Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Hi all, 

This will be my first post on the forum. 

I wanted to ask for some feedback on this piece I created for a storyboard short film I've been working on. 

It's mainly a string piece. And it's the first string composition I ever do. Also, I am not a professional musician. I've been learning by myself in my free time. My composition and structure knowledge are relatively limited. I simply apply the things I listen in pieces of composers I like. 

One thing where I've found I am not sure, is the correct balance of the different instruments. For instance, in the piece, I loved the viola's counter melody line. But, then, I couldn't be sure where is the correct level for each. I mean, How do you know if the violas, or the cellos are overpowering the rest or if in real life this level or balance will never happen?

Another thing I wanted to ask, is for people to tell me without hesitation, how midi or artificial the piece sounds. I really want to learn how to listen to the little details so my mock ups can improve. 

Thanks to all in advance. I really appreciate it. 

Views: 190

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Welcome to the forum Augustin, this is very good especially for a first string effort. I like the blend you have here but of course there are many ways to highlight any one instrument, you should try them all. The only way for you to know what orchestras sound like is to listen to live orchestras and quality recordings of live orchestras as much as possible and compare that to your own recordings.  And listening to others on this forum will give you an idea of what is possible with midi mockups.

I like it. I do think that even strings need to breathe. Some small rests would allow the ear to hear the piece better. But what do I know? I too am a composer with no formal training.

A very pleasant piece. The balance is basically ok as you've spread the parts out very well. There are moments when you could increase the volume of the top violin part briefly, around 0.45". It gives this great impression of strings arching above.

Very nice,

Great piece, nice emotion! Super start and buildup to 0.28. I think the viola (the countermelody) maybe is a touch too loud from here on? I'm not sure. Good blend overall. In the second half of the piece the phrases could use some breathing room or dynamics. Feels a bit static and not as emotional as the first half. First string composition? Wow! 

Eirik 

Thanks for your reply ingo. I listen to a lot of orchestral music. But, I've never done a real time comparison between my pieces and a similar orchestral piece. 

I think is a good advice. Thanks a lot

Ingo Lee said:

Welcome to the forum Augustin, this is very good especially for a first string effort. I like the blend you have here but of course there are many ways to highlight any one instrument, you should try them all. The only way for you to know what orchestras sound like is to listen to live orchestras and quality recordings of live orchestras as much as possible and compare that to your own recordings.  And listening to others on this forum will give you an idea of what is possible with midi mockups.

Hi Stanley, thanks so much for your reply. 

When you say "rests" you actually mean moments of silence or more of dynamics where some parts are in contrast very low compared to the rest?

Stanley King said:

I like it. I do think that even strings need to breathe. Some small rests would allow the ear to hear the piece better. But what do I know? I too am a composer with no formal training.

Thanks Dane. 

I did tried to spread the parts in open chords progression. I really like the strings in open chords. The increments in volume for the parts is something that drove me to insane craziness. Like, I am still not sure.... I could be adjusting that for ever. Specially the violins. I agree that maybe I concentrated too much on balancing the orchestra and ended up loosing dynamics. 

By the way, sorry for my ignorance, but what is exacntly 0.45"? Is it decibels? 

Dane Aubrun said:

A very pleasant piece. The balance is basically ok as you've spread the parts out very well. There are moments when you could increase the volume of the top violin part briefly, around 0.45". It gives this great impression of strings arching above.

Very nice,

Thanks so much for your words Erik. 

Actually, I first composed all the part starting from 0.28. Then, I started to think that it wasn't developing. That the music had some part missing, like an extract. And did the beginning. 

In terms of the viola, that was my biggest doubt. I still think the viola's are too high. But, when I lowered the violas, then, I thought I was loosing the second melody. So left it kind of high. I am still not sure about that. 

In terms of the flatness of the second part. I am very happy, that after listening to the piece again thinking on your comments, I think I can totally see it now. It has good harmony I think, but, it really lacks in dynamics. I didn't hear that before. Even the wave graph in soundcloud shows like a flat bar. I think it really needs more contrast in dynamics and more rest times like Stanley says. 

I will see if I can go back and find out a way to bring some dynamics with volume. Because, at this time, I can tell you I've listen to this piece so many times, that I am sick of it. I feel that I need to move on to a new piece where I can take what I've learned.

Thanks so much. 

Eirik Gisnås said:

Great piece, nice emotion! Super start and buildup to 0.28. I think the viola (the countermelody) maybe is a touch too loud from here on? I'm not sure. Good blend overall. In the second half of the piece the phrases could use some breathing room or dynamics. Feels a bit static and not as emotional as the first half. First string composition? Wow! 

Eirik 

I understand that you want to move one with another. If you'll revisit it sometime I'll be happy to listen to it again. I think there is much to learn from going back to older pieces and see what can improve :) 

I agree Erik... I am going to give it a rest for a bit. when my storyboards are done. I will put it in and revise it. Also, I am sure I will have to make it longer or fill another part for the short.

Thanks again

In a case like this, you need to mix the way you want. It's your piece. If you want the viola to be a certain volume at a certain point, go for it. If someone else were to mix it for you, they will put their own spin on it. If real players perform it, it will be different still.

Thanks Bob for your advice. This really helps a lot. Because I've been feeling kind of stress thinking that there should be a way and only a way to mix a piece of music. But, when you mention, that if you give a a mixing task to another audio engenier, between them, all versions will be different and each one right in it's own way. 

Maybe I should start trusting more my ears. 

Thanks again

Bob Porter said:

In a case like this, you need to mix the way you want. It's your piece. If you want the viola to be a certain volume at a certain point, go for it. If someone else were to mix it for you, they will put their own spin on it. If real players perform it, it will be different still.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2021   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service