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Topic: Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

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  1. #1

    Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

    Here's my first draft of Beethoven's Symphony Nr. 6, First movement. This is my very first serious GPO render. (I did a quickie render the day I got GPO, but frankly, that one stinks!)

    I call this "first draft" because I still hear about two dozen things in it that I want to fix or adjust in this render, but that is a process that could go on forever.

    My interpretation is somewhat "romantic" in that I am freer with the tempi and bolder with the fermati than Beethoven probably would have been.

    WARNING: This piece is just over 11 minutes long. The Hi-Fi mp3 is 20 MB, so I provided a Lo-Fi mp3 at 7.6 MB, although it has some strange garbly artifacts in some of the quieter passages.

    Here are the technical details:

    Instruments
    -----------
    Alto Flute PLR 1 + Flute PLR 2
    Oboe 1 modern PLR 1 + Oboe 1 modern PLR 2
    Bb Clarinet PLR1 + Bb Clarinet PLR 2
    Bassoon 1 PLR 1 + Bassoon 2 PLR 1
    French Horn 1 + French Horn 2
    Vlns 1 KS + VLN Gagli KS
    Vlns 2 KS
    Violas KS + Viola KS solo
    Cellos KS + Cello 1 KS solo
    Basses KS + DBL Bass KS solo

    19 patches in all.

    The wave file was rendered dry through Garritan Studio, directly from the Noteworthy Composer notation program using CC1 values added directly to the score in Noteworthy.

    Convolution reverb (Scala Milan Opera Hall) was added to the wave file with Reaper, where I also did some equalization.

    This is the Hi-Fi link and here is the Lo-Fi link. (If you are using Quicktime or another streaming player the size is less important because at DSL speed it downloads faster than it plays, so the streaming player should stay ahead of the download.)

    --gary shannon
    --gary shannon
    Spooks! - The Movie

  2. #2

    Re: Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

    Hi Gary,

    Firstly , congratulations on this your first serious GPO render. How much fun was this!!

    Secondly, thank you for doing it. I have to say Beethoven's 6th is probably my favourite classical piece. or at least in my top 5, and my familiarity with it is as great or greater than any other piece. And so I looked forward to hearing this from the moment you mentioned it was coming!

    There were something things about this that I really liked, and somethings that I didn't quite like - obviously subjective, so take them with a grain of salt.

    I thought your use of dynamics was great - in particular the various build ups were well done, although I thought perhaps there may have been a little more juice in some of them (perhaps saving yourself for the storms later hmm?) and I thought there were some interesting interplays between instruments at times that provided unconvential prominence to certain instruments, which showed through some of the Beethoven Genius in ways that are typically not seen. I found this to be a very interesting and positive aspect of your interpretation.

    The one thing in particular I did not like was the use of tempi. I found it, for my tastes, too fast and a little too erratic. Of course, you said that was intentional, so all power to you - I just didn't like that aspect of it.

    I would be interested to hear a little more from you on the EQ you used - I thought this was very bright - brighter than I expected.

    Overall, this would have taken a lot of effort and it shows! WEll done and thank you again for bringing to Garritan one of my all time favourite pieces. I intend to render this myself as a study in the not-too-distant future if I can get more life balance happening. When I do, I will refer to yours as well as some live recordings to see what I might do differently and in so doing improve my understanding of the tools and this magnificent work.

    One final point Gary, I really like the way you spell out your methodology, both here and elsewhere on the forum - this is a wonderful contribution. Thank you.

  3. #3

    Re: Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPerkins
    Hi Gary,

    Firstly , congratulations on this your first serious GPO render. How much fun was this!!

    ...

    I thought your use of dynamics was great - in particular the various build ups were well done, although I thought perhaps there may have been a little more juice in some of them (perhaps saving yourself for the storms later hmm?) and I thought there were some interesting interplays between instruments at times that provided unconvential prominence to certain instruments, which showed through some of the Beethoven Genius in ways that are typically not seen. I found this to be a very interesting and positive aspect of your interpretation.

    The one thing in particular I did not like was the use of tempi. I found it, for my tastes, too fast and a little too erratic. Of course, you said that was intentional, so all power to you - I just didn't like that aspect of it.

    I would be interested to hear a little more from you on the EQ you used - I thought this was very bright - brighter than I expected.

    Overall, this would have taken a lot of effort and it shows! WEll done and thank you again for bringing to Garritan one of my all time favourite pieces. I intend to render this myself as a study in the not-too-distant future if I can get more life balance happening. When I do, I will refer to yours as well as some live recordings to see what I might do differently and in so doing improve my understanding of the tools and this magnificent work.

    One final point Gary, I really like the way you spell out your methodology, both here and elsewhere on the forum - this is a wonderful contribution. Thank you.
    I think part of the problem with dynamic range is the fact that I have to enter CC1 controllers manually by entering values in a dialog box. I would like it a LOT better if I could do the controllers graphically. Also, that way I could review the controllers at a glance instead of having to select a controller, edit it, and look at the various values that define the contour. It does make it harder to see the "big picture". I would use my Cakewalk to edit the controllers graphically, but I need to see the score while I'm working. I just can't "read" single-track piano roll the way I can read a score.

    As for the overall tempo, I thought it was a bit fast too, but I already slowed it down from the tempo given in the original score. The tempo variations are definitely a matter of taste. My interpretation is certainly unconventional in that respect, but I enjoy the expressiveness of flexible tempos, even though Beethoven would have been outraged, I'm sure.

