"Victorium Exspectat" New Old Track

Here’s another old track of mine that I’ve remixed/remastered. This is a short, fun brass fanfare and mach for a typical orchestral brass section: 4 horns, 2 trumpets, two trombones and 1 tuba. The goals for this project was to clean up the reverbs, even the EQ, get the proper panning and wider stereo field, adjust the levels/dynamics and compositionally write a better counterpoint line for the trumpets.

I think I accomplished at least three of the goals but had a difficult time getting the right dynamics. Since it is a fanfare/march for brass, you expect it to be bold and a bit aggressive, but couldn’t find a happy middle ground where the instruments would naturally die off at the end of phrases but not lose too much power, so everything is just LOUD😁 Also, I used CS Brass for this but currently they seem to be having major issues working with the newest Kontakt version, so that could be a part of it.

The counterpoint lines for the trumpets do sound better, but still probably not the best as I might have some parallel 5ths/octaves I didn’t catch and some poorly resolved dissonances.

Composition wise, I planned out three parts: melody, harmony/rhythmic movement and a counterpoint line. This wasn’t always neatly accomplished as there might be too much movement happening between parts. Written in the key of C minor/Eb major with a tempo of ~112bpm and in 4/4 time.

Parnassus Musique · Victorium Exspectat
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I think the tune could benefit from more dynamic changes. As it is now it sounds too flat to me. The sounds themselves are also maybe lacking in color and impact. The end of the tune I find too abrupt.

Thanks for your feedback Harri. As I noted in the description, the dynamics within the instrument weren’t working quite right; it was either too quiet or too loud and I couldn’t execute some forte-piano swells the way I wanted. All told though, it is a heroic brass fanfare, so it’s going to be louder and in your face than subdued.

As far as sounds lacking color, could you explain further? Were you thinking different chords or different instruments altogether? Again as a heroic brass fanfare, I focused using more major chords and fifth intervals to give it that heroic sound.

To me it appears as if the samples themselves weren’t that good. I am not familiar with CS brass - maybe it all comes back to what you said about the dynamics not working quite as you intended. To me it sounds like all notes would have been played with the same velocity throughout the tune. The notes seem to be rather straight without any vibrato.

Thanks. Yes I agree, it does sound that way. I think that’s part of the technical problem and is frustrating because Cinematic Studios Strings and Brass libraries are actually top quality and neither the mod wheel dynamics or note velocities seem to be playing out properly.

I actually had to bounce the track several times because the horns would not play their initial notes at the set dynamic levels and I had to keep restarting the track :unamused: Let’s hope NI can fix to issues and then I’ll retry.

Just wanna shoot in here that there is a message on the website for cinematic studio strings that ni kontakt 6 have a bug that causes problems for css.

Thanks Fredrik. It’s definitely causing problems with CS Brass as well.

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I´m having another problem with css too. As soon as I open it and start working the vibrato on cc2 cuts off. And then I have to reassign it to cc14 or something else. Do you have the same problem? I´ve sent a question to Css.

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I haven’t experienced that, but what it does do is either not play notes at the set dynamic, usually they cut out, or it will play one note and then randomly sustain it ad infinitum until you stop and restart.

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That happened to me yesterday. But I could workaround by opening it in an older instance of Kontakt.

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Oh, I didn’t think of that! I still have Kontakt 5 loaded up!

This is a very convincing military style epic movie march; glorious chord sequence.

If I may make a suggestion about the brass. I’m always unsatisfied with brass sounds and don’t have the money fo the really good libraries. A nice way to take that artificial ‘chirp’ or ‘honk’ sound that the repetitive brass sounds make is to use Bus sends.

1.Send the source brass track to a Bus and apply reverb with pre-delay and filter out the subs.

2.LP Filter the source track brass down until it sounds distant and low down in the mix.

3.In the reverb track keep the upper frequencies you LP’d out of the source and mix to taste.

It softens up the ‘chirp’ sound and makes it sound as if the brass sounds are raising into the air the more reverb you apply and the higher up you push the air frequencies combined with the pre-delay. Makes the brass sound more real and ‘in the back’ of the orchestra.

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Hi Ciarán. Thanks for the tips. I do something similar to what you’re describing; run all the tracks that I want reverb on through a reverb bus, then add an EQ plugin after the verb and LP everything below ~4000Hz and HP everything above ~300Hz. I got this tip from @Geoffers and it works really well.

I did use Cinematic Studio Brass for all the parts and it is a higher-end library recorded in stage position on a professional sound stage, so I realize now that I probably didn’t need to add the reverb plugin and just use the naturally recored reverb and EQ it from there.

I will definitely give your suggestions a try and see what results I get. Thanks so much for listening!

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Thank you for the. Shout out matt! :smiley:

Yes, this tip works miracles for clarity when using reverbs. It also works great for delays too… you just do exactly the same thing.

The tip is actually more commonly known as the abbey roads verb technique as they developed it while recording the Beatles in Abbey Roads. :smiley:

@Ciaran_McGrath if you ever need help please feel free to message me. I’m more than happy to help out!

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No sir, thank you for the advice! :smile: I actually just went and listened to all my tracks on my Soundcloud page to gauge the difference in their sound and, boy, do my older tracks sound really quiet and muddy! At least this proves my ear for orchestration and EQing has improved! Got some work to do now.

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That’s awesome to hear. You should compile them and post on here. We would all love to see. :smiley:

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Perhaps I’ll get to that at some point, as I am in the process of trying to remix and remaster some of them, as you can see here. Right at the moment, I had an idea from the Nostalgic music contest to write a 3-part suite in the style of the Golden Age of Hollywood composers like Max Steiner and Erich Korngold, rather than Morricone, as they make me feel more nostalgia. I only have about 30 seconds of music, since I haven’t been able to work on anything for the past week ( my MIDI controller broke :anguished:) But so far I think it’s sound quite good :smile:

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