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#2931363 - 06/05/18 09:42 PM Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you
hag01 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 67
When I was younger I listened a lot to symphonic metal, mainly to Nightwish, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Carach Angren.
I was young and naive with not much knowladge, so I tought that all the orchestral sounds I hear come from the fingertips of the keyboardists.
Lately I gave a brief listen to those bands after a long time, and then it struck me, one player can't play all this part alone, there must be playbacks.

So I started to research a bit in google, and Carach Angren keyboardist said in an interview that most of the orchestral parts are from playbacks(using sample libraries if I remember correctly), and he only touch the keyboard lightly in live shows,
and Dimmu Borgir recorded real orchestra,
etc...
Then I watched some youtube videos of covers and live shows of that materiels, where keyboardistis actually play.
I saw the keyboardists only use some few basic sounds as:
Basic strings ensemble patche with no articulations(Omnisphere style).
Simple choir patch(only one vowel).
Rarely I saw a hint of some brass.
Pizzicato strings(in the Dimmu Borgir hit -Mourning Palace).
I'm not sure whether I heard tremolo strings patch or it was from a playback.


Now to the questions:
What sound patches and articulations do I really need if I want to play this playing style? But real playing, not MIDI recordings and playbacks .
Basic strings ensemle- ofcourse, pizzicato strings ensemble- OK, Tremolo strings- maybe(By the way, is there any point in tremolo strings patch if you can't control the speed of the tremolo so it will be synchronized with the tempo of the song?)
Some very basic brass and choir.
But apart from these, solo strings and solo brass instrument with load of articultions, needed?
Orchestral woodwinds, needed?
Full strings ensemble with articulations like spiccato, marcato, arco, espressivo staccato, and so on, is it really necessary?

I'll tell you why I'm asking, because from my experience VSTs with all those instruments and articulations usually don't work for me in live context, those are really for heavy MIDI data editing.
VSTs that do work well in live context simply not very comprehensive and doesn't contain all the instruments and articulations.Full strings ensemble spiccato, marcato, arco, espressivo staccato, and more? Forget about it, maybe 2-3 of those articulations, but no comprehensive set. But if no one really play those articulations live then maybe I'm good.

Most of this song are pretty easy for me to play by ear, but eventually I'll have to build a compromise of partial arrangements, and I'll have to find the right sound patches for that.

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#2931376 - 06/06/18 05:05 AM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: hag01]
DanL Offline
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Just about any rompler type keyboard built in the last 15 years will have all those sounds.
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#2931404 - 06/06/18 07:32 AM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: DanL]
Devnor Offline
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Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 184
All the bands I follow play along with the orchestral/choir backing track. At Nightwish, Tuomas was very high in the mix so I heard piano, strings, choirs, leads all on top of the orch track. He's very fond of a string sound in the Korg N364, like you hear at the end of Gethsemane. It seems like they are using less tracks these days now that they have better musicians in the band but for many of their epics, they can't avoid it. I'm okay with tracks in this genre, I'm there to see them, to feed off their energy & the crowd and enjoy the music. I don't expect to see a orchestra and choir up there too.

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#2931408 - 06/06/18 07:42 AM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Devnor]
zeronyne Offline
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I have a little experience in this genre as a sound designer. For live work where you really want to play as much as possible, you are going to want to create a full complement of zones and velocity controlled layers. You should really create ensemble sounds with some sort of hard attack when you dig in. The most effective patches I've heard live have been more suggestive of orchestral timbres, not necessarily the most realistic or even the most album-accurate.
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#2931410 - 06/06/18 07:53 AM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Devnor]
hag01 Offline
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Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 67
Hey Devnor and zeronyne, thank you for the informative answers.

When I listen to the intro of this song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m57ia5wuwA

I'm thinking, wow! That sounds like a real orchestral strings.
Then I hear the exact same sound(It's the same isn't it?), in their live performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibWYRjyWmmI

And then I see in google lots of pictures of their keyboardists playing on Roland keyboards.
I know the sounds of Roland romplers quite well, and I'm pretty sure no Roland keyboard can come close to this sound.

So is it safe to assume that those strings don't come from a keyboard, and that in the live performance they used playback for the intro strings?


