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Topic: Rest in Peace (Demo)

  1. #1

    Rest in Peace (Demo)

    Well, I know I have been sharing a lot of Vienna based instrument compositions lately, but today I want to show everyone why Garritan is the other 50% of my personal fancy.

    This is a very deep composition I am working on for "Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation, aka the new Dramatic War series." I will most likely have to increase the frequency on the rain, but the main idea is presented here.

    Now listen to that cello... that is cello #2 from GPO. No library that I own can touch that haunting and emotional sound of a cello (IMO)... that cello is the most emotional and haunting cello I have ever heard. It is not based on fancy articulations or power produced instruments, it is the natural sadness like sound to the instrument. The Vienna cello doesn't even compare to it's rich sorrow.

    Each library has its use. I chose Garritan because the instruments are dry and have their unique qualities that other libraries don't have (based on what I heard from demos and what I own). The garritan strings are heavenly, the Garritan cello is deep and haunting, and that Garritan English horn is warm and piercing. The Garritan instruments make a very great impact in my compositions and I am thankful for every dollar spent on them.

    Libraries Used:
    - Garritan Personal Orchestra (Cello #2)
    - Dimension Pro (Warm Strings Pad #1)
    - Emotional Piano (Soundirion)
    - Voice of Gaia, Linda Strawberry (Soundiron)

  2. #2

    Re: Rest in Peace (Demo)

    Very moody Richard. I like it. You are right about the cello. It does sound emotional. This is a nice post. Thanks. Jay

  3. #3

    Re: Rest in Peace (Demo)

    It's a rich and haunting recording, Richard, as we've come to expect in the posts of your serious music.

    I would like to encourage you, perhaps just as an exercise at first, to develop your things beyond the 8 measures or so that you generally work with. Your background is gaming music, and while those things can get fairly developed, for the most part they're looping bits with one sustained mood, because of the nature of their function. Now that you're writing music intended to stand on its own, I think it would be good for you to try emulating pieces of more complexity. For instance, what you have in this clip could be the introduction, just the beginning of a piece that moves on to different keys, different moods, additional instruments, and so forth.

    --I know it's in a different key from your most recently posted version of Tara, but the chord progression is the same for the first three chords. In this one, you continue down one more step, in Tara you return to the second chord. This makes the two pieces very similar, Richard, maybe even seeming like two just slightly different passages from the same piece. We all have a particular style, and repeat ourselves, and sometimes it can take us awhile to be aware of how we've repeated ourselves too literally. So - maybe these two pieces seem different to you, I just wanted to point out that they seem like segments from the same piece.

    I like your use of the Dimension "Warm Strings Pad #1." Especially in soundtrack-like work, having a fully fleshed out string orchestra isn't what's called for, and wouldn't be appropriate. I think of TV soundtracks that of course make constant use of "string-like" sustained chords for setting and sustaining a mood. Invariably that's done with a "Pad" sound that sounds better for that usage than an actual string ensemble of some sort would be. Pads are simple sounding, usually muted in tone, and of course they're easy to play since most often they're being used to simply hold a chord which has been voiced in the way a keyboardist plays rather than the more complicated voicing that would be used for actual strings. It's a moody sound that fills out a soundtrack without drawing as much attention to itself as full tilt strings do - And, that's what's working for you in this short demo.

    Cello 2 in GPO does have a nice, warm sound, and it sounds great in this. What you've said about it being sad sounding, full of sorrow, inspires me to add another thought to this response -

    --I don't think instruments by themselves aren't "sad" or "happy." Those are mood elements of a composition that the composer creates. That cello you've used could play music of a very different mood and be just as effective. The beautiful English horn in GPO is versatile also - all instruments are. The primary characteristic tone of instruments can tend to lend themselves to particular moods, and that has established some cliche associations between some instruments and moods: bass clarinet=spooky. oboe=poignant. bassoon=funny. solo violin or cello=sad. Not to say that continuing to use those instruments for those particular moods is "bad," because it's perfectly OK to not be especially original. It's just to point out that those instruments can also be used in any number of other ways, and not only in their cliched roles.

    That brings up the basic theory behind what has been long established as the standard, classic orchestra, with its requisite groupings of woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings. With the sound palette established and unchanging, compositions are created using the same tools but resulting in an infinite variety of results. Like painters using combinations of the three primary colors, composers can combine sounds that result in endless varieties. Compositions have two factors -assembling notes in whatever order and manner the composer wants, and using whatever tone colors the composer wants.

