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New - Ejected - Finale SpaceRace 2011 v6

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Three weeks ago while on holiday in Florida I posted Ejected - Final Movement for the Space Race 2011 . Working on my laptop when I could steal away to compose was like my own composing race against time. I posted by the deadline but was not too happy with the result. I had planned to work on other movements in the Ejected piece first and then come back and clean up the Finale but there were just too many things in the posted music that really grated on me.

As Drak talked about when describing the rework to his lovely Black Forest Dance , I made tons of edits to refine the orchestration, balance the mix, dynamics, note durations, harmonies, and certainly to fix the ending. One surprising thing I learned is how using headphones for the original mix lead me to using way too wide a dynamic range such that when I got home and listened on speakers some parts were inaudible. Also, the sound field seems better on speakers than cans, with more depth and width and more air around the instruments. Consequently, I would recommend speakers for this piece.

The EWQL samples all have their own release trails so I didn't have to apply any environmental reverb. For the opening trumpet melody I used the distant hall mic position samples to give that 'off in the distance' sense to the sound. Mixing in the various mics (close, stage and hall) is not something I take time to do normally but here it seemed to be ideal to the need.

I won't repost the backstory here since you can find it Here, but to cut to the chase, this finale describes the astronaut coming around a planet and finding (after a long and harrowing journey in his ejection seat) his intended destination - the welcoming lights of a space station.

I still intend to work on finishing the other movements but that may take a while. There is another new work a friend has asked me to help with that is next on the list. When I complete all of the movements I will probably alter this again, so it is still a work in progress.

Thanks to everyone who provided the great feedback and encouragement on the last post, and I hope those of you who downloaded it will be happier with this version (at least you can hear the intro :) ). Also, there is no novel or screenplay in the works.

As always, I'm open to feedback that can help improve my musical skills.

I hope you like this version.

Dec 2011
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Song Stats
Hits: 3710
Comments: 45
Fans: 28
Plays: 91
Downloads: 50
Votes: 4
Uploaded: Dec 02, 2011 - 03:38:48 PM
Last Updated: Dec 02, 2011 - 05:07:27 PM Last Played: Aug 20, 2019 - 02:53:41 AM
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Char said 2818 days ago (December 2nd, 2011)
rest assured that this sounds fabulous. It would be a worthy addition to The Right Stuff movie. Keep making great music. Thanks.
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Doug Somers said 2818 days ago (December 2nd, 2011)
Hi Char
Fabulous in your ears is great! Thanks so much ... on to the next tune!

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DWL said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Epic work Doug
I think Majestic captures it (and that's on PC speakers so I'm looking forward to hearing on proper monitors later).


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Doug Somers said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Hi Dick,
If this sounds majestic [very kind!] on your PC speakers, then I'm sure you will get a much richer performance out of your monitors. Appreciate your having a listen Dick.


PS if this comment shows up twice it's because the first one seemed to disappear completely.
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Reinholt56 said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Hi Doug....
This is very powerful and works great, especially with the story you tell in the description.

I'm following the development of this piece with great interest. Wherever you go with the piece next will be just fine with me.

Take care.

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Doug Somers said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Thanks Paul
I am keen to find out where the story will go musically as well. I'm thinking of some interesting ambient influenced tones as the hero jumps between the hyperspace rings. Thanks for your support on this and in all of my earlier work. I really appreciate it.

Back to it then...

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richard13 said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Bloody marvellous!
I don't know what you do for a living Doug, but you should be doing this (well, unless you're saving lives or something else REALLY important ;-) I know, there's no money in classical music, but you do it so well.
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Doug Somers said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Thanks Richard! You are really kind sir, merci encore. I am an executive coach (and sometimes life coach) which doesn't strictly speaking save lives in the life or death sense, but hopefully does my bit for helping humanity. It does mean that I can structure part of my time to compose, which seems almost as necessary as breathing air at times.

I'm very glad you liked this repost. Keep well!
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Bowman said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Light Years Ahead!
This version has more weight and a sumptuous quality than your first posting and at certain moments gave me chills.

A minor nit: At 1:30 to 1:42 it sounds like a string section which seems a little bare but is soon augmented with - I think a wind section which pulls it through.

It think this a wonderful and stirring work with an improved ending as well. A glorious addition to your cannon Doug.

