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Topic: Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

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  1. #1

    Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

    Hi friends,

    you may know from another thread that I am busy with VSL Solo Strings and Program Changes for Overture as well as SONAR. That was after all the easy part. Now making music with it. The reason why I purchased this library was simply getting the violin sound as close to reality as possible with computer patches.

    For the experiment with different settings I used the Paganini Caprices, which I downloaded from Internet in MIDI format. The first one (Andante) imported in Overture. Now it came to making a decent recording. As examples I used a variety of Youtube recordings from which I selected the three best, among this one: Alexander Markov -Caprices Paganini . (it begins after an introduction). It is impossible to get the same quality but I managed to record three versions. There will always be a difference in interpretation and quality of the sound, because a computerviolin isn't the real one with a player in flesh and blood.

    Now I need those extra ears. Which one do you think is the best? The difference is very subtle.

    Capriccio no 1 - smooth, I think
    Capriccio no 1 - bit more punch
    Capriccio no 1 - more punch, more harsh


    Edited: I made another version where the sautillé is better, humanizing present, some pitch changes for notes, different tempi and more.
    This will be the final version. I now know what is necessary for bravour-pieces.

    Capriccio no. 1 Andante - final version


    Your comment will be great help for my ViolinConcerto. The third part isn't notated yet and the first two need a new violin.

    Have a nice weekend,

    Raymond
    Last edited by Raymond62; 03-17-2014 at 11:31 AM. Reason: Newer version - final version

  2. #2
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
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    Re: Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

    Hello Raymond:

    You are not very lucky having me respond first with my failing ears...
    But, I like your second version, it has just enough punch, and i love it, great job!, Great sounds.

    Ted

  3. #3

    Re: Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

    Player No. 2 is my favorite one (no joke intended).

    And totally agree with Reinhold's statements in his post next to mine.
    Fabio
    Arrigo Beyle / Milanese / Lived, wrote, loved -- Stendhal
    Being Italian is a full-time job -- B. Severgnini

  4. #4

    Re: Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

    Hi Raymond,

    Overall they all sound very good and very realistic.
    But what is unrealistic in each of them is that they do not appear to vary much.

    I would actually use all three of them, varying as the music requires. Some parts sound good with the first, some with the second, some wth the third. This may even be a note-to-note variation. Will be a lot of work with all those fast notes....

    the hard punch with its slightly scratchy sound is very suitable for accents, but then gets on the nerves when played constantly. I guess it is one of the difficulties for a real violin player to get those fast notes out without them sounding scratchy but providing a clear sound. You could aim for realism (scratchy-ness) or for "perfection" that is only reached by a top player (maybe even not by them). This leads to the further philosophical problem, if you want to achieve realistic rendition, or perfect rendition. I personally would opt for the latter, because these tools with creating renditions allow us to create music without the limitation of the real world. This is what a composer usually aims for, I think: something transcendent that is only in his/her mind, and that gets into the real world by the limited means of physical instruments (and limited player skills). The real music suffers then, and we as listeners are distracted by how well or unwell the performer does, instead of appreciating the music itself.

    In any case, I would mix the three versions and use the various means in a manner to create accents and variation.

  5. #5

    Lightbulb Re: Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

    Nice to see the 1st Capriccio back to the forum!

    It has been used by me for a Tutorial about Stradivari Solo Violin, long long time ago... (who knows... maybe the post still is somewhere in the cyberspace, in the NS Forum archives, but I don't know if the links to files and pictures still work anyway...). The audio file is still available and I would use it to comment about 1 point in the rendering I would improve in your shoes:

    https://app.box.com/s/095gdr72a3xeec4hs1pr

    I like the sound and ambience of your sequence more than mine, and the start is maybe too loud in mine, but it's just to show the following points.
    What I try to do in my old old rendering, is keeping 2 elements of the live execution in the MIDI sequence, to make it more similar to the real one:
    - the "bouncing" effect of the bow over the strings makes notes always different in duration and intensity, it is clearly perceivable in the youtube you posted.
    - the speed and the technic for producing them makes the intonation always a bit uncertain, and this little "out-of-tune" effect contributes to the beauty and naturality of the live execution.

    The samples of VSL are awesome, so good, then I think they are all perfect for the purpose, my personal taste being more on the 2nd and 3rd version because i think they go closer to the "random" sound of the live performance.

    To get the first effect I think you should edit note by note the sequence in a sequencer (a bit boring, but so rewarding in realism) to make them almost randomly different in duration and timing, as play a bit with the tempo track to inflate more emotion in the rhythmic pulsation.

