- May 19, 2017 at 5:49 pm #27426
I’m aiming high and chasing the dream this time! I put this Star Wars trailer idea together but from what I hear Disney is not looking for anymore music just yet but I’d be eternally grateful if I could get some feedback from you guys so I can be better prepared for next time they do want music.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/311402510?secret_token=s-BW7bC” params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]May 19, 2017 at 5:49 pm #27427
Sorry .. here is the linkMay 20, 2017 at 3:33 am #27428
sounds really good man. Mark Petrie comes here and as you are probably aware he’s a professional trailer composer be very curious to hear what he thinks.
but as an aspiring trailer composer myself, i think you are on the right path. i would like to hear something of your own work rather than a re-worked track.May 21, 2017 at 12:06 am #27429
Hey Dannyc, thanks for having a listen and commenting!
I’ll leave a link to some original trailer’ish music of mine and would also be very interested in your opinion on it if you get a chance. Cheers!May 21, 2017 at 4:23 am #27430
good work Patrick. you’re clearly a talented composer.May 22, 2017 at 3:30 am #27434
Hey Patrick, you really have some great composing chops.
There was just one thing that stuck out to me musically with the SW track, which was around 1:03 – this build up sound a bit off harmonically.
Perhaps re-thinking the Eb major 7 chord at 1:03 would help. Generally, try to avoid emphasizing a maj 7 sound in trailer music (especially on the b6 major chord) – it sounds a bit too down / depressed, jazzy or dated for trailers. A 7th passing note is fine, or within rhythmic notes, but in the top line it’ll tend to suck the ‘epic-ness’ out of the music, especially on a strong downbeat like you have there.
After that chord, the next one is also an issue – it’s another chord type that can take us out of epic trailer land… the dominant 7 (F7 here). There’s a time and place for it in trailers, but not usually as a V7 (I’ve used IV7 quite a lot in minor key rock orchestra type tracks).
Production wise, there were just two things that I would suggest you work on (and these are things that I’m constantly trying to get better at too)
1) use pre-fader reverb to create a 3 dimensional sense of space. The amount of reverb you assign to each instrument determines how close or far back it sounds. EQ can do this too – nudging down the highs (460 Hz and above) will give a sense that the strings are a bit further back on the stage. Try that with the choir too (and give them more reverb).
Determine which instruments you want in the front, and which ones you want in the back. Refer to an orchestral seating arrangement map if you’re aiming for an authentic sound.
2) give your track a bit more breathing room – dynamic range – so that you can add heavy, low thunderous drums. Right now we’re getting a lot of your snares and a little of a tom sound. With drums I aim to fill in the whole frequency spectrum – subs, lows, mid range toms, snares, hi stuff (metal hits).
Listen to amazing mock ups of music in this style and try to A/B your mix to reverse engineer what makes the other mix more polished. Here’s a great place to start:May 22, 2017 at 9:20 pm #27440
Thanks you very much, Dannyc!
Mark, you are always very helpful, I really appreciate your tips and will certainly work on what you have mentioned! Thanks for the reference track as well, I’m a big fan of Blakus’ mock ups and compositions.
Thanks again for your time, Mark and Dannyc, really appreciate it!May 23, 2017 at 4:45 am #27441
Hi Mark some nice tips here. what do you mean by pre-fader reverb? do you mean pre-delay in a reverb module? do you tend to use one instance of reverb and send all your instruments to that same room setting using sends but just by different amounts or do you use multiple reverb’s, one for percussion, a different one for strings etc etc? do you ever insert a reverb directly on an instrument?
do you ever install a final reverb on the master output bus?May 24, 2017 at 12:50 am #27445
what do you mean by pre-fader reverb? do you mean pre-delay in a reverb module?
First off, let me make the disclaimer that I am definitely not a pro mixer and often get a much better mixing engineer to do a final mix on my trailer music. I do usually leave my own reverb on though – because otherwise what I describe next is hard to replicate from dry stems…
What I meant is apply reverb pre fader instead of post fader (it’s a drop down choice for a send in most DAWs). Pre means the reverb signal / volume is independent of the track, so you can literally pull the volume completely down on the track and hear only reverb coming from the send. Doing it this way makes it easier to push back or pull forward instruments in the sonic 3-dimensional space (by raising or lowering the reverb send level).
Do you tend to use one instance of reverb and send all your instruments to that same room setting using sends but just by different amounts?
Yes, this is how I’ve done it – just because multiple reverbs seem to dominate my processor, and I need all the help I can get with a 150+ track session.
When I give the stems to a mix engineer, the stems are a little wet (usually a little less reverb than I’d put on when doing the final mix) and then they do their magic, which quite often involves using multiple reverbs on each track. I still don’t quite understand entirely what they’re doing, but the guys I’ve worked with always find ways to give each section its own space, clearing out the mud and clutter that I’ve stacked up with so many tracks playing together.
Do you ever install a final reverb on the master output bus?
No, I can’t see why you’d do that unless you literally had just one track. My master has a gain, which I automate to make sure the levels never clip, and a basic mastering plugin like Ozone, which gets bypassed if I’m sending the stems to a mixing engineer.
One last tip that I only learned recently – EQ some of the low mids (140 Hz-ish) out of your reverb. Those frequencies tend to build up and get magnified by reverb.May 25, 2017 at 8:35 am #27448
One last tip that I only learned recently – EQ some of the low mids (140 Hz-ish) out of your reverb. Those frequencies tend to build up and get magnified by reverb.
yeah i think Dave Pensado done a recent tutorial about this on one of his channels.
wow 150 tracks in a one session, most i’ve ever done to date was probably about 70 tracks. you must have some amount of different elements going on in your tracks or is a lot of this layering? for example 3 spiccato patches from different libraries layered? 5 or 6 percussion tracks for the big hits etc?May 26, 2017 at 5:44 pm #27451
Yeah a lot of layering – let’s see, on the session I’m currently working on I have 14 staccato string tracks – some are full section, most are one instrument section each. My perc is getting a little ridiculous – if you include all the FX like risers, signature hits etc, along with drums, I have about 70 tracks.
That said, I cut a lot of corners – I don’t have a full orchestra laid out with every articulation ready to go. My single computer set up is pretty much pushed to the limit even with no video window synced. I’d love to have a massive track line up, like John Powell, Junkie XL etc (500 tracks or more!), but then I’d need a machine room bigger than my current studio 🙂