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Topic: First Post Here

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  1. #1
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    First Post Here

    Here is the link to the first draft (and I emphasize draft) of the piece I'm entering into the Christmas 2007 CD ring. There are some comments about it on this site.

    The drum track will be replaced by a real drummer, so you don't have to tell me how bogus the drumkit sounds!

    Thanks for listening.

    Keith Walls

    http://musichostr.com/music/12

  2. #2

    Re: First Post Here

    Hi Keith,

    I enjoyed the jazz harmonies in this rendition. I just installed Finale 2008 myself and haven't really grappled (successfully anyway) with Kontakt yet, so bravo for that!

    You probably already have this covered, since as you said it's a first draft, but the two things that jumped out at me on one listen was that the underlying lower horns were quite overshadowed by the trumpets and given equal volume, i think they would just come together so nicley with those trumpet runs over the theme in the lower horns. Some reverb would biggen it, too (is that a word???)

    Thanks, I enjoyed listening to this; a nice combination of reverence and fun, and I found it also very relaxing.

    Karen

  3. #3

    Re: First Post Here

    Hiya, Keith

    I'm a sucker for Jazz arrangements of traditional Christmas Carols, so I'm a good audience for what you're offering up here.

    "...This was originally arranged for the Stan Kenton Big Band in 1961 by Ralph Carmichael..."

    OK, - and I understand you've gotten permission to use this great arrangement, but are we sure that previously done arrangements are what the Garritan Chistmas CD team are looking for? - I guess that's an open question, but before hearing this, I was rather assuming that the point was to feature new arrangements done by Garritan users rather than "mock-ups" of what's already been recorded by live bands.

    As a rendering, I also understand that you're considering this a first draft which will be developed. OK, I do have some notes that might be helpful in that regard:

    --The rhythm section is quite overwhelmed by the Brass, and mostly by the Trumpets. I heard the Bass here and there, but not consistently. You say there's a drum kit in the arrangement, but I couldn't hear it - I caught the Tubular Bells, Tympani and a faint sound of the Sleigh Bells - but I couldn't hear any actual drum kit. It's there?

    --Pitch Bends, or Portamento in the Brass is very unnatural. The use of it here is very synthy and unnatural--Sorry, but I feel you'll need to re-think the way to accomplish those scoops.

    --Overall there's a very strict, quantized, notated feel and sound to the whole recording. I take it this was done in a notation program - in which case I'd recommend a judicious use of a "human playback" type of utility.

    --It doesn't sound like you've used any Legato on the instruments. Runs are unnatural with their repeated tongued notes. You gotta get in there and make use of the excellent Legato feature built into the Garritan Libraries.

    I admire your effort--But I wish you were working up an original arrangement, and no matter the source of your arrangement, I hope you do some serious work on balancing the ensemble more in your mix so the rhythm section isn't so buried and also so the whole thing can breathe in a more organic way.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  4. #4

    Re: First Post Here

    Hi Keith,
    I am very familiar with Ralph Carmichael's religious arrangements. He's good!
    I like this arrangement too.

    Randy speaks the truth about some of the technical issues, and I would love to hear this on the Christmas CD.

    Gary does not mind if the Garritan Christmas CD has songs that have already been used in previous years, so go for it!

    For a very reasonable fee this year, I will be offering my services of midi editing and mixing for those folks who love to make music, but don't look forward to the mixing portion of the project. A midi file of your song, and a list of the instruments you prefer to use is all that would be needed.
    I apologize, that was kind of rude of me to take this off topic.

    I didn't hear drums at all, and I think this arrangement does well without them. Just my 2 cents.

    Dan

  5. #5
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    Re: First Post Here

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Hiya, Keith

    I'm a sucker for Jazz arrangements of traditional Christmas Carols, so I'm a good audience for what you're offering up here.

    "...This was originally arranged for the Stan Kenton Big Band in 1961 by Ralph Carmichael..."

    OK, - and I understand you've gotten permission to use this great arrangement, but are we sure that previously done arrangements are what the Garritan Chistmas CD team are looking for? - I guess that's an open question, but before hearing this, I was rather assuming that the point was to feature new arrangements done by Garritan users rather than "mock-ups" of what's already been recorded by live bands.

    As a rendering, I also understand that you're considering this a first draft which will be developed. OK, I do have some notes that might be helpful in that regard:

    --The rhythm section is quite overwhelmed by the Brass, and mostly by the Trumpets. I heard the Bass here and there, but not consistently. You say there's a drum kit in the arrangement, but I couldn't hear it - I caught the Tubular Bells, Tympani and a faint sound of the Sleigh Bells - but I couldn't hear any actual drum kit. It's there?

    --Pitch Bends, or Portamento in the Brass is very unnatural. The use of it here is very synthy and unnatural--Sorry, but I feel you'll need to re-think the way to accomplish those scoops.

    --Overall there's a very strict, quantized, notated feel and sound to the whole recording. I take it this was done in a notation program - in which case I'd recommend a judicious use of a "human playback" type of utility.

    --It doesn't sound like you've used any Legato on the instruments. Runs are unnatural with their repeated tongued notes. You gotta get in there and make use of the excellent Legato feature built into the Garritan Libraries.

    I admire your effort--But I wish you were working up an original arrangement, and no matter the source of your arrangement, I hope you do some serious work on balancing the ensemble more in your mix so the rhythm section isn't so buried and also so the whole thing can breathe in a more organic way.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)
    Randy,

    Thanks for taking the time to listen and critique. This "first draft" is the result of ONLY Finale's HP rendering. No MIDI tweaking has been done (indeed, I knew up front that the trumpets especially would need MIDI tweaking.) There is a bug in the Finale 2008 "Export HP to MIDI" plugin that needs to be fixed before I can start tweaking the MIDI.

    As for balance and dynamics, yes, this needs a lot of work. The trumpets are too loud and the percussion too soft. I intend to have the drumkit track (only a few measures toward the end) played in by a live drummer.

    As for selection of this piece, yes, you are right, an original arrangement would probably be better. But I have selected this arrangement because it can show (when properly prepared!) the capabilities of the Garritan Libraries. Delays in getting some of this software (bleeding edge all of time!) and the newness of some of the tools to me (I'm new to Cubase, for example) led me to choose something already written.

    I'm planning on substituting Mellophones for the Horns if they sound nice when C&MB is released.

    The bottom line is that I'm trying to go places that haven't been gone before on the Christmas projects.

    Keith Walls

  6. #6

    Re: First Post Here

    Sorry I missed it before you removed the piece,
    Keith, but -- welcome to the fray!

    Best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  7. #7
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    Aug 2005
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    Re: First Post Here

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    Sorry I missed it before you removed the piece,
    Keith, but -- welcome to the fray!

    Best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .
    The music has been reposted with minor changes. Note that this is a work still in progress...

    Keith W.
    http://musichostr.com/music/12

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