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Topic: Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

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  1. #1
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    Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

    Hi All -

    It has been a very long time since I have been on these forums (life has a way of getting in the way sometimes . I decided to finally sit down and try and learn more about GPO. I decided to start with strings...Cellos, to be exact. I wrote this piece over the weekend and have been playing with controllers to try and make it sound a bit more realistic.

    http://www.michaelfortunato.com/musi..._Quintet_1.mp3

    I'd love feedback on this. I do not know how to write for strings, so I don't know if I'm using the cellos in a way they are not meant to be played. Any help on the expression, mixing, ambience, composition in general is greatly appreciated .

    Thanks.
    - Michael
    -----------------------------
    - Michael Fortunato

  2. #2

    Re: Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

    You are almost there.

    a. the melody voice is good enough;
    b. somewhere in the middle I noticed (the darker sounds) some distortion (sounded not like a cello) . At time 0:33 - 0:40.
    c. at time 1:06 it is more like a cheap synthesizer sound (the higher voice)
    d. at 1:53 you need to look at the effects on the highest voice;
    e. the reverb is too much. In a setting like this it is a chamber concert. And they are intimate, almost without reverb, people are sitting near by. Lower the delay time (and pre-delay), lower the decay time to almost zero, because there is hardly any echoing in such a room.

    Don't knwo if you have altered one of the voices with an equalizer (and I think so, or it because of the nature of the reverb plugin) but don't!! A cello is not a nice, warm, dark instrument when heard at almost performer-distance.

    In this setting one has to hear the movement of the bows - I mean the hairs over the strings (I don't knwo how it is called in english).

    I used to play the cello - after my career as a pianist (amateurish) I discoverd that wonderful instrument and followed lessons for a couple of years. Mixing this with my job as ICT manager --- just live got in the way ...

    To compare your piece with the real world. Just listen to the Cello Suite by Bach, the Roccoco variations and Andante Cantabile by Tschaikowsky. I always try to listen to piece with just the same atmosphere to get the "hang" of the mastering (in which direction it must go).

    Finish this piece, it is pure music!!

    Raymond

  3. #3
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    Re: Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

    Thank you, Raymond, for your quick and detailed reply. I will indeed listen to the Bach Cello Suite for a better idea of what cellos sound like. I didn't use any Equalizing or compressing on the piece, just the Ambience plug in (I will try adjusting that more ).
    Because the cellos sometimes felt "thin" I did use the lush mutes (at a very low volume) to fill out the sound of the cellos - I was hoping it would fatten the sound and make it sound a bit more natural. I'll try taking those out - they may be adding to the "reverb" effect.

    I will take your wonderful criticism and attempt to apply it to the piece .

    Thanks again!
    - Michael
    -----------------------------
    - Michael Fortunato

  4. #4
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    Re: Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

    I have taken Raymond's suggestions and applied them to the piece.

    I replaced the same file in the previous link:
    http://www.michaelfortunato.com/musi..._Quintet_1.mp3

    Changes made:
    Reduced reverb by lowering pre-delay and brought down the wet setting.
    Reduced the volume of the cello lush mutes.
    Edited all of my controller curves to try and make the piece sound more natural and realistic.

    Comments always welcome.

    Thanks.
    - Michael
    -----------------------------
    - Michael Fortunato

  5. #5

    Re: Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

    WOW. I don't have time just now and will comment more detailed tomorrow, but there is something very touching in this piece - and the rendering is remarkable! There is much potential, and also much there already!

    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  6. #6

    Re: Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

    Don't alter this one. It is now a cello quintet.
    And please make some more parts with this "mood" to get a full cello quintet for real life performance. It is wonderful.

    Thank you for letting us in.

    Raymond

  7. #7

    Re: Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

    Some considerations.
    I said "don't alter this one" but next time think of the attacks when new voices are starting. When the cello starts a line/note it is almost impossible to start at the wanted volume. There is always some attack time involved.
    I mean that the shorter the time is for getting at the demanded volume the better it is, but this short delay is always noticeable.

    I don't know your gear, but in a wave editor for the separate tracks you can alter in a "envelop" the attack (in adobe audition it is called "smooth attack"). The time scale (in the wave editor) is a bit long, but you can alter this one into fractions of a second. It should be possible in Sonar also, but don't know how to do this yet.

    Try this, without losing the original!!

    Raymond

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

    I was a brass major turned composition major - so I wouldn't dare comment on the quality of the rendition of cellos - but I will say this; I listened carefully to both versions and while the first was finely done, the second left me breathless. In both cases the music itself is quite wonderful. In the second version the sound is simply wonderful.

  9. #9
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    Re: Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

    Thank you all very much for your wonderful comments. I'm excited that it appears I am on the right track .
    Raymond - I have Cool Edit Pro which is almost identical to Adobe Audition. Adobe bought Cool Edit Pro and turned it into Adobe Audition. I believe I know what you are talking about and will try the attack as well. However, I think I might try it on a new piece .

    Thank you all again.

    - Michael
    -----------------------------
    - Michael Fortunato

  10. #10

    Re: Cello Quintet - Learning the Curves

    Quote Originally Posted by mfortunato
    Raymond - I have Cool Edit Pro which is almost identical to Adobe Audition.
    Yes, almost. I updated the program all the way from CoolEdit Pro to Audition 1.5 and 2.0. But whenever you have plans to do so, don't throw away CoolEdit Pro. It has some features Audition 2.0 hasn't (e.g. recording new pieces via the soundcard output. Audition 2.0 limits them to a couple of seconds, as samples, while CoolEditPro records until you hit "stop").

    Raymond

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