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On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

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On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:30 pm

So as many of you are probably aware, SonicState held a live event a week or so ago. I did not attend (I am 3,000 miles too far) but I did watch what they have put up on Youtube.

The Ty Unwin interview/examples were very enlightening to me. I know that this is nothing new, but the idea of layering different orchestral samples one atop another has never really occurred to me. Even though there wasn't time to demonstrate how the sounds were layered, I figured I would have a crack at it as I am putting together patch libraries on my JV1080 for an upcoming album.

The act of trawling through all of the sounds on the Orchestral I and II cards is definitely on the tedious side! I started with percussion because I thought that would be easiest and I doubt I will do much layering on percussion sounds; this was mainly an exercise to see if I made a Performance Patch with 15 of my favourite sub patches on it (on separate MIDI channels; 10 is reserved for drum or percussion sets) would it be easier to access them this way as opposed to the data wheel. Answer: It is.

So once that was out of the way, I set about going through the string sounds. Mr Unwin stated in the interview that he layers a solo violin for the attack with a slower, softer string sound. I ended up layering 4 patches onto the JV1080 and then balanced their levels to taste. The end result is nothing short of astonishing! Not only does it breathe new life into these old, crusty patches but the actual sound itself is (( H U G E ))! It has a nice, aggressive attack but also crazy warmth and depth to the sound as well.

Anyway, pleased as punch with the results thus far and now have to move onto brass, woodwinds, etc.

Once again, taking your time to set up the sounds in advance pays enormous dividends, even though menu diving is tedious and a ton of work!!
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby desmond » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:16 pm

+1

I think this was more common back in the "use MIDI modules to synthesize orchestras" days, rather than now with all the super massively detailed orchestral libraries as we had to do all we could to make a large sound out of limited resources.

I also enjoyed the Ty "demo", and could have easily enjoyed it if it was four times as long and more detailed...
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:58 am

Don't limit this to hardware - it's a rare orchestral arrangement where I don't layer entire string libraries together. It helps to mitigate the shortcomings in any one of the libraries.
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby Dave B » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:07 am

I'd also recommend also looking at something which doesn't sound ultra realistic. The string samples in my Kurzweils are lovely, but the ones in my Kronos are interesting - they are softer and a little more 'pad-like' (or are ultra realistic - very little middle ground). Combining something soft may give more of an ensemble sound than just realistic sounding samples.
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby Rich Hanson » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:13 am

Best string sound I ever came up with was a layer of SY22 (itself a layer of FM and sample), CZ230s and a GM/Sound Canvas string patch. I've recently started doing this sort of thing again.
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby Folderol » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:53 am

Interesting. I still have an SY35 (supposedly improved SY22) and a Sound Canvas. Maybe I should do some experimenting.
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby Rich Hanson » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:32 am

Only significant difference between the 22 and the 35 was the sample set - not sure of the details but I think the 22 was 12 bit and the 35 was 16 bit, and some of the samples were different. I wrote an Atari ST and later a PC based editor for them many moons ago.

They're still available online somewhere, you'd have to search threads in the other place to find the links though.
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:12 pm

Dave B wrote:I'd also recommend also looking at something which doesn't sound ultra realistic.
Good advice; I ended up layering both ‘real’ and ‘hyper real ‘ to get the sounds I liked.
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby The Elf » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:14 pm

#1 rule of layering: Everything sounds better layered with a Kawai K1... ;) :D
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby Wonks » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:28 pm

The Elf wrote:#1 rule of layering: Everything sounds better layered with a Kawai K1... ;) :D
Were you thinking of its Stratacaster preset? :D
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby BillB » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:38 pm

The Elf wrote:#1 rule of layering: Everything sounds better layered with a Kawai K1... ;) :D
Yes, but why, and does it work equally well with any non-Kawai products?
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby desmond » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:53 pm

The Elf wrote:#1 rule of layering: Everything sounds better layered with a Kawai K1... ;) :D

I tried layering a K1 with a K1, and it didn't substantially sound any better...! :tongue: :smirk: :headbang:
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby Folderol » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:58 pm

The Elf wrote:#1 rule of layering: Everything sounds better layered with a Kawai K1... ;) :D
WARNING
Don't try this with girlfriends :o :shock:
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby The Elf » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:12 pm

desmond wrote:
The Elf wrote:#1 rule of layering: Everything sounds better layered with a Kawai K1... ;) :D
I tried layering a K1 with a K1, and it didn't substantially sound any better...! :tongue: :smirk: :headbang:
Schoolboy error - when layering with a K1 you need a K1r/m. Tch! :roll: :lol:
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby The Elf » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:15 pm

BillB wrote:
The Elf wrote:#1 rule of layering: Everything sounds better layered with a Kawai K1... ;) :D
Yes, but why, and does it work equally well with any non-Kawai products?
Nope - only with a Kawai K1/K1r/K1m. Fairy dust, man, fairy dust! :angel: :tongue: ;)
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby BillB » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:23 pm

OK, I believe you :beamup:
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby The Elf » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:26 pm

BillB wrote:OK, I believe you :beamup:
:lol:
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby BillB » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:20 pm

I just want to come back to Ben as the OP and say thanks for drawing our attention to this. The YT video is here if anyone is interested.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LqWWSYby3DY

Also, thanks for the lateral thinking and exploration of doing the same thing in hardware (albeit JV samples) as Ty is doing with orchestral sample libraries - and for sharing that you found it to be a success. Makes me think about my JV-2080 more carefully.

My big take-home message from Ty though, is to spend as much time learning to play as getting into the Tech. As well as making a plea to his audience, he really proves the point with little snippets like at 24:30, where he effortlessly punches out an orchestral adventure scene theme, more easily than falling off a log. Oh, how I need to learn that and stop lusting after the next ‘thing’.

Elf, I blame you, cos it’s definitely not my fault... :headbang:
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby Dave B » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:18 pm

With orchestral stuff, voicing is everything. I once heard Sakamoto play a piece with a midi grand piano linked to a Korg T2. And it sounded divine. And the T2 isn't especially great sounding at strings. But then .. it _was_ Sakamoto .. he could burp "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" and it would still be wonderful

:)
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Re: On layering orchestral sounds and Ty Unwin

Postby Chevytraveller » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:36 pm

BillB wrote:I just want to come back to Ben as the OP and say thanks for drawing our attention to this. The YT video is here if anyone is interested.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LqWWSYby3DY

It was a truly amazing presentation and Ty is such a modest talent and a lovely guy.. I was lucky enough to be there on the day and the one thing that wasn't apparent in the video was everybody in the room's Jaw hitting the floor when Ty unleashed some of those amazing layered patches..

:bouncy:
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