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Topic: Don't have a title for this....

  1. #1

    Don't have a title for this....

    Here's a little something I did. It is mainly a bit of an exercise, it is not inspired by anything in particular nor has any artistic claims... it is sort of an "improvised notation".
    It is scored in "Score Writer". I bought this as a cheap way to have a permanent demo of Overture (it is its "small brother"), as I am still searching for a notation program that really suits me. I demoed Finale, Sibelius and other smaller products... at the moment it is between Overture and Notion (that doesn't have a demo but sounds promising). I actually like Score Writer/Overture a lot (tastes are strictly personal), but I noticed a few quirks in the playback that bug me pretty much. If only Sonar's notation would be a little more powerful... it is very annoying to notate in a program and switch to Sonar to render... one basically has to do it all over again.

    No title, we were saying. I was tempted to name it "Dawn" as I rendered it the last night, under a massive attack of insomnia, and finished it by dawn. This also might entitle me to borrow Rodney's nickname... only in my case it would be "renderingatnight"


    "NOTITLE" is scored for winds quartet, horns, harp, the usual 5 strings sections plus solo violin and cello. Everything runs in a single instance of Aria outputting to 5 buses with dedicated instances of convolution reverb. Not everything is GPO, though. Section strings are the dimension pro strings re-patched in Aria and the solo strings are Gpo's (violin 1 and cello 1), but reprogrammed with the same code used in those sections, that basically modifies the level of eq-ing that cc1 applies, so the sound is more "open", controls expression by both velocity and cc1 (this suits me better) and I get cc controls for samples' offset and attack curve that I use all the time.

    Well, that's all. Suggestions highly welcome. I am such a beginner composition-wise... so feel free to fire at will!


  2. #2

    Re: Don't have a title for this....

    Fab! I like this a lot. It has a very flowing sound to me. The render also sounds nice. Nothing sounds out of place to me, melodically or harmonically. That's pretty cool that you were able to reprogram some samples. I would not know where to begin to do that. The programming result worked good for your piece.
    I think a good name for this piece would be "WUMPY and the MAGGOT", but that is only a suggestion. Jay

  3. #3

    Re: Don't have a title for this....

    Hi, Fab - Naturally I'm influenced by the text in your post which I read before listening, but still I'll say that I could feel that wee-hours of the morning insomniac mood in this music. There's a thoughtfulness, a sense of contemplation, tinges of regret, some melancholy, and an early morning weariness which I felt was captured in the music.

    Probably most interesting to me were the moments when I thought I knew how passages were going to be resolved, but something unpredictable came up instead - a suspension rather than resolution. That quality kept the piece moving cautiously along, with interesting twists and turns, and I enjoyed it very much.

    Good to hear music from you, Fab!


  4. #4

    Re: Don't have a title for this....

    Quote Originally Posted by sec2 View Post
    I am still searching for a notation program that really suits me. I demoed Finale, Sibelius and other smaller products... at the moment it is between Overture and Notion (that doesn't have a demo but sounds promising). I actually like Score Writer/Overture a lot (tastes are strictly personal), but I noticed a few quirks in the playback that bug me pretty much. If only Sonar's notation would be a little more powerful... it is very annoying to notate in a program and switch to Sonar to render... one basically has to do it all over again.

    Well, that's all. Suggestions highly welcome. I am such a beginner composition-wise... so feel free to fire at will!
    Well, the inspiration fills this piece. Nice melodic writing, my friend! This piece has a wonderful melancholic feel. Thanks for sharing a piece of your inner beauty!

    As to your search for a notation program. I love Finale (though I know you demoed it and are not in favor of using it.) I have been using Finale since the late 80's when I was teaching. So, I have grown with the program and know a lot about its strengths and its weaknesses! The simpler programs like Score Writer/Overture are wonderful for getting nice print-copy, but are a pain to work with to create the sound you get so well from your DAW. I don't believe SONAR will ever add a plugin that will be a good score wring plugin. That's not what they are about (personal opinion).

    What you do in rendering is marvelous. Just stay the course. The only way any music scoring program can get a truly live performance sound is through a live performance. Your way is much cheaper . You certainly have the right tools!

    Nice job and thanks for sharing.

