This is an attempt at a lavish orchestral piece using GPO.
I hope you like it.
Hi, Jack--Excellent to see you here again with some more music for us.
You hope we like it--Well I certainly do! Lavish Panorama indeed---FLyyyying over the mountains and trees, as in the description you have at the site.
I need to say that I hear what could be "Notation artifacts"--as in, overly strict quantization. For instance at :20, the woodwinds have the "keyboard chord" effect. Some staggering of note entrances would help with that a lot.
The use of reverb seems uneven also. Some instruments seem to be sitting comfortably enough in a hall, but then other instruments make entrances, like the brass, So much dryer and closer. It makes for a bit of an Escher-like landscape that confuses my ears.
In the composition, you completely accomplished your goal of being like a film sound track, --a lush musicalization of natural landscapes. Nice!
Jack, you've got some great stuff in here -- dramatic,
cinematic, lush thinking that flies with the hawks, my
But to my ear, you're rushing your own game... May
I suggest you give this a try at a lesser speed, slow
down and let these ideas flow, rather than rush at us;
and give them some elasticity and rubato and dynamic
outline that will bring the rich emotional tapestry of
these fine ideas out.
You've got a diamond in the rough, here, Jack. I'm
looking forward to hearing you do more with it.
Always my best,
This music is VERY beautiful especially since, judging from the comments that accompany it on your mp3unsigned site, it was made with fairly minimal resources as far as rendering goes. It definitely made me feel like flying.
I *REALLY* think it would shine with some strategically placed reverb and ensemble building if at all possible though. As it is, I don't think the instruments are utilized to their full potential (although honestly there are parts of the song so energetic and fascinating that I barely notice.)
There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Therefore there must be a God. You either get this one or you don't - Kreeft & Tacelli
The will to achieve is not sufficient. Some things should not be achieved. - Rimsky-Korsakov
Musicians are just these guys that want to make music. Okay, they want to have a wonderful lifestyle, but the majority just want to make really great music. - Jon Anderson
Randy, David, and Chris,
Thank you very much for your comments. I agree whole-heartedly with what you suggest. I suspect some of it is due to laziness or convenience, or ear deficiencies. However, some of it, I think, is due to an iincorrect technical approach, and I'd like to find out if you think that is the case.
David, I believe your suggestions relate mainly to interpretation, and I think more due diligence with regard to tempo and dynamics are what's needed. I think I can handle that technically, although there may be a few restrictions with my approach.
Randy and Chris, your suggestions relate more to sound and 'realism', and this is mainly where I think my approach would be considered faulty. So I would like to find out what would be the 'correct' approach, or if there is any such thing.
I'm using Garritan Studio. I work on the MIDI file dry, trying as much as possible to hear all the parts. In this particular piece, some of the details are inevitably lost, but I try to get it as clear as possible. In the instrument setups, I usually use a single channel for each instrument (Flutes, Clarinets etc.). I'm sure that's a 'no no'. However, I did assign individual channels to the French Horns, slightly detuning one of them, since most of it is unison for the two Horns. When I get the MIDI file as good as I can make it, I then record the whole thing using Garritan Studio. Now, using Cool Edit Pro, I will try out various reverbs against the whole file. Sometimes I do use Ambience, in which case I will record the entire file with the reverb.
My main question is: is it essential that each track be recorded individually, with or without reverb, and then mixed ? I have tried that to some extent in the past, and found that there didn't seem to be much difference for all the extra work. However, that's where I may be wrong, and that's where I'm looking for advice.
Thanks again for listening.
A lot of very good ideas here. The sweeping arpeggios help give it a great sense of flying that you are looking for. Reading through the other posts I pretty much agree with what everyone else is saying.
Trent P. McDonald
Hi, Jack--Thanks for adding more to your thread. I'm glad you're enjoying the feedback you're getting--I think there are a few things for me to respond to, and maybe I can be helpful:
Definitely no such thing as a "correct approach", despite what some people may say to the contrary. Sure there are procedures which are likely to be more successful than others, but recording and mixing will always be Arts--no exact formulas to always adhere to.Originally Posted by jacksiru
You said single chanel, singular, and single instrument, singular--but then you listed plurals of Flutes and Clarinets. I think you must mean that you actually Aren't using single tracks for each instrument--you're using one track for all the instruments of the same type. So all the Flutes are on one track.--Yes--you're right, that would be a "no no."Originally Posted by jacksiru
And it doesn't work because there's no way to get anything but impossibly perfect duplicated playing on each instance of those instruments.
I usually use three Flutes, sticking with that instrument example. That calls for three MIDI tracks. Each track is slightly different, even if it began as a cut and paste from the first flute track. At least one of those three tracks will have cc22 recorded on to it in real time, for slight variations of intonation throughout the track, and sometimes I add cc24 (timbre variations). Some people take these multiple tracks and shift them slightly to the left or right, to achieve different attack times--but that results in a predictable semi-phasing effect which isn't nearly as good as just getting in there by hand and randomly changing the entrances and endings of some notes.
After reading this explanation from you, I think that explained the synthesizerish section I pointed out at :20.