    What's appreciated about GPO by many people is that it's a straight arrow, no-frills orchestra, ready to be used however the composer wants. That makes it directly analogous to a live orchestra. The sound is pure with no FX pre-applied which limit how the instruments can be used. There's no "spacey piano," for instance. But there is a good piano, and if the user/musician/composer wants to make it spacey, he's free to do that either with ARIA's built in FX or plugins from his audio software. GPO does provide some alternate versions of some instruments that lend themselves to textures other than "straight" - like the Lush String patches which are basically the same string samples layered and with a muted EQ added to them. The user could use the straight string patches and come up with his own version of "lush strings," and maybe customize it more to his particular needs, but that pre-cooked patch is there for him to use if he wants.

    There's "pure music" which is the result of composing for and using instruments in their natural way. All sorts of different articulations and playing styles lend each instrument to a large variety of sound available, but there are many MIDI composers that want to restrict themselves to what's only possible for live bands/orchestras to play. Then there are those of us who want to take advantage of more tools that we have available, coming up with new sounds beyond what a live orchestra could do, adding production techniques like impossibly huge reverbs, echos, flanging etc, and I think all of that kind of playing with sound is to be encouraged.

    It's just that some recordings from our home studios will tend to rely on FX more than actual composition. That's emulating the basically simple things we hear in TV soundtracks which if reduced to just the actual notes, would be almost absurdly basic. And regardless of how tricky we get with extra FX to flesh out our recordings, composers of every kind will tend to rely on easily achieved "mood creators"--using the oboe for poignancy, low brass for ominous--as per what I said above. Those cliches work, but it's possible to create a desired mood with other than the standard instruments most often used for those moods - And those instruments, including the GPO cello in this recording, are able to do much more than that one, standard mood. That's why I don't find that cello "sad" - It has a warm tone which lends itself to the way you used it, but it's versatile, and I think it's more helpful for us to think of it as being wide open to many different usages.

    And so on. As often happens, your post tripped me out, Richard, and now that my fingers have flown on the keyboard, I'll post this and maybe at least some of it will be interesting to read!


  4. #4

    Re: Rest in Peace (Demo)

    Thanks for posting this, Richard. I am getting a lot of good ideas from you about good instruments to use from collections I already own. That string pad sounds really good.

    (Thanks Randy for the excellent information on how things are typically used. That was very helpful.)
    __________________________________________________ _________________
    My website: www.tunespace.net

  5. #5

    Re: Rest in Peace (Demo)

    Sorry I've been away for awhile Richard so I see I've missed some of your posts. The cello is very moving in this and with the help of the rest of your orchestration that you chose, it does evoke a sad but forceful presence. We all have certain talents we excel at and you have definitely found your niche. Lovely passionate piece!

    I got exhausted reading Randy's reply but I'm glad I did. He makes some good points about orchestrating. Randy must really see the potential in your ability to excel otherwise he wouldn't have left such a detailed reply. I would feel honored about receiving such a reply myself because it means that person really wants you to succeed ; it's not just another succinct "good job" reply.

    Now to listen to your other posts. Carry on my friend!


  6. #6

    Re: Rest in Peace (Demo)

    Randy, the title was "Rest in peace". Not "WAR AND PEACE"

    Hey, just joking. Beautiful post Randy... "long-ish".. maybe... but rich and meaningful .... Richard, listen to this man, there' s wisdom in his words.

    And... yes, gorgeous mood you caught up there. You do have a nice time with this coupling voice/strings, lately....
    I also liked a lot the background FX, adds so much to the overall atmosphere.
    I admit I am not the best friend of the solo strings in GPO, but for sure they have a very nice tone and a VERY nice vibrato, all of them. My own favorites are violin 3 and cello 1.
    But that cello 2 did a remarkable job in your hands.


  7. #7

    Re: Rest in Peace (Demo)

    Thanks Fab for the listen and feedback, I now rest in a peaceful war! ! One thing I love every now and then is to add environment, it helps paint a more detailed picture IMO.

    Thanks for listening, you will get a lot of use from Dimension Pro it is a solid library. That warm string pad is deep and can bring a very rich atmosphere on it's own.

    Thanks for listening, glad you liked the peace. That cello is my favorite of all the cellos in all my libraries.

