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Topic: The NEW World Symphony

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  1. #1

    The NEW World Symphony

    Hi Dan,

    Now that the other thread is closed I was afraid my message would get lost in the ethernet archives on NSS. So....

    Now back on topic with a clean slate.....

    For those new, here is the link that Gary posted with DPDan's amazing comparison:
    http://www.garritan.com/mp3/dk-NewWorldSymphonyC&S.MP3

    DPDan you've done a marvelous job! I have nothing but admiration for your work. I'd love to hear both your original complete file and the complete real orchestral files as you posted last time. This was most informative. As amazing as your A/B comparison is, I think (by itself) it may have come across to some of the "harsh critics" more of a sales pitch than the exciting and fun exercise that it is. This is why it would be nice to hear both versions in complete.

    Also, it would be great for many readers to hear about some of the techniques you used to create such a close rendition. I think (from discussing with you before) that some of your techniques you may be considering "common" are rather extraordinary and would be of great interest to many readers.

    Don't despair from all of the ruckus here. In fact, you should be proud You've created as much a stir as Stravinsky did in 1913! And there are no internet tomatoes (remember "sticks and stones" and all that...)

    With warmest regards and sincere respect,

    Gregory D. Moore

  2. #2
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    Re: The NEW World Symphony

    Quote Originally Posted by synergy543
    Also, it would be great for many readers to hear about some of the techniques you used to create such a close rendition. I think (from discussing with you before) that some of your techniques you may be considering "common" are rather extraordinary and would be of great interest to many readers.
    That is certainly true. If DP Dan is not already too sick of the piece, let's hear some discussion about sequencing techniques!

    Belbin

  3. #3

    Re: The NEW World Symphony

    Gregory and Belbin, thank for your kind words.

    The midi file for this demo does not look like anything out of the ordinary.
    There are some places where the instruments in the real recording sounded totally different than GPO's instruments, so I had to use EQ to make the GPO instruments have the same overall color/character as those in the real orchestra recording. Only after these instruments were meticulously EQ'd to match, I then went through and used fader automation to balance each section (harmonies) precisely with the balance that existed in the real orchestra. With all due respect to GPO's instruments, there was really very little EQ needed for most of the instruments, however some needed a drastic cut in certain frequencies to match. After all, we are talking about different players, different instruments and acoustics. This is only to be expected.

    Now onto the reverb. I use a really old Lexicon 200 reverb that allows me to place my midi productions into any kind of room that I wish with phenominal results. Of course it is not an Impulse Response reverb unit, but this real recording did not have a very long reverb tail, but more of a distant sound. I currently do not have Altiverb for my Mac and Digital Perfomer, but I will someday. I decided to audition some of the reverb IR's in Gigastudio GS3 (G-Pulse). I found an IR that with a little tweaking, sounded pretty close, so that is what I used.

    I think one of the key elements in making an A/B demo like this, is to make the edits at locations that are not always musically logical. It was imperative that these places were mixed (balanced) as closely as possible with the recording. That was the trickyest part of all, over and over and over till it was the same.

    Again, this was a fun experiment. I emailed it to Gary and he decided it would be fun to post it. It was fun. But it is also sad that it caused so much mud flinging. It was never intended to be anything but a fun thing for folks to listen to.

    I appreciate your kind compliments, and I am going to do something alot bigger next time, I just have not figured out what yet.

    Thanks again!
    dpDan

  4. #4

    Re: The NEW World Symphony

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    Gregory and Belbin, thank for your kind words.

    The midi file for this demo does not look like anything out of the ordinary.
    Hi Dan,

    OK time for you to get a Coke. I'm doing the BBQ and grillin

    No, honestly ignore me if I'm too inquisitive. I'm just thinking about this stuff in my own head out loud to learn - as much as I'm trying to pick your brains.

    Your Clara Schumann Piano Concerto DP template was quite interesting and large:
    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...9&page=3&pp=10

    Did you learn any new techniques or concepts with this latest project?

    For example, in the New World 2nd movement there are many slow legato notes, did you approach these with any tricks like pitch bending or slower attacks to create legato slurs?

    You obviously made extensive use of controllers. One question I have is how you handled dynamics. Are you adding it all with the CC11 as you record or adding some in afterward while mixing to improve S/N? For example if you have a really quiet passage how are you handling it? You are very technically mixing savvy so as you know its ideal to keep signal levels as hot as possible especially when you're mixing together as many tracks as your are working with. So as I see it, there's a bit of a dilemma in the choice, you either compromise S/N for the sake of a better performance (would be my choice and pull down unused tracks in the mix) or you could play levels a bit hotter and add some additional expression in the mix to improve S/N (could be equally good but much trickier to pull off).

