hear in a climactic movie scene. Well done. 

Now, onto the production. I thought it sounded good and big - but you're right. There is something missing. It's not huge, but it is noticeable. If you can get your hands on some sweet high end outboard gear - I say GO for it. It's certainly not going to hurt and I do think it would help greatly. 

I'm no expert in this genre, but it sounds like perhaps you want to add more instruments doubling the melody toward the end, especially when the percussion comes in? That part sounds a little too "open"; the percussion is nice and thick but the melody line sounds a bit bare and somewhat overpowered by the percussion. You could perhaps also have the piano play chords instead of just the single-line rhythm to thicken it a bit more. Or perhaps you want to use a string section rather than what sounds like a single cello and single violin?

You could also try playing around with things like reverb and volume balancing; that might help?



Bobby Popolla said:

Hi Paul,

Thanks for sharing your piece. I am not an expert on this so I'll just comment on what I can. As far as the quality of your writing, I say it is good. "Forgotten" really kept my attention the entire time and I really enjoyed the buildup and a feeling of moving forward. I don't have any detailed notes at the moment. I'll try to remember to jot down some thoughts as I give it another listen. I like it though - Something I could definitely hear in a climactic movie scene. Well done. 

Now, onto the production. I thought it sounded good and big - but you're right. There is something missing. It's not huge, but it is noticeable. If you can get your hands on some sweet high end outboard gear - I say GO for it. It's certainly not going to hurt and I do think it would help greatly. 

Thanks! I really appreciate the feedback. I actually went and started looking at outboard gear. I've got this old mixer collecting dust so I hooked it up for some analogue EQ and I also picked up a channel strip that was on sale so when that arrives I'll hook that up and I'll have a solid analogue FX chain. Then I'll take a crack at a new mix, this time running it through the gear then making digital tweaks, hopefully that gives me more of that "big studio polish" that I'm looking for. Make it feel thicker and clearer at the same time.

Cheers!



H. S. Teoh said:

I'm no expert in this genre, but it sounds like perhaps you want to add more instruments doubling the melody toward the end, especially when the percussion comes in? That part sounds a little too "open"; the percussion is nice and thick but the melody line sounds a bit bare and somewhat overpowered by the percussion. You could perhaps also have the piano play chords instead of just the single-line rhythm to thicken it a bit more. Or perhaps you want to use a string section rather than what sounds like a single cello and single violin?

You could also try playing around with things like reverb and volume balancing; that might help?

Thanks for the feedback. I had some background strings under the lead so I'll try to bring them up a bit more and blend them better. I'll toy with it a bit and see what I can come up with!

Cheers!

Hi Paul, I like this just as it is. For a short work,  it is good .

Can you strenghten it by adding a bit more? sure... to a point.

Like a pinch more salt or a dash of cayenne pepper, I guess

it depends on who you are serving it to.  Try a few things and see

how it goes.   Happy harmonies    RS

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