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Really loving the round warm tone of felted pianos - plus some expressive string parts. All virtual instuments.

What are your thoughts?


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Lovely ambient track. Can add anything to the composition, but i did enjoy the overall sound. The piano was very mellow, as you were aiming for, and the light strings gave a relaxing balance. Just what I needed to start my day, thanks

Thanks Graeme, yes the piano tone is wonderful but it is really difficult to mix compared to non felted pianos - most of the tone is 200 - 600Hz so it does tend to get lost with strings and other instrumentation. lots of EQ trimming to make space for it!

Hi Nigel,

I have looked at those felt pianos as well. I like the soft character they have. This made good use of the sound. 

The composition itself  develops very well although you almost lost me after the 3:48 mark. The interval was just a little bit too long in my opinion, by maybe only a few seconds. The person who waits around gets to hear that very nice encore at the end!

To me, this seems more of a thematic piece that is complimentary to video footage. Powerful though in terms of it's potential when coupled with the right video. Notice I use the word "seems" quite often. I am allowing that it's only my take on it. The next person might be perfectly content to listen to this as a stand alone piece. "To me" it's thematic.

Thanks for sharing!

I enjoyed this a lot, and it's interesting to read how you've made use of the felt piano in your comment above. What I really like is how smoothly the music develops and changes over its length.

The quality of the sound is also very good. I was wondering what instrument libraries you are using, particularly for the strings?

I think one suggestion I would have is that at around the 4min mark there's a nice transition into one of the final sections. It could be more effective to introduce the drums at this point, so they come in with the Piano, rather than later. This is just is personal preference though, as it sounds good as is.

Thanks for sharing!

Thanks, James.

I use a lot of Spitfire Audio http://www.spitfireaudio.com In my opinion you can't beat the quality of their samples. FYI they are having a Summer Sale right now until 4th August. (I just picked up the BBC Symphony Orchestra CORE edition with £140.00 discount.

So on this composition I used the following:

Felted Piano is from Spitfire: Olafur Arnalds Composers Toolkit (so are the kalimbas)

Strings are a mixture - Some from Spitfire: Albion Neo, some from Spitfire: Olafur Arnalds Chamber Evolutions and some from Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra CORE

Drums and synths would be Kontack - Battery and maybe Monark?

I have my set up with 2 faders that control Expression and Dynamics and I move these as I am playing in to give the strings a natural feel (controlling the attack, diminuendos and generally trying to play like a string player would - this has made a huge difference to how "real' my strings sound.

The rest is just good basic mixing - gain staging, subtractive EQ (making space to avoid frequency clashes) bussing sections into summing channels and then just some light EQ and compression on the master bus.

Hope that helps.



James Richardson said:

I enjoyed this a lot, and it's interesting to read how you've made use of the felt piano in your comment above. What I really like is how smoothly the music develops and changes over its length.

The quality of the sound is also very good. I was wondering what instrument libraries you are using, particularly for the strings?

I think one suggestion I would have is that at around the 4min mark there's a nice transition into one of the final sections. It could be more effective to introduce the drums at this point, so they come in with the Piano, rather than later. This is just is personal preference though, as it sounds good as is.

Thanks for sharing!

Hi Timothy,

Yes the pause is an odd one - it was original 2 bars longer before the strings came in but it felt too empty, I trimmed it shorter and prefer this - The track is for an album I am working on so my hope is people will listen to the end - but as a soundcloud link I know people might click off at that point. All the tracks are about places I have lived - the album theme is Home - so I guess I have an internal movie in my head to accompany this. I did consider making videos for the tracks but that will eat into my composing time!

Thanks,

Nigel



Timothy Smith said:

Hi Nigel,

I have looked at those felt pianos as well. I like the soft character they have. This made good use of the sound. 

The composition itself  develops very well although you almost lost me after the 3:48 mark. The interval was just a little bit too long in my opinion, by maybe only a few seconds. The person who waits around gets to hear that very nice encore at the end!

To me, this seems more of a thematic piece that is complimentary to video footage. Powerful though in terms of it's potential when coupled with the right video. Notice I use the word "seems" quite often. I am allowing that it's only my take on it. The next person might be perfectly content to listen to this as a stand alone piece. "To me" it's thematic.

Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Nigel, that's a big help! I've been very tempted by that sale, so it's good to hear a positive experience from yourself on using Spitfire products. Thanks also for those mixing tips.

Hi Nigel,

Very nice! I enjoyed especially the atmospheric strings at the beginning, which you bring back later on to very good effect. My first impression was that the piano doesn't do much, but you do vary the repetitive pattern in subtle ways that just barely avoids becoming monotonous. I like the way you bring in the more expressive strings gradually, then add percussion, all the while steadily building volume. Overall the piece is nicely shaped, and the ending seems just perfect. I did have a similar impression to Timothy, that it seems thematic and would be a perfect accompaniment to the right video.

Thanks Liz,

I'm a bit of a fan of repetition and often keep the piano fairly even with maybe subtle variations while I let the strings do all the hard work. Glad you liked it.

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