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Superman March mix

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Superman March mix

Postby dmiraie » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:29 am

Any feedback would be much appreciated, thnx! ... march-satb
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Re: Superman March mix

Postby Steve A » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:04 pm

This is my all time favourite Williams score and a piece of music very close to my heart.

Firstly credit where credits due - there's clearly a lot of work that's gone in here to work out the very complex orchestration. I'm presuming you've done this by ear without the benefit of the score - I'm not even sure the original score still exists or is available as I recall that early Varese Sarabande recordings which were released whilst the original recording itself was still officially missing were made from a score that needed to be transcribed by ear. From what I can tell for the most part you've got it pretty close and that is no mean task - well done!

Despite this though it does still have a bit of a feel of a computer playing back a midi file, albeit a clearly well researched one! So if your goal is to try and produce a more realistic rendition as well as a musically accurate one, the things that are obvious to me as things to explore in improving it would be:

- You're missing the percussion parts which are a fairly essential part of the arrangement.

- I would explore variations in tempo - it all sounds quite rigid at the moment. As an experiment you could try loading the original recording and then using tempo changes to match your up the style of William's original conducting. I bet there are a lot of dramatic changes in tempo along the way.

- I suspect also there's a lot of quantisation in this, so look at ways of humanising it. For the fast parts, you could try adding subtle time shifts on a track by track basis or adding random variations to the timing of notes (I'm talking milliseconds here). You could also temporarily deactivate the tempo map, slow it right down and play some of the less challenging parts by hand.

- You need to work on the dynamics. Some of the parts, whilst presumably accurate are far too loud in places and stand out more than they should and take you out of the moment. I'd go as far as tweaking velocity on a note by note basis, some of the trumpet trills for example all sound as if they're the same volume and that can't be how it would played for real.

- Finally I'd be interested to know what reverb is in play here. It doesn't yet sound like a group of musicians all playing simultaneously in the same space and I wonder if the library you're using is applying it's own internal individual reverb on an instrument by instrument basis. If so, try turning it all off and then create a single master reverb channel using the most realistic orchestral hall verb you have at your disposal and then send levels to it from each instrument using aux channels (adjusting to take account of the relevant position i.e. front to back of the instruments). This may help especially with some of the less realistic sounds, principally the brass which currently sounds a bit dry and 'plonked on top'.

These are the things that jump out at me immediately as someone who knows the piece very well and I hope they are useful pointers to you rather than come across as over critical, as they are not intended to be. I'm genuinely impressed with the amount of work taken to get it this far, I've only ever dabbled in trying to recreate convincing orchestral parts from libraries and it is a daunting task!
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Re: Superman March mix

Postby blinddrew » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:23 pm

Posts like this ^^^ remind me why I love this place. :)
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Re: Superman March mix

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:50 pm

+1 Bravo to Steve A for going into so much helpful detail! :clap:

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Re: Superman March mix

Postby dmiraie » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:37 am

Thanks very much for the feedback Steve!

To get the sound, I used NotePerformer 3 via Sibelius. Do you know if there's a way to humanize timing/dynamics within Sibelius?

With the audio files, I did do quite a bit of volume automation within Logic, trying to get the sounds balanced.. Can you give any other examples of "far too loud" parts so I can better address what you're referring to?

I've been playing around with master reverb (via Space Designer) and can already see it makes quite a difference. I hadn't considered the "front to back" positioning though. How would you go about positioning the 4 parts? Is "front to back" preferable to equidistant?
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Re: Superman March mix

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:40 am

Interesting. We've recently got NotePerformer 3 (my wife is the composer and main user) and this very much reflects our experience of it. That is, you'll never make it sound as good as a piece crafted using Vienna or EastWest or some such by somebody who knows what they're doing and puts the time in to doing it right; on the other hand you can get an awful lot further than Sibelius's native sounds and produce stuff that is surprisingly convincing all things considered. (See comments from me and Exalted Wombat in this thread here).

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