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Topic: Percussion Ensemble

  1. #1

    Percussion Ensemble

    Okay, if no one has noticed, I like writing things for percussion. This piece was originally written with Finale Printmusic 2007, but I converted it to Finale 2008 w/ GPO. It sounds rough mainly do to reverb and balance issues which I plan to work out, but I would love tips on how to fix this as I am still new to the software.
    So, the song is called "The Chaser and the Chased" and it is probably the first full song I've managed to keep upbeat the entire time. The logistics of playing this song live are as follows:
    Difficult Marimba I part
    Other parts are moderately difficult, but are repetitve or use the same techniques, mallets, etc...
    Keeping this song together is easily the most difficult part.

    Hope you can understand it through the reverb! If it is too messy, you can check out the non-GPO version to get an idea of the ideal reverb I'm looking for. I don't want anything to dry, because it will sound weak as it is only a 9-person ensemble, but because it has so much motion, it can't be too reverby or it will sound mfshwah...

    lo-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getpl...d=5832948&q=lo
    hi-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getpl...d=5832948&q=hi



  2. #2

    Re: Percussion Ensemble

    I closed my eyes, sat back in my chair, and pictured myself in the Lazarra Auditorium here at UNF, listening to the UNF percussion ensemble. Very realistic sounding reverb. Excellent balance, excellent dynamics, nuance, rhythms, and melodies. Just overall brilliant work. The fake-you-out ending was funny.
    Yours Truly,
    May the Fourth Be With You

    My demos:

  3. #3

    Re: Percussion Ensemble

    Thanks, I guess that's one way of looking at it. If the idea is to make it sound as real as possible, then a live performance in an auditorium is about as real as it gets.

  4. #4

    Re: Percussion Ensemble

    BTW. Welcome to the Garritan forum. We're all friend's here so enjoy the love!!! Lol. Hope to hear more from you soon.
    Yours Truly,
    May the Fourth Be With You

    My demos:

  5. #5

    Re: Percussion Ensemble

    Hi Michael,

    The overall sound is very good. Some things get kind of lost in the texture, but percussion ensembles are like that, as there is usually so much going on.

    Again, I have to wonder what samples you are actually posting, if it isn't General Midi as opposed to GPO. I don't use Finale, so I can't really say. GPO doesn't have bongos or toms, but maybe the Finale version does. I only bring this up (again) because this forum is dedicated to learning the capabilities of GPO as opposed to other sample libraries. Still, if there is any GPO in there at all, it's OK to post. That said, most posters take pains to indicate exactly what is GPO and what isn't when there is a mixture.

    This is a nice romping Latin groove piece, which is always fun to hear. However, I find the ostinato two-chord Phyrgian i-bII to get tiresome after a couple minutes. Breaking this up with some other harmonies, a contrasting section, or even a simple modulation up or down would really help hold listeners' interest.

    Thanks for posting!


  6. #6
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Percussion Ensemble

    I thought it was pretty exciting and interesting to listen to.

    I wonder if this percussive music would do well in concert as a break between two standard symphonic works.


  7. #7

    Re: Percussion Ensemble

    This i would love to hear performed live! Would be so exciting! such a great piece! Clearly you know what you are doing, tho i dont envy the glock and marimba players! (well perhaps i do, wishing i could play that fast!)

    This definitely sounds convincing. what reverb did you use? if you want it a bit more punchy I think perhaps you should increase the volume while lowering the "wet/dry" mix (as in less wet...but only a little) - which would increase its "presence" and if you have access to a wonderful little VST effect dalled "puncher", whack that on!

    Really this a great composition. Please let me know if this ever gets perfromed live, would love to see it!


  8. #8

    Re: Percussion Ensemble


    Yes, I don't believe some of the battery is GPO now that I think of it. Thanks for pointing that out. I think the cymbals, the snare-drum, and possibly the toms are all GPO though. I'm not sure, it does it all automatically, so it's kind of vague.

    As for the style, yes I agree this is reptitive, but I rarely write such long pieces that are upbeat, so I find it difficult to mix things up much...something I need to work on. Thanks to you and everyone else for the constructive comments!

  9. #9

    Re: Percussion Ensemble

    Hi, sanyarem

    What a great change of pace for The Listening Room!

    For me, this is exciting to listen to, and I found it to be the perfect length for a piece like this. Any longer and I would have had to second Darwin's comment about the two chord progression becoming tiresome - I was close to being tired of it as it was.

    But as you intended, I think, I mostly focused on the Marimba which in a live performance would give the player quite a work out indeed!

    Now and then were the notation software tell-tale signs of the Marimba being too perfectly "quantized" whereas a variety of start times would put it more in the real of naturalism.

    As Tuba said, the reverb setting used with this amount of saturation does give a pretty realistic impression of the ensemble playing in a large auditorium - IF the recording engineer had his mikes too far back. But that's always the question - Does one want a recording to be as if from the point of view of a listener who is sitting no closer than half way to the stage? - or does one want to emulate the way a pro mobile recording studio would record it, with some venue ambience mixed in, but with a more intimate sound?---I prefer the latter, and it sounds like you'd prefer that for this piece also.

    I found the following reply from you a bit alarming, when you were talking about what the library sources for the various instruments are:

    "...I'm not sure, it does it all automatically, so it's kind of vague..."

    Not being a Finale user, I don't know how these kinds of things work - I guess you mean that there's a percussion template and the program grabs instruments from various sound sources you have connected with Finale? Or perhaps you set up a drum map at some point and now aren't sure where each drum came from? - I use Sonar, and am so accustomed to specifically choosing each instrument I want in a given project, auditioning various patches until I'm happy - I just can't imagine leaving instrument choice up to a program!

    I like what you're doing - Thanks for the explosive first music of my morning!

    Randy B.

  10. #10

    Re: Percussion Ensemble

    Hi Michael,

    Hope you get the instruments ironed out - I mean your understanding of what is what.

    Nice piece, athough I agree with the comments about variation.

    Hey Gunther, Gunther mate, where are you?? This has TRIANGLE in it!!

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