Together and Apart

March 5, 2013 4:41 AM

Here I attempted to make a piece that tells a kind of story. I'm pretty pleased with this one, though it definitely sounds at its best played through actual speakers. If you're listening to this on a laptop or through headphones it's a bit anodyne.

This was made using an elderly copy of Garage Band, using two different kinds of strings, trumpets, flute, and an edited sound sample of a gong. Sadly, MIDI strings sound pretty dreadful - maybe there's some way of making them a bit less abrupt, giving them some life? Feedback very welcome.

posted by Zarkonnen (2 comments total)

less abrupt strings - can you change the release or sustain time? Add reverb?
posted by dubold at 7:27 AM on March 6, 2013

I like the piece.

I'm hearing two problems with the strings here. One is that they're missing a kind of "raspiness" that I associate with real string instruments, that could possibly be improved with a minor EQ boost around 4 kHz and/or a minor cut around 400 Hz.

The second is a little harder to describe - it's got something to do with the sound you're using having a fairly "soft" attack, and having the same attack & decay on every note. An actual human playing the parts on actual instruments would have some variation of the attack & decay simply as a natural result of having to physically get around the instrument, and so the parts would have a more definite sense of "phrasing", if you see what I mean.

No real idea how to "fix" this, especially in GarageBand, which I'm only beginning to toy with myself. If the sound you're using is "strings" plural, like the sound is meant to mimic multiple instruments playing, maybe try using "solo" instruments & multi-tracking them. It seems like maybe there's some reverb in the sound itself, and you can sometimes get more natural results by having the basic sound be very dry, then adding reverb to the whole mix during the mix-down.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:13 AM on March 30, 2013

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