Acoustica - Software should be easy to use

New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Use this forum to show off any audio delights you've created with Mixcraft!

Moderators: Acoustica Dan, Acoustica Greg, Acoustica Chris, Acoustica Eric

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:26 am

New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Postby Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:57 am

I wrote another song called "Hollow Spaces". It has a very mystical feel with a synthetic harp and synth choir.

The versatility and usability of Mixcraft in a wide range of styles really helps keep it useful. I still just have Mixcraft 8 Recording Studio, but I will be jumping to Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio soon.

Thanks for this software Acoustica!

User avatar
davefk
Posts: 684
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:47 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Postby davefk » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:25 pm

Any chance you could upload it and give us a link to it? Would love to hear it. :D

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:26 am

Re: New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Postby Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:49 am

Great idea! lol. I posted this after I got off work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaZbB2dUwtU

UilleannB
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 1:55 pm
Contact:

Re: New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Postby UilleannB » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:38 pm

My 2 cents*:

Almost the whole track sticks to the 1-2-3-4 beat played by the harp. I think it could profit from some slight variations in rhythm, because you want to prevent the listener to get used to the beat too easy and add some "suprise" for the ear.

(*not meant to discourage)

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:26 am

Re: New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Postby Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:04 pm

I appreciate the feedback. :).

LlyncEwrom
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:25 pm
Location: us
Contact:

Re: New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Postby LlyncEwrom » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:21 am

Something I would suggest if you want a more realistic sound, is to go through the track and "humanize" the notes -- in fact, in Mixcraft, you can select all the notes and choose "humanize" if you feel like cheating! If you can play it on a keyboard, that'd be even better for getting that imperfect sound! But if you manually entered the notes in the Mixcraft, "humanizing" the notes can be beneficial. It's a very interesting melody but the way it is played is rigid. Let the velocity change throughout the track, let some notes be imperfectly timed. The reason being that when we hear a harp, we don't expect perfection since it is an instrument played by a human. But when it is perfectly played by a computer, it gives off an amateur vibe - not that there is anything wrong with being amateur!

However, if you want to keep the quantized feel (which I would recommend), I would change the instrument to something electronic. I think the "Crystal Harp" preset would be perfect. But un-check the Acoustica Orchestral Harp layer within this preset for a "spacey" sound. And maybe turn down the Ambient Wind just slightly.
Image
Your tracks Space Cathedral and Emptiness of Space work well because you stuck with electronic sounds.

(Forgive me for possibly spouting off too many of my own opinions, but I think you are good!) I tend to be of the mindset that if someone doesn't have access to real or realistic sounding instruments, that they would be better off sticking to electronic sounds, committing to it, and making it sound like they always intended for the music to be played by a computer. Stay away from the pseudo-realistic sounds meant for demos and you're one step closer to sounding more professional. I'm reminded of an interview with the lead singer of the electronic band Austra. When she was in school, she wanted to write for string quartets but couldn't afford one and hated the way the fake strings sounded on her computer. So she continued to write the same music utilizing electronic sounds. That became her thing. I think your music would benefit by sticking with the electronic sounds. I love the note bending in Emptiness of Space, by the way - it is something I am too lazy to attempt much to my annoyance!

- - -

Since I'm off topic anyway, I have a few other (hopefully helpful) recommendations:

I think Space Cathedral could really benefit from some different percussion samples to replace what is in the track. I'd recommend looking at Goldbaby's stuff - he has tons of free samples here: http://www.goldbaby.co.nz/freestuff.html

The first bit of constructive criticism I received was from someone that left a comment on a track simply saying "Too much reverb." I was embarrassed but they were right. The percussion is a bit drenched in Space Cathedral, I would ease up on the reverb - especially in the kick drum.

Don't be concerned about how loud your mixes are while you're still working on tracks. Let a mastering engineer make your stuff louder later on. A few of your tracks clip because the volume is pushed too much. If you're not worried about mastering right now and just want to quickly upload some tracks online but want the volume louder, add "iZotope Mastering Essentials" to your Master Effects, and select the preset called "Equal Loud". This will give you a good volume boost without squashing everything to bits. A real mastering engineer would be 100x better but for quickly putting music out, this is a good trick. You will have to tweak the EQ in the iZotope plugin to get a sound you like. Then add the Classic Master Limiter plugin directly after iZotope and move the knob to about 2.0-3.0 dB. Trust your ears. (I'm not sure if you have the iZotope plugin in your version of Mixcraft, though.)

Lastly, this technique is something that was eye opening when I learned it: mixing with pink noise (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b3DtQALtuY). It's a great way to get your mixes sounding better!

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:26 am

Re: New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Postby Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:51 pm

Thanks for the extensive feedback!

