Hi there, Tom Player here – it’s been a while since my last post! This is the first part in a small series of blog posts I’ll make about the real-world differences between orchestral mockups (or synth orchestras) versus real orchestras. As a composer who is fortunate to work regularly with live orchestras, I’ll try to help show the difference from a decent demo recording, to a mixed and mastered finished recording.
For me, undoubtedly the ‘highlight of the job’ is getting to work with live players. There’s nothing like the moment at the beginning of a session you hear the first note, and suddenly your work is brought to life by an ensemble of talented players. You can breathe! And then the rest of the hard work starts. :)
This is the last of seven videos produced documenting my five day recording session and performance series at the Singing Ringing Tree (SRT) in Burnley, UK. There’s a lot more content in the can, but for now this is enough to represent the project. My part of the collaboration with the SRT was simultaneously recorded on site using a Novation Bass Station II connected to a USB battery. I also ran the Bass Station II through a Moog Minifooger Delay.
My last day on site was also the windiest and it turned out that the best wind reduction happened to be a very thin cotton t-shirt wrapped around the binaural head as you can see in the photo below. The strong winds, although useful, made the process quite difficult, and the binaural effect seemed a little less prominent with any sort of wind reduction applied. However, I was able to get couple of good takes by carefully placing the dummy head next to the SRT and opposite the wind. Please checkout the playlist of all six duets (#2 was omitted) on my YouTube channel.
This analog-sourced audiovisual piece is a collaboration with video artist Chris LeBlanc. The visuals were performed with a Hi-8 camera running through Tachyons+ and LoFiFuture processors, and keyed with a Bleep Labs synth. On the music end I’m playing my Moog Sub 37 through my Minifooger Delay and synched up to an Elektron Analog Four. I sent Chris separate signals from the Sub 37 and the A4 that he used to make the visuals respond.
Here’s a short phrase from a slow melody on the Moog Sub 37 that I recently played during a studio session with Lucas Melchior and Chris LeBlanc. The patch is one that I made specifically for performing lead lines and uses aftertouch to apply the vibrato. I also ran the Moog directly through the Minifooger delay. No other processing was applied to this monophonic phrase.