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Topic: *gulp* Okay, let me have it... (first demo)

  1. #1

    *gulp* Okay, let me have it... (first demo)

    Hey all,

    I\'ve been lurking for several months, admiring the work of those who regularly post advice and links to music here. I hardly feel worthy to post here among the luminaries!

    I\'m a full-time high school band director, and since school is out, I\'ve had some time to doodle with GS. It\'s not done yet, but I\'m interested in a \"progress check.\" Tell me what you think:


    I know there are compositional issues; I\'m most interested in feedback on the *craft*--too much reverb, too little, string attacks too tubby, etc.

    Used VOTA, QLB for brasses, Miroslav Mini for strings & woodwinds, some soundfonts I found on the web for percussion, SAM timpani (thanks Maarten!). NFX for the \'verb.

    Eric G

  2. #2

    Re: *gulp* Okay, let me have it... (first demo)

    Hey, that sounds great for a \"first,\" demo. Keep going with it! By the way, I hate my band director for many reasons. One is that he doesn\'t take any interest at all that I compose orchestral music, and that I\'d like advice on what colleges. Naw, he doesn\'t give a crap. But hey, no poo on you at all! Hahaha, at least you gave GS a shot, most don\'t. (in reference to band directors) But that\'s my assumption.

  3. #3

    Re: *gulp* Okay, let me have it... (first demo)


    Thanks for the feedback! As for it being a \"first\" demo, while I\'m not new to MIDI or composing, I am new to GS and the process of squeezing every drop of realism and musicality from it. That\'s an art and craft in and of itself, I\'m finding.

    Your BD is not too interested, eh? So where are you looking?


  4. #4

    Re: *gulp* Okay, let me have it... (first demo)

    I think it\'s a great start. This sort of composition is not my forte, so take my comments with a grain of salt. I think the sort of crash cymbal sounds too much like a closed hi-hat. I would have expected it to ring.

    Also, the synth sound seems way too immediate, where as the rest of the instruments are more room like.

    Keep going!


  5. #5

    Re: *gulp* Okay, let me have it... (first demo)

    Thanks, Mark. I intentionally chose a \"choked\" crash cymbal sound. But, if it sounds like a hi-hat, and if the brass cresc. sounds like a \"synth,\" then I clearly have work to do!

    Thanks again for your useful feedback,


  6. #6

    Re: *gulp* Okay, let me have it... (first demo)

    Hey Eric,

    First, as a composition, I think it\'s great. I\'d like to hear the rest.

    What jumps out at me, because I\'m a woodwind player, is the problem of the woodwind runs. . . I think they\'re way too synthetic sounding. I\'m working on an arrangement now using my AO woodwinds and tried to do the runs with individual notes, but it just didn\'t work. I went to the AO run samples and it sounds much much more realistic. The only problem is that you can\'t control the exact timing of those runs. When reverb gets added, though, it sounds pretty darn good. I\'m not sure if the Miroslav samples have any run/trill samples, but if so, give them a shot or pick a woodwind CD with them sometime.

    The QLB brass sounds great, but I feel like the trumpets are coming across too synthetic for 2 reasons:

    1. They are perfectly quantized (as far as I can hear) . . . there is no innacuracy in the attacks.

    2. More importantly, I almost think you nee some separation/space between those marcato attacks.

    I switched from keyboard entry to wind controller entry and this has made an amazing difference in realism for my winds. You can\'t fully appreciate how much the wind blowing through the horn affects the sound of a sampled note. When I examine the expression controller (#11 - I have my wx5 set to that controller), I\'m amazed at how much data is being transferred to the sequencer.

    For example, with those trumpet notes that are strongly attacked, one after another, what you would see is a taper on each individual note, not just a \"white space\" between the notes. That taper is what makes the QLB samples sound so much more real. I can\'t imagine trying to manually enter that much information into the sequencer.

    So here I go again, recommending a controller like my Yamaha wx5, but it\'s really great!

    You might also play with a bit more reverb. That would probably make the trumpets sound a bit more realistic, but you have to tell people the orchestra was in a large concert hall!

  7. #7

    Re: *gulp* Okay, let me have it... (first demo)


    Thanks for the very thoughtful critique. I truly appreciate your giving it a listen.

    For the brass attacks, they\'re actually not quantized! I\'m not *that* good a player, I think I just got \"lucky\" and got pretty tight time between playing the trumpet parts (there are two tracks of ensemble trumpets doubled with one track of solo trumpet). I wonder if its just the character of the attack that is too regular, rather than the time? When I look at the MIDI data there is a fair deal of slop, but I haven\'t yet figured out a way to vary the character of attack in a part like this. In any case, I agree that I have work to do in that department.

    I\'m a trombone player, apart from the keys, so I\'m with you on the \"breath information\" idea. I\'ve often wondered if a Yamaha-style breath controller would improve simulated wind sounds. That might be more realistic for me than something like the WX-5 and such.

    And I completely agree on the woodwind runs! The sounds are from the Miroslav Mini orchestral library (money not well-spent, IMHO), and are not well-suited to fast legato slurs. The runs you speak of are Phrygian, which might be a roadblock to the pre-recorded run solution. Maybe we still just need real players for that kind of thing.

    Anyway, thanks again for the thoughtful critique--much, much appreciated.


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