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Monday, 22 October 2012

Turning the Tide

Play this on SoundCloud.com

This is another song written for a colleague's personal project. 1 minute trailer music.

Libraries used:
SampleLogic Morphestra
Spitfire Albion 1
Native Instrument's Berlin Grand

I am actually in the "lets try to use EastWest Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra" mode, instead of just using libraries like Albion which has a whole winds or brass section playing with a single triggered key. 

But very unfortunately, the iLok decided to die on me (my machine cannot recognise it any more, even with latest drivers installed, GAH!).

So there I am, using Albion again. I do like the sound of Albion, don't get me wrong. Just trying to constantly challenge myself to go against what's easy. :)

I am not good with sound-design kind of sounds, like morphing / evolving pads, etc. The pads sounds featured at the front part (they last throughout the piece), were taken and use right off the shelf with some EQ /delay values/reverb tweaks. But these sounds are essential in modern composition especially for film, tv and games, so I have to learn to use them more efficiently.

For the dramatic crecendo at the last 8 bars, I surprised myself, (and feeling excited at the same time), at how huge sounding an orchestra could actually swell to. This is my first time attempting such a huge dramatic build-up. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Waiting for the Tide

Listen to this on SoundCloud.com
  Listen to this on SoundCloud.com

These two tracks are different versions of the same piece of music. 
They are part of the unused trailer ideas for a colleague's short film. Internal versioning is v001_005. The first track is just the instrumental parts, and the second track has vocal parts.
Libraries used:
EastWest Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra Gold
Sample Logic Morphestra
Start date: 20121015
End date: 20121018
Release date: Oct 18, 2012 

I was getting too used to the general section sounds that Albion 1 and 2 are giving me. Therefore when this time I went on to use EastWest's Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra. The sounds are separated by instruments (such as the Violins, Cellos, French Horns, etc), unlike Albion patches which are combined instruments in the same general section, like brass-hi, woodwinds-low.
Overall I was quite happy with the speed that I was working at, even though the pieces could have been said to be finished.
Tonight I was preparing to do more refining work on it, but ended up running into my iLok failure! Seeing that I may not be able to use all EastWest instruments for a while, I will have to survive on the other libraries I own.
Also on the same night tonight, the director gave me a call to tell me even though the piece has its moments that would definitely work for other things (Yes, that is a nice way of debriefing isn't it?). Artists have rather brittle egos and considerate people know how to break it to them slowly and nicely :)
If it was anything that needed me to modify these tracks, I would have no way to use those sounds now that my iLok is down (along with my EastWest licences!). Therefore, I am glad almost the whole piece needs to be reworked.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Results of the Audio Spotlight Cinematic Guitars 2 Sample Logic Contest

The results of the Audio Spotlight Sample Logic Cinematic Guitars 2 Contest are out!

The 3 winners are:

1st place: Terminal by Rob Pottorf
Rob wins the new Cinematic Guitars 2 sample library and 400 SL cash to use at Sample Logic's online store

2nd place: Icarus by Adriano Maria Maiello
Adriano wins the new Cinematic Guitars 2 sample library

3rd place: Requiem by Franto Kormanak
Franto wins 200 SL cash to use at Sample Logic's online store

Visit the official results page here: http://theaudiospotlight.com/cg2-sample-logic-contest/

My entry did not win any prizes, but it was definitely good exposure. Because of the contest, Crossing the Mountains (my entry) became the piece that has received the most listens in the shortest amount of time amongst all my pieces of work uploaded to SoundCloud.com to date. Therefore I am very grateful to The Audio Spotlight and Sample Logic for this opportunity to put my music out there where the world can hear it.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Bought Korg NanoKontrol 2

A while ago I realised that many of my virtual instruments need the mod-wheel or MIDI cc#1 (mod wheel) for dynamic expression, or some even make use of cc#11 (expression controller) for an added dynamic layer of control.

I have 2 keyboards on another end of my room, it is about 2 steps away, with some boxes and messy stuff in between, so my most immediate midi input device became only the Korg NanoKeys2. I realise I would need an additional controller that can enable me to enter cc data like #1 and #11 and maybe even breath cc data via sliders. 

After looking at a few input controllers I decided to go back to the Korg NanoSeries and expand my collection to include the Korg NanoKontrol 2.

When I went down to City Music (which is still at Peace Centre), I found that they have ran out of stock for the black NanoKontrol 2. I therefore decided to settle for the white one. A black and a white one looks cool after all :)
Front of box
Rear of box
What's in the package
NanoKontrol 2 working beside it's sibling, the NanoKey 2
Cost me SGD76.50
It's a good investment. Cheapest configurable midi controller you can find that lets you assign any cc# to any fader/knob/button. It even comes with playback/forward/rewind/track jump buttons for playback control.

However, all the default behaviour of the buttons can be overwritten by user specified cc# with configurable min/max values, and midi-send channels to send the data from.

I can also assure you that this is the cheapest midi controller out there, that offer all the above functionality, mobile form-factor, and configuration versatility. After all, Korg is also a leading musical instrument and audio brand that you can trust.

Bought NI Massive and Razor Video Tutorials from Groove3.com!

I bought 2 video tutorials from Groove3 today! They are: Massive Explained, and Razor Explained.

Massive Explained is going for USD10 this week instead of the regular USD29.99!

Razor Explained is going for USD19.99 instead of USD29.99.

The FM8 tutorial and the Reaktor tutorial look really attractive too! I realise I have been under-utilising my plugins from Native Instruments. I will try and find more opportunities to use them.

Monday, 1 October 2012

CG2 - Crossing the Mountains: My Entry for Cinematic Guitars 2 contest!

Listen on SoundCloud.com

This is my entry for the Cinematic Guitars 2 Sample Logic Contest hosted by The Audio Spotlight

Designed to be a driving piece using sound-designed instruments, Crossing the Mountains heavily features sounds from Sample Logic's Morphestra. 

Below is a full list of the sounds I used.

SampleLogic Product used in this piece: Morphestra
Morphestra patches used:
- Distant Pianos
- Two Way Play
- Deep Brass Bass
- Reversing Time
- Low Blow
- Reverse Collection
- Symphonic Percussion
- Cymbal Collection
- Symphonic Ensemble
- Colors of the Wind
- Death Proof

On top of this I also used a few of Kontakt Factory Library's sounds and instruments from Albion 1 and Albion 2, and a flugel horn from WavesFactory.

Created in FL Studio 10.0.9

It took me about 12 days to get it completed. I started on the 19th Sep 2012 and completed it on 30 Sep 2012.