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Topic: "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

  1. #1

    "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

    I thought the community would like to hear a comparison of a piece I wrote last winter using GPO. It was purchased by Case Western Reserve University last summer. I was asked to conduct it in a premier performance at Severance Hall, Cleveland by the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony. The link below will take you to a page of my music. Both the Live and GPO versions are listed #1 and #2 on the page respectively.

    As a note, you might want to turn the volume down on your system before playing the GPO version as it is about 6 Db hotter than the live recorded version.

    Spirit of the Past both live and GPO here:

    Let me know what you think of the piece both as a live performance and as a GPO version. I was quite amazed myself when I conducted the ensemble. What I had heard from the GPO version was a good preparation for what I heard from the ensemble.

    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  2. #2

    Re: "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

    Just finishing listening to both versions. Very nicely done. Congratulations on your live performance and the sale of the piece. Both versions sounded very well.
    Experience what is necessary to build upon self character, for that is Life's most significant learning event.

  3. #3

    Re: "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

    Thanks for the comments, Scott. They are appreciated.

    It certainly was a thrill to step on stage where George Szell, Dohnanyi, and others have stood.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  4. #4

    Re: "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

    Rich, I really liked this piece. I could visualize an old Native American medicine man dancing around a fire at night conjuring up an ancient spirit from the past.

    You are right the GPO version does sound very similar to the live version. You did an excellent job renderiing this in GPO. That must be nice - getting to conduct an orchestra that is performing your composition.

    Kenny Long

  5. #5
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

    I think the GPO version does have it's strong points but the live version does sound more organic and human. I enjoyed both and am happy for your accomplishment.


    There was an ad for an internet dating service on your page so I checked it out. They show some young babes and ask you to specify age range and location which I listed as Olympia, WA. 2000 babes man! So I did a search for Mate 1 fraud and came up with this page. I dabbled with match.com and became suspicious and have found from client reports that they are all possibly fraudulent to some degree- even eHarmony.

    Maybe I'll become an online ambassador too.


  6. #6

    Re: "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

    I enjoyed this. I thought the GPO rendering was very good. What kind of reverb did you use for the space? It sounded very resonant.

  7. #7

    Re: "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

    Kenny, many thanks for your comments. The piece was based roughly on and also included a phrase from "Omaha Song" which is an ancient Omaha Indian theme.

    Phil, yes the human factor was certainly in the live version. An accent and a crescendo can be written and will be played exactly the same way everytime in a sequencer. It was interesting for me to listen to the CD (more time to go over and glean out the detail than when I directed the piece ). Every accent and dynamic contrast was slightly different even from one player to the next in the same section of the piece. You could hear individual interpretations even in a large group of over 100 musicians.

    As for the ad on the page, soundclick is responsible for that and I will check into it and voice my displeasure in the type of ads they are running. It is a free site for me. They have a VIP version which cost monthly. I will check and see if that version carries ads of that nature.

    Jay, Also, many thans for your comments.

    It's been months since I rendered that version of my piece but I usually do the following: I render each instrument section to a wave file using Ambience Concert Hall Reverb (I set the dry level at 1 Db or so and the wet level to -5 Db). The farther back on the stage the sections are the level of the dry wet mix changes (more wet, less dry). But it's subtle, I change maybe .2 Db more wet than dry for each row of the group. When I mix the wave files in the final mix, I use Mackies MRVB-1 Studio Reverb plugin and I set it to Medium Hall at 30% to 40% wet. Finally, I use Acuma Final mix to tighten the whole thing up. I hope I've answered your question Jay.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  8. #8

    Re: "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

    Rich, congratulations: a fine performance and a fine piece!

    Thanks for posting the comparison -- you do a real service
    to us with that, Rich... I listened through both with much

    Plainly you did a strong job at rendering the GPO version; but
    nonetheless... amazing how well the two compare!

    All my best,


  9. #9

    Re: "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

    Thanks, etLux, for those comments. I would hope that a few more members would listen and compare the two. Not for my benefit but to show that GPO (IMHO) is a fine crafting tool and can give you a very strong rendition of a composition. Hearing the live and GPO version side by side shows the strengths of GPO as well as the strengths of humanism.

    One can approach GPO with players being slightly in and out of tune, together and not quite together, playing dynamics a little more or less than the next instrument, but (and a big one at that) it still won't have the life of a live performance. (Nor the thunderous applause at the end!)
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  10. #10

    Re: "Spirit of the Past" Comparison

    Hey Rich,
    Thank you for posting both versions of your work. While I would agree that GPO is a wonderful tool, there is just something about the live performance I prefer. It' not so "exact"; Obviously there is the human element which helps; but the overall sound quality and natural hall gives the live performance a great warmth. Great job on the composition all the way around.

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

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