Well, this is a quick arrangement I did for a test. Nothing better tests the solo violin than the main theme to Schindler's List , such a great theme. I used a midi file to get this done.
I wanted to get some more practice in with the Vienna Solo Strings. So far I have only used the legato and portamento patches. In this arrangement I used the legato, portamento, and detache patches. I carefully assigned each patch to its proper position in the notes as possible. Detache is short, but it brings that nice ARC in sound IMO. Also, portamento is used sparingly, I didn't over do it this time!
Vienna Solo Strings SE (Solo Violin *Legato, Portamento, Detache)
This is quite an exercise to start with. You certainly realised a good imitation. However, I miss the dramatic feel a bit. And you probably did the bow speed changes with the mod wheel (which is pretty well audible), but the overall sound (strings, bow and noises) are all right. First test passed cum laude! Congrats.
Wow Richard, you really took on a challenge here. I love this theme and you did it justice with your superb rendering. Nice violin by the way. I don't think I would take this on myself because of the controller work you would have to put into it to make it sing. Good use of portamento here this time around. Adds much feeling without distracting the listener.
This type of piece needs lots of rubato, a give and take of tempo. People think this means just slowing down on certain notes but it actually means slowing down on some and speeding up on others so the "whole" comes out at the same time length (or close to it) that would be if you didn't do anything.
The only thing I hear missing from your rendition would be this. I certain points I could hear an imaginary metronome ticking in the back ground. Try to loosen it up a bit and make it sing. Step one: sing it yourself. (I have such a horrible voice I only do this when I know nobody is around.). Record your voice and listen to where you naturally put emphasis on certain notes.
For instance: in soundcloud version at second 8 with the long sustained note, try to end the note tapered to almost a whisper in the violin and hold the note just minutely longer than usual before continuing. Then at second 11, the highest note in the phrase there, hold the note just slightly longer (and I mean slightly) then the downward notes speed up (just slightly again.
See what you think. This piece is all about compassion and emotion. As I said in the beginning, it is a really difficult piece to render. But the sound, bowing, portamentos, and timbre variance are all excellent. You've done a much better job at it than I could do so far. Wonderful listen,, thanks!
Richard, you certainly know how to pick a treacherous challenge... rofl!
Realizing a solo like this in sampling is one of the hardest tasks
possible. Definitely a creditable effort, nonetheless.
With others, were I intrepid enough to try this, I think I'd look to much
more use of rubato, a greater dynamic range, and more attention to
phrasing. It helps, perhaps, to think like violinists; any of whom would
milk this for every tear it can induce... lol.
Thanks for the great feedback on this guys! This one is definitely not an easy one to work with. I am going to take another shot at this and also include the other instruments. I still have to get more practice in making those dynamics word better and proper lengths. It really is much easier for me to work with large sounds, but solos... they are tough! Fortunately, with the Vienna Software it allowed me to mesh these patches very easily, that is one thing I love about it, is the super easy assignment of controllers. I'll be honest, I hate controllers. Everything was assigned with Velocity. I made it so all of the patches were played at lowest dynamics using the velocity curve setting which leaves me with the functionality of assigning different ranges that will change patches with velocity. That saved a lot of head ache! So, all I had to do is pay attention to the notes and assign each patch where it belongs (detache, legato, and portamaneto), and then I had controller 11 which I like (the only one)! *I hate the mod wheel...
Thanks again guys for this great feedback, I am gonna take another shot at this!
EDIT: Sorry for the ads in the video version of this (this just happened today). Unlike my video game arrangements, youtube said that this was copyright of a live performance... I disputed it and explained how this was created and they released the claim but I had to monetize it as, "This is my cover of a song written by somebody else," so the producers can make their revenue off it, but it is legally allowed on youtube. First time this has happened to me.
Thanks for the great feedback on this guys! This one is definitely not an easy one to work with. I am going to take another shot at this and also include the other instruments. I still have to get more practice in making those dynamics word better and proper lengths. It really is much easier for me to work with large sounds, but solos... they are tough!...
You certainly have gotten great feedback, Richard, on this interesting experiment. You've had the Forum's crack team giving you really excellent tips on this.
Here's a little side note on what you're needing to do with this MIDI file you found: This isn't an "arrangement" you've done. The arrangement was already in the MIDI file. You're trying to produce a recording with the file.
And like many MIDI files that you'll find around the internet, it's not much more than the notes. It doesn't have the "rubato" and the large dynamic range or phrasing that a solo violinist would use, as explained by your other listeners. All of that you need to work into that MIDI track in more detail. You'll need to draw in appropriate tempo changes and/or cut and paste passages, making some notes longer than in the file. And you'll probably need to draw some of the CC11 volume control so it's more under your control. Fading some held notes to a barely audible level, then swooping back in - That's the sort of thing you would hear in a recording of this performed by a violinist. That reminds me, don't forget the helpful thing of importing an audio file of a real performance, so you have it handy as a sound to emulate.
Solo instruments are always much, much harder to breathe life into. Everything about the performance of the virtual instrument just hangs out there, exposed. In this first test recording, for instance, even though the Library has given you these different articulations to work with, the seams at places where the sounds are switched are audible - there's a slight disconnection between switching samples that wouldn't be heard in an ensemble, but in this solo setting, needs more smoothing out at the switch points.
I think you'd get the most out of this exercise if you went ahead and tried to make the solo violin more natural, and at the same time you'd be laying the groundwork for the ensemble version with the now missing tempo changes - Then go ahead and add more instruments if you want.