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Doug Somers said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Hi Charlie, I'm really pleased you could hear the differences in this version over the last. It is interesting to me how different speakers play this tune - to hear the section you commented on, I used earbuds in my laptop and the instrument balance was completely changed from my larger headphones and of course the monitors. About the string section you mention: when first laying this down I decided to start the mid section with strings as a tonal contrast to all the brass throughout the rest of the piece, and so I used cellos, bassoon, oboe and flutes (I think) all playing in unison by octaves. I was going to harmonise all the way through but liked the entry of the harmony at 1:42 and so left the first part kind of spare except for the double basses playing a combination of pizz and marcato. On subsequent listening I was thinking something else was needed, but in the end liked the contrast between the sparseness of the unison part against the 3 part harmony that followed. When this theme is repeated by the trombones there is a little more going on in the background, and I was going to pull that into the first time through but wanted to also have more contrast between the first and second times the mid section is heard.

Glad you liked the ending better too. I got caught at the last second when posting on 11/11 where the time signature change got screwed up and I couldn't fix it in time and so went with what I had. This ending is meant to really put the final stamp on things, and I wanted it to be really big considering it ends not only this piece but the whole suite.

Thanks for the ongoing encouragement and careful listening Charlie!

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Philip18 said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
A majestic piece. What a pity they have already made Star Wars and used another theme - this would have worked just as well! I'm impressed by your attention to detail and, more importantly, by the uplifting music. Excellent work.
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Doug Somers said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Star Wars
Up a little early this morning are we?

Thanks so much for the comparison to such well known works. It's gratifying to me to have gone for that big, bold and majestic sound and had the responses I have.

I'd love to compose for a movie but alas I fear that I would be so slow at it that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the director's demands. I really respect those who both can be innovative, engaging, and prolific in their motion picture scores.

All the best, and thanks again,
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Philip18 said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Well, not all that early on the east coast of Australia :-)
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crissew said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Very Star Trek sounding
This has that regal sound that I could envision in a Star Trek movie. Really well done. Those instruments sound very rich and full. Awesome.
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Doug Somers said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Trek Tune
Yes, some of the composers for Star Trek (especially say Deep Space 9) had a sound much like this in their orchestrations. In listening to a CD of space music earlier this year there is a lot which is based on trumpet fanfares at the core. Who am I to buck the system?

Thanks for coming by and leaving the kind words.
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michaeljayklein said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
And wondrous as well Doug! This has that precision based movement to it that is so perfect for this theme (and for what's out there in space too of course!) and somewhat like Char, my first thought was if Alexander Courage had been out to lunch that day, this could easily have been the theme song for everybody's favorite TV space crew (I'm hoping you are not tired of that analogy, but this is very cinematic piece of course and it's just a natural association!) This version is quite a bit more ebullient and has a stronger sense of strength to it. As for suggestions, I think Charlie could be right about that one short duration but I must confess, I'd never have noticed had I not read his mentioning it beforehand--sometimes it's not good to read the reviews before listening to the music!) As he also said, it's minor quibble and overall, the whole piece works beautifully. Thanks for sharing your fine work with us Doug! Michael
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Doug Somers said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Precision Based Movement
Michael, I thank you for coming by again to hear this new cut after leaving such supportive remarks on the first posting. I think Alexander Courage would leave big shoes to fill, and I appreciate the complimentary comparison! And the association to Star Trek is welcomed since both of us are trying to say something about vast space, voyaging, bravery and wonder.

Also, thanks for the constructive comments as well. That is also what I want to hear.

I will look at that section you and Charlie mention again when I finally put the whole suite together to see if there is something a little more interesting I can do there that still leaves room for the later contrasting bits. I'm sure there is a better way. I respect your (and Charlie's) musical sensibilities and so I think this part of the tune deserves a second look. I expect that after stewing this piece for a long while after this post, and also not hearing the piece repetitively, I will be able to be more creative for tweaks in future. So it's on the list for the next release (sounds like software).

Cheers Michael,
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
gadzooks said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
Finale SpaceRace 2011 v6
Unfortunately I 'm not anywhere near speakers but I listened to it through my favourite phones and the piece sounded wonderful ... majestic ... big ... open. Every little nuance is clearly defined and in it's own space. You done beautifully with the dynamics in your mix. Wonderful piece Doug.
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Doug Somers said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
If it sounds good in your cans, and with your sensitive ears Stan, I am more than pleased. Sometimes working on these sample based pieces in piano scroll mode is like doing stop motion animation with clay figures. It's easy to lose the forest for the details in each tree.

Thanks for your kind words Stan. Best wishes.
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jiguma said 2817 days ago (December 3rd, 2011)
BIG sounds!
What a full sound you get - but with lots of light and shade as well. Trekkie and regal indeed.
A really good post!
Cheers from Oz,
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Doug Somers said 2816 days ago (December 4th, 2011)
Cheers Neil. Everything else in the suite is going to be smaller and less grand, so this is what those in the entertainment industry used to call 'The Big Finish'. I'm keeping in mind that I want to have a way to link thematically all of the movements but I don't have it worked out yet.

