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Friday, 12 April 2013

Where the Lord Leads Me

Where the Lord Leads Me

Hear this on SoundCloud.com

This is the title of my latest piece.

I intended for the music to be in a very soft and reflective/contemplating mood. Maybe for a romantic or uplifting visuals in mind.

Some statistics for this:
start / end date: 20130409 - 20130412 (3 days)
DAW: FL Studio 10
Library: VSL Special Edition 1 & 2
Reverb: VSL MIR-Pro24

Musically my challenge this time round is to create a personal and intimate piece in contrast to the big sounding pieces I've been writing.

In the technical department, I used only the special edition libraries from VSL for this piece.

I recently acquired VSL's MIR-PRO24 as well. This is my first piece using the physically accurate reverb and stereo positioning that's modelled from The Sage Gateshead (room pack 4).I used the space from Hall Two which is a smaller 10 sided hall that is more intimate sounding.

With the MIR-PRO24, I have to do away with panning and reverb in my signal chain for everything track, because the physical modelling of the acoustic space will now affect the actual directionality and reverberations of each instrument in the mix.

In addition to that, I find that the volume of each track also needs to be rebalanced because in MirPro24, bringing an instrument further back in the virtual space will also decrease it's volume in a physically accurate way.

I am using Vienna Ensemble as a multi timbral source to all my VSL instruments. So it took quite a while for me to set up the signal flow from each channel out to a mixer strip in FL Studio, and then add a MirPro24 instance an effects insert.

In total the number of instruments in this piece is only 8. MirPro24 limits the use of instruments to 24. Thus I think I will be able to work with this for quite a while before I actually come anywhere near to using 24 instruments. (of course I'll need to treat each section as a single instrument in my workflow).

In this piece I started relying more on expression controllers to control the expressive volume of the instruments. This allows me to continuously control the dynamic volume of the instruments on top of the existing dynamics resulting from note velocity. Long notes benefit a lot from this added level of control.
Graphical overview of the piece, with the expression controllers overlayed

Problematic areas
I feel that the problem with this piece is an audio engineering problem. The levels of each track isn't mixed such that it's clear when certain instruments step up to take the leading line and when others need to recede into the supporting roles.

I am not too happy with the timbre change of the piano when it's taking the lead and when I lower the volume down in the background. I am doing this currently solely with velocity changes.

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