Like A Storm
by Paul Battersby

I composed the piano version of this about 30 years ago. When my sister first heard it she said “It sounds like a storm”. I finally decided to give it the full orchestra treatment and create a slide show video to go with it.

Paul Battersbyoriginal composition, orchestra (from Virtual Playing Orchestra sample library), piano, video
YouTube video
Audio only

All By Myself
by Tom Tognaci, Paul Battersby

A sad, heartfelt song about being alone after a breakup. I liked this song so much that I took a chance and completed my tracks, before Tom even knew I was working on it. Fortunately he liked what I did and granted permission for this new version to be shared.

show / hide lyrics
All By Myself
Lyrics by: Tom Tognaci

(Verse 1)
I deal with the loneliness
Like combing fresh cut hair
I convince myself that I’m alright
I can deal with the solitude
And the echo from upstairs
Now that the ghost is gone, I’m alright

(Chorus)
I’d rather be alone and by myself
Than to be alone, while being with someone else
All by myself
Stowed way up high on some dusty shelf
All by myself
Just me, an island, unto itself

(Verse 2)
Some nights I reminisce
Back and forth in this old chair
Is it worth the lament? Is it really fair?
Black and blue is the emptiness
With a woman who can’t care
One thing that stands out, now, completely clear

(Repeat Chorus)

(Solo)

(Verse 3)
Some nights I reminisce
Back and forth in this old chair
Is it worth the lament? Is it really fair?
All I need is my poetry
And the music that I play
To stretch these untamed wings and fly away

(Repeat Chorus)

Tom Tognaci original composition, lyrics, vocals, guitars
Paul Battersby 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, string bass, percussion (all from Virtual Playing Orchestra sample library), bass
Visit Tom Tognaci at SoundClick

Multiband compressor – Xfer OTT

Xfer-OTT multiband compressor

Xfer-OTT multiband compressor

Available from Xfer Records (and a variety of other places) the free,  OTT (Over The Top) plugin is a multiband compressor. Practically, for me, this means it cleans up any mix on which I use it. If you want to hear how much mid frequencies are muddying up your mix, just drop this plugin onto the master mix, then toggle it on and off.

There is much more to this plugin than that and for the best results, this should be adjusted for each individual mix. In my opinion, for the best results, apply instances to different groups of tracks and not on the master track at all. For example, I might use an instance for the drums, a separate instance for vocals, another for all other instruments (as a group) because each of those tracks or groups of tracks will sound best with a different configuration of OTT.

I’ve listed the steps that are shown in the video, as a reference for use after watching the video. The video that follows, does a very good job of explaining how to use OTT and making it easy to understand how to get good results for your mix.

  1. Adjust the high, mid and low frequency bands. In other words drag the black bars in the middle of the brown and green areas in the middle of the OTT plugin, to the left or right to get the desired boost or cut from each frequency band.
  2. Adjust the upward and downward compression dials at the bottom of the plugin.
  3. Adjust the time dial at the top of the plugin.
  4. Finally adjust the depth dial at the top of the plugin.

A few other things to consider when using this plugin.

Don’t be fooled by a volume increase. Ensure that the volume of your mix is the same with or without the plugin enabled. Louder can sound better even if a plugin isn’t doing anything other than increasing the volume. You want to ensure the tone is better, not just that everything is louder so be sure to adjust the output gain when comparing the mix with and without the plugin enabled.

When you first enable the plugin, your mix might sound worse, but literally after a few seconds spent on step 1 above, you’ll hear an instant improvement.

The following video explains and demonstrates the above steps.

OTT by Xfer Records Overview – by SoundShockAudio

Fall Back Into You
by Barry Onyett, Paul Battersby

After discussing this song and how Barry hates the mixing process, I agreed to do the mixing and replace his temporary drum track but he also gave me permission to add anything else I felt might enhance the song so I made a few changes, made a few cuts and added a few things.

Barry Onyett original composition, lyrics, vocals, lead guitar, rhythm, guitars, bass, video
Paul Battersby flute, 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello (all from Virtual Playing Orchestra sample library), drums, producing/mixing
YouTube video
Audio only

Vocal Harmonizer – Pitchproof

Pitchproof - vocal harmonizer

Pitchproof – vocal harmonizer

From the Pitchproof web site:

Pitchproof is a free audio plug-in that can shift the pitch of the input. The effect is meant to combine old styles of pitch shifting with the quality you expect from modern plug-ins. The result is this pitch “pedal” simulation that has most of what is great about guitar harmonizer pedals, and still preserves the signal’s integrity.

