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Topic: My first arrangment

  1. #1

    Arrow My first arrangment

    Hi all. I finally finished my first arrangment and uploaded it to Garritan artists. I had this arrangment floating around in my head for years, but never had the time to actually put it all together. This is from Guns & Roses "November Rain". Since I am new at composing, I anxiously await any and all feedback. Hope you enjoy it!

    P.S. Sorry, forgot the link at first post


    Jaker "Shaver"

  2. #2

    Re: My first arrangment

    Quote Originally Posted by shaver
    Hi all. I finally finished my first arrangment and uploaded it to Garritan artists. I had this arrangment floating around in my head for years, but never had the time to actually put it all together. This is from Guns & Roses "November Rain". Since I am new at composing, I anxiously await any and all feedback. Hope you enjoy it!

    Jaker "Shaver"
    Can you post a direct link?

    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  3. #3

    Re: My first arrangment

    Hello, Shaver

    I especially enjoyed from the middle section around 2:44 and onwards. The highly repetitive nature of the source material needs interesting variations to keep up interest, and you did quite a bit of arranging towards that end.

    Previous to 2:44, the constantly aggressive string attacks in the higher octaves became wearying and I was hoping for development. --At over 6:00, I feel you could do your homage to this song with more punch if you limited it to about half the length.

    There was an improvisational feel to some of the lead passages, especially the clashing English Horn section towards the end, which seemed could benefit from some shaping.

    Basically, it sounds to me like you have musical ideas which go beyond what I personally feel is a rather run-of-the-mill and unrewarding Guns And Roses opus.

    I'm looking forward to hearing something original from you.

    Randy B.

  4. #4

    Smile Re: My first arrangment

    Thanx Randy for your input. I was somewhat leary about the repetative nature of the peice as you stated. It was a first attempt at compisition, so I am on the right track of the learning curve with the support from you and other members. Using GPO has given me a much broader perspective of composing, especially since I am scoring exclusively by ear, I don't read music. The process is time consuming but VERY rewarding to hear the finished results. As always, glad to get feedback to help me grow.

    Jaker "Shaver"

  5. #5

    Re: My first arrangment

    Hi Shaver

    For your first attempt at arranging you have done a very nice job. Obviously the basics of the task are not unknown to you.

    In addition to Randy's comments about the strings etc. I can only add that your strict adherance to the rhythmic gestures of the song's lyrics, while applaudable, is in this case interfering with my enjoyment of the melody, especially in the trumpet. Without words to justify all of those repeated notes, I find myself wishing the melody was a little more flowing.

    Also I agree with Randy that your own musical vision probably exceeds that of Axl's ;-) Maybe you should try your hand at composition.

    Any thing else your working on?

  6. #6

    Re: My first arrangment

    Hi John,

    There's a lot of good work in this, John; quite a lot.

    But I can feel you struggling with the tools. As others
    have mentioned, I think the first thing I'd get to work
    on would be gaining better control over the strings;
    smoothing out the arranging in that regard, so that they
    more readily accommodate the flowing nature of the
    writing in general.

    Beyond that, the standard four horsemen of rendering
    well: dynamics, articulation, phrasing, tempi -- it is
    attention to these nuances that create realism in the
    sound, perhaps more than any other elements.

    This has the potential to be a truly fine arrangement --
    all the basics are clearly there in the writing, already.
    I hope you'll continue work with it!

    My best,


  7. #7

    Re: My first arrangment

    Hello again, Shaver

    Looking through my accumulation of auto-mail from the Forum, I looked again at the messages relating to your post, and got to wondering how you're doing.

    How Are you doing? There was some good discussion on this thread, and I hope you found it more inspiring and encouraging rather than discouraging.

    I also wanted to reiterate what I said at the end of my earlier response here--that I'm looking forward to hearing something original from you.

    You described this as your first composition, but since it's based on a previous work written by someone else, what you've done actually is arranging. You'll see a lot of original arrangements on this board, and even more straight performances of pieces as they are arranged in their published scores, and then of course a fair amount of totally original material also.

    I'm thinking that you may have even more fun working from the ground up on an original piece. Hope you do that, and hope you're still enjoying your explorations of GPO and whatever else you're using in your home studio.

    Randy B.

  8. #8

    Talking Re: My first arrangment

    Hi Randy and ALL who posted to this thread...