    The unconventional prominence was (mostly) by design to bring out some of the interesting textures that have always fascinated me in the piece, yet seemed too well hidden in the usual interpretation. I guess that makes my interpretation "quirky", but that's OK by me.

    For EQ, mostly I brightened up the upper range (7 Khz and above) by about +3dB and put a narrow-Q (bandwidth 1.2 oct) attenuation filter centered at around 4.5 KHz (-4 dB) to smooth out some harshness that crept into the render somehow. These numbers were arrived at just by fiddling around with the EQ curve and trusting my ear to tell me when it was about right.

    I could easily spend another week or two fine tuning the score, and probably still not be completely satisfied

    Thanks for your observations.

    --gary shannon
    --gary shannon
    Spooks! - The Movie

  4. #4

    Re: Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

    Hi Gary, thanks for your response.

    I am pleased to hear you deliberately pulled to the fore some of the interesting underlays - I suspected as much.

    As to the piano-roll versus staff view - do you have more than one monitor? Or if not, I wonder if your screen resolution is high enough to sustain having both views at once?

    By the way, I am waiting on a delivery from Amazon with Abbado's Beethoven symphony sequence to assist my study in this regard.

  5. #5

    Re: Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPerkins
    Hi Gary, thanks for your response.
    ...
    As to the piano-roll versus staff view - do you have more than one monitor? Or if not, I wonder if your screen resolution is high enough to sustain having both views at once?...
    Thanks for that wonderful idea! I tried it out and in fact I can open the piano roll view, collapse the piano roll pane leaving just the CC1 graphics pane and then open the score view of that track and line it up just above the CC1 graph. The measures don't line up exactly since the score view spaces measures by notes and the piano roll shows all measure the same width. But it's close enough to work with, and when I move the cursor in one view it updates the cursor position in the other view. Also, when I play the track the two cursors move in unison, keeping the measures somewhat synchronized.

    Well, it's time to go back over the score in Cakewalk and refine the CC1's. And I think I'll slow down the tempo while I'm at it. Since you mentioned it I listened to a couple other interpretations and going back to my own, yes, it does feel too fast. But for now, it's time to hit the sack. It's almost 2:00 AM! Time flies when you're having fun.

    --gary shannon
    --gary shannon
    Spooks! - The Movie

  6. #6

    Re: Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

    Quote Originally Posted by fiziwig
    I think part of the problem with dynamic range is the fact that I have to enter CC1 controllers manually by entering values in a dialog box. I would like it a LOT better if I could do the controllers graphically. Also, that way I could review the controllers at a glance instead of having to select a controller, edit it, and look at the various values that define the contour. It does make it harder to see the "big picture". I would use my Cakewalk to edit the controllers graphically, but I need to see the score while I'm working. I just can't "read" single-track piano roll the way I can read a score.
    Gary, and others. without making too loud a plug of it, this is one reason I use Notation Composer even though I started out on Cakewalk. It is sooo much easier to use a mouse or a puck and draw the dynamics in over the top of the staves! Or is this the wrong place to mention it?

  7. #7

    Re: Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

    For mouse entry, Sonar is great once you get used to the piano roll view, but its staff sucks big time no matter how you swing it.

    Sonar is a program that was destined for those Dell 3007FPW monitors - 30 inches at 2560 x 1600 pixels - two of those babies and you could do anything.

    They are not cheap though, and I just purchased myself three Samsung 20in 1600x1200. I am now running three of those plus a 1280x1024 screen. Great for programming, great for Sonar, and much cheaper for screen realestate. 7Million pixels for 1200 AUD. 2x 30inch babies would have provided 8Million for $4000 + 1200 in graphics cards to support them.

    Back to the 6th: I am looking forward to hearing your next draft!

  8. #8

    Re: Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

    Fantastic work!!

    I enjoyed your interpretation of this great work. I found it completely fresh and exciting. I have to admit though that there were a couple of things in your interpretation that came as a bit of a surprise, not unpleasant though. I think someone already mentioned some "inner workings" of the music coming out too prominently. I guess as an artist "playing" and instrument (GPO) one certainly has the option of "exposing" those "inner workings" that one usally takes for granted and never really pays attention to.

    I think with such a well known work, everyone will come to listen to it with many pre-formed expectations. But I think it is good to be taken by surprise, because we have grown so accustomed to brilliant orchestras and edited recordings that I sometimes wonder if we were there when this was first performed, if we would actually even recognise it........

    Again, this was an outstanding job!

    PS Just curious, howcome an alto flute?
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

    Such a large project! There were some passages that came off wonderfully - others less so, but overall, it showed GPO in a fine light, and your skills come through loud and clear. I would have liked a slightly larger space - I felt that room was to small. That may be the mp3 compression, but something a bit more resonant/reverberant would have helped. That said, Bravo for job well done!
    Ron Pearl

    Website:

    ronaldmpearl.com

    myspace:

    http://myspace.com/rmpearl

  10. #10

    Re: Beethoven's Sixth - My First Real GPO Render

    Hello Gary,

    what an undertaking, great I must say. In general I loved what you did.
    I saw that you EQ'd the whole lot. That I can hear, to my regret. Is it possible to EQ only the violins for the harsh sounds (around 8300 hz) and leave the other instruments untouched? At the same time, lower the volume of the solo violins. They give a bit too harsh sound to the string section.

    Go over it again, maybe something is lost in making the MP3. For the guys with very fast Internet I try to compress to MP3 not lower than 192.

    Congrats, you have it "in your blood" to make GPO work.

    Raymond

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