Monthly Archives: September 2009

Give Said The Little Stream, version 2

I know this little blog hasn’t been updated in quite a while.  I have been writing music in the interim.  Unfortunately, my stubborn Chinese self keeps insisting that I have projects completed before I do a new post, and so that’s to the blog’s detriment.

So today, I  finished one of the projects in my queue, a remix of Give Said the Little Stream.  I really do love the original version that my friend Stephanie Bennett recorded for me. It captures the innocent and cheerful nature of the song, and her voice is just wonderful.  However, I wanted to attempt to make the recording a bit more full and radio friendly, and that necessitated re-recording the vocals to fix a couple of the EQ problems I ran into during the original recording.

Since Stephanie is now in Utah, I asked a favor from another friend, Jolie to do the vocals.  She definitely has a different texture to her voice, and I had to work with that a bit.  Oh the joys of recording in a home studio.  I’ll have to post a video we did, there’s a standing joke related to ironing boards and such. One thing I noticed when comparing the two versions is that Jolie smoothed out the rhythms and sang them a little bit looser with more legato.  Anyway, in the midst of remixing the vocals I started playing around with some new string patches.  One thing led to another, and I ended doing a string/flute arrangement.  Emotionally, the piece sounds and feels quite different with this type of orchestration. More mature perhaps.

This also was good practice for me to try and get the strings to sound as realistic as possible.  I originally started with some string sounds from Omnisphere, a virtual instrument, which was what got my muse going initially.  Although it sounded great, I had the problem of trying to bring out specific melody lines, and the patch sounded too homogenous for that.  Then, I had the idea of also adding other string sounds from Kontakt (a sampler), but that still didn’t sound quite right.  So, I decided to stop being lazy and ended up splitting all the chords into separate parts: Violins, Violas, and Cello/Bass.  Then each part was tweaked by drawing volumes and velocities to simulate string motion.  The last step was to pan and add reverb (Altiverb) to each part to simulate the string section.  The sound isn’t perfect, but its miles better than what I was able to do in college.  Of course I have much better tools now, so that helps.

The flute was added some time in the middle of my work on the string stuff and was the easiest to emulate.  I just stuck some nice reverb on it, panned, and did some quick editing.  Originally in some earlier mixes the flute was quite prominent, but I’ve ended up pulling it back into the mix to kind of meld it with the string sounds. I like it when its more subtle.

Anyway, I haven’t heard any LDS pieces written in this style (a hybrid of Classical, New Age, perhaps?) so I’ll be interested to hear everyone’s comments.   I plan on submitting this to a couple places too, so we’ll see if people connect with this style of arrangment.  Here’s hoping :)!

-J

Give Said the Little Stream, Jared and Jolie