Shout-Out To PCRecord (Marco) :)

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by DonnyThompson, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    @pcrecord

    A HUGE thanks to Marco for helping me with the string arrangement on a song I'm working on for my friend and client, Terry Fairfax.

    We've been having some trouble - not with the parts, but with the sounds of the samples.

    We've been looking for a very intimate, small string section sound - not a huge orchestra thing, and the sample libraries I had on my end just weren't cutting it, so after he offered to help, I sent Marco the midi files, and he ended up giving us not one, not two, but three choices - for each instrument - cello, viola and 2 violins.

    He took his valuable time to help a fellow musician/engineer, and I wanted to thank him publicly for his generosity, and willingness and dedication to do what it took to get them right.

    He's a true pro, and without a doubt one of RO's greatest assets, one of the reasons that this forum is as cool as it is.

    Thanks again Mon Ami ' - you really helped me out with this one, and I won't forget it, either.

    I owe you one, buddy. ;)

    -donny
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Nice to hear this - thanks to you both.
     
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    @pcrecord @audiokid @Boswell @kmetal @paulears @Paul999 @Reverend Lucas @Kurt Foster

    Another round of thanks is in order. :)

    Along with giving me the strings that I've mentioned in my first post, Marco also ended up providing me with some alternate piano samples to play with as well.

    The piano performance on this track is done very well, in that Terry played it so " expressively" ... there's a lot of feather-light touches followed by momentary crescendos, and sometimes it can be difficult to find the right sample that goes with that ultra-dynamic kind of playing style; not all midi pianos react/respond the same way to individual note velocities, or, in wide differences of velocities between notes and chords.
    Although, for that matter, not even all real pianos react the same way, either. LOL

    I've posted a rough mix here, I haven't quite gotten the low end balance that I'm after yet, so this is just a quick mix to show what Marco provided... I'm gonna put this away for a day or two and get my ears fresh, before I do a final mix. For the final, I might even go so far as to post several different versions with different pianos, although IMO the one that is there now was really only one that really set itself apart from the others - and not so much tonally - because there was nothing wrong with the overall sound of the others - but this one stood out in the way it reacted to Terry's very expressive style on this song.

    So, many thanks once again to Marco for taking the time to do this. ;)

    Here's a rough. LOL... but it's a lot less rougher now, thanks to Marco. :)


    THIS LONGING UPDATED 4 APRIL 24 2015.mp3

    d.

     

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  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    IMO, if you're working with VSTi's, and obviously, it's a necessity at times ( as if we could have afforded to hire 4 real string players from The Cleveland Orchestra, along with a piano player on a real Steinway, right? - LOL), then sample choice is just as important as any other integral part of the mix. And, even if certain samples sound great on their own, they still have to sound good when attached to the part that has been written.

    It took some time to do this on this track - it wasn't like we just found 4 random VSTi strings, and the first piano we pulled up, and called it "done". ( I know many already understand this - obviously Chris and Marco) but I'm not sure that eveveryone gives this the thought it deserves.

    And I think it's important that engineers who are also doing arranging should know this - because it's becoming much more common these days for engineers to act as arrangers, too - that not all samples will just "automatically work".

    You have to be choosy, and marry them up to the performance in a way that compliments that performance, that reacts to the expression of the player in the way it was first heard during the song's composition - and that's not always an easy thing to do.

    I also don't believe this only applies to melodic samples, either... I think that drum and percussion samples factor into this approach as well.

    IMHO of course. ;)
     
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  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    INDEED!!! (y)


    I have DVZ Strings and a Kronos X. Atmosphere is another I want so much.

    Unless I was a billionaire and incapable of pressing keys,, loosing my fingers, this is all I've ever needed or wanted. Oh man, the first time I heard an Emulator II, I had to have it. I love samplers as much as I love instruments. And as long as I am happy, thats all I care about.

    VSTi vs the "recordist" I'm so blessed to be able to simply just be able to create music. I'm simply thrilled I am able to produce the music of a orchestra or what ever I hear in my head and make music. :love:
    I never get caught up in how anyone makes music. If it sounds good, thats what I look for and respect.
    I'm not one of those guys who thinks you need to hire everyone or mic it. I mean, so many recordist would rather use their crap studio walls in a song over being smart and using technology to make better sounding music. The way I see it, there are two kinds of engineers. One who only uses what they record and the others who are thinking about the song.
    I'm a hybrid musician, accomplished guitarist that isn't afraid to even sample my own work to make whatever he can to make a song. Sampling and Midi geek 35 years and counting :D
    Really all a sample is, is an extended recording device. ;) Kind of like your own collaboration system that uses a keyboard to execute the tracks..

    Here is a guy who has 100 soundtracks under his belt. He used to chart it all and bring in the symphony... This is how he and so many others have been doing it for years.
    http://www.audioimpressions.com/demos/music

    I never stop being moved over how one man can make such beautiful music on his own. These examples are 10 years back. Today, its even more amazing. Imagine, where we will be going in another decade.
     
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    That's incredible. There's absolutely no way I could ever accomplish that with real players, with the gear I have or the room I'm working in, No way could I ever get anything that sounds that good..

    And that's the biggest part of it for me as well. Even if I would have had the budget to get a real string section to do this song with Terry, I don't have the room for it - either in logistical size, ( I don't know where I'd put them) or in sound.
    There's nothing I could have been able to do here at my small studio with real players that would have ended up sounding as good as samples recorded in a world class facility using the best pre amps and mics available.

    Sure, if I had my old studio - which had a live/performance room that was nearly 1000 sq ft, (and a Yamaha Grand Piano) - along with a healthy budget - I would have considered using real string players with real piano for the track... but I don't have that stuff anymore. Nor do we have the budget for those things on this record. So what's the alternative? To not record at all? That's certainly not an alternative for me.

    And, in the end, it was still the both of us scoring and playing those parts. It's not as if we took some pre-recorded performance loops, and just slung them all together to make a "song" out of them.
    It still took creativity and talent to write and arrange those parts, note for note, deciding which notes worked and which didn't, and for Terry to actually sit down and perform that piano track in real time.

    ;)
     
  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

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    This new version is very good @DonnyThompson ! The instruments and the mix makes it more believable. I'd be interested to here the mastered version when it's done..
    It was my pleasure to participate in a small way ;)
     
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