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Topic: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

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  1. #1
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    Good Christian Men, Rejoice

    Here's my first efforts at my Christmas Album contribution.
    For those who freely give me good advice, how can I improve either reverb, etc., or in music interest.
    Thanks
    Gary

    hi-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getpl...d=5473990&q=hi

  2. #2

    Re: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

    Hi, Gary

    This is pleasant surprise--I didn't expect to be seeing the Christmas entries posted here. Well why Not just have the holidays in June?--I like that concept!

    I think there are some nice passages here, Gary, and the mix you've gotten sounds like you're getting a handle on that process more and more all the time. Very cool.

    The reverb is still--off to me. Do you have Brass farther back, as in Wetter than the Woodwinds? It should be, but sounded closer and dryer.

    Panning-wise, it seemed there were plenty of instruments to one side or the other, but the middle was more sparse. Stereo fields really don't need to be all that wide--We should remember that most music is played back in a virtually monophonic way.

    Now--my very first general feeling about the construction of the arrangement is that you could try getting to the more full instrumentation earlier in the piece. We've been asked to keep the entries around 3:00, and yours is--oh the player is closed now, but around 3:30 I think? So you have extra time anyway, and I feel you could use that to trim from the beginning.

    There are many very spare sections with solo instruments, and that's an interesting dramatic effect, but seemed to sound rather bleak. I was very grateful when the full band struck up--it felt more like Christmas.

    And then the spareness returned at the end.--Gary, my feeling is that the intended purpose of the CDs could dictate a more warm happy atmosphere, with the Garritan Christmas CD playing in the background from living rooms across the country. Music which gets as delicate in its sound as your track would really not be heard--Perhaps I'm right?

    Something else about when the full band/orchestra is playing--I was hoping for it to go full out lush legato at some point. There were still the truncated chords from all the instruments which prevented it from getting into that Christmassy soaring spirit mood that it could have with legato.

    ---Maybe some of what I said will make sense to you. It's off the top of my head from listening and offered as potentially helpful feedback.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  3. #3
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    Re: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

    Thanks for your suggestions, Randy. This was exactly why I posted this.
    I'll work with your suggestions and replace later.
    gary
    Last edited by garymosse; 06-20-2007 at 06:49 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4

    Re: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

    Hey Gary, good to see you in the Christmas spirit.

    Gary, Randy had some good comments. Boiled down,
    I'd say take the guys on the left and the guys on the
    right and pull 'em more toward the center. That, and
    a bit more wet, Gary...

    My best,



    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  5. #5

    Re: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

    Now that was different! (always really appreciated as carols get over done from year to year) So, this is very refreshing. I would concur with the other panning and reverb issues. I really liked the orchestration parts.

    Thanks for posting! Del
    Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock

    http://www.mdtcommunications.com

  6. #6

    Re: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

    Hi Gary. I think I agree with some of the suggestions already made. I very much like the way that you varied the usage of the instruments. It adds interest to the piece.
    -Jay

  7. #7
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    Re: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

    Thank you Del,
    I guess I †end to write in this manner in most compositions.
    I incorperate ideas in the same way as I do for music I wri†e in my composition lessons. Wri†ing for the general public and wri†ing in a study of composition seem to be opposites....
    Thanks for listening.
    Gary

  8. #8
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    Re: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

    Thank you Jay,
    As a Band Director for 36 years, I became bored with music full of tut†i
    playing. It's not as grand, but I think it's more colorful to work with contrasting groups.
    gary

  9. #9

    Re: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

    Hello again, Gary

    With more auto-mail coming in about this thread, I became inspired to listen to your project again.

    I appreciate your interest in not having a band-like full tutti arrangement like you grew tired of during your Band Director days.

    From listening again, it seems like one over-all thing that is happening with the focus on solos and such distinctly different segments, is that it feels disjointed and not a Whole by the time it finishes playing.

    I think you've set up a good plan, to avoid the constant full orchestra, but made it a more difficult thing to pull off--considering the purpose these Christmas tracks will be used for.

    There's such a huge dynamic range in the volume, that this is resulting in virtual holes in the arrangement, for instance at 1:11 it's so soft that I couldn't hear anything at the moderate playback level I'd set. Later at 3:15 you have pizz notes so extremely soft in contrast to what they're following, that I again thought the recording had just dropped out--turn of the volume knob revealed the overly faint pizz. Those giant dips in volume are helping to add some of the discontinuity I'm talking about. And as I said in my earlier reply, to have this playing back as the holiday background music the CD is designed for, people wouldn't be able to hear much of this.

    On this fresh listen through--I had the same reaction during the full section, that there was an organ-like pumping to the arrangement, just when a lush Legato passage would have been really appreciated. The hymn never has a chance to soar, which as I said before, I feel is a primary goal of Christmas music.

    I think it could help shift the mood to something warmer and more holidayish if you could have soft sustained backing during your solos. It's the starkness of the arrangement which I feel is the main quality preventing it from sounding appropriate for its intended use.

    Thanks for posting your work-in-progress, Gary. We all have our work cut out for us on our CD submission projects--Definitely including myself in that group!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  10. #10

    Re: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

    If your home is reasonably quiet, always set the volume rather low, and listen in a room far away from the room where it is playing. You should always be able to hear everything from the other room.

    The other thing I do is turn the volume of my studio monitors completely off, then as the music is playing, begin to turn up the volume very slowly just to the point where you hear something. If at any point the music is unheard, then those parts need to be brought up slightly in volume in the mix.
    It is imperative that your mix will work well on any system.
    Ultimately though, this is a mastering tip, not something you do in the mix.
    If levels are way off like this is, then you need to get that fixed first.
    This is a tip I taught myself many years ago, and it works.
    Never listen loud while you mix, always use soft monitoring volume.


    Dan

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