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Topic: I'm Far From Here- Nieves Villasenor

  1. #1

    I'm Far From Here- Nieves Villasenor

    Hey Garritan Community! It's Nieves here, it's been like a week or so since I last posted. I'm posting a new rendition of a piano work that I did earlier called, I'm Far From Here.

    I personally like the change I did to it; however, I'd like to hear what you guys have to say about it.

    When I wrote it, it was meant to become a "rock-band-ish" kind of song, but at the time I didn't have the Garritan programs and I didn't like the way the Finale sound synth things sounded. So, yeah, I tried it out... tell me what ya'll think!


    Thanks ya'll, Nieves V.

  2. #2

    Re: I'm Far From Here- Nieves Villasenor

    Hello, Nieves

    I didn't hear the earlier version of this, but from your description it must have been very different without the Garritan instruments. This new recording is a big step up the ladder I bet!

    I enjoyed the hypnotic effect of the piece. It invited me to close my eyes and drift in a rhythmic way with what the band was playing. Nice.

    Here are a few other observations--all subjective, personal reactions naturally.

    One--I was hoping for a more definite theme to emerge from the chord progression. I enjoyed the guitarist's riffs and the strings' occasional swells, and then I was still hoping for a melody to come up out of the undulating chord progression.

    Two--I feel the strings would benefit from being more legato. I'm not sure you used the great legato feature of GPO, because every note's attack was very distinct, and there were passages where an actual swell of strings would have sounded more beautiful in legato mode.

    Three--I see you opted for a recording that simulates a live performance, as opposed to a recording where the sound stage is purposely fictional and tailored to however the engineer wants to shape each sound. I find these reverb/ambience questions difficult, and I think a lot of us do. But those are the two basic approaches--to sound "natural" (ala classical orchestral recordings) or to disregard what's natural (ala pop music).

    When using a rock drum set as you have, there is one distinct problem that happens when going for the natural live performance sound--The kick drum sends out huge sound waves that keep adding a loud boomy wash on top of the rest of the recording. That's exactly why in pop music the kick drum is mixed dry--it's a controlled thump that doesn't muddy up the recording.

    Hearing a rock drummer play live in pieces other than rock music, such as in live productions of musical theatre--they have the same problem. They can be so godawfully dominant.

    So, I feel that in your recording, it would benefit your music a great deal if you "cheated" on what's natural, and not send that drum kit so far into the deep reverb you have it--And that you ought to separate the kick drum to mix it much dryer than the rest. We would hear the melodic content much better that way.

    And then in general I felt there was too much ambience added to the entire piece. It has the sound of those video tapes people used to make when they'd set up a home video camera in the back of an auditorium to record their children's band concert--with cameras that have built-in microphones. The results were never satisfactory--very boomy, picking up the sound waves bouncing around the auditorium as much as the band, with a very distant sounding and muddy recording as the result.

    I feel that if you pictured the listener being no farther than half way back in the house, rather in the back row (or in the lobby!) it would sound much better. And for my taste, I like to hear recordings where I feel like I'm in the front row. It's more intimate, personal, and the music is much more distinct--There is of course still the ambience of being in a performance space, but to a much more subtle degree.

    --It's a Thing with me, so pardon me for going on about it. I tend to mix my things rather dry--people always comment on it. I just feel that the vast majority of home projects I hear are far too awash with artificial reverb. I feel it's been a fad to simulate this Grand Opera sound, and that it's not only not necessary, but hurts the music--washes it into sonic muddiness. Some people argue that all that reverb makes the music "bigger," maybe even more "impressive." To me it just makes it sound more far away, more mushed together, less impressive, and actually a tad pretentious.

    Thanks for posting this--Maybe some of this feedback is at least interesting.


  3. #3

    Re: I'm Far From Here- Nieves Villasenor

    Hello sir,
    I totally, full-heartedly, appreciate your comments. I am definitely gonna try the things you told me to fix. I'm glad you appreciated the song nonetheless, but I think your comments may make it a lil better. Thank you sir!!!! =]

    Nieves V

  4. #4

    Re: I'm Far From Here- Nieves Villasenor

    Hello again--I'm glad if anything I wrote is of some help and/or interest.

    Your piece is of particular interest to me, because my main project is also in this genre of an orchestra coupled with a rock ensemble. I have a post currently on this Forum which has the link to some of the music. Over the last several months, I've started at the beginning of my stage musical, posting the show's numbers in order.

    Wrestling with the question of reverb--amount and style--was a big issue when I was doing the final mixes for my piece. After months of testing out various mixes and soliciting feedback from many musicians, I arrived at an approach which I'm happy with.

    Best of everything as you continue working with your music!


  5. #5

    Re: I'm Far From Here- Nieves Villasenor

    Randy had some great comment on this one, technically,
    Nieves... all right on the mark... so I won't recap any of
    his excellent suggestions.

    Nice work on the piece! I get a real sense of drama out
    of this one, for some reason; much enjoyed... there's
    almost a Celtic feel to the modality of it that's quite
    moving for an Irishman like me.

    My best,


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