Enjoy your summer in Oz, and again: a stunningly good collab post of Safe Hands. Thanks!


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Moviz said 2816 days ago (December 4th, 2011)
I listen
on headphones Doug and believe me it sounds so good, it's as though it's an excerpt from a film.... really Majestic as has been said.... regards M
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Doug Somers said 2816 days ago (December 4th, 2011)
Hi Maurice
It's interesting that all of us here are working on so many dimensions of our music - both the tunes themselves in terms of music and its orchestration, the lyrics, the performance, and then the production. I have found that I've been sensitive to creating an interesting composition, but also in recreating an orchestral piece that sounds like it has been actually performed and recorded. I say this from being mindful of my tendency to focus on the production over the content at times. It makes me aware of why so many mixing books will recommend that someone else do the mix for you to have a fresh set of ears on the project.

At the end of the day, while we all strive for satisfying output from our craft, it's just good fun to learn to improve and to express ourselves in novel ways.

Cheers for the commentary and unceasing support,
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Sigmund said 2816 days ago (December 4th, 2011)
New - Ejected - Finale
Impressive work Doug! Very nice arrangement and blending of instruments. This sounds full and rich. Epic in its scale, and perfect for the scenario you describe. I really enjoyed this!
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Doug Somers said 2816 days ago (December 4th, 2011)
Full and Rich
This is the largest undertaking I've attempted, certainly in its attempt to express something of the grandeur of space and about how people can themselves rise to meet great challenges. I am finding that as I can start to conceive of more complex music, my ability to produce it quickly has diminished. That said, I do find that there is lots to learn and it's fun to employ new techniques I've come to understand as I produce new pieces. Fortunately I'm not usually in a rush!

Thanks Sigmund for coming to have a listen and for leaving such kind words.

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Henke said 2816 days ago (December 4th, 2011)
Just to say
I listened and enjoyed a lot. Improve your skills? How could that even be possible?! Can't imagine how you do these things without an entire orchestra at your fingertips. Ah, well, I guess that is what you have in a way... Still, the composition... Impressive work and downloaded, of course. Thank you very much! (Looking forward to more installments too..)

Take care,
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Doug Somers said 2816 days ago (December 4th, 2011)
Entire Orchestra at the Fingertips
That is pretty cool - it's like having 150 expert musicians just waiting around to be asked to 'play this series of notes; no, change this note to that and play it louder..' It's also been a way to learn about orchestration by directly experiencing what it sounds like to go from idea to the experience of sound, and from modifications of the intent to how the sound changes. Basic stuff, but still the orchestral 'sound lab in a computer' is pretty amazing. I have also found that when I listen to any music I tend to be more cognizant of how something is put together - not analytically, but just tending to hear a phrase as comprised of many interacting sound bits.

I'm glad you downloaded this version as I think it more represents what I wanted to publish than the previous release.

More instalments to come!

Thanks Henrik - it's great to have you come by with such strong support. That means a lot.

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kassia said 2816 days ago (December 4th, 2011)
all i can say is
wow. holy cow wow.
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Doug Somers said 2815 days ago (December 5th, 2011)
Moo to you
Thanks for coming back for a second listen Shay and bringing your to-the-point comments with you :)

I'm really pleased that you liked this version. If it reacts this way with your discriminating ear then things are on the right track.

All the best Shay,
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PatriciaGirl said 2816 days ago (December 5th, 2011)
I like this version very much. Like all soundtrack type music, if it transports me then I want to listen more. Waiting for the next episode with anticipation :)

Also this piece has an epic sound to it, reminds me of the ST Voyager series which I love...

Thanks for sharing this piece.
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Doug Somers said 2815 days ago (December 5th, 2011)
More Soundtrack to Come
I too love the themes for both ST Voyager and Deep Space 9. They have that epic feel which has become a part of our culture through TV and movies from the 70s to the 90s.

I'm glad this rendition sits well with you Patricia, and thanks for sharing your kind thoughts about it. I have been working on the opening movement to this suite and hope to post in January.

Take care,

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Jarvoid said 2815 days ago (December 5th, 2011)
Sounds great on speakers too...
IMF Super Compact Monitors ...30 odd years old and still pumping out good vibes.....liked this first time round...like it still...


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Doug Somers said 2815 days ago (December 5th, 2011)
On Speakers
Hey Jarvo - I looked up your monitors and they have rave reviews. I would imagine that their imaging and tonal balance are quite good so should reveal all of the detail that the East West folks recorded into these orchestral samples. I am using B&W 601s in the studio, which I know aren't real monitors but I already had them and preferred to spend money on software first. For final mixing I use my old (30 yr) Tannoy Ardens in another part of the house.

