A few folks on this Forum heard a “preview” version of piece - - “Toccata for Orchestra” - - during the Sunday chat session and several made very helpful suggestions. Since then, I’ve had a chance to apply some of the observations that folks there made and others who were shown the piece privately.
Here it is in dial-up-friendly LoFi and 160K HiFi. I think the piece has some of my most ambitious orchestration yet. There is a simple 12-bar theme (initially shown off with one of the “duo” pianos). This “A” theme is tossed around in 3 different keys (Db, F and A), getting treatment from a string section, then woodwinds, then brass. At 2:48, two bars of 12/8 section heralds some changes and then the “A” theme is reprocessed into 5/8 (at 2:52) and ends with a percussion “comment” and drops back into two final reiterations of the “A” theme (at 3:19), winding up in a flourish.
The instrumentation is GPO and “other”. The other principal accomplishment with this piece was using Voxengo’s “Elephant” limiter VST, which I purchased at their online site for $69.95 (after trying the “demo” version which drops out about ever 45 seconds). Using the demo version was more than enough for me to see that this little tool is mandatory for the mastering that I’ve been doing in Cubase SX. Not surprising this little wonder is not a completely "magic pill". On my first trial of it with the purchased version, I selected a setting which might be appropriate for a grunge or heavy metal band, but which seemed to leave rather inappropriate "artifacts" in the output file. (I left a post on Voxengo's forum and received a helpful reply from the author under 3 hours -- which has to be some sort of response record! In the meantime, I had retrenched to just use a "default" setting and another helpful buddy suggested that I drop the target dB level from 0dB to -1.5dB, which is the setting in the version you can hear here/)
Unfortunately, now that I like it so much, I will likely go back through all my other existing pieces and re-master them.
thanks for listening (and especially thanks in advance for commenting)