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Topic: How would you orchestrate this?...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Re: How would you orchestrate this?...

    So, this is not \"orchestral arrangement.\" It is more like \"adding instruments to already (kind of) complete music.\"

    I usually think these things, in that case.

    1) adding parts so that it supports harmony more.
    2) adding parts so that it emphasizes melody.
    3) adding parts so that it provide new countermelody.
    4) adding parts so that it provide more colors to keep things interesting.
    5) not adding parts so that music keeps original taste.

    I found this approach is logical and time-saving.

  2. #2

    Re: How would you orchestrate this?...

    Zen answer: you add what you hear. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: How would you orchestrate this?...

    Western answer: import the file into your sequencer, make a tempo map if you need to quantize, and add what you hear. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

  4. #4

    Re: How would you orchestrate this?...

    Logical approach ken.

    Nick, did you ever notice that the post number meter stops counting when you post more than once in the same thread? Or maybe it\'s Zen?

  5. #5

    How would you orchestrate this?...

    I am working on a contract for a fingerstyle guitar player. Last week, I went to his house and recorded 4 pieces that he had composed. He is not a professional, but he wants to have the pieces orchestrated as a gift for a friend. Right now, all I have is a recording of the guitar part. How would you go about adding orchestration to something like that?

    All I know about the pieces (other than listening to it) is that the guitar was tuned in a drop \"D\" major tuning.

    So far, what I have done is to set up GPO with some string patches and improvise on the keyboard while listening to the guitar. This is working and I am satisfied with the results, but it is kind of time consuming and hit or miss.

    What would you do?

    -- Martin

  6. #6

    Re: How would you orchestrate this?...

    Originally posted by mschiff:
    I am working on a contract for a fingerstyle guitar player. Last week, I went to his house and recorded 4 pieces that he had composed. He is not a professional, but he wants to have the pieces orchestrated as a gift for a friend. Right now, all I have is a recording of the guitar part. How would you go about adding orchestration to something like that?

    All I know about the pieces (other than listening to it) is that the guitar was tuned in a drop \"D\" major tuning.

    So far, what I have done is to set up GPO with some string patches and improvise on the keyboard while listening to the guitar. This is working and I am satisfied with the results, but it is kind of time consuming and hit or miss.

    What would you do?

    -- Martin
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">In the absence of hearing this, I would do these things:

    First, and most obvious, would be to transcribe the piece so you can get a look at it in notation format

    Second, similar to some of the Bach inventions, look for compound lines that can be separated out into separate melodic lines.

    Third, map out the bass line, overt or implied.

    Fourth, if there are strummed chords, are they implying: Accents? Sustains?

    Fifth, what\'s the harmonic style of each piece?

    With this in mind, I would then sketch out the piece using four stave (melody, bass, and two background lines).

    I think at that point you have enough musical \"data\" to work out a scoring approach. You might to listen to some pieces with the guitarist John Williams and orchestra to help you out.

    Again, not having heard the piece, I\'m suggesting you look at the solo as a composition, extract lines, build a sketch score over four staves, and then determine how you\'re orchestrating the composition.

  7. #7

    Re: How would you orchestrate this?...

    Ken,

    That sounds very logical and is the method I had started with, but you organized it much better than I would have. Thanks.

    Peter,

    Would that my ear was good enough that I could transcribe this part quickly enough to be useful, but it would take me longer to do that than it will take me to do the whole project using Ken\'s method I think. It fits more my own method of composing which is successive iterations of improvisations until I come up with one that I like.

    Sharmy,

    I have uploaded a sample of one of the pieces (about 2 minutes of a 5 minute piece). It has a string part that I already worked out, which is in the first part, and then the bare guitar part after that. I had planned to leave the part right after the strings with guitar only, but when that section ends, I was going to go back to the strings. I just haven\'t had the time yet.

    http://www.cdsol.com/cdsol/downloads/forgiveness.mp3

    Thanks very much everyone! Keep those ideas coming. It is all very helpful.

    -- Martin

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: How would you orchestrate this?...