    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  5. #5

    Re: Don't have a title for this....


    Yes, it is very flowing indeed. Actually, across 3 of the 4 sections, there is not one single note out of the tonality. The only alteration used is a raised 7th degree, but that's while the harmony is on the dominant chord (of a minor mode) so this is not even an alteration. I took a couple of liberties on the final section, but only on the melodic side.
    I have no problem with a score in front of me and an instrument under my hands.... but several staves at once are still a bit too much for me to control them at a glance so I prefer keeping things simple and, in this case, worked more on the rhythmic character of the melodic lines, using off beat accents and changes of pace and put a few dissonances only in the (rather hidden) duets. I enjoyed in particular the third section with the melody on the violins and the counter melody on the flute.
    Believe me, re-programming patches is much easier done than explained. Ok, it is something that one must learn to do, but it is not so difficult, really, and opens up LOTS of possibilities. Most of the times I do not tweak MIDI data, I tweak the instrument. It makes sense, too, it is the player that has to execute the score, not the other way round.
    I am afraid you' ve got to explain the "WUMPY and the MAGGOT" thing. I am not a native english speaker so I did not catch this.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to listening and commenting.


    If you allow me... can I be very happy that your first words about this were about feelings and not about music? This way it sounds like a "mission accomplished"
    No, it' s not the insomniac... Thoughtfulness, melancholia and contemplation are really very basic pillars of my personality.... but on the other hand, if one is melancholic, thoughtful and contemplative is often subjected to insomniac issues, so it is really the same thing!

    It is also very good for me to read your words about this little bit of music of mine. I am very glad you enjoyed it.


    I begin to see a pattern, here
    For me it is so touching to see Randy's and your comment focusing so much on the emotional side of the piece. It is true that the piece was pretty much an orchestration exercise... but it is also true that I named it an "improvised notation", or I should have said a "notated improvisation". It pretty much came out by itself so I actually clearly recognize in it a part of "me". Only... I did not know there was any inner beauty in me Really, Bill, thanks so much for that comment, you really made my day.

    Yes... those notation programs. Look, Both Finale and Sibelius are devastatingly good. Sibelius 7 is though completely ruined by that horrible chaotic graphic interface. My problem with them is that they both have little access to the midi side of things, AND both are really meant to work with either their built in libraries or libraries they know how to handle. In my case, as you probably understood, I do a lot of tweaking and reprogramming so I need to have a program that follows me on this and Score Writer(Overture) does this. I can completely change the way the program reacts to everything, notation marks, dynamics and so on, right there, on the interface. So I can have one track handling hairpins of dynamics with cc1, the next with cc7 and so on, or I can change dynamics from cc7 to velocity right there, in the middle of the piece, without quitting the program. Plus, I get on screen midi data exactly as in Sonar. This would be perfect for me.... but there are glitches: a rallentando mark will mess the tempo for the whole score in partial playbacks (strange, but true). Not a problem for the final rendering, but annoying while composing. Hairpins are difficult to get right and generally dynamics have messy behavior. Probably there is more work to be done on the interaction between program and sounds, and that's something I will continue to work on. But, for the moment, I can not pull a decent finished rendering out of it.
    I do agree with you on Sonar: it will never be different from what it is today. Shame. I continue to hate having to do the work twice.
    But it is true that I am only an occasional VST user, as I also agree with you on the "real instruments" topic and it is with them that I spend most of my "music time", as a passionate amateur. Probably computers will take their place in the future. There will be a day computer will accurately simulate the sound of real instruments.... but there will never come the day a computer will ever be able to simulate the beauty of the ACT of playing a musical instrument.

    Thank you very very much for this little chat and for your very kind words.


  6. #6

    Re: Don't have a title for this....

    Fab, as far as I am told NOTION-4 has a demo lasting 14 days. But I am fond of Overture. For Notion problems and issues contact Max Hamburg, he is a specialist on NOTION (and don't tell him I told you).

    I enjoyed the piece very much. It is flowing the old fashioned way, and therefore it is good to hear. At least after a couple of "listenings" one can hum(m) the piece during a long/short walk. It sticks in your mind, and that is good.


  7. #7

    Re: Don't have a title for this....

