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Update: Feedback on classical piano with strings

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Update: Feedback on classical piano with strings

Postby mkeihl » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:01 pm

Earlier I asked for feedback about a classical piano piece with strings & trombone in this thread https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 16&t=58929 , and we have made a new version. Any feedback is welcome, this is a work in progress.

https://soundcloud.com/michael-keihl/in ... ack-please
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Re: Update: Feedback on classical piano with strings

Postby JamesKitcher » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:25 pm

Hi Michael, just having a listen now.

I mostly write electronic though I do listen to my share of classical music, so hopefully can be of some help.

Do you use automation much? I ask because the piano sounds mostly well balanced once the lower-end instrumentation begins, but at the start where it's playing solo, it sounds a tad thin... as if it's had too much low end taken off, and / or you've used too-steep a curve (eg would use 12db slope rather than 48db) on the EQ.

The instrumentation... are all these from kontakt etc multisample libraries? Panning... I know an orchestra doesn't sit bang down the middle, with various instruments positioned L / R in the spectrum, but it feels like some of your instrumentation is too hard-left (strings noticeably).

Reverb... again would be useful to know if you recorded these elements live in a room, in a recording environment, or used multis. As all-in-all, it feels a bit sterile; can't tell if this is lack of room mic or lack of adding your own.
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Re: Update: Feedback on classical piano with strings

Postby mkeihl » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:42 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

It's a combination of real strings and Eastwest Solo sample libraries. Hollywood Orchestra etc. I'm not mixing this myself. What I'd like is more reverb on the tune, maybe that can help with the "sterile" feel.
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Re: Update: Feedback on classical piano with strings

Postby Dave B » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:43 pm

Listening again, I can hear improvements, but still think it needs more changes. The first change is with the piano - the performance needs to change. The introduction is too staid and needs to be more fluid. A proper pianist would play softer in the left hand than the right partly for dynamics and partly to emphasise the melody, but there would still be dynamics and changes. Also, the intro can be slower to establish the piece. Later on, you do move the mellody up an octave and that helps. But generally, I'd want the piano to have more movement sonically.

The string arrangement seems to have an identity crisis - it's as if it wants to be a quartet, but seems to be arranged more for a larger section. And I would expect slightly denser orchestration as it's a little 'scratchy' in it's sound. I'd also expect an appropriate space for the level of orchestration - quartet would be a room or small chamber and a bigger section should be a hall.

But that's just me.

TBH, if I were you, I'd be looking for someone to help not just with the mixing, but with the arrangement as well. The best suggestion I can give is that PM The Elf and retain his services and he can help both on the keys and the arrangement (he has form in this area) and I'm sure his rates are more than reasonable. There are others out there who can also do this kind of stuff, but a) you seem to be using one already and it's not really happening and b) I know and trust The Elf - both personally and professionally - to deliver great results...
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Re: Update: Feedback on classical piano with strings

Postby mkeihl » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:29 am

Yes, the strings might need to be a bit closer and also some reverb adjustments. This is a work in progress mix, btw. Not finished.

So this "Elf" is a pianist you recommend? Maybe not for this piece, but perhaps for some other song in the future, sure.
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Re: Update: Feedback on classical piano with strings

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:58 pm

mkeihl wrote:So this "Elf" is a pianist you recommend? Maybe not for this piece, but perhaps for some other song in the future, sure.

The Elf is one of the more notable characters on this forum. He is also a keyboard player of great skill and a recording engineer of great knowledge. You could do a lot, lot worse.

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Re: Update: Feedback on classical piano with strings

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:17 am

Sorry man, this is not an improvement really. Same piano sound that is not happening. Now the strings are all panned left for some reason. Still no natural spatial sound. Were the strings recorded in stereo? I don't hear any natural stereo sound just some weird panning that is distracting. There are some arrangement clunkers that need to be fixed.

I can hear the song in my head as it COULD sound.

Take a listen to some good piano and string music that you really like and then go back and forth between that recording and this. Then imagine the sound of that good performance and recording but this song instead.

Now, how to make that music in your head come out of the speakers?
Step #1: Fix the string arrangement.
Step #2: New recording of a new performance; this time with feeling and proper recording technique and a real piano.

It's all about the song itself and that sonic vision in your head. Without a good song and a vision to guide you, this art is just random knob turning like a scultpor with a block of granite and a chisel who starts hacking away not knowing what he is carving.
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