Edited by hag01 (06/06/18 07:54 AM)

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#2931416 - 06/06/18 08:34 AM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: hag01]
DanL Offline
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Why do you think that a Roland board can't do those sounds? They sounded pretty normal to me. The album version probably used multiple tracks to do strings, choir and the orchestral brass. Those are stock sounds on any Roland and you can split and layer them to get them all sounding at once without using a backing track or sequencer. My FA08 could easily replicate what they are doing on this song.
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#2931437 - 06/06/18 09:41 AM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: DanL]
Aidan Offline
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FYI, this track was recorded absolutely live using a Roland RD700GX, with custom-programmed sounds using velocity switching as described above. I'm pretty sure any modern Roland workstation such as the FA-06 could replicate this:

Tonight: Songbook
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#2931440 - 06/06/18 10:13 AM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: hag01]
Sven Golly Offline
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Originally Posted By: hag01
So is it safe to assume


Your time here recently has been spent arguing/contradicting what people have been trying to tell you, so maybe you should dial back on the assumption, and increase the quiet reflection and contemplation.

Or not. Your choice. snax
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#2931462 - 06/06/18 12:38 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Sven Golly]
hag01 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 67
Originally Posted By: Sven Golly
Originally Posted By: hag01
So is it safe to assume


Your time here recently has been spent arguing/contradicting what people have been trying to tell you, so maybe you should dial back on the assumption, and increase the quiet reflection and contemplation.

Or not. Your choice. snax


I'm not arguing, I'm asking, and this time I was wrong and I admit that I was wrong.

I tried few hours in a musicians store the Roland FA-06 and I've found almost all of its acoustic sounds as horrible.
I really wonder what patch he used with his Roland to achieve such an incredible and realistic strings sound, since all of Roland's romplers in the last 10 or 20 years have the same sounds(as far as I know), including their JV series and all of that.

I have great respect for the members of this forum, you all have much more experience than I have, I'm here to learn, not to make statements.

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#2931464 - 06/06/18 01:00 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: hag01]
Sven Golly Offline
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FYI I'm specifically referring to earlier threads, most notably your "Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing" thread, not this one so much.

Also, what happened to your decision to buy a Kronos?

Finally, this is patently false:

Quote:
I really wonder what patch he used with his Roland to achieve such an incredible and realistic strings sound, since all of Roland's romplers in the last 10 or 20 years have the same sounds(as far as I know), including their JV series and all of that.


So, yeah, my previous assertion stands. wave
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#2931466 - 06/06/18 01:07 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: hag01]
Toano88 Offline
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Quote:
I tried few hours in a musicians store the Roland FA-06 and I've found almost all of its acoustic sounds as horrible.


Really did you use headphones?

No not all Roland rompler's have the same old sound set. They come up with new versions all the time with modeling technology added and new samples recorded at higher resolutions. Not all romplers have the same quality of components and sample size. Many new Roland products have the old samples and patches included. But they are always updating there sound sets adding new sounds.

You can take a 20 year old sample recorded in the highest fidelity available at the time and play it through their 20 yr old rompler and then play it using a modern workstation. They will not sound the same. The quality of the DA converters, EFX will make a huge difference. I have an FA-08 and the quality of the Super Natural sounds are very very good. It has one of the most realistic and playable nylon guitar sounds of any keyboard I have ever played. And I have a couple of real nylon stringed guitars to compare it to.
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#2931469 - 06/06/18 01:25 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Sven Golly]
hag01 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 67
Yeah about the mod wheel I admit that this is my playing style, I want to use velocity for dynamics.

About the Roland, yeah I hated most of the sounds when I tested it, do I have apologize about that?

About the Kronos, still didn't got a final decision, I'm
still considering it.
The main advantage of laptop rig is portability.
And for me, the main disadvantage with laptop rig is that I can't test most of those VST instruments before buying them, and I already wasted about 500-700 dollars in the last two years on stuff I would never use.
Sound demos are not enough because they are manipulative, but way way beyond that, you can never know how does it feels to play a virtual instrument until you are feeling it under your fingertips with your MIDI keyboard.
I know stuff that sound decent or even good on certain recordings, but doesn't feel good at all in actual playing(mainly because of lacking in velocity layers, but not just that).