    Hi Martin,

    Listening to the excerpt you provided, I had a couple of ideas.

    I think you could get a lot of milage from finding common tones for sustains that help tie together multi-bar stretches. That would be opposed to tracking the harmony chord by chord...trying to accentuate the horizontal.

    I had an impulse of countermelodic clarinet. Some woodwind color would complement the guitar.

    I think you could also juxtapose some pizz to accentuate groove--maybe defining larger sections that way.

    Seems to me, your opportunity is to accentuate form, and there would be a fine line to walk on melodic input. Too much melody added might overwhelm the implied melodic flow of the guitar. Too little would be like \"orchestral synth pad.\"

    The guitar is pretty compressed sounding. Good because it will stay up front. Challenging because it\'s eating a lot of space, so you\'ll probably be paring your arrangements to that which will contribute most strongly.

    I think you might be able to use some metallic percussion, perhaps some pitched percussion, to add color. I don\'t think any sort of \"orchestral groove percussion\" adds anything, since the guitar itself is churning along and providing that element.

    Have you considered your dig? That might be cool.

    That\'s all I\'ve got. People have made really good suggestions.

  9. #9
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    Re: How would you orchestrate this?...

    What a gorgeous piece of guitar playing....I\'m such a sucker for this sort of stuff. Very reminiscent indeed of the great John Denver. Your strings fit perfectly with this……so far.

    BTW, before I forget...there\'s a second or so of background noise (water trickling?) just before the guitar starts. What a treat to hear this ambience. A lot of stuff, pop and classics, is much too clinical these days, IMHO. Just because we have the technology to dehumanise the recording and production of music doesn\'t mean we HAVE to. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I read a little notation but my lack of skills force me to use my imagination and trial and error. The advantage of this approach is that you can come up with something which isn\'t in the textbook. Sometimes you can know too much! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    (OK OK!..sometimes you can know too little too! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ) I mean I also hear that a little sweet piece of French Horn here and there would be nice. If you want to hear the effect listen to around 55sec into the Rolling Stones song \'You can’t always get what you want\'.

    I wouldn\'t mind trying the tick..tick..tick of a stick on a rim or WHY to accentuate the rythym...but not all the time.

    May I humbly suggest that you listen to some of Denver\'s albums too because not only was he good but he had behind him brilliant arrangers (and dedicated string arrangers on some tracks). His success benefited greatly from the fabulous arrangers and orchestrators he had behind him, IMHO.

    If this guy can put some quality lyrics with his playing I\'ll buy some!! but hey!, then he\'d be John Denver??

    This made me stop, think and realise what great gifts these guys like Denver have and how many different gifts you need to have to succeed. Not only could he play the guitar like your client BUT he ALSO had a great singing voice, an affable personality (at work at least), a fabulous lyric writing ability (AND ideas) and he had a great producer behind him. I guess that you even have to look reasonable too (that coun\'ts me out before I start! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ) Last but not least you need the ambition and health to see it through. It’s no wonder that solo stars like these don’t come along everyday and even more reason why great bands come along even less frequently!

    Please let us hear how this develops.


    Frank

  10. #10

    Re: How would you orchestrate this?...

    Bruce,

    Thanks very much for taking the time to make some great suggestions.

    The common tones for sustains was what I tried to do a bit at the beginning, though I did add some movement for chord changes. I definitely plan to do more of it.

    Funny you should suggest didge. The client specifically asked me to use didge, so that will definitely be a part of it.

    There are 3 other songs (including Amazing Grace which is the only one that is not original), so I do have my work cut out for me.

    My thought for a woodwind addition was flute, but I\'ll explore clarinet as well.

    The guitar was not recorded with compression. I added a bit with PSP Vintage Warmer in the mix, along with a bit of reverb. So I can adjust it if need be, but I kind of like it being predominant and I think that is what he would like as well.

    I was also thinking about bringing in a percussionist friend that plays congas, bongos, roto toms and some metal percussion.

    This is really great. I appreciate all the good ideas!

    -- Martin

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