View Full Version : Taking Flight - Music from a new guy

03-18-2010, 10:46 AM
This is my first post (I think...).

I've owned Eastwest samples and have been a member of this forum for while, but haven't really posted anything! So, here's some music.

This track uses EWQL Gold pro XP, and (very soft) Symphonic Choirs.

This piece is definitely all about soaring over beautiful landscapes, so please use your imagination.

Taking Flight (http://soundcloud.com/jeffball/taking-flight)

06-03-2010, 11:27 PM
Just a quick update: I've redone the mixing and mastering on this track so that it's slightly more realistic.

Jeff Ball - Taking Flight (http://www.jeffballmusic.com/temp/jeffball-takingflight192.mp3)

Sorry I've been off the face of the earth. Soon to be off the face of the earth again going to Alaska for the commercial salmon fishing season, I apologize in advance for not responding.


06-04-2010, 09:36 AM
Thoroughly enjoyed it!

06-04-2010, 10:13 AM
That's pretty good, but the sound is on the synthy side, especially the fast and high brass, and the high string notes. Flying (or soaring) across a landscape is an image that accompanies this music very well. It has a proper theme, which is used and varied properly, and the minimalistic ostinato also helps keep the transitions together, and the climax is gorgeous. If you'd have to name an influence, would the name by any chance start with an H and a Z?

06-04-2010, 01:16 PM
hey jeff!

agree that the whole thing sounds a bit synthy... try adding some reverb, expression, and playing with sample DXFs between notes... alot of the notes seem to jump from sample to sample indicating a computer is playing them not a person :) also try more articulations or layering them together to create a fuller and/or more dynamic sound.

also try humanizing the position of the repeat notes instead of straight quantization...

parts of this make me feel like I'm playing some flying video game, Star Fox or something...

really enjoy the breakdown @ 2:30 and the ensuing buildup starting at 3:00, and then another breakdown at 3:20-5:00

lovely climax, I love how you slowed the tempo, I think you can do some more with expression/volume dynamics here to make it come alive even more.

also I don't think this sounds like zimmer, it sounds kind of unique to me, if anything I sense a John Williams influence in parts.

overall just wonderful! congrats :)

06-04-2010, 01:30 PM
O dear, I actually meant J.W! My bad...

06-04-2010, 02:18 PM
Some great music here. God, the build is just great!

But production value is very low compared to the strength shown in composition. The good news is you can compose!

Really dig into drawing curves in cc1 anc cc11 depending on your chosen articulations. You may need to exaggerate them to get the realism.

Also, it is very important to have some excellent reference tracks of, for example, some great movie soundtrack cues in your project at all times to check your quality against. Find a couple of things that will be good targets for overall orchestration and production value targets. Your piece is fairly long and this could take you weeks, but what you'll learn will be invaluable. There is just no substitute for taking the time at the controls to accomplish this sort of thing.

You have the basic tools. Some of the best midi mockups I've ever heard were done with SO Gold. Just take a listen to some of Miles Hankins stuff on his site.

Hope you take the time to take this bad boy piece of yours across the finish line. It is worthy of the investment, I think.


06-04-2010, 08:17 PM
Hey I really appreciate all the critique! Having put so much time into this piece so far, it's good to hear some fresh perspective. I'll definitely take the time to make this track better.

Yeah you guys nailed it, this piece was mostly inspired by John Williams. Though there are other influences in there like Shostakovich, and even a bit of Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy 12 guy). It's a fun style to write, but it takes a lot of time to put all those notes in midi, especially clicking them all in.

That said, production quality is definitely something I struggle with, so I really appreciate the tips. I've been using humanization and other tricks in Kontakt, but scripting can only go so far. It seems like it would make more sense if the humanization was tempo based, with slight pushing and pulling. It's possible to do that manually, but that takes more time. The biggest problem with me is that I've played in symphony orchestras as a violinist for so long, there's a very specific sound developed in my head of what a symphony should sound like. With the samples I have, I know I'll never get it, so it feels like a futile endeavor to push it as close as possible. After this summer I'm planning on throwing money around for new libraries, but from listening to demos of what's available, I'm honestly struggling with trying to find stuff that sounds good to me. HS sounds close to what I'm looking for... but of course, the only logical solution to this is to just suck it up, deal with it, and learn as much as possible about producing with what's available. It's a hard road.

I appreciate the feedback and I'll post more progress when it gets to that point. If you guys have any more advice, that would be awesome!


06-04-2010, 10:52 PM
I definitely heard the voice of sakimoto from the very beginning ;)... good job of the composition, but as the rest has pointed out, production could be better =)

06-05-2010, 07:23 AM
The re-mix is tons better.

Very nice.

Have fun in Alaska