Anyhow, about the Kronos, I tried ir briefly few days ago in a musicians store far away from my town(I passed by), and I've found its Rompler sounds(HD-1 engine) incredibly good(as opposed to Roland FA I must say).
I will get back there in the next two weeks I hope, and will test it deeply(I'll have to find a free day for that).

By the way, the Kronos action was surprisingly lovely(I played on 73 keys version, RH3 action). It doesn't feel like a real piano as like a high end Kawai, instead, it feels like another keyboard instrument in its own right, but a really cool keyboard instrument, and I always was fond of acoustic piano action or digital pianos that imitate that very good.

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#2931470 - 06/06/18 01:30 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Toano88]
hag01 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 67
Originally Posted By: Toano88
Quote:
I tried few hours in a musicians store the Roland FA-06 and I've found almost all of its acoustic sounds as horrible.


Really did you use headphones?

No not all Roland rompler's have the same old sound set. They come up with new versions all the time with modeling technology added and new samples recorded at higher resolutions. Not all romplers have the same quality of components and sample size. Many new Roland products have the old samples and patches included. But they are always updating there sound sets adding new sounds.

You can take a 20 year old sample recorded in the highest fidelity available at the time and play it through their 20 yr old rompler and then play it using a modern workstation. They will not sound the same. The quality of the DA converters, EFX will make a huge difference. I have an FA-08 and the quality of the Super Natural sounds are very very good. It has one of the most realistic and playable nylon guitar sounds of any keyboard I have ever played. And I have a couple of real nylon stringed guitars to compare it to.


Yes I used headphones.
Thanks for the information.
I guess the salesman of this store doesn't know much about the equipment he sells, and therefor he doesn't know how to display the capabilities of the Roland FA.
Probably gave me a unit that never had software update from the moment this board came out, and of course with no SRX expansions.
Plus bad headphones.

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#2931475 - 06/06/18 02:20 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Aidan]
stoken6 Offline
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Posts: 1891
Originally Posted By: Aidan
FYI, this track was recorded absolutely live using a Roland RD700GX, with custom-programmed sounds using velocity switching as described above.


OT: nice playing Aidan. A strong sense of time and pocket, rare in that genre. And the singer's good too - she's got a Sinatra-esque focus on diction!

Cheers, Mike.
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#2931477 - 06/06/18 02:23 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: hag01]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 5629
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Originally Posted By: hag01
[qu

I tried few hours in a musicians store the Roland FA-06 and I've found almost all of its acoustic sounds as horrible.
I really wonder what patch he used with his Roland to achieve such an incredible and realistic strings sound, since all of Roland's romplers in the last 10 or 20 years have the same sounds(as far as I know), including their JV series and all of that.

I have great respect for the members of this forum, you all have much more experience than I have, I'm here to learn, not to make statements.


I thought you were aiming for advanced or multi layered articulation. Which some arrangers might have. Kronos and FA don't quite have that.

Funny you did not like most of FA acoustic instruments. Funny, in that, I saw the value of many of them vs Kronos. One exception is full [? 30/40 piece) orchestra sounds or medium/large ensembles. These might be minimal on the FA.

I still suggest, a keyboardist think think think , then define their requirements as a 1st step. With that list of 20 must haves and 10 ' nice to haves' its easier to weigh the merits of individual boards.


Edited by GregC (06/06/18 02:32 PM)
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#2931481 - 06/06/18 02:47 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: GregC]
hag01 Offline
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Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 67
GregC, I want a lot of things, there is no perfect board with everything best - best synths, best rompler, best articulations, etc...
And yes I liked the rompler side of the Kronos much more than the rompler side of the Roland FA.

I guess it's a matter of taste.

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#2931485 - 06/06/18 03:33 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: hag01]
GregC Offline
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Originally Posted By: hag01
GregC, I want a lot of things, there is no perfect board with everything best - best synths, best rompler, best articulations, etc...
And yes I liked the rompler side of the Kronos much more than the rompler side of the Roland FA.

I guess it's a matter of taste.


taste or preference is definitely there. And that becomes subjective.

Whats good about these forums is to see if a keyboardist can identify a weakness or 2 in a board vs a competing board.

