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Topic: Request for Critique Of Work

  1. #1

    Request for Critique Of Work

    What\'s Up?

    Here\'s a link to a VERY rough mix (no eq, basic dsp, \"faders up\") of an orchestral piece I\'m working on. Since I\'m basically NOT an orchestral composer, I\'m hoping to get some solid feedback from those of you who are. I\'d like comments mainly on orchestration and what I might do to improve what you hear. My background is more in popular music and commercial music for advertising. I\'m new to game music, and since I\'m hearing a lot of orchestral music in games, I\'m looking to improve my orchestral writing and arranging. Is there too much in a particular frequency? Should I open up voicings on the string pad? Drop the string pad? Try different instruments on the lead lines? etc....

    Hi-Fi Streaming LINK:

    Download LINK (slow modem):

    For those interested, this was a Gigastudio using the Garritan Orchestral Strings, Dan Dean Brass and Woodwinds, London Orchestral Percusion, and Symphony of Voices, sequenced in Cubase SX. Only Gigastudio effects processing.

    Again, this is a rough mix of a work in progress....

  2. #2

    Re: Request for Critique Of Work

    Hi Tony,

    you\'ve a great theme to work with!
    Sounds a lot like something from Warcraft or something like
    that. [img]images/icons/blush.gif[/img] )

    Ok, here comes some advice:

    1. Create a counter-rythm to your \"daa-dadada-daa-daa\"
    rythm. That will keep the audience interested.
    2. You\'ve too much tutti all the time, I would sometimes
    break it up and allow maybe just one section of the
    orchestra to have solo (for example brass or winds).
    3. You don\'t need to have the basses to play all the time.
    If you want some lighter bass line, then have the cellos
    play it without doublebass. In some cases you can have
    the violas act as bass, but then of course you may not
    allow the other voices to play in register lower than
    the violas.
    4. Explore some other chords and chord relations. If my ear
    is ok, then the chord progression is something like this:

    i - VI - i - iV - V - iV - III - VI - V - I
    c - as - c - f - g - f - es - as - g - c

    5. You could also add variaty by creating a counter-theme
    to your create \"horn\" theme.

    Hope this help. If you have more questions then just ask.


  3. #3

    Re: Request for Critique Of Work

    In addition to the comments above, it strikes me that your voiceleading does not sound very professional in this setting. Knowing the priciples of traditional 4-part harmony is still very important to get music of this kind to sound good. When it comes to the programming, i think it sounds ok, exept for the violins. I think the Garritan library offers less synthy sounding patches then the ones you are using, you could also klean up note endings so everything is not mashed together. Layering the stringsection with espressivo solostrings is always a good idea,
    and using the expression control, especially on strings, will breathe more life into it.
    When it comes to the music, it wouldn´t hurt if you tried to be a little more original, but i think it would work in superpatriotic american warmovie, though.

    Good luck

    Gaute Storaas

  4. #4

    Re: Request for Critique Of Work

    Hello. I like the music. Very nice melody and fluidity.

    Falcon gave some excellent comments and things to think about. In my opinion, you could add some variety to the harmony so that the music sounds fresh and less \"cut and paste\". I felt the music really could have been transposed a fifth (or relative minor/major) at about 2 minutes into the piece. This would also be a good moment to transfer the melody to a different instrumental group. For example, strings and winds play in part 1, interlude or transition, then transpose and low brass plays in part 2 - something like that.

    One other thing is you don\'t want to have all the instruments play the same lines. For example, a violin part doesn\'t sound good when played on a trombone. You should have the line sing the way the instrument is best suited to deliver it. I must confess I think it takes years of experience to really master and I myself am a student at this too. The reason for this being so difficult is because it is in effect saying that you need to maximize the impact of every single instrument group which is not an easy task. I think reading Rimsky Korsokov\'s book on orchestration would really benefit you.

    Excellent music though and I\'d like to hear what you do with it!

  5. #5

    Re: Request for Critique Of Work

    \"I felt the music really could have been transposed a fifth (or relative minor/major) at about 2 minutes into the piece.\"

    Excellent idea on the 5th transposition. I tend to get into the trap of always looking into a major 2nd (from my Jazz and pop days). Thanks for the suggestions. Besides the three that were mentioned, are there others you would suggest. Is there one type of feel/music that begs for a certain transposition? Thanks in advance.


  6. #6

    Re: Request for Critique Of Work


    regarding transposition...

    It depends, but here is some general tips:

    * Baroque - Mostly transpositions to related key\'s. If you\'re in C-major, you would think more about transposing to F-major (Sub-Dominant) and/or G-major (Dominant). And of course parallel minor keys.
    * Classical - Same as above but add to that more liberarity to go to Dominant of an related key. If we take the same example as above, you could transpose to D-major/B-minor (D-major is the dominant of G-major) or Bb-major/g-minor (Bb-major is sub-dominant of F-major).
    * Other - Sky is your limit!

    These are just general guidelines which many/most composers of the periods we are talking about did break. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Hope this helps.


  7. #7

    Re: Request for Critique Of Work


    Thanks for the reply. Your last suggestion is worth re-reading from time to time to get my rear out of ruts I tend to write myself into. Thanks again. Just the other day I \'messed up\' a harmonic progression, only to discover that it was infinitely better than what I had planned.


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