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rockheyday

Demo Reel...Please comment

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Hi people, I prepared a demo reel including my works. It is around 4 mins. I shall be grateful if you make comment on it. However, apart from musical taste, I need to hear about its sound quality, row of pieces, suitability of fade-ins and fade-outs, harmony of flow, etc. Even though I mainly prefer industry experienced people to comment, it is welcome to everyone..After receiving views, I shall make necessary corrections. Thanks so much.. I uploaded it to my website, it is easy to play when you click its image. It is located in "Concept And Demo Reel" section of my website. I cant give a specific link down because my website's technical structure doesnt allow that. Here we go; http://www.hakanyurdakul.com/ Best wishes, Hakan Yurdakul [Edited by - rockheyday on April 29, 2009 9:51:17 AM]

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Hey Hakan,

First off there is some really nice music here! Thanks for sharing!

Maybe it's just me, but I didn't dig the count down VO. I wanna just dive right into the music and without any kind of really cool visuals or sound design to support the countdown into the music, it just didn't come off as I think you intented. Especially since the countdown and the music actually cross fade instead of actually counting down to the starting time.

I think some of your samples come off a bit "MIDI-tastic" and less organic. What programs are you using for your sounds? If you have the budget, I'd consider upgrading. I'm thinking of your brass and string sounds especially. The choir sounds are very fake sounding. To the point that I'd rather they not be there. There are some GREAT packages out there that will do a much more convincing job. Check out Symphonic Choirs by East West. Amazing, but hard on the CPU and the learning curve is a bit steep. I think most of the cross fades work fine. A few were a bit too long and the harmonies of the two songs would conflict. I do feel that some of the segments could be a tad longer, but totally understand and appreciate the desire to keep the overall demo under 4 minutes.

With regards to the flow of your demo, I'm getting alot of the same flavor. It's all orchestral with different moods but mainly it's either:

*dark and intense

*epic and heroic

*light and happy

None of this is bad if you're only an orchestral composer or that's the specialty you have. Just realize that your clients may not want only orchestral music. But if you're wanting to show off your versatility, then this demo isn't really doing it. Check out my demo reel: http://madsenstudios.com/DemoReel.mp3 I have 13 pieces featured over 4:52. There is electonrica, rock, ambient, jazz, classical, choir-orchestral, solo voices and ensemble vocals and so on.

Another thing to consider: Not every project wants realistic sounding music. They may want 8-bit stuff or very synthy stuff. I think too many composers get trapped thinking "I have to make this sound as real as possible" when that isn't always the case. It depends project to project.

I'm also hearing everything at just about the same volume level. Perhaps more intimate parts of the music should be quieter and then really let the swells grow and have more strength and impact?

Finally, consider making the final song section a bit more of a "ta-dah!" ending. Your demo just kinda ends and doesn't have the fanfare that it could. You want to leave your listener with the idea that this was a polished montage of song experiences. End big! Leave them wanting more! I can hear some good writing in that ending, but I think it's a production issue here. I don't hear any build up or swell to the ending. It doesn't feel like it has as much emotional impact as it could.

Keep it up!

Thanks,

Nate

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Thanks so much, nsmadsen, you are always here to help people..It is great to share views by your experience.I will try to explain briefly things in demo. Normally, after a long search, I decided to keep the demo reel around 4 mins, not more than 4 mins. And the first 30 secs is the most important part. Well, I wanted to put one of my fav songs (which flows and get attention of the listener). However, the part I wanted to use was long from this part. I cut its beginning part, and put countdown to make its flow continuous. Its name is "Gallop". Like a run or race, I started it with fade-in while counting down. And I matched the measure with the number zero. Imagine that pre-run started while approaching to the start line. That was the aim:)) Of course , it is hard to expect that anyone would understand the point without any explanation. Main reason was to make up the beginning cut of the first piece. I shall be grateful if you have got any idea to mask it.

You are definetely right about sound libraries. String section makes me satisfied, but Brass part sounds little bit "cracker" because of accents at f, or ff. It comes with recording of brass matter I think (players close to each other). I mainly use East West Quantum Leap Orchestral..It is 16 bit and one mic position version. It creates phase cancellation. It is a problem. I would like to use 24 bit and 3 mic positions version. Technically, 24 bit is higher than 16 bit around 10 db. A big difference would be at mastering stage. When it comes to Chroal part, I use Symphonic Choirs (as you mentioned). At the last piece, I only used a counterpoint for 2 female vocal lines (a soprano and an alto). It sounded really fake, it was my mistake. Musically is good , but sound as you said.

When it comes to the specialty, I have only got orchestral works. I havent enough other styles like the ones composed by using other instruments such as synth, ethnic percussion, or rock-pop instruments,etc. Thats why I kept it for only orchestral. When I finish other pieces at different variety, I will prepare 2nd demo reel. This demo reel is aimed to show my abilities (at the first step) to apply to related audio departments. Over time, I will practise wider range and (maybe) SFX or more technical (mixing, mastering). By the way, 8 bit or synth sound idea is nice i will keep it my mind

Same volume level. Particularly, I did that for the possibility that the listener might listen to it at a crap system or other system apart from a quality one.

For ending, I might change the position of some pieces. Or I can come with a different idea. Yet again, I can leave it as it is because I dont think business person would listen to my demo more than 2 mins as they are very busy. I might be scary but it is true. If it is listened to, I am lucky.

Really thanks so much again for spending your time to listen to it. I shall be grateful again if you reply

Best wishes,
Hakan Yurdakul
http://www.hakanyurdakul.com/

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Quote:
You are definetely right about sound libraries. String section makes me satisfied, but Brass part sounds little bit "cracker" because of accents at f, or ff. It comes with recording of brass matter I think (players close to each other). I mainly use East West Quantum Leap Orchestral..It is 16 bit and one mic position version. It creates phase cancellation. It is a problem. I would like to use 24 bit and 3 mic positions version. Technically, 24 bit is higher than 16 bit around 10 db. A big difference would be at mastering stage. When it comes to Chroal part, I use Symphonic Choirs (as you mentioned). At the last piece, I only used a counterpoint for 2 female vocal lines (a soprano and an alto). It sounded really fake, it was my mistake. Musically is good , but sound as you said.


This is a perfect example of how usage and production of a sample library can make all of the difference in the world. I think it was my friend Sean Beeson, who is a great composer and lurks around GD.net from time to time, that said "just having good samples doesn't mean your music will sound great. You have to know HOW to use them well." (I paraphrased it, but that's pretty close.)

You and I are using much of the same samples with the same limitations, but your music sounds different from what I know these sample libraries can do. I urge you to really explore how to best utilize these samples, program them and produce them. There will always be a bit of an artificial nature when using VSTs because it isn't a real musician or ensemble. But things are getting pretty freakin' close!

Quote:
Same volume level. Particularly, I did that for the possibility that the listener might listen to it at a crap system or other system apart from a quality one.


I don't really agree with this. Even on a crappy system, basic volume changes (swells, decrescendos, impacts) can still come through. They may be lessened, but to take them out completely makes your music sound flat on all speaker set ups. I don't see that as a good thing.

All of your other comments about how and why you structured your demo reel in the manner you did make perfect sense.

Thanks,

Nathan

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