Orchestral dealio

I started this one a long time ago and got stuck, so I put it on the shelf. I pulled it back up this week to try to finish it, and this is what I came up with. I think I’m actually quite pleased with it, although as usual, I couldn’t really find a good way to end it.

Any feedback is appreciated.


I listened to it a few times. I like the way it starts. I kind of wish the choir sound was a bit darker, maybe with a bit more texture. It’s a very round sound to me and doesn’t contrast enough with the two instruments that come before it. I like the second half better than the first half. Reminds me of Beauty and the Beast at times. The strings are nice. My biggest comment is probably that I can’t find a melody. I do hear a few things that repeat if I pay attention, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Too much variation, I think, fo it to stick. Too many unexpected turns.

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Interesting. When I was making this, I had thought that I was lingering on that melody for way too long, which is one of the reasons I tried changing it up so much, to keep it from getting stale. I wonder if that comes from listening to it too many times as I’m making it. I always feel like I’m getting too repetitive, when I guess in reality, I didn’t even give it enough time to sink in.

So… how do you keep time perspective on a song when you are writing it? Maybe that’s where it helps to come up with a few good formulas, like “you can repeat a phrase that is this long x number of times before you need to change it up.”

This sounds good to me Boz. I like the rise and fall of the dynamics and the contrast of the different instruments. It’s a little hard to comment on the composition from a short fragment, you have a good start but holding a listeners attention for an extended work can be a challenge.

Can you share your sample library selection and the processing involved? Are you using key switching or do the samples work out of the box?

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Yeah, and I don’t expect a song like this to really hold too many people’s attention, which is part of the reason I kept it short. I really have to be in the right mood to listen to music like this and want to actually pay attention. It was more an exercise in composition/arranging, trying out different key changes and textures and such.

For the libraries, I used:

Strings: CS2
Winds: Cinewinds
percussion: Cineperc core
choir: Voxos
Extras: various stock kontakt instruments

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Love the mood of this… did you post it before a while ago or am I mis-remembering… there is a lovely sense of the Pan’s Labyrinth soundtrack to it. As a moody snippet I really like it… in bash-terms… the choir does have a synthetic quality for me at times. I picked it from the 3rd note sung, it’s an attack/sustain thing I guess where sometimes the phrasing just catches my ears. Maybe volume automation with some on that intonation, soothing it in a little more gently? Definitely an evocative sound… lovely sweetness to strings and horn… with that sustained ending note - it starts with a high violin and I wondered if it could end with a cello note rather than transitioning back up to end on the violin high again? Just a thought…


There is a market for this I believe. Classical music has a small but persistent niche market. Movie scores and other media instrumental music is popular. Progressive rock bands like Dream Theater and Trans-Siberian Orchestra are popular and have extended instrumental passages that are not always straight ahead rock. Heck even EDM is largely instrumental :laughing:

I think the key to popularity for instrumental music is to have a variety of textures. Orchestras do great heavy sounds that will satisfy rock fans, and then change gears and do something like what you have here to hold our interest. Like anything else I guess, the key is to find your own niche.

Thanks for detailing the audio samples.

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Hearing this makes me want to see the movie… :slight_smile:
I agree with Emma about that last sustained high violin note. A lower note (by a cello or contra bass) could give a better sense of finale.
Also those wind chimes at 1:18 sound a bit artificial to me.
Other than those small things I think it sounds great.

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Yep, I had the first part done a while ago, and finally came back to it to try to finish it up this week.

You mentioned that last time too. Unfortunately, I’ve heard it too many times in its current form to be able to notice or know what to change about it.

that’s probably a good idea. I’m not thrilled with the end. You can tell exactly the moment where I got fed up trying to come up with interesting parts.

That’s lovely and very soundtrack-y…

Now bear with me here, but I’ve even got a name for it: “Passing Jupiter”.
Start the video in the link below, then start your piece. You can fade the end with the video. :sunglasses:


I like it, too. It feels like “scene setter” music for a larger work, perhaps an opera.
Not convinced by the very first batch of vocals. What instrument is that ?
Think you should pan that to the side… and for the crescendo vocals: I think they are too loud.
I don’t know how much work you have done on the vocals, but I think they need to be more “organic”.
Do as much divisi here as you can, with whatever tools you have. It will improve the sound.