I have pretty much completed this (just tweaking time now). This piece is based on a melody that I wrote (with words) back in February and I decided to make it my learning piece for GPO. I still have a lot to learn, but I wanted to share this version with all.
Rich, we *all* have a lot learn about the GPO... I wonder if anyone is truly its master (other than maybe DPDan, who's rumored to be able to hear the intestinal rumblings of a fly at five hundred meters).
There's a lot of fundamentally good work in this, quite a lot, and it's a fine "learning piece" at that. Welcome aboard with a strong first entry!
From a performance standpoint, I might suggest more attention to a bit of realism in tempi variations, and of course, taking more advantage of dynamics. Compositionally, perhaps more variety in ensemble voicing and texture would lend toward a fuller, more interesting expression of what are essentially well made and developed ideas.
My comments, of course, Rich, express only my own tastes, though; and I'm looking forward to seeing you back with much more! Like all of us, getting command of these tools takes time -- and as you do, from what I hear in this piece, you're going to bring us much fine music!
Thanks for the comments David. I was begining to wonder if my link to the song was even working. I really have done a lot with dynamics, though I guess I'm still learning what the proper range for a pp to an ff should be in the GPO Studio. I have to literally write every dynamic change by graphing the mod wheel for each instrument. It is time consuming and I can't quite figur out how others seem to get it done so well. This piece has literally taken me 3 months of time to get to this point. Granted some or most of it has been trying to learn GPO. My engineering in other pieces (not GPO) has not given me the problems I find here. I am still at a loss as to why the brass seems to drop in volume when the percussion start playing. It irritates my ear to listen to it. And it definitely sounds like a phase problem.
As for my writing skills...I am 40 years removed from my college theory classes and my two years of composition classes. So, everything is a learning experience. Any comments to help me in the right direction are greatly appreciated.
Thanks again. It's great to have such fine responses. For anyone following this thread. I use Finale 2002 to write my ideas and I transport them to Tracktion 2 as my sequencer. The midi graphic interface is not the easiest. It is tedious to write in the mod wheel movements. I as yet have not been able to find a clean way of writing a mod wheel line once and duplicating it in multiple instruments to use as a basis for their dynamics.
I usually conclude in soundforge 7.0 for audio editing. Biggest problem right now is the lack of more than one gig of ram which limits my tracks when using GPO to usually under 20 before hesitations , clicks and/or crashes happen.
I haven't used Finale/2002 in quite a long while... but it did tend toward all sorts of annoying anomalies, I recall.
Rich, if you've got the budget for it, I'd recommend upgrading to Finale 2006, which fully integrates with the GPO.
I'm still trying to find time to get fully up to speed, but from everything I see, Finale 2006 has done quite a good job of this... you can pretty much just score, with a minimum of post-tweaking.
For recording, I simply port directly to (Adobe) Audition 1.0.
I'm also using a fairly older machine... P4 2.2GHz w/1G RAM... and in this arrangement, even with this somewhat weak hardware, I can still manage a reasonably full orchestra without running into a RAM choke.
I'm not quite sure what is happening to the ram on my machine. I'm running an AMD64 +3400 CPU, but sometimes the RAM fills up to over 1.2 gigs. I have i gig of memory, so I assume the oher ram is virtual memory being taken from one of my hard drives (there are 3 normally running [40 gig - OS drive, 200 gig - audio drive and 80 gig - storage drive]). I have 2 scsi drives of 9 gig each which I use only as backup and don't always have turned on.
My brother owns Finale 2006, and the GPO that comes with it. I'm not impressed with the sounds he gets (sounds more like an organ stop than real instruments). All my expression (other than accents which work well in GPO) is done in Tracktion 2 using drawing tools to do my cc's. That is what is time consuming not to mention the crashes when ram is filled to the gills (so to speak ).
My audio card is a MoTU 2408 MK II (44.1K and 48K at 24 bit).
I would upgrade a lot except I'm a retired music teacher and have yet to make much in my mini home studio save for an occasional demo recording session or two that comes my way.
Thanks for all your help and I will certainly look into the dynamics of the piec again. I like revamping using GPO . It makes audio work fun!
I am also interested in any comments as to the form and structure of the piece. I was not a composition major (though, I had some course work in it - including a master class with Pierre Boulez [sp?]), but that was 40 years ago.
I'm not quite sure what's going on with your RAM, Rich. Maybe for starters you can get a look in Task Manager and see what's eating it.
I'd also get in there and do a thorough-going vermin check with SpyBot Search & Destroy, Microsoft AntiVirus (beta), and whatever other general virus utilities you use (TrendMicro.com has a slow but very effective online analysis). Runaway memory problems are highly symptomatic of viral infections.
On your brother's sound quality problems, the only thing that comes immediately to mind is perhaps a wrong or bad choice of drivers... I've run into that myself, and it can truly ruin the sound, which should be very highly realistic. That's an area I'm not fully up to speed with, though; perhaps others here can be more enlightening.