    No problem, hope all is well. Thanks for listening to the piece. This is definitely my strength in composing, but I am planning on expanding gradually. Cheers!

    Thanks for the detailed feedback. I read it all twice! Yeah, I kind of did just give the instrument a personality... I guess the better thing would have been to say it plays real well in this type of music at the right moment. Yeah, the warmth is beautiful! I agree that one of the reasons why GPO is a great orchestra because of the flexibility. I know I rant about this... but I am not fan of EWQLSO for because of the lack of flexibility and that reverb is recorded with it. I luv warm string pads #1 it is one of my favorite patches from Dimension besides those BEAUTFUL Sonivox expressivos!!!! I see what you mean by chord progression. I indeed usually go (1-2-3-2) or (1-3-2) or (1-2-3-4-3) or (1-4-3) or I'll start on a major scale in the beginning then go to the minor. After a chord progression is done I may transpose it as well. This is the downfall of not having music theory I have rely on my ears, visualizing the sound, and what I know so far which is why I will never be able to compose like many others on here. I have to practice getting used to different transitions and implementing more variety of notes together. I have a long ways to go for my music progression... but at least I'm going on the right track with good helpers like you and others in the community.



  8. #8

    Re: Rest in Peace (Demo)

    Goodness, I really got carried away last time I wrote on this thread! Even I got exhausted looking at it again--! But Cass is right, Richard. I'm always rooting for you because of the talent you display here on the Forum, and sometimes when I'm replying I just go on and on, not realizing I'm writing "War and Peace," like Fab pointed out. hehe.

    Quote Originally Posted by sururick View Post
    ...I see what you mean by chord progression. I indeed usually go (1-2-3-2) or (1-3-2) or (1-2-3-4-3) or (1-4-3)...
    The first three chords in this and Tara are actually I - VIIb - VIb (One, Seven flat, Six flat). Using the key of C as a reference, C is One, then you just count up on the white keys to the next C - 1 through 7. Here's a page that explains:

    "Borrowed" chords

    And all of that makes it sound so much more complicated than it is just to be at a keyboard, play a chord, and then play the next one a step down - a full step is to count two notes down from the first one, including the black keys.

    When we're working with simple, straight ahead material, it generally involves a chord progression, and that progression is doing the vast majority of work in defining the sound of the piece. So, when the same chords are repeatedly used in different compositions, it naturally makes them sound very similar. That's why, for me, when I'm working on a song, or something song-like, anything which is spare and simple, I work hard to make the progression something different from what I've relied on before. There's no getting around having progressions that are tried and true, because there really aren't that many that are comfortable enough for listeners to easily latch on to.

    That's why, after reading your post I quoted from above, I'm here with an idea for you to try, and I'll try to keep it brief!--

    If you haven't, try starting a piece away from a keyboard. Just hum. When you have something you want to explore, pick it out on the keyboard, without worrying about what the chords are. Or, noodle on the keyboard to begin with, but still without worrying about a progression. Once you're liking something, then start trying out chords that seem to go with that melody. You're likely to find that your improvised melody seems to call for chords you wouldn't have thought of.

    The point is that starting with a chord progression is limiting. A lot of great lines don't really have any standard chord progression, and it can make them more interesting.

    If you find that your melody has a fairly standard chord progression after all, then find ways of making those chords sound more interesting. Voice them differently than usual - meaning, "spell" the chords differently than in a standard way. One basic way of doing that is to have a constant bass note going "against" the chord, instead of always playing the root note of the chord.

    There - I think that's as short as I could make it. Try to free yourself up from thinking in terms of chords. Try to start capturing melodic ideas which are more complex, and defy standard chord progressions. The result will be pieces that don't sound so similar to each other.


  9. #9

    Re: Rest in Peace (Demo)

    Yes!!! that is sooooo true... Randy... you are right. I am limited by the chords I use. Also, thanks for the encouragement. I never start with the melody. I always start with bass, and then the chords. The only melodies I have ever don without starting with the actual bass was both Save Tara and Her Theme and that is because I just new how I wanted it to sound by visualizing, but now a days it is... chords and bass, and then I work the melody off of that. I gotta try just starting with the melody again. I am soooooo thankful that for your advice and tips. I am not able to understand that link you sent me... when I see the music notes and staffs and characters... I just can't comprehend it... it is almost like a disability.



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