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Topic: The Star Spangled Banner

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  1. #1

    The Star Spangled Banner

    With Memorial Day coming up and being an Army brat, I wanted to post this and see what you good folks think. It needs mixing, I'm doing my best but am hitting a wall, especially with reverb. Any comments on mixing, arrangement, execution or whatever else are greatly appreciated!

    http://www.clangates.com/ssb.mp3

    -Kevin

    P.S. I am dedicating this to my dad, Major James Gates, who taught me what it means to be a patriot.
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  2. #2

    Re: The Star Spangled Banner

    I thought the arrangement, with its gentle, flowing tenor,
    was quite, quite good, Kevin.

    The mix, overall, I cannot find anything major to criticize
    in it -- perhaps a little more care in instrument balance,
    a touch of EQ on the strings... and maybe the barest
    bit more reverb on it. But my ears are not the best; and
    I'm sure some of our sharper listeners can offer more
    helpful thoughts.

    My respect and regards to the Major.

    Best,



    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  3. #3

    Re: The Star Spangled Banner

    This is a very beautiful arrangement, Kevin. I've heard it re-harmonized in various ways, but I'm certain there were touches throughout your gentle, thoughtful version which I've never heard used before. Really great work.

    I unhesitatingly agree with David about the recording needing more reverb. Not a large Concert Hall program, but a more intimate venue and enough added so there's air around the instruments. They sound like they're in a small, cramped studio with sound baffling choking off the ambience. Open it up with reverb and the piece will be even more beautiful.

    Thanks much for this--I didn't expect to enjoy a recording of this song so much.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  4. #4

    Smile Re: The Star Spangled Banner

    David and Randy,
    Thanks for your supportive comments. I'm going to work on the reverb and see if I can't (as Randy put it so well) get more air around the instruments.

    David, can you expand a bit on your EQ suggestion? I've EQ'd a good bit of the high frequencies from the strings and I'm not sure if you think more should be removed or if I should add some back. I'm still trying to figure out what sounds `good' and what does not.

    Last of all, are there any comments on any places where the strings don't sound like the articulations are right? I think I am off in a few spots, but I wanted to finally post this. I'd like to see if anyone sees anything glaring that I may or may not be aware of.

    Thanks again for listening!

    -Kevin

    P.S. I am a pretty thick skinned guy, so if you hate the song just tell me so. I would like to hear *all* comments from listeners, it is the only way I can learn and progress.
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  5. #5

    Re: The Star Spangled Banner

    My comment on the strings -- and please, remember my ears
    aren't the best -- was regarding what, to me, seemed just
    a bit of a hard edge on them. Not much. Just a touch of it.
    Usually I find a little top-slicing with EQ helps with that; but
    it's an inexact process, getting exactly the right cut -- it
    depends on both the range and the orchestrative voicing.

    Hope that helps a little!

    Best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  6. #6

    Re: The Star Spangled Banner

    Hello again, Kevin

    I've enjoyed re-hearing your arrangement of this so much, I'm replying to give it the chance of having a larger audience.

    Thanks again for a sensitive rendition of this song for which we can have such conflicted feelings.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  7. #7

    Re: The Star Spangled Banner

    The Star Spangled Banner is such an iconic song and the tenderness and thought that has gone into your production is lovely. We Australians love to make fun of the Americans; we tend to make a lot of fun of ourselves. But this piece of music is such an important part of American identity and justifiably a source of great national pride.

    I think your arrangement is lovely. If I was to make any kind of suggestion it would be that I think at the end the horns are a little strong, and maybe add some bass during that last section.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: The Star Spangled Banner

    There are many situations that call for playing the national anthem. All too often performing organizations have only a strong militant version that may not be appropriate. I can only say that I wish I had had your version while I was conducting high school and college bands.

    I will leave technical comments to the more experienced; but I for one enjoyed this arrangement very much. Hopefully you will consider using the new Concert/Marching band software when it becomes available this summer for yet another rendition. This could be outstanding for a drum and bugle corps.

  9. #9

    Re: The Star Spangled Banner

    Kevin, I like the way you have harmonized the theme very much... as for the rendering, I would move the solo strings away a bit and bring to front the sections, so to get a more full, rounded tone. I like the minimal reverb setting you've chosen

  10. #10

    Smile Re: The Star Spangled Banner

    Randy, thanks very much for your reply and exposing the piece to more people. I had given up on any more comments and without your help I very well may not have had any.

    I am working on a *much* revamped mix. I am actually going through and touching up a good bit of the articulations, etc. also so the overall quality of the song will be improved. I should have it posted this weekend.

    David, if you are reading this thread, I have played with the violin EQ and found that if I took about 4 - 6 Db off at around 3Khz with a fairly wide Q the violin sound was greatly tempered and `fattened' up. The result is what I believe is a sound that is fuller and mellower and lends itself to the arrangement much better.

    Alan, thanks for your comments! I agree with both of your observations, especially with the bass at the end. Being an ex-euphonium and tuba player I should know better!

    Tom, your comments really hit home with me. I marched drum and bugle corps for a 2 years (first with the Spirit of Atlanta in 82 and then one year with the Blue Devils in 83) and I have always thought this would be a great piece for D&B. I will be making a brass only marching band version and if I get the courage to do so I might even send copies to both SoA and BD to see if they would be interested in using it. My heart will always be on the field and anything I can do to give back to DCI I will do with much enthusiasm.

    Oldbob, I think you will like the new mix because I have done just as you suggested. The second parts were being drowned out and with some careful modulation I think I have struck a much better balance. I'm glad you like the reverb, I've added a touch to give a bit more breathing space but not much. I don't want to lose the feeling of intimacy I think the arrangement calls for.

    Thanks to all for your comments. It has encouraged me a great deal!

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

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