    Firstly, I wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to listen to this piece and moreso, those who have commented on it. Although there were only a few who commented on my first piece here, I find those comments very valuable. Even though I am new to composing, I have been "arranging" music and scores in my head for years. To me, there is nothing more rewarding and gratifying than to actually hear your vision come to life before your ears; that is why we compose after all.

    A brief background of myself:

    I play several instruments (keyboard, drums, guitar) by ear. I do read a little music, but not at any professional level so I suppose you could say I have a "good ear". My technique for scoring is basically to lay out a simple melody in pieces, (i.e. opening, lead-in, climax.) and build each section in layers until I have worked the melody, using my keyboard (not midi compatible but I'm hoping to get one soon) into a sound structure. (I'm not sure but maybe this is the way others compose as well?) I only use the mouse and virtual keyboard in FL studio to place each note 1 at a time into the piano roll by ear. Once I have each section melody basically laid out, I then start layering each instrument I am planning to use. It's a long process by far, especially doing it all by ear, but, once I feel the basic structure is sound enough, I then begin "tweaking" each instrument for each piece until I have the depth, e.q., panning etc. adjusted to my tastes. The hardest part for me, is learning the GPO fine tuning such as articulation, attack, velocity etc. as etLux has mentioned. Another fine tunning issue is also the swell in brass that I have a bit of trouble with. As with any new software or program, it is only a matter of time until I get the hang of the fundamentals of GPO; which will only come from practice and feedback from everyone here. I am very glad to recieve comments and helpful criticism (sp?) to help me grow.

    My Workstation:

    Intel P4 Dual core 3.43 processor
    2 Gigabyte DDR2 Memory
    512 mb. ATI Raedon 1750 XGE (X-treme Gamer Edition) 750 mhz Video Card
    450 Gigabyte SATA Hard Drive
    Soundblaster Pro Live! 5.1 Surround Audio Card
    DVD(R, RW) Litescribe DVD/CD burner


    As you so elliquently put it, "You may have more fun working from the ground up on an origional piece." and you are absoultely right. I have been working on an original idea I have had for quite some time now. It's in the works and at this point, I only have the first 1:35 of it. I'll post it in the listening room to get some feedback before I continue work on it. There are still some slight discrepencies in the overall "balance" of each instrument but the spatial seperation seems to sound ok but, as always, a "fresh" ear is always a plus.

    I am looking forward to learning and growing with the help and support of all the great members here!

    Jaker "Shaver"

  9. #9

    Re: My first arrangment

    HI, Jaker "Shaver"

    I'm glad you saw my message from earlier today, and that you've talked more about your process and studio equipment.

    What you described, starting with the basics of a piece and then slowly building layers--I think that pretty much outlines the way most people work.

    And working with software like this, reading music really isn't such a handicap for a lot of work. The best sight readers are still working "by ear" when doing a lot of their composing and arranging work. It can never be by the numbers.

    The biggest drawback to what you have and what you're currently doing, in my opinion, is not having a MIDI keyboard--Something you pointed out yourself. Many people don't feel the need for a keyboard, but they Do read music and work primarily in Notation programs. You need something which can give you instant feedback, something you can Feel with--since you're doing this by ear, and you Do know how to play a keyboard.

    Big "secret" of mine--The keyboard I'm using is a very humble MK-4902 which I got through eBay for $40. It would be wonderful to have something with more than 49 keys, with better action, with more sliders etc, but it works just fine and fits my budget. There's one wheel which can be programmed to any MIDI controller--So that's used constantly as I work the Garritan sounds which make such good use of all the MIDI controllers.

    I record into Sonar Home Studio 4XL, sometimes starting a project with the vanilla flavor Edirol soft synth (General MIDI module) that comes with it, but then I'm soon working in the Garritan instruments I want in a piece, supplementing those with a few odds and ends of free soft synths and my old hardware synths.

    I recommend you look at eBay. So many keyboard controllers for sale and for so little. You don't need a synth, just a controller.

    Inserting notes one at a time can work of course, but from what you've told us of yourself, I really feel at least a basic keyboard like I use would really ignite your creativity.

    One more tech recommendation--I see you're using a Sound Blaster sound card. When you can upgrade that, you'll be much better off. Those were made for gaming and other regular computer sound needs--they don't really handle home studio work very well. Fine for now, but put that on your short Must Get list also.

    Hope to hear from you again soon.

    Randy B.

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