Once you know your requirements it becomes less fishing around.

For example, I want strong guitars, and many as possible and easily accessible FX. While I have used Kronos guitars frequently, now that I have the FA, I find that Roland does a better job.

Another example, is Acoustic Piano[AP}. This is an area of strength for Kronos IMO. Or it
you could say its my pref. But Kronos meets my requirement on this important 'must have'

The FA AP's are good, maybe very good. But not quite as detailed vs Kronos.

Again my context is not gigging. A gigging keyboardist might prefer the FA AP's because
they cut thru the mix in a band setting. But thats not my context or my requirement.

The Kronos AP's record beautifully which is my top requirement.

Just a few examples why I think context and requirement is important to be clear on.
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#2931489 - 06/06/18 03:55 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: hag01]
Aidan Offline
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If I recall (it was recorded some years ago), most of the sounds in the track I linked to were derived from the SRX Orchestral expansion card, most of the sounds from which are incorporated into many recent Roland romplers.

Bear in mind, though, that this is not just about sounds but far more so about technique.

If you learn how to play a little guitar, your 'keyboard guitar' work will be much more believable, because you become aware of the most common note combinations in chords, and what would be physically impossible to play.

Similarly, most examples of string sounds in keyboard demos sound awful because the player is using consecutive close triads. If you study scores, however, you will see that the individual components of chordings are usually very widely spaced, making those voicings challenging to play on a keyboard.

Listen as much as you can, and learn how to read and use scores. Repeated listening to a few short and relatively simple pieces at a time, slowly breaking them down, is probably preferable than attempting to analyse all ten Mahler symphonies.

If you put the work in, you will begin to get a feel for voicings, phrases and instrumental combinations which sound natural.

Obviously, the better the original samples, the more authentic the result. But even hundreds of dollars' worth of Vienna Symphonic Library will sound like crud if you don't know how to play them.
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#2931490 - 06/06/18 04:02 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Aidan]
Aidan Offline
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P.S. If you have Spotify, here's a great album to listen to for deconstruction. The music is relatively lightweight and undemanding, but the orchestration is masterful and clearly delineated in the arrangements. Not a wasted note in sight.

Golden Hearts Orchester David Ordini
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#2931494 - 06/06/18 05:17 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: stoken6]
CowboyNQ Offline
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Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Originally Posted By: stoken6
Originally Posted By: Aidan
FYI, this track was recorded absolutely live using a Roland RD700GX, with custom-programmed sounds using velocity switching as described above.


OT: nice playing Aidan.

Joining in the OT. I agree with Mike about your playing, Aidan - great job of programming your/the Roland, too. Thanks for sharing. I love that song and West Side Story.

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#2931498 - 06/06/18 06:04 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Aidan]
gino Offline
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Loc: Sydney NSW, Australia
As has been mentioned by previous replies. Any top of the line workstation from Kurzweil, Yamaha, Roland or Korg will do what you want. How close you get to what you want will depend on the amount of effort/time you are prepared to put into programming your combinations of sounds/splits/velocity zones/layers and what you're prepared to accept as a minor compromise on articulations etc etc because you are playing live. For example below are some links showing strings and vox/choir sounds of the Roland FA. There are so many individual sounds to scroll through and then you need to experiment with combinations/layering of those sounds. So that's hours and hours and hours of time and just to find the best combination for 2 types of sounds. Then you'll need to do the same with bell types sounds, organs, pianos etc etc. The holy grail of what will please you is definitely capable in all of these workstations.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usBcbukoNYg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDp-hOph6y0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AznxJnMTzZU

Cheers

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#2931506 - 06/06/18 07:53 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Aidan]
Tom Williams Offline
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Originally Posted By: Aidan
Bear in mind, though, that this is not just about sounds but far more so about technique.

If you learn how to play a little guitar, your 'keyboard guitar' work will be much more believable, because you become aware of the most common note combinations in chords, and what would be physically impossible to play.

Similarly, most examples of string sounds in keyboard demos sound awful because the player is using consecutive close triads. [...] But even hundreds of dollars' worth of Vienna Symphonic Library will sound like crud if you don't know how to play them.