I did use a bit too much reverb. While I like the software, the preset drum sounds for electronics aren't the best in the world and reverbing them was the only way to get a more 'spacey sound'. I will probably change "Space Cathedral's" drums. I recently bought some drum vsts and they are coming out much better. Plus I upgraded from Recording Studio to Pro Studio last night 8)

I also got some advice to double the drum tracks, so now I have bass drums duplicated and place one on the left and one on the right, including snare and cymbals. Unfortunately, I mixed the entire song too loud so when I went to mix stems down to audio tracks, I ended up getting more clipping. I am currently cutting volume for each track down to the green. And someone told me to shorten the track, so I did, but it was really long and big to begin with, so I ended up cutting it down and confusing myself... yeah. Will be keeping it the same length.

Yes, "Space Cathedral" clips at about 7:44-7:50ish. It clips some more times after that. I will need to reduce the volume and master it up to good volume.

I am liking the electronic compositions I am making, so I am happy, but I know I have some work to do.

LlyncEwrom
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:25 pm
Location: us
Contact:

Re: New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Postby LlyncEwrom » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:45 pm

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 wrote:the preset drum sounds for electronics aren't the best in the world and reverbing them was the only way to get a more 'spacey sound'.

It's less an issue with the drums and more with the reverb itself not being tamed. Don't feel limited by what you have available to you. You can make almost anything work! I'd recommend never putting your kick, cymbals, or snares in the same track. They each fill a different part of the audio spectrum and require different EQing.

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 wrote:Plus I upgraded from Recording Studio to Pro Studio last night 8)

Great! Congratulations!

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 wrote:I also got some advice to double the drum tracks, so now I have bass drums duplicated and place one on the left and one on the right, including snare and cymbals.

This advice confuses me a bit.

Once, my brother came to me and asked why his electric guitar sounded mono even though he panned it left and right. I told him that if he pans the same audio clip left and right, he is actually doing nothing at all! It is an unnecessary step. I told him he would need to record his guitar twice so that the audio was different in each channel and then pan it left/right - if it is the same recording/sample that he is panning, it will sound exactly the way it did before he panned it. It will still be mono. That's all a mono track is, the same sound being played on the left and right. Your brain then tells you it is in the center.

Panning the same sample left and right wouldn't do anything for your mix. I have no doubt that the intentions were the best but I'm not sure you were given good advice in this instance - but perhaps I am misunderstanding.

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 wrote:Unfortunately, I mixed the entire song too loud so when I went to mix stems down to audio tracks, I ended up getting more clipping. I am currently cutting volume for each track down to the green.

Definitely try mixing with pink noise. It will force you to mix quieter which is always good.

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 wrote:And someone told me to shorten the track, so I did, but it was really long and big to begin with, so I ended up cutting it down and confusing myself... yeah. Will be keeping it the same length.

I agree with your decision to keep the original length!

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 wrote:I am liking the electronic compositions I am making, so I am happy, but I know I have some work to do.

You'll notice that the art world is full of people with delusions that they are perfect and have no work to do. Knowing there is work to be done is a good sign. It made me think of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNsWu5gRBWY

Mehrunes_Dagon3e433
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:26 am

Re: New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Postby Mehrunes_Dagon3e433 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:42 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH24sZfFQHU

Here is the reworked version of the song. I lowered the volume on the clipping drum parts, lightened up on the reverb, threw in some curveballs and voiceovers (from freesounds.org).

Thanks for making me not be lazy with this xD.

Also about doubling tracks... the sound for a guitar won't intensify because you pan left and right on guitar. That requires good mic placement. The only time where it works is when you duplicate the kick drum triple it, panning one left, one right, and one down the middle.

That's why the kick drum is audible in my songs. Plus then I get extra room to add spice to each kick drum.

EDIT: My first track I recorded with Mixcraft had the quietest drums because I encountered clipping issues, so I took some advice when it comes to developing drum tracks without clipping. It's easy to do on a synthetic drum track, but for the real drums it usually works best with more mics.

Fun fact: did you know that Boston's guitar solo on More Than a Feeling (including the harmonies) were recorded and overdubbed 6 times. They played the same solos and harmonies six times over.

LlyncEwrom
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:25 pm
Location: us
Contact:

Re: New Song called "Hollow Spaces"

Postby LlyncEwrom » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:35 pm

That is definitely an improvement on the percussion! It sounds much more like it belongs to the track.

(Also, to keep yourself out of any legal trouble, don't forget to credit the actual users on Freesound and not just the website itself. It's the equivalent of crediting a video clip by simply saying "Video credit: youtube.com" as opposed to giving the user/channel themselves the credit.)

ps: I enjoyed Voyage to Nowhere as well - the main portion of the track was an unexpected turn and I'm a huge fan of throwing in major chords amidst a piece built using mostly minor chords so the moments at 1:44 and 2:00 were appreciated. And +1 for big, booming, kicks! Keep up the good work, Garrett.


Return to “User Showcase”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests