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Lil' Music UpdateI just finished sequencing "I Dreamed a Dream." Next step is to replace the midi with better instruments. Finding a good set of string patches for the first half of the song will be a headache since it involves short, repetitious notes and most are designed for legato.
Finished the first draft of "On My Own." Well, not completely, as there are still quite a few instruments missing. But at least I finally got it all sequenced.
Man, this song is effin' crazily orchestrated (sort of marries well with brick Eponine though, hehe). I knew there was a reason why it stood out among the rest of the score to me.
I posted a preview below...it is by no means the final product! I lightly equalized the track and that's it, which explains the muddiness in some places. The final version will be properly mastered (well, I'll try, lol). The preview has three clips which fade in and out of each other.
As I mentioned before, the following instruments are missing...
- Harp (in the intro portion and most of the 2nd half)
- Double basses (the whole song)
- Mallets; Bell Tree; Bass Drum/Drum Set
- Guitar (it's there in the 1st half; missing from the 2nd)
- Cymbals (the one that's there is the wrong type)
- Electric Bass (It's there in the "And I know..." bit, then disappears...and so does the song's beat :S)
- Keyboard 1 (2nd half)
I need to tighten up the sequencing in order to make it sound more seamless and balancing the orchestra across the stereo image is going to be a real bitch. John Cameron layered a crapload of instruments in very tight spots. Most pro recordings of the show simply bury most of them in the background and focus on the strings and brass. I'm gonna try to make EVERYTHING audible.
Those strings still sound very "synthy." I'm thinking of using another set of strings, possibly from Synful Orchestra--they are much more expressive and they compress well. The French Horn used here is an awful quality soundfont, so forgive its lack of expression for the time being. I have much better brass but it's CPU intensive and I'd rather preview using lower-end samples and fonts.
The woodwinds will likely remain just as they are--I'm very happy with them. =)
Everything else, including that embarrassing cymbal, lol, will be replaced for the final version.
And I need to quit being so self critical!!!
Anyway, I should be posting a little something from IDAD in the coming days, so stay tuned!
||Wow. I'm afraid I have no critical feedback for you, because it just sounds gorgeous to me. Can't wait to hear IDAD.|
||Wow.... Goosebumps! Quique, you are amazing. Wow.... I am speechless.|
Ah. Fantine. Of all people on this forum, she really knows how many times I've flaked on this project, lol. Mark my words...I WILL get it done this time and not just one song but the whole show!
*Realizes he's been working on only two songs for the past two weeks...and, at that rate, he'll be finishing up the finale right in time for Les Mis' 50th anniversary. :S*
Top of the show...
||Holy crap, Quique!!! those sound awesome!!! What are you going to do with the finished product?|
I'm gonna...I don't know. I guess just share it with all my fellow LM fans.
(And knowing me, I'll likely continue improving it. *picky* *picky*)
I was looking at the sequenced notes earlier and realized I accidentally inserted a mute trumpet instead of a regular one. I knew something sounded slightly 'off' but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It was driving me nuts, lol.
Meh, I'll fix it later.
I've gained a whole new appreciation for "I Dreamed a Dream." I love the song but I used to think the orchestration for the first half was repetitive and just not very pretty.
I must say this is, to date, the single most difficult song I've had to sequence. And only for one set of instruments--the strings.
I mentioned before that the short, repetitive nature of the string section in this song would be a killer to get right since most sample libraries focus on legato and harsh, noisy attacks. The strings for this song require no attack between notes. There must be a smooth transition. Not only that, there has to be that "bouncy" quality and gradual fade-in and fade out that comes naturally with the player's bowing. Finding a suitable sample library turned out to be the least of my problems as I had to manually edit EACH note beginning and end velocity and add articulation as well (vibrato, bowing direction, grain).
Thankfully Big Fish Orchestral Collection provided such strings. I augmented these with additional strings from Synful Orchestra. They complement each other beautifully.
Below is a sample of the completed strings.
I kept my orchestra modest with only three violins, a viola, a cello, and a double bass. Included also are two french horns, trombone, a flute, and an english horn. I purposely amplified the strings for now, so the latter set of instruments are kept low-key in the background. Everything will be blended later.
I've yet to add guitar, harp, piccolo, trumpet, keyboards, and percussion. Anyway, I'll shut up now. XD
EDIT: Have I really been saying "legato"?
Actually, I meant to say staccato. Legato is what we want--smooth transition between notes without attack.
Talk about amateurs, lol.
EDIT #2: Bah! Just realized that I somehow managed to pan everything towards the left stereo channel for like 2/3 of the clip! LOL. It comes together towards the end. How I made such a mistake, I'm not sure. I'm still getting used to the automation feature on my software sequencer and I must've been playing around with the panning knobs unaware it was recording my every move. XD
I need to listen to my clips thoroughly (and with headphones since you can't really tell without them) before I upload them!
||I love it Quique! I would love to sing to it someday if you'd allow me|
||Of course you can! I'd be honored. =)|