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Sometimes I'm hired to add strings, synth, drums, or produce tracks for singers. There are a lot of great songwriter / singers that just play guitar and can't really add much more to their mixes, but they know they need it.

This song came to me as a vocal and acoustic guitar track, and the songwriter said to do whatever I wanted to it. So I decided to go with a string trio - Violin, Viola and Cello.

I used 'Vienna Instruments' for the sounds and played in the parts on the keyboard. The songwriter will suggest changes and then add in my string tracks to his mix, giving it to his publisher to pitch to artists.

This mix is not really 'mixed.' The vocal is too compressed and nothing is eq'd. But it allows you to hear the strings. Some parts sound amazingly real, others not so much. If they like it, I will try to talk them into getting real players. If not then I will go through and make it all sound more real by adding more controller data.

What do you think?

Chris

shewasgone-mmp-scratch-a.mp3

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Comment by Chris Merritt on January 17, 2010 at 3:59pm
Good points! With pop stuff, I have to be careful about not making the chords to rich, with too many extensions and such. Even seventh chords can bring it out of pop and more into 'real' music! And even too much counterpoint can make it sound less pop. I deliberately kept the cello up in order to allow room for bass guitar, in case they wanted to go in that direction.

I'll post here and let you know what the client has to say about it!
Comment by Adrian Allan on January 17, 2010 at 3:51pm
Great glissandi on those strings. A real attempt made to imitate the guitar parts too. It's a matter of personal choice but I would have gone for just richer chords rather than quite so much clever counterpoint and maybe brought the cello out more (didn't hear the cello much in its low range). But who am I to say - an mere amateur compared to you, the professional.

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