    A tricky spot is 34s-43s but I see this is where you have the real orchestra. I'd be interested to hear how you handled the GPO version on this very quiet passage with a fairly large section.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    There are some places where the instruments in the real recording sounded totally different than GPO's instruments, so I had to use EQ to make the GPO instruments have the same overall color/character as those in the real orchestra recording.
    Are you just using parametric EQ to do this? I have found that the Elemental Audio Firium FIR filter to be an excellent way to do this.http://www.elementalaudio.com/produc...ium/index.html I'm not sure if that was the intent but its a superb tool for emulating another instruments EQ response. In summary, you get the desirable coloration without the undesirable phase artifacts.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    Only after these instruments were meticulously EQ'd to match, I then went through and used fader automation to balance each section (harmonies) precisely with the balance that existed in the real orchestra. With all due respect to GPO's instruments, there was really very little EQ needed for most of the instruments, however some needed a drastic cut in certain frequencies to match. After all, we are talking about different players, different instruments and acoustics. This is only to be expected.
    So I'm assuming you did this with only GPO and not GOS this time?
    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    Now onto the reverb. I use a really old Lexicon 200 reverb that allows me to place my midi productions into any kind of room that I wish with phenominal results. Of course it is not an Impulse Response reverb unit, but this real recording did not have a very long reverb tail, but more of a distant sound. I currently do not have Altiverb for my Mac and Digital Perfomer, but I will someday. I decided to audition some of the reverb IR's in Gigastudio GS3 (G-Pulse). I found an IR that with a little tweaking, sounded pretty close, so that is what I used.
    You did a great job emulating the depth as well as the ambience. Did you only filter to create depth? It sounds as if I'm hearing some E/Rs as well? Or are these just from the Lexicon algorithms? Whatever you did, the ambience and depth aspect is really excellent. And from dry samples too!

    I have Altiverb but none of the sample IRs are very similar to the samples I have that are recorded with hall sounds - mainly EWQLSO and ProjectSAM. I believe there is nothing wroing with IR reverb its just that my selection although vast is rather limited in orchestral halls and the ones I have just sound very different (plenty of churches etc.). I'm very anxious to hear the upcoming Benaroya samples to be released by both Garritan and EW. These have the potential to sounds quite different from other IRs. At least the sounds I have that were recorded there sound very different from my current IRs. But there might be something else going on which is why I'm curious to hear the new IRs.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    I think one of the key elements in making an A/B demo like this, is to make the edits at locations that are not always musically logical. It was imperative that these places were mixed (balanced) as closely as possible with the recording. That was the trickyest part of all, over and over and over till it was the same.
    Is it just balancing coloration? Or do you find yourself learning new techniques such as leaning towards adding more expression than you normally would or learning new and better ways to balance the orchestral levels as opposed to what you would have chosen without the comparison?

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    Again, this was a fun experiment. I emailed it to Gary and he decided it would be fun to post it. It was fun. But it is also sad that it caused so much mud flinging. It was never intended to be anything but a fun thing for folks to listen to.
    Hmmmm....this is where I differ with you a bit however I'm empathetic to your feeling. Despite some of the harsh comments (and the schtick you have to put up with) I still think its great for members to be able to have dissent. I know you were taking more backflack than desired but it did spawn some rather interesting discussions and I think gave many a lot of food for thought. Overall though, I agree that you were excessively attacked but as I said I thought this might have been partly triggered by the method of presentation (A/B comparison) and the timing of a "serious of unfortunate events". But nevertheless, I'm sure you've learned a great deal and others have paid a great deal of attention (although not all in the way you necessarily wished nor expected!). In contrast, I'm on some graphic lists where all people do is smiley back pats and there is nothing to be learned by anyone. Well I hope I'm not offending you with my questions and comments but I would hope we (as artists, if not the list itself) could be open to criticism for the purpose of helping each other to elevate our technique and learn new skills. Maybe I'm being too Utopian but passion comes with sorrow or you know no passion.[/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    I appreciate your kind compliments, and I am going to do something alot bigger next time, I just have not figured out what yet.
    See what I mean? I think you too may have been inspired. What about the 1st movement? That would present a different challenge! No?

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    Thanks again!
    dpDan
    Thank you for sharing this. Its always a pleasure discussing the inner working and the "content" with you.

    Gregory D. Moore

  5. #5

    Re: The NEW World Symphony

    I think Dan's exercise is a wonderful example of how much closer libraries like GPO have brought us to being able to emulate the texture of orchestral instruments.

    If you'd attempted this same exercise four or five years ago, it would have been either a giggle or a nightmare depending on your point of view.