I use it as a vocal harmonizer. With a few added tricks, the effect is sufficiently convincing in a mix. In isolation it can sound like chipmunks but use the tricks below and blend it appropriately with the lead vocal and you have instant harmony. As outlined in the video below, do the following to improve the quality of the harmony.

  1. Create a new harmony track in your DAW
  2. Create a send from the main vocal track to the harmony track
  3. To the harmony track, add the following plugins:
    • Pitchproof (set to 100% wet, 3rd harmony, key of your song)
    • a pitch shifter, (to shift the formants by about -54 cents – helps reduce the chipmunk effect)
    • an autotuner, (set to autmomatic pitch correction in the key of your song)
    • an EQ. (use high and low pass filters to include only the bulk of the harmony wave form)
    • reverb (to place the harmony track behind the lead vocal)
  4. Pan the harmony track to put the singer to the side of the lead vocal.
  5. Adjust the volume of the harmony track to blend with the lead vocals

The following video by MusicTechHelpGuy demonstrates the above tips.

Create Vocal Harmonies with Pitchproof – by MusicTechHelpGuy

Morning of the Battle
by Paul Battersby

A short musical story I created in parallel with working on the music. For some reason I began to wonder what it might be like for an ancient family waking up on the morning a battle is to be fought. It occurred to me, that story could fit the music I was writing so I put the two together.

Paul Battersbyoriginal composition, orchestra (from Virtual Playing Orchestra sample library), piano, taiko drums, story, video
YouTube video
Audio only

Video – Composing With CINESAMPLES

A long, 2 part, live composing video stream worth watching. What I find particularly interesting is his use of scale runs in the woodwinds.

Total time of these videos is over 5 hours but even so, he’s fairly efficient and spends almost all that time directly working on his composition

Nite Session(s) – Composing With CINESAMPLES by Dirk Ehlert (1/2)

 

Nite Session(s) – Composing With CINESAMPLES by Dirk Ehlert (2/2)

Aftermath
by Paul Battersby

A throwback to the late 80’s this composition makes me think of a post apocalypse, the aftermath of a nuclear war or alien invasion, something like that so I called it “Aftermath”.

I composed the original, all synth based version of this in a couple of hours one evening back in the late 1980’s using my Yamaha DX7II and Korg M1. I decided to re-work this and blend some of the original synth sounds with a virtual orchestra. This is the result.

Paul Battersby piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, string bass, trumpet, french horn, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, percussion (all from Virtual Playing Orchestra sample library), synth (DX7IIFD), pan flute, 

 

Pachelbel-ish
by Paul Battersby

When I used virtual orchestra samples for the first time, (back in 2011) I wanted to see if I could create something even close to sounding realistic.

During a late night/early morning recording session, I thought I was having some good inspiration only to realize some time later I’d created something derived from Pachelbel’s Cannon in D Major. Ooops. Still, I enjoyed creating this even though it’s not as original or inspired as I initially thought in my sleep deprived state of mind.

My original version of this (in 2011) was strings, flute and percussion and was much shorter. Recently, I thought I’d revisit this composition and see if I could improve on it to kick start some inspiration to work on something new.

Johann Pachelbel original composition
Paul Battersby something unintentionally sounding like Pachelbel’s Cannon in D major (from Virtual Playing Orchestra sample library)

Sample Looping Tool – Polyphone

Polyphone - sample looping tool

Polyphone – sample looping tool

PolyPhone – This tool’s intent is to provide a Graphical User Interface for creating .sf2 based sample libraries but I use it for it’s sample looping abilities when I’m creating .sfz based sample libraries.

To use this for looping, first create a new instrument (though there will be no need to save that instrument anywhere), using File > New. I just create an instrument called “temp” or “test”. It doesn’t matter because I won’t save the instrument.

Next, drag and drop a .wav file over the “Samples” label on the left side. Having done that, a blue waveform as depicted above should appear.

The simplest thing to do next is to let Polyphone scan the entire waveform to find a good loop point. Pressing the yellow loop icon near the top will begin the quick process.

This often works but it’s sometimes best to restrict the search to an area of the wave form that you can see is mostly stable. I have done that in the picture above. To first set the end point of the search area, simply click the right mouse button somewhere in the wave form. Then click the left mouse button to set the start point.

As before, click the yellow loop icon to create a loop.

Press space bar to toggle the playing of the looped sample.

To try a different loop range, press Ctrl-z to undo the previous loop thus allowing you to set new loop begin and end points.

Once the loop is sounding good, select File > Export Samples to choose the directory where the looped sample is to be placed.

To continue, I drag another waveform over the “Sample” label and delete the previous sample from that list (just click the previous sample to highlight it and then press the delete key.

See also: Sample Looping Tool – Endless Wave