    To get the second effect it's a matter of using the more extreme set-up of the VI player PRO if you own it, or again for a more direct control, editing the pitch-bend controller in the sequencer to create little continuous variation (you may even draw a random sinusoidal line along the piece, and listen to the effect to find the right range).

    My 2 cents, and congratulations for the way you use VSL sounds to their extreme power and beauty.

    all the best
    Fabio

  6. #6

    Re: Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

    All of you, many thanks. I've been busy and now I developed some Paganinitis. Not contagious. But I need some rest and distance from this piece. We agree that the VSL samples are high ranked, but for me it will ever be the question why they didn't name and make patches fit for all sorts of violin playing/articulations. Set this aside, please. Today I listened and viewed where possible the Youtube lessons of bowing techniques. I am almost a pro violin player. All of them have different approaches of the same articulation. All of them use more words than examples. All of them are in fact starting points for quitting the whole project. I am sure that when you put all of them in some debate, war on strings will break out.

    I didn't quit and went on experimenting, over and over going back to that Alexander Markov video. I made my own scores with lots of repetitions from moderate to very fast (ludicrous speed). Humanizing, stretching (in fact shortening), setting up pitchchanges for the starting notes (is a function in VI Pro), lowered the release (bouncing bows silence the natural release) and put some Pitchwheel info at certain points, in particular where the distance between notes is remarkable.

    Getting the perfect rendition? I don't know, what is perfectionism? With a computer every instrument can sound flawless and that is not the real thing. So I don't agree with mr. Reinhold. It makes music so sterile, I think.

    Maybe when I got hit by some lightning I will alter my newest version, alter the articulations in the whole setup, but as I said above, Paganinitis crept in. You are wonderful guys and I am thankful that you took the time to listen and comment on the various versions. I am aware that I cannot satisfy everbody, not even myself.

    The latest, a bit wild, harsh, with bow dynamics........ some beer, cigars..... The difference with the other versions are rather subtle.

    Paganinitis


    Now for the musicless weekend,

    Raymond

    [VSL Special edition orchestral strings / VSL Strings Solo Bundle / Vienna Instruments PRO / Vienna Ensemble]
    [EWQL Symph Orchestra Plat + / EWQL Solo violin / GPO bundle]
    [GPO Authorized Steinway / PianoTeq Pro ]

  7. #7

    Re: Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

    Hi Raymond

    People listening to your fabulous accomplishment don't often realise what a titan's work it has been to edit such a piece with 'so many notes'. And after that, there's the question of interpretation and the use of techniques. Indeed, there's a lot of examples and comments out there, but you are the one to choose, to apply and create a coherent sound picture of this absurd score. As I told you, I'm not particularly fond of that kind of instrumental (or vocal) athletics or bravado, but that doesn't exclude my huge admiration for what you've realised here. Only the courage to begin such an accomplishment deserves our full appreciation. Favourite: version 3.

    Thanks for sharing and showing us the almost impossible with VSL.

    Max

  8. #8

    Re: Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

    Max, thank you.

    I closed down all previous versions. The one in the edited original message is the one I love the most. Yes, indeed, it was a hell of a job getting all notes ready the way I wanted. You mentioned that there are lots and lots of Youtube interpretations, from lovely, smooth, romantic to fierce, forceful, wild..... I still love the concert by Alexander Markov. A total different approach. For me more 20-th century like.

    Now I'll go for Cappricio no.2. Next the following pieces:


    • Bach Sonata for Solo Violin
    • Max Reger Some pieces for Solo Viola
    • Bach maybe one of the Solo Cello Suites
    • .... anybody familiar with some Solo Contrabass pieces? Or Contrabass with piano? Please tell me.


    When finished to my satisfaction I can say that I master the VSL Solo Strings Bundle. Then the third part of my ViolinConcerto will follow.

    Raymond

  9. #9

    Re: Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post

    • .... anybody familiar with some Solo Contrabass pieces? Or Contrabass with piano? Please tell me.

    Go for the works of Giovanni Bottesini (Crema, 22 dicembre 1821 – Parma, 7 luglio 1889).
    Fabio
    Arrigo Beyle / Milanese / Lived, wrote, loved -- Stendhal
    Being Italian is a full-time job -- B. Severgnini

  10. #10

    Re: Need some extra ears - Paganini - Capriccio no. 1 for solo violin

    With a very low voice, many thanks. Bottesini is on my list.

    Raymond

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