I'm glad that you continue to like this piece - it can now go onto the back burner whilst I work on the first movement.

Cheers Chris,
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magnatone said 2809 days ago (December 11th, 2011)
New - Ejected
hi doug - so much power and majestic energy in this piece - what a treat to hit play! this is so impressive - i wish i knew how you were getting this killer sounds doug! love your brass work in here!
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Doug Somers said 2809 days ago (December 11th, 2011)
killer sound
Hi Karen, thanks for the really generous compliments. Brass is from East West's Symphonic Orchestra (as are the rest of the sounds). They have an even newer brass package called Hollywood Brass, but I am quite happy with the samples I have while I learn more about this craft.

Thanks for stopping by!
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TobinMueller said 2805 days ago (December 15th, 2011)
I dig the Deep Space Nine type opening. Majestic, epic, stirring, like Aaron Copland, full of wide open possibilities and grand dreams.A mix of the old west soundtracks and Star Trek places where no one has gone before. I really liked this.
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Doug Somers said 2805 days ago (December 15th, 2011)
Space Westerns
First, thanks for such a descriptive and encouraging set of comments Tobin. I think you got completely what this was to be about, and I appreciate you taking the time to leave your thoughts.

Funny you mention westerns! The other thing is that I was thinking about last week was westerns and the similarities their scores have to space epics (and some seafaring epics too to an extent). I was even thinking that after this piece to do a western, big, bold, and full of riding under the expanse of sky. Maybe next year.

I want to finish at least one more of the movements in this piece first, then I have a couple of others where inspiration is waiting for some computer time.

Keep well, and may your health be constantly improving!
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Narad said 2802 days ago (December 18th, 2011)
Outstandingly well done ! :)
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Doug Somers said 2799 days ago (December 21st, 2011)
Thanks Harald
I appreciate you coming by for a listen. I've been working on another movement but have been slowed down with both software and hardware problems. I'll persevere!

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SomeMadGirl said 2799 days ago (December 21st, 2011)
Lemme get this straight…you said so many nice things about my songs, when you have songs like this?!?!? This is way awesome. You have a real command of the orchestra instruments. It sounds great my friend!
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Doug Somers said 2799 days ago (December 21st, 2011)
Hi Erin
I really like your music - it's as simple as that. That's why I left the comments I did. The more I heard the more I wanted to hear from your back library.

Moreover, it was the encouragement of other artists here that got me from the initial fiddling around with loops on my son's computer to learning more about music and its production. I find the MacJams community is really a great place to hear some first rate music, hear a wide variety of styles, and have a support base that can help you out of any situation you might come across musically (and sometimes even beyond that!). So, for that reason, when I have the time to listen to other artists I try to listen carefully and then let them know what I think. It makes for a slower listening experience in terms of getting around to hearing everything posted, but it is important to me to do it that way.

I'm glad you like this piece Erin. It was fun to do and was a great learning experience.

All the best,
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VicDiesel said 2790 days ago (December 30th, 2011)
Hollywood, here you come!
Great stuff. This sounds very professional.
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Doug Somers said 2787 days ago (January 2nd, 2012)
Awww shucks
Thanks Vic. I'm finding that in search of a realistic sound, in addition to an interesting composition, is really slowing down the old productivity. Still it's gratifying to have comments from people like yourself about my work. I should be ready to upload the first movements soon. They are not symphonic but rather take a more space ambient approach.

Thanks again Vic. Much appreciated!

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Silky5 said 2731 days ago (February 27th, 2012)
The Feel here
Certainly got the brass right for this piece. may be a slight more use of percussion in the lower end to give it that boom. some lovely counterpoint interplay. Great
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Doug Somers said 2709 days ago (March 20th, 2012)
Cheers Paul
I was pleased with the way the brass worked out by and large, although there are bits where I would have preferred a slightly different quality to some of the way the samples sounded. Still, it seemed to work alright at the end of the day. As to the low percussion, I did use the Mahler Hammer for its low frequency content but apart from the tympani, there isn't much else. I found that the basses could end up drowning out the bass drum at times as the mix progressed. Perhaps next time round I'll have a go with some of the toms or war drums from StormDrum in the right places.

Thanks so much for having a listen and your support!

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Name: Doug Somers
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I make music for pleasure, usually using a computer to create soundscapes around all kinds of music. I used to jam with a local celtic group, playing bodhran and 12 string guitar, but I find that my technical and live performance skills fall short o... [see more]

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