  6. #6

    Re: The NEW World Symphony

    Hi Chadwick,

    Dan's exercise certainly is a wonderful example of accessible tools today and a amazingly realisitic emulation.

    However, to keep things in perspective, its important not to forget that it was about 30 years ago when Patrick Gleeson realized the entire Holst the Planets on a synthesizer and gave a presentation at the AES convention. He did this with a single modular synthesizer and a 16 track tape deck. It was quite an incredible performance at the time and a stunning realization.

    About the same time, Isao Tomita had already realized Stravinsky's Firebird and Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe.
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...643097-3673441
    Although done in more a creative synthetic style than Patrick's these were none the less monumental realizations (and done in four channels by the way).

    These artists were a few of the leaders whose creative use of synthesizers inspired developers to create samplers that have evolved into to today's tools (Patrick was affliated with E-mu Systems before the Emulator was created and both later used Synclaviers). Neither a giggle nor a nighmare but an exciting and inspiring journey.

  7. #7

    Re: The NEW World Symphony

    Okey doke. At the risk of going OT and diverting from Synergy's intended discussion - I totally agree that Tomita et al's synthetic realisations of things like the Stravinsky piece were both inspired and monumental, but these guys were attempting to create a musical presence with an impact similar to that of an orchestra. They weren't trying to sound like one.

    In a way they kind of prove my point. Back in those days there were quite a lot of people doing orchestral mockups using modular synths, multitracked arp 2600s - whatever they could throw at tape. Although they didn't make a sound like an orchestra, they were still trying to convey the color of the orcehstral experience.

    Have you not noticed that the frequency of release of these analog synthesizer mockups has decreased in direct proportion to the increasing depth of the tonal pallet of samplers? I wonder why?

    What I like about Dan's exercise is that he shows that, for certain styles, sampling has arrived at a point where it can supply the keyboardist with a pallete of colors varied and deep enough to allow him to sound like an orchestra.

    I'm sure a lot of people will now say 'why sound like an orchestra - why not create something totally new and exciting?'

    My answer to this is pretty much the same as my answer to those who say 'Why learn all the rules of composition? Why not just do your own thing?'

    (Voice of Obi Wan) If we master what is at hand, then that knowledge serves as a powerful springboard into the new and unknown. If we attempt that same leap without some mastery of the path preceding it, success will be that much more elusive' (exit Obi).

    Look. We all know that the sounds in the sonic pallet which are difficult to emulate are the ones which are the most dynamic. That's why we don't have twenty developers doing voices or saxes. The articulations you need to sample are nearly infinite. It'd send you barmy trying.

    If we ever get to the point where someone like Dan puts up a demo that just covers the lot - dynamic articulations, vocals, etc., - then we'll all know that sampling/modelling/synthesis - whatever you want to call it - has come of age. Maybe then we can say - 'right, now that we've got the ability to create instrumental voices with a powerful range of expression - let's look for a new, more exciting challenge - ways to apply that expressiveness that no one's heard before.'

    Until then, I'm really eager to hear any mockup that demonstrates an expansion of the color and expressivity of my tools of trade, and Dan's does just that.

  8. #8
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    Re: The NEW World Symphony

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadwick
    sampling has arrived at a point where it can supply the keyboardist with a pallete of colors varied and deep enough to allow him to sound like an orchestra
    Hey! We're not all keyboardists you know! I know plenty of keyboardists who get offended at the generaliziation that they're all gear head midi geeks, and I also like the Idea of others (me for example-a guitarist) being recognized as potentially such.

    Other than that I agree with all you points. I often get the urge to drop the crusade for good orchestral sounds, and start using Giga as the truly sick sound mangler that it is.

    Now dan, I don't know GPO (and thanks to you wish I did, but I just spent my money on OPUS1...), and part of the reason is that I was't that impressed with the demos on their website. Your mockup, however, has changed my mind. This illustrates a point made in the previous thread-A lot of these demos do not show the true power of the library. So far your explanations of reverb and eq do not seem to rationalize the impressive performance you've created compared to other GPO performances I've heard. Got Any "Breathing Life into the Thing" type of tricks?

    Belbin

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: The NEW World Symphony

    This is the very spiritual divide which started fracturing the other thread.

    Every time I start writing what I think, I end up erasing it because I am afraid I will get myself in trouble, and end up banned. So, I'll leave it at that.

  10. #10
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: The NEW World Symphony

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    This is the very spiritual divide which started fracturing the other thread.

    Every time I start writing what I think, I end up erasing it because I am afraid I will get myself in trouble, and end up banned. So, I'll leave it at that.
    Or...someone else responds and they get banned!!

    Well, the thread started out very nicely and learned a thing or two about rec. I'd still ask the question if there were any other MIDI tweaks involved

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