Well put, Aidan. Indeed, you just explained in two paragraphs what I have worked on for three decades. To say that you rock would be an understatement bordering on insult.
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#2932619 - 06/13/18 02:48 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Aidan]
hag01 Offline
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Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 67
I just wanted to say I'm sorry I bashed Roland sounds.
I'm 100% sure that somethings went wrong when I tested Roland FA in a music store(can think right now on few drawbacks).

Now that I know that Within Temptation keyboardist uses Roland, a band that I like and appreciate...
In the song Paradise it took me a while to observe that those aren't real strings...

I'm listening to Integra 7 demos and I'm blown away by its rompler capabilities.
I'm actually considering now the Integra 7.
I may be a Roland converted after all.

Oh and:
Originally Posted By: Aidan

Great song!

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#2932622 - 06/13/18 02:56 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: hag01]
timwat Offline
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Aidan's comment and recording reminds me all over again the most in-demand working KB players seem to be professionally curious because of their love for music - all sorts of genre, instruments, sounds, styles etc. How do I improve my synth string playing? How do I get this guitar patch to sound more authentic? Why does the Ennio Morricone's melodies sound like that? Why do great vocalists pronounce lyrics that way? What's so special about Frank Sinatra's phrasing? What's Junkie XL doing in his soundtrack arrangements? and so on.

Over the long haul it seems like it's one thing to learn stuff cause you have to, and another thing entirely to learn stuff about music because you are willing to be open to all sorts of new stuff and try to figure out why it sounds that way.

hag01, I'm glad you're open to Roland stuff after all - you'll benefit from being as open as possible to every manufacturer's set of sounds, and being willing to see if there's something useful. If someone can't find a musical use for a sound, I'd venture it was on them, not the sound.

Going a step further, I raise an eyebrow when someone freely admits they aren't open to listening to an entire genre of music, or dismisses an entire generation of music makers, etc. Different strokes, I suppose...but I think it's a wonderful thing to have all sorts of folks making music I don't immediately gravitate toward.
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#2932672 - 06/13/18 09:35 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: timwat]
Nathanael_I Offline
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Posts: 152
hag01, If you are thinking that you need to be able to play all kinds of wild articulations and symphonic instruments to play symphonic metal, I don't think that is the case. I don't know if you've been to see these bands live, but I've seen Nightwish half a dozen times or more, Within Temptation, Sonata Arctica, etc. The keys parts are almost 100% synth sounds. The orchestral parts are all flown in. The keys parts are 90% rhythm - often helping propel the track or provide hits, accents, etc. Much more percussive than legato. They often double what the orchestra is doing, but with much more cutting synth tones. Pads abound on intros, outros, and interludes. Pianos are often only for ballads or downtempo pieces. Bands like Nightwish use professional orchestrators and arrangers to prepare the material for recording and then have the orchestral parts played by a real orchestra for the album. These are more like "sound track" albums than any normal rock and roll record.

If you haven't, get out and see these bands live. Nightwish tours the country every year, some cities more than once. In the US, they don't play arena shows like in Europe. You can be 25' from the keys rig or less. They don't even use weighted keyboards to play piano - its all 61 note romplers of exactly the brands that have been mentioned already.

Many of these sounds work only in the band's context. If you like orchestral instruments, you probably wouldn't like these sounds solo'd, but with a heavy metal band blazing away and parts of an orchestral at full tilt, its going to take some really bright, cutting sounds to cut through. Timwat and others in the thread are correct - there's a lot of learning and subtle tweaking to get this genre to sound right, and to deliver that to a room full of people in an intelligible way. Without the utmost care in arranging and patches, the keys would either not be heard, or turn the whole thing into mush. With that many notes going on, every single thing is determined ahead of time.

When the song is the same night after night, you can do very clever things with multi-timbral synths to put deep drums, hits, or other samples on single notes that only get hit during a bridge or chorus. Sophisticated shows, that take a LOT of preparation. It's a lot more work than being able to play the notes.


