There have been a few feedback to date, on the most current Zan Mei Zhi Quan to date.
Peter Lim (the worship leader for Johnson's wedding) says he loves the intro, and he says "Wow I am speechless, it is really very nice".
Sean says he loves the intro too, and that the GuZheng is really authentic, and blends well with the music.
Rainne from my workplace says she likes the Guzheng in the context of the music too.
YC however, says that the instruments actually sounded cheaper than this piece I made. http://soundcloud.com/patrickwoo/how-am-i-supposed-to-live-3. This was made with a collection of soundfonts, the Korg M1 Le soft synth, and some virtual instruments & generators from FL Studio.
This is interesting observation. YC is not musically trained or literate, to express exactly what is wrong, but he has a keen sense of what he expects to hear from a nicely produced piece of music.
So this is a challenge and a problem to overcome. I've just finished arranging the piece so I've just got out of the musician mindset, thinking about notes and harmony and musical lines. YC's comments have reminded me that I should also put more love into things that give the finishing polish to up the value of the piece, so it is closer to professional standards.
As it stands, I have already done basic reverb sends and levels balancing, including panning, on all my instruments. However each instrument is doing it's own send in their respective "players".
For example, the piano from Kontakt is in it's own Kontakt Pianos virtual instruments collection, doing its own reverb send and having its own reverb space configuration (maybe it's Hall A, cathedral, etc). My bass guitar is from Kontakt Factory Instruments collection, and its also having it's own reverb send with a different configuration (different delay duration, pre-delay values, reverb stereo spread, etc). Could be a reason why they are not sounding coherent.
I may need to fix this by sending things to an "external reverb" outside of the Kontakt player.
I may also have to look into widening my audio panning to give it a "bigger" feel. I might also have to re-look at my EQ to bring out unique band of frequencies in each instrument so they sit well together as a band.
Too many possibilities to test out. I may not have time to tweak this to be in time for the wedding worship. But I'll quickly do a bit of everything I've thought of to improve the mix, before mixing it down to 2-tracks for the wedding.