    Excellent work, Fab. The moody string lines filled with flashes of melodic excellence. The woods are a bit too strong in places, and the changes from flute to oboe lines could be smoother. Purely from a production sense of course.

    But naturally as you haven't settled yet on the ideal composition tools, it's great to see you storming ahead with full rich and complete pieces.
    YouTube Music:
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  8. #8

    Re: Don't have a title for this....

    This does not sound like the work of a beginner. A lovely piece. I am a little unclear as to how you rendered the piece. Was the rendering done in Sonar and if so how do you go about moving from a notation program to Sonar. I have begun working in Sonar's PRV together with old fashioned paper and pencil. I have a notation program which is Ok as a notation program but inadequate to do any rendering. (Harmony Assistant-unfortunately I can not afford something like Finale at this time.) I guess more specifically I am curious as to how you introduce randomness in to a composition created in a notation program that you are importing into Sonar.

  9. #9

    Re: Don't have a title for this....

    Richard, thanks for the listen and your kind words.

    With concern to your questions... Yes, this was notated in Score Writer, and I did not push it to full accuracy. Most of the data would have been lost anyway in the transition to Sonar. Then I exported as a Midi file, re-imported the midi into Sonar, re-built the vst instruments layer and I went on finishing the render.
    Randomness... I usually never add it. I mean, I do think music needs accuracy, not randomness. So I care about drawing the tempo map and per-instrument expression curves, while I do notate possible nuances relevant to notes like small anticipations or delays. I usually never use PRV. In Sonar, I use it solely for editing controllers.
    In case of doubled parts/instruments playing in unison, I add some displacement between the parts programming "delays" into the patches. All samplers offer a way to do it. Garritan's Aria programs are sfz so one need to play with "delay", "delay_random" and "delay_ccX" opcodes. That's one of the things I was referring to a few posts above, by saying that I prefer to change the patches, not the midi data. It is much, much faster.
    This said.... not all notation programs are alike, some do offer a very strong MIDI set of tools. Overture, for example, gives you PRV with cc editing, exactly as Sonar, and you also have all midi data represented and editable directly on the score. Notion works in a similar way. These are accessible programs that do not cost what Finale costs ... I warmly suggest you to give them a look. At the end I decided and got Overture. I really like it plus I already am halfway learning it. I sincerely do not think that there are things one can do in Sonar that can not be done in Overture... at least in theory: I will have a proper picture regarding possible bugs and misbehaving of the program once I'll have a few more hours of experience with it. I really am a newbie.


  10. #10

    Re: Don't have a title for this....

    Hi Fab,

    Thank you for such a marvellous piece. Nice melodic lines, great harmonies, but sometimes a bit overloaded with instruments (overscored).

    As to the choice of a notation program, Raymond suggested that I could be of some help with Notion4. That is partly true, since I've been working for over 4 years now with Notion4 and a begin to know all the pros and cons. I used to work with Finale before, but I quit it last year. It is excellent notation software, but far too complicated for a simple mind as mine. In that regard, Notion is much more intuitive, works faster and is predesigned to overhear without much ado the result of your work in a glance in a very acceptable way. It delivers a print output that is just good enough, nothing more and the editing possibilities are rather limited. As to VST use, it works perfectly together with LSO (built-in), VSL Special Edition, EWQL, Garritan libraries (GPO), Miroslav Philharmonic... It has Rewire, midi overdub, sequencer staffs, sequencer overlay directly in the score, tempo tap, tempo overdub, midi data recording, in 64 bit host and slave, both for Mac and Windows. The interface is easy to use and it comes with a large number of readymade score templates. Therefore, it could be a good choice. As to editing and printing of parts and scores, it's rather limited and for that purpose, Finale is the better choice.
    I know it's a tough choice and not always easy to test all the possible notation software (you need a rather long 'study' period to get familiar with the principal options), but I guess it's the only way to get informed properly.

    A second question (besides pure notation) is of course what you want to reach or obtain (expectations). If you want to produce not only good music, but presentable nice looking scores and parts or if you want to realise a flexible score to finish in a DAW or both, or both in one, you will have to depend on good external information and your own judgement. It would be very sad to buy something (mostly expensive) that you'd regret after a brief time...

    I wish you good luck with your search and thanks for the lovely piece!


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