Edited by Nathanael_I (06/13/18 09:41 PM)

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#2932676 - 06/13/18 10:47 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Nathanael_I]
waygetter Offline
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Posts: 656
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I've never heard of them, so took a look and here they are. My 30 second assessment = highly theatrical and produced Euro metal, kind of Game of Thrones meets Heart meets Metallica.
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#2932681 - 06/13/18 11:45 PM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: waygetter]
Nathanael_I Offline
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Registered: 01/11/15
Posts: 152
Yup. Symphonic only in that some traditionally symphonic instrumental passages make brief appearances. Mostly just high strings (electric bass rules the low end), brass and choirs with epic percussion. Not much by way of delicate woodwind writing, though it makes brief appearances. None of the writing is even close to Mahler, or the other greats. Think epic trailer music, not symphony hall. But, the band now has a flute player - I think he did all the flutes for Lord of the Rings.

The music is all written by the keyboard player, Tuomas Holopainen. He has played Korg keyboards for years. He's currently playing two 61 note Kronos's with a third off to the side. He doesn't put hands on that one much, but with MIDI, you never know how much is coming off that board. Lots of layered sounds and fast patch changes - it may be there for polyphony or backup. I'm sure many hours of sound design go into each album and show preparation.

Nightwish traditionally releases instrumental only versions of their albums. These are an easy way to inspect the music more closely. It's more elaborate rock and roll than it is symphonic, but its a fun show - my daughter and I go when they come through the Bay Area.

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#2932686 - 06/14/18 01:25 AM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Nathanael_I]
hag01 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 67
Nathanael_I, you gave me a valuable information.
But by what you say I could think that I could just get away with Omnisphere and few other plugins, no?

By the way, I'm going crazy to know from where are those strings sounds:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0YimMicUik

If it's from a keyboard I have to know what keyboard produce such a strings sound.


Edited by hag01 (06/14/18 01:28 AM)

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#2932714 - 06/14/18 08:02 AM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: hag01]
Devnor Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 184
For Decades tour Tuomas is using the Kronos but that top board is a N364 and there's a Karma off to the side. IIRC he had 3x Kronos for Endless Forms tour. Every show I attended prior included the 364 & Karma. Something is definitely changing the patches but I don't believe there is some massive keyboard rig backstage - everything you hear live comes from those 3 boards. On their albums, Tuomas doesn't rely on complicated, layered synth arrangements but instead relies on the choir & orchestra. He's playing piano, that chugging string sound from the 364 and choir sounds. Tuomas is a brilliant artist but he's not a clinician. He'll never dazzle you with shredding solos and complex keyboard work. Composer & visionary for sure. I'm looking forward to their next album in 2019. OP may want to check out the last 2 After Forever albums Invisible Circles and Remagine for interesting, all synths production.

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#2932718 - 06/14/18 08:44 AM Re: Symphonic metal keyboardists-This question is for you [Re: Devnor]
Nathanael_I Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/11/15
Posts: 152
Yes, he has used the N364's for a while. Before the Endless Forms tour, he used two of them. Agreed that he seems to be running things from stage and not a huge backstage rig. He is constantly adjusting things on the boards. I've watched them set up the keys rig and it appears to be self-contained.

Hag01, I think you need to give up the idea that it is the gear. Any solid ROMpler can pull off these patches - just like others have said. They aren't magic. Omnisphere will work. All of them will require significant work to get where you want to go. Copying any recorded artists is not a preset playing game. It is a detailing listening and thoughtful iteration game. You will need to know how subtractive synthesis works and apply those skills. It is a LOT of work to copy the creative choices someone else made "in the moment" and has tweaked over years of touring.

Pick something that works for you - not something that you think the artist used. You have no idea if they are running custom samples of synths they have at home, sounds they paid a sound designer to make, etc. All these boards are massively customizable. Most can import custom samples. The logo on the board is meaningless - they may be using zero stock sounds. Jordan Rudess's Kronos is chock full of custom sounds and samples. This is very common - it is one of the best things about the Kronos - it can be made into whatever you want it to be, and you can throw the presets and preset samples away.

This is also not music that you'll play live without a very committed band of like-minded people. Given the draw of these bands, that is much harder than buying a new synth/keyboard. Finding an audience will be harder. Nightwish pulls 1500-2000 here in San Francisco. In Europe, they play stadiums. Your location probably matters a lot. This is not mainstream music, and they are probably the leading band in this genre. A band like Delain pulls a few hundred here - and again - plays to thousands in Europe.

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