Samples Sound Dated Or Of Lower Quality

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ChuckMaiden
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Samples Sound Dated Or Of Lower Quality

Post by ChuckMaiden » Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:19 am

I just got a critique with the checkbox checked saying my "Song instrument sounds or samples or of a dated quality". I'd really appreciate it if someone could shed more specific light on this. I'm using Alicia Keys Piano, Cinematic Studio Strings, Spitfire Solo Strings for the violin solo in the bridge and outro as well as Amadeus Symphony Orchestra for the celeste. Doing my best with mod wheel, expression, etc. I'd really like to know what I'm doing wrong. I don't know if just one of these instruments drew the criticism or all? Thank you!

https://www.taxi.com/members/JlfyzlHPQC ... uburn-rays

Here is the original brief and references:

This Company is searching for emotionally moving Instrumentals in the general wheelhouse of the following references we got directly from them:
"Life" by Ludovico Einaudi
"Nuvole Bianche" by Ludovico Einaudi
"Primavera" by Ludovico Einaudi
Please send well-composed Instrumentals with an overall emotional and heartfelt sound and feel that's generally similar to pieces by Ludovico Einaudi. Your submissions should have captivating melodies, top-notch musicianship, and excellent arrangements that pull at listener's heartstrings. Piano-based instrumentation in the general style of the references will work best for this request. Craft your pieces around a central motif, and create a sense of movement and dynamics by layering instruments in and out as they progress – taking the listeners on an emotional journey will be key to nailing this request. Please be sure your production is polished and if you choose to use any virtual sounds or instruments, please be sure they are high-quality and sound like the real thing.
All submissions should be around two to four minutes in length, give or take. Non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings will work best. Please do not copy the referenced music in any way, shape, or form. Use it only as a general guide for tempo, tone, texture, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed.
Last edited by ChuckMaiden on Thu Sep 22, 2022 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Telefunkin
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Re: Samples Sound Dated Or Of Lower Quality

Post by Telefunkin » Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:01 pm

That's a very common criticism from screeners, although I get the impression (rightly or wrongly) that its often the way the samples are used than the samples themselves (because everyone can have access to decent samples without breaking the bank). To me, the criticism seem a little unjustified in this case though. Its almost always possible to add a little more expression, and in this case I could imagine more string swells and perhaps more detailed articulations on the solo instrument to maximise emotion and realism, but I think you did a fair job. Perhaps if you posted the listing, together with the accompanying ref links and also the critique, it would help others to help you spot the screener's reason for the return. Was it a particularly high-bar listing for example, or were there other reasons for the return and 'dated/low quality samples' was an additional comment?
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing.

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Re: Samples Sound Dated Or Of Lower Quality

Post by cosmicdolphin » Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:54 pm

Hmmm...No major red flags for me ( I was expecting way worse ! )

I am wondering if they maybe didn't like the solo violin, it sounds a bit thin - I might try layering it , maybe subtly an octave below to give some support and illusion of fullness

I wasn't a fan of the Celeste either , it's probably a perfectly well sampled one but I thought it added a bit of a cheesy sound to the whole thing and there might be a better option you could try.

With the piano I felt could use less velocity , it came across a bit strident - In my DAW there is a midi plugin that lets you constrain the velocities and I often mess about with them on a piano part to help it sound more natural. I tend to find if I stop them going above and below a certain point it makes me sounds like a better pianist than I actually am. I usually put the lower level around 40-50 and the upper limit I'll start at 64 and see what that sounds like then adjust from there.

Hope that helps, I don't think there is a huge problem but some tweaks might help.

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Re: Samples Sound Dated Or Of Lower Quality

Post by ChuckMaiden » Thu Sep 22, 2022 3:34 pm

Telefunkin wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:01 pm
That's a very common criticism from screeners, although I get the impression (rightly or wrongly) that its often the way the samples are used than the samples themselves (because everyone can have access to decent samples without breaking the bank). To me, the criticism seem a little unjustified in this case though. Its almost always possible to add a little more expression, and in this case I could imagine more string swells and perhaps more detailed articulations on the solo instrument to maximise emotion and realism, but I think you did a fair job. Perhaps if you posted the listing, together with the accompanying ref links and also the critique, it would help others to help you spot the screener's reason for the return. Was it a particularly high-bar listing for example, or were there other reasons for the return and 'dated/low quality samples' was an additional comment?
Thank you Telefunkin! That helps. Perhaps I was a little too timid with the expression. I added the brief to my original post. I got generally good feedback on the track, but the reviewer thought the melody could be stronger (I can see that although I'm happy with it), and thought the intro was a bit too repetitive (again, I can agree with that assessment). I wasn't thrilled with the expression with my solo violin. I couldn't seem to get sufficient vibrato with higher expression. Weird, since the very same instrument was used effectively on another track that did get forwarded. Anyway, thanks for your time. It's very kind of you to respond. : )

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Re: Samples Sound Dated Or Of Lower Quality

Post by ChuckMaiden » Thu Sep 22, 2022 3:36 pm

cosmicdolphin wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:54 pm
Hmmm...No major red flags for me ( I was expecting way worse ! )

I am wondering if they maybe didn't like the solo violin, it sounds a bit thin - I might try layering it , maybe subtly an octave below to give some support and illusion of fullness

I wasn't a fan of the Celeste either , it's probably a perfectly well sampled one but I thought it added a bit of a cheesy sound to the whole thing and there might be a better option you could try.

With the piano I felt could use less velocity , it came across a bit strident - In my DAW there is a midi plugin that lets you constrain the velocities and I often mess about with them on a piano part to help it sound more natural. I tend to find if I stop them going above and below a certain point it makes me sounds like a better pianist than I actually am. I usually put the lower level around 40-50 and the upper limit I'll start at 64 and see what that sounds like then adjust from there.

Hope that helps, I don't think there is a huge problem but some tweaks might help.
Thank you! Excellent feedback. I'll watch the velocity on the piano. And try your trick with the solo violin. Much appreciated.

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Re: Samples Sound Dated Or Of Lower Quality

Post by Casey H » Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:15 pm

Also keep in mind that screener feedback and forward/return decisions is relative to the specific listing requirements and where the "bar" is for the opportunity. Two good ears here didn't find major red flags with the track. So, although a few tweaks might be worth doing, if you submit the track for other listings and/or direct to music libraries, you may get different results.

Good luck!
:D Casey

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Re: Samples Sound Dated Or Of Lower Quality

Post by ChuckMaiden » Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:30 pm

Casey H wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:15 pm
Also keep in mind that screener feedback and forward/return decisions is relative to the specific listing requirements and where the "bar" is for the opportunity. Two good ears here didn't find major red flags with the track. So, although a few tweaks might be worth doing, if you submit the track for other listings and/or direct to music libraries, you may get different results.

Good luck!
:D Casey
Good point Casey! Thank you!

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Re: Samples Sound Dated Or Of Lower Quality

Post by cosmicdolphin » Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:30 pm

Casey H wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:15 pm
Two good ears here didn't find major red flags with the track.
Four good ears, I can confirm Graham and I both own a full set :lol:

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Re: Samples Sound Dated Or Of Lower Quality

Post by Casey H » Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:54 pm

cosmicdolphin wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:30 pm
Casey H wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:15 pm
Two good ears here didn't find major red flags with the track.
Four good ears, I can confirm Graham and I both own a full set :lol:
HAHA :lol: Maybe I meant your left and Graham's right... Teamwork! :lol:

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