Detuning one slightly is OK if you want a constantly out-of-tune instrument, but I recommend the recording of cc22 in varying degrees (more on fast passages) as a much better technique. I find that controller is a major key in getting natural results.Originally Posted by jacksiru
Ouch! That really doesn't work very well, putting an entire mix through one reverb setting. In essence, it's having all the instruments piled up on top of each other in one location on the stage.Originally Posted by jacksiru
Some people get EXtremely complex in the way they use reverb, and I feel they can get carried away with magical voodo rituals with their reverbs which don't help. BUT it still remains that at the very Least, you must have varying degrees of reverb added to different instruments. It's very easy to grasp what's needed--Things that are closer have less reverb (or smaller reverb programs) and things farther away have more reverb (or larger reverb programs).
I'm not positive if you're talking about MIDI or Audio tracks at this point. To me it's essential that each instrument in your project gets it's own MIDI track--as per what I said above. When bouncing tracks to audio, you have the choice of keeping each instrument on its own audio track (which is great and keeps things very flexible) or doing sub-mixes with groups bounced to one track--Woodwinds track, Strings track etc.Originally Posted by jacksiru
But you said "with or without reverb"---I would Highly recommend that they are Never recorded with reverb. Why be stuck with a recorded effect permanently applied to the track when you very well may change your mind later? The reverb needs to be added during mixing--Either through track sends or by sending tracks through a bus which has a reverb strapped to it.
All the extra work is well worth it. We all work at different paces--I am simply unable to produce a 3 to 5 minute piece of music in under 3 to 5 weeks. Others work faster--but all of us spend 100s of hours to get the best results. So, I feel you need to not make that a concern. Maybe you feel you've tried things in more complexitiy and didn't notice any difference in your results--but maybe you werent using the most effective procedures.
Maybe some of this helpful!
Thanks a lot for listening, and for your comments, Trent.Originally Posted by trentpmcd
Thanks for giving me such a detailed reply.
I think terminology is a problem here, because we are using different programs (remember, I'm using my own). In my program, each different instrument is on a unique 'track' (e.g. Clarinet I might be on Track 7, and Clarinet II would be on Track 8). However, 'Channel' numbers can be applied anywhere. If I set up one patch for both clarinets, then both tracks would have the same channel number applied to it. Conversly, channel numbers can change on a single track - e.g. if Violin I sustain+short is set up as channel 1, and Violin I pizzicato is set up as channel 2, then the channel number on the Violin I track changes when the violin switches to pizzicato. However, I agree that using one channel for more than one track is inferior, but sometimes convenient.Originally Posted by rbowser-
I used a very tiny bit of detuning to achieve a bit of a chorus effect where the Horns are doubled. I haven't yet been able to figure out cc22 and cc23. Do they have to be used continuously, and do the values control the amount of variation, or is it something that does random variations ?Detuning one slightly is OK if you want a constantly out-of-tune instrument, but I recommend the recording of cc22 in varying degrees (more on fast passages) as a much better technique. I find that controller is a major key in getting natural results.
When I say 'recorded', I mean audio tracks (in my case .wav files). I think you answered my question on this point - record each track separately dry, and then add reverb to each audio track. (Something I didn't do).I'm not positive if you're talking about MIDI or Audio tracks at this point. To me it's essential that each instrument in your project gets it's own MIDI track--as per what I said above. When bouncing tracks to audio, you have the choice of keeping each instrument on its own audio track (which is great and keeps things very flexible) or doing sub-mixes with groups bounced to one track--Woodwinds track, Strings track etc.
I really appreciate all the time and effort you spend, Randy, in helping myself and others. It was very helpful.Maybe some of this helpful!
Hello again, Jack--Glad my post was of some use!
And thanks for the reminder that you're using your own program. What you described about track and channel assignments sounds like it works the way programs with which I'm accustomed do.
When you said that it's sometimes convenient to have one channel feed several tracks--as I did in my previous post, I urge you to not go for that convenience. In working with samples and synths, they need all the help they can get to sound more organic, and short-cuts like that add the unnatural "cheese" factor that we all like to avoid.
"...I used a very tiny bit of detuning to achieve a bit of a chorus effect where the Horns are doubled. I haven't yet been able to figure out cc22 and cc23. Do they have to be used continuously, and do the values control the amount of variation, or is it something that does random variations?..."
Yes, a bit of a chorusing effect is what you want, and detuning is a start. Cc22 and 24 (not 23) are added continuously, yes, they aren't switches where you set one event and leave it at that.
Not knowing exactly how your set up works---translate this into what will work for you:
--I use a keyboard controller, and program the mod wheel to generate whatever MIDI controller I need at a given time. I set it for 22, and then make a pass through the track I want, keeping it at the bottom, "0" most of the time, swooping it up a bit on a random basis and higher on fast passages, since those are the ones where live musicians have the most difficulty maintaining precise tonality.
Then I fine-tune that data recording in the Piano Roll View of Sonar, typing in 22 in the controller selector so I can see the data I just recorded. With the pencil tool and eraser, I change whatever needs fixing. One can easily get too much of 22 or 24 into a track and it just sounds like a horribly out of tune instrument or really bad musician. Use your own judgement as to how much adds the chorusing and natural fluctuations you like.
You can probably do something like that--It doesn't take long, and is one of the Garritan "effects" which does the most for adding realism to Woodwinds, Brass and Solo Strings.