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Topic: First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice

  1. #1

    Smile First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice


    This is my first piece using GPO (the piano is PMI Emperor) and my third composition ever in general:


    I would love to get any and all advice from you, from composition to production. I don't use a notation program and try to compose at the piano and then play it live, so I'm not sure I'm fully utilizing all the articulations available in GPO (just using the lush violins/violas/cellos/etc). Also, I notice there is some clipping in my mp3. In my sequencer (Tracktion), the sound is so much louder/clearer than when I export to wav. I tried tinkering with compressors and EQ, but to no avail.

    The pieces listed on these forums can be so intimidatingly good, so I figure if I want to get better, I should ask the experts!

    Thanks much,

  2. #2
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    California Redwoods

    Re: First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice

    Well, uploading or downloading is quite an adventure at my backwoods location, and streaming is impossible. So I have not heard your piece yet. But: You will need to use your sequencer for the articulations. This is quite essential except for the piano, and I can't say anything regarding the PMI piano, but the GPO Steinway does a nice job, and is probably a bit less demanding of your cpu.

    Beyond this, you need some advice from a Traktion user.


  3. #3

    Re: First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice


    as I am also new here, I am beginner as well. But: great song ! You achieve a very special melancholy feeling with this.

    In the part beginning at 2:50 the speeded up strings sound a bit artificial, I think you can improve this with another choice of the strings, you will certainly find better sounding violins for this part. And i think you have to word on the clippings and distortions as well, but these are just technical things, the music is very well done.


  4. #4

    Re: First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice

    Hi, Nice job. Your work is very soothing and picturesque. The piano playing has such a soft and human feel. You may want to play with some counterpoint with the strings. The clippings sound like your volume is "peaking". In other words, try turning down all volume levels as you record. Don't worry about trying to reach the highest volume level at first. Turn down the master volumes about half. Then record your file and create a .wav file recording if possible. Then, if you have a quality audio recording software like CAKEWALK, import the .wav file. Then select "normalize" and apply this effect. Normalize will raise your song file to its highest volume level possible without any clipping or distortion. Let me know if this helps. Also, great work... please post more.

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  5. #5

    Re: First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice

    Welcome, Chinmay!

    I enjoyed this tender piece, Chinmay. From the compositional end of things, you've done well. I've listened through it several times with much enjoyment. I especially appreciated the human touch in this, from playing it in.

    Technically, you're at the stage I was just one year ago, my friend. I call it the "training wheels" stage... you know what everything does and how to use it, but you're still struggling to get it all under real control. Not to worry! That will come quickly enough with practice.

    Based on my own experience as I learned -- and constantly continue to learn! -- a few very general thoughts...

    Listen on headphones. There's a natural temptation to try to duplicate a real-world placement of instruments with panning, but if you mix too wide (place instruments too far right or left), they do not blend well -- and it also makes it almost impossible to properly control dynamics.

    Listen carefully for balance amongst the instruments. What your eyes tell you and what the knobs are set at, what level meters tell you -- all of that is helpful, but sometimes misleading. Only one thing counts: What your ear says is right.

    Listen carefully for tempo and dynamics -- not just in small areas, but across the piece as a whole. Few if any musical pieces are "static" (played in a fixed tempo at a steady dynamic)... and these two elements of interpretation, rendered with care across the whole of a piece, are crucial to bringing out the best in it.

    Once again, a warm welcome Chinmay, and I look forward to hearing much more from you!

    My best,


  6. #6

    Re: First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice

    Thank you all for your kind and helpful replies. You're very encouraging and I appreciate it!

    Woody, you had mentioned the faster part didn't sound quite right and I have to agree. Are there any tutorials that explain how to properly use articulations when playing realtime? I was looking through the manual and there are so many articulations to choose from and I'm not sure how to go about mixing between multiple ones (or even which ones would be the correct ones to use).

    Thanks again!

  7. #7

    Re: First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice

    Hi Chimnay, greetings from Germany ! Isn´t it amazing that someone so far away can hear your music? Never give up, I really enjoyed your piece and there´s still a whole bunch waiting to come out

  8. #8
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Out of my Mind

    Thumbs up Re: First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice

    Hi Chinmay!, and welcome!

    This is really only your third time out? Wow!
    I’ve been composing since I was 3 on the piano (but I am a rock/jazz drummer) so take everything I say with a grain of salt.
    First off, you have a very nice melodic phrase that is both simple and well-constructed. And that, my friend = memorable (which =good). So it’s very clear that you’ve got good ears – half the battle won already! At about 3 min in, as things are rising in pitch and intensity, it is perhaps not having the desired effect (IMO). Despite all this, the music only gets louder and higher in pitch, but not in emotional quality. Why? Because you need to modulate to major my friend! You are staying too close to home (your tonal center). Get out there and grab some galaxy! If you are in A minor (for example) modulate to the relative major (C MAj), and while you’re there, what the heck, take your original melody and transpose it diatonically to C Maj. That’s just one idea – there’s a billion more. You’re off to an incredible start. You keep it up now and keep posting. That’s how all those “intimidating people” got good – subject it to criticism.

    On a side note (no pun intended), there is like a noise floor happening for some reason, which actually adds a level of realism. There is a lesson in that too! A mess-up is often the best haven for new ideas. I’d like to know what happened, in-fact, so I can do it sometime. Pretty cool effect.

    Keep Going!
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  9. #9

    Re: First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately, I don't have any training in composition (besides the basic theory I learned during piano lessons, which I've mostly forgotten ). I will definitely try incorporating some of your suggestions in my forthcoming pieces. Know any good articles/sites that have compositional suggestions/theory that you gave? Also, what is noise floor? I'm not sure how I achieved it since I didn't know what I was achieving!

    Thanks again!


  10. #10

    Re: First GPO Piece - Looking For Advice

    Hi Chinmay, congratulations on posting your very first GPO piece.

    You should check your piano notes, some of them especially the C is triggering twice, it is noticable at 2:04 and other times